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Texas Two Step

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Texas Two Step

         The Original Two-Step was a simple dance that caught on with the public when John Phillip Sousa came out with the "Washington Post March" in 1891. The old quadrilles, glides and reels were cast aside in favor of dances such as the Two-Step. Many songs doubled as a one Step or Two-Steps (called crossovers.) In many's haste to find the C/W source for the Texas Two-Step, many conceive Sousa's to be it's parent and it's roots, however, "The Collegiate Foxtrot" was the parent of the Texas Two Step. Sousa's Two Step and the Texas Two Step had no relation to each other in either dance steps, timing, style, dates, music or evolution.

      Piero Scaruffi writes on "Country's Music birth": "In 1910 John Lomax published "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads", and in 1916 Cecil Sharp published a collection of folk music from the Appalachian mountains, two events that sparked interest for the white musical heritage, although the world had to wait until 1922 before someone, Texan fiddler Eck Robertson, would cut the first record of "old-time music". The following year, John Carson recorded two "hillbilly" songs, an event that is often considered the official founding of "Country Music." In 1924 Riley Puckett introduced the "yodeling" style of singing (originally from the Swiss and Austrian Alps) into country music, the style adopted in 1927 by the first star of country music, Jimmie Rodgers, whowed it to the Hawaiian slide guitar and, de facto, invented the white equivalent of the blues. In 1925 Carl Sprague became the first musician to record Cowboy songs (the first "singing Cowboy" of Country Music). And, finally, in 1925, Nashville's first radio station (WSM) began broadcasting a program that would eventually change its name to "the Grand Ole Opry." Country music was steaming ahead."

      The Original Collegiate Foxtrot (no connection with Country at this time) had hopping steps that were lively and dignified, they reflected the brisk tempo of a young America in the 1920s. Other collegiate dances such as the Collegiate Foxtrot, Shimmy, Collegiate Shag, Truckin, The Grizzly Bear, The Turkey Trot, and The Bunny Hug etc. were all popular with the Collegiate set of the 1910s/20s era dancers. The Collegiate walk was very similar to the Foxtrot. The Texas Two Step gets its beginnings with the revival of the Collegiate-Foxtrot in the 1950's.

     Some of these Collegiate dances had a small but UNSUCCESSFUL revival during the 1940s and 1950s and not because of the dance but the music in which it was presented. Over the years the collegiate dance steps had became tamer over time such as the Collegiate Foxtrot (aka: One Step) which removed the hops in favor of the glide. It finally entered the square dance world during this time to appease the younger generation, the collegiate-Foxtrot dance was eventually to become known as the Texas two-step. The printed step descriptions are of a forward moving "Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick" for the Collegiate-Foxtrot in the early 1950's are the same as taught to Country Western Dancers when learning the Texas Two-Step today.

       However the original Texas Two Step of the 1970s Urban Cowboy period was different than that of later or today's "Slo-Slo-Quick-Quick" version, which was originally known as the "California Two-Step." The original Texas version (123-123-12) had a closer rhythm to that of the Dallas Two-Step/SHUFFLE (123-12-123-12.)

       Today's modern Country dancing really isn't (Urban) Country anymore. Most of the dance technique now comes from Ballroom and in the few clubs that have survived using D'J's rather than live "Country-Western" Bands, play to much Disco, Rock, Blues, Hip Hop etc. infused with Country Music and with most of the dancing being of the free style and/or Line Dancing type done with a DJ rather than the traditional live Country-Western Band. The clubs that tend to have kept 'Live Music' do more traditional couples based dances like the Two Step, Waltz, Schottische, Polka, and various swing dances along with some Line dancing. '

       Some DJ Country Clubs have even included 'Night Club Two Step (aka: Disco 2-Step,)' 'Disco Hustle' and 'Latin' into the music/dance mix as well.... If you like Country Western dancing, support the smaller places that don't play 90% (c)Rap, Disco and Pop etcetera by an achy-breaky DJ for line dances with a few Country Western songs thrown in. ... Disco, Pop, and Rap have no place in a Country-Western environment (maybe 1 out of a 100 songs lol), period, if you want that, there are plenty of night clubs designed just for that ... "Keep it Live, Keep it Country" !!!!

 

Birth Place

Creation Date

Creator

Dance Type

?Texas? c.1940s Square dancers Folk | Collegiate | Country
 

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

$ Urban Cowboy 11x17 (Framed) 1946 - Spanish Two Step (Wills) Most C/W Songs in 2/4 Timing
$ Urban Cowboy (Print framed)   $ Urban Cowboy Soundtrack
     

$ Coal Miner's Daughter Soundtrack
      $ Mickey Gilley: Ten Years of Hits
       
       
       
         
 

Ballrooms / Night Clubs

Theaters

Locations

Calamities (CA) (female version of Cowboy) n/a USA
Cowboy, The (CA) (was more than one) Owner: Jack Wade        
Denim & Diamonds (1990's mainly Line dance)        
Exclusive Dance Club (TX)        
Gilley's (TX) Owner: Mickey Gilley        
In Cahoot's (1990's More than one)        
The Golden West (CA)        
Longhorn Saloon (CA & TX) CA Owner: Jim Grant        
Mule Lip Saloon (CA)        
Silver Bullet (CA)        
         
         
There were literally thousands of clubs in most states, way too many to list.

Films / Movies

Television

Ballets / Stage

$1979 - Urban Cowboy [DVD] Grand Ole Opry n/a
1992 - Pure Country [DVD] Yee-Haw!  
1994 - The Cowboy Way [DVD]        
2000 - Cowboy Up [DVD]        
$ My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys        
         
     
         

Instructional Videos

     

Publications

$ Country Dancing for Beginners DVD            
$ Country Fever USA II - Hottest Line Dances DVD            
$ Surviving The Country Dance Floor - Christy Lane            
 

Other Related Dances of the time...

4/8 Corners LD East Coast Swing Waltz  
Cajun Two Step Elvira (LD)    
California Two-Step Line Dances (LD)    
Collegiate Two Step Polka & Variations    
Cotton-Eyed Joe Slappin' Leather (LD)    
Cowboy/Aggie Swing Schottische    
Dallas Two Step Tulsa Time (LD)    
Note: West Coast Swing entered the C/W scene in the early 1980's, however it is and was not C/W. Country Swing is basically: Single Rhythm 'East Coast Swing.'

Early Dancers, Choreographers etc.

Political

Eddie Lopez (TX) Tom Mattox (CA) n/a
John Riddle (CA) Wiley Hicks Simpson (CA)  
Marlene Taylor (CA)    
Terry Leone (Tulsa Time)    
 

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Publisher
La Danse des Salons Henri Cellarius 1847 N/A
       
       
 

Musicians

Singers

Poets / Writers

Bob Wills (1905- 5/15/1975) Hank Williams Sr. n/a
Hank Williams SR. Willie Nelson    
  George Strait    
         
         
 

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Collegiate Round Dance Hoe Down -
Barn Dance Square Dance Line Dance    
Boy Howdy Yee-Haw!      
         
 

The Basic Step

      Leader faces partner and starts with left foot, follower starts with right foot. Leader starts moving forward into Follower. Basically using a Ballroom-hold for the C/W version (Right hand on the follower's Back/shoulder blade) or the "Cowboy-hold" in which the Leaders right hand wrist would go/rest atop followers left shoulder rather than the shoulder blade. The Dance is done to "Six Beats" of music in four steps with a Slow being "Two Beats" and a Quick being "One Beat." Slide feet on floor rather than lift them when stepping and don't bounce arms.
SLOW   SLOW    QUICK    QUICK (and keep repeating, traveling in a large Counter-Clockwise circle)
Left ---- Right --- Left ----- Right
Walk --- Walk---- Walk --- Together

Rhythm and steps can also be done as:
1) slow --- slow --- quick/quick (Step --- Step --- Step/Tog).
2) quick/quick --- slow --- slow (Step/Tog --- Step --- Step).
3) triple-step, step (Step/Tog/Step --- Step).

      The Modern California/Texas Two Step was Step-Together-Walk-Walk. Today the "Step Together" is often times replaced with a running or Pas step (passing the feet) rather than a together step among C/W Competitors, however the majority of C/W Bar/club dancers still do the original 'Step-Together' version.

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October 22, 2012
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