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The Five Step Dance

         The original Five Step was introduced in 1849. The "New Five Step" was introduced in about 1905. The accent will be seen under the music. A very agreeable change called the "New Five Step" was made by making two slides at the first and second motions, and at the third a change instead of the hop. This dance was a curious illustration of the effect of education or habit.

   If the sheet music is placed before a musician of the time, and a very thorough one, he would very likely exclaim, at first seeing it, "that the time was unnatural," and would probably have some difficulty in playing it; yet children, even of four or five years of age, are said to have learned the dance and its rhythm's as easily as the Galop or Polka. Dodsworth says "Surely, the unnaturalness cannot be in the children."

   The original was a peculiar dance in five/four time, for which it had but few musical compositions. It consisted of the basic mazurka with a leap and hop. The turn was made at the leap; hop (fourth and fifth motions), two bars being required for one revolution. At the moment of making the last hop (fifth motion of each bar), the disengaged foot was to be brought to the first position, so that the heels would touch simultaneously with the hop.

   It was re-introduced in 1927 by John Murray Anderson at the Robert Milton school of Theater and Dance in order to teach the Five Step in the studio for 2 hours each day. Harland Dixon and Mae Clarke did the Ballroom version in George White's "Manhattan Mary," play in New York.

   There was also a Five Step Waltz (see Waltz,) as well as the Italian Galliard (17th Century) originally was a lively five-step dance in a rhythm based on either a count of three, or multiples of two.

Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

n/a 1840's (1905) n/a Ballroom / Couples

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a 1914 - Francine (5 Step Waltz)

Night Clubs



n/a 1927 - Apollo Theatre n/a

Films / Movies


Ballets / Stage

n/a n/a 9/26/1927 - Manhattan Mary



Other Related Dances of the time...

5 Step Waltz Half and Half Mazurka Polka Waltz
Boston Foxtrot Newport Two Step Yorke

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Allen Dodsworth Mae Clark n/a
Harland Dixon Vernon and Irene Castle  

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


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Poets / Writers

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

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Basic Step:

  • Basic Position is Ballroom hold (arm outstretched parallel to floor, Side by side or Glide position).
  • Variations are 6 and 8 counts (double Bend and Straighten in knees for 8 count)
  • count 1) Cross RT. foot over LT. (Slow).
  • count 2) Bring Rt foot back to LT. (Slow).
  • count 3) Bend both knees without moving feet. (Quick).
  • count 4) Straighten Knees (Quick).
  • (see Pics)