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 one or Two-Steps (crossovers).
This Two-Step comes from the "Valse a' deux temps"
(waltz) or Deux Temps for short. The dance consisted of a series of chasse's, forward or sideways with a skip in each step and was done to 2/4 or 4/4 time (basically a triple step or Quick-Quick-Slow). Altho done in three steps, the Two Step getting it's name from the two Quick Steps used.
There was a mass amount of music written as a Two-step and / or march. When ragtime suddenly appeared, the Sousa marches started to wain, however some patterns of the two-step still remain in the Fox-trot of today. In 1847, in his book "La Danse des Salons", Henri Cellarius expressed his regrets about the use of the term "deux temps" stating that the dance would be better accepted if it were called "deux pas" (two step) as the term better described the step of the dance (he also suggested that the trois temps would be better called the "trois pas" - "three step").
About the Texas Two-Step of Later years:
In many's haste to find the Texas Two-Step source today, many conceive Sousa's to be it's historical parent, as it's the easiest information to find. However the 'Collegiate foxtrot' was the parent of the Texas Two Step (also see Collegiate Foxtrot for a better and obvious description.) The Collegiate Foxtrot was done in the late 1910's and was later revived during the early 1940's in the square dance Community for the kids, which soon again became very popular among the young square and round dancers of that time. As time went on many people in the Country community lost it's roots and began calling it the 'Texas Two' or 'Country Foxtrot'. As these Kids got older it became a stable dance for all to do in the Square dance community, which later became the STAPLE DANCE in the Country Western dance community as well. The Texas Two-Step (Slo-Slo-Quick-Quick version) has nothing to do with Sousa's original dance done to Sousa's music or the Original Two-Step described on this page, except in its similar name.