Country and Western dances called the "Two-Step" are hybrids that are unique to that form of dance, and should always be labeled "Country and Western" or "Texas" Two-Step. The authentic two-step is the one that is the basis for all other forms of folk and social dance (see "Polka").


TWO-STEP: Music is 4/4 time; dance is 6/4; may start on count 1 or 3. One Two-step takes 1 1/2 measures or 6 counts. May be danced either SSQQ or QQSS.
Music (4/4)
Dance (6/4)
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
S S Q/Q Repeat
L   R  
Fwd   Fwd  
Q/Q S S  
1 2
5 6
Fwd Cl
3 4 
1 2......etc.
Men always
repeat LEFT,
ladies RIGHT!

HALF TURN (Fwd to Bk, Bk to Fwd): Country and Western is the only form of dance that encourages the man to dance backward as much as he does forward. This is a simple method to change directions. The man would usually execute several backward patterns before turning forward again.
Fwd Fwd Tn  SiCl
180°TnCW on SQQ
Bk Bk Tn FwdCl
180°TnCCW onSQQ

CONTINUOUS TURN: To turn clockwise continuously, the dancers must complete one 360° turn per two-step, have a tight closed position, and be very sure of footwork. Once the turning becomes continuous, each partner must be reaching FORWARD between partner's feet on every RIGHT Slow step (Man on his second Slow; Lady on her first Slow) to be successful. Most of the traveling occurs on this Slow step; the QQ's are done in place. Practice turning alone first. The man will find it simpler to begin while traveling backward, so this would be preceded with a half turn.
 Rhythm S S  Q  Q    
MANWeight L R  L  R    
 Direction 1/4Tn 1/4Tn  1/4Tn  1/4Tn   
   Bk Fwd  Bk  Cl    
LADYWeight R L  R  L    
 Direction 1/4Tn 1/4Tn  1/4Tn  1/4Tn   
   Fwd Bk  Fwd  Cl    

ARCH TURNS: The Man may spin the Lady on the SS or on the QQ. The Man continues dancing the basic pattern forward. Lady's part is described.

Rhythm S S  QQ
Weight R L  RL
Direction FwdTn BkTn  BkBk
  Arch Turning    
OR Bk Bk  TnTn
       Arch Turning

SWEETHEART SWITCH: This pattern requires 4 basics in sweetheart position. The man dances forward or in place throughout.
Basic #1 
Man releases R hand, leads lady CCW around him, holding L hand

Basic #2 Lady continues around man to his R side, still holding L hands
Basic #3
Both travel forward: man's L hand at his L shoulder, his R hand hold's lady's R hand in front of her. (May travel several basics in this position)
Basic #4
Man releases lady's L hand, and with a strong pull, he spins her CCW on the fist S, returning to original sweetheart position

PROMENADE: This is a fun and simple variation that can be developed into "The Whip" (see Jitterbug/Swing).

TRANSITION INTO: Begin in closed with a Right quarter turn, followed by Lady's Arch Turn.
 Rhythm S S  Q Q    S     S     QQ
MANWeight L R  L R    L     R     LR
 Direction Fwd Fwd90°Tn  Si Cl    Si     Bk     SiCl
LADYWeight R L  R L    R     L     RL
 Direction Bk Bk90°Tn  Si Cl    FwdTn     Turn     SiCl
     CW         Arch Turning CW       

PROMENADE: Direction is same for both partners, but weight changes are opposite. Inside hands are joined. Partners face each other on each "Q Q" and change hands. May repeat the "promenade" steps as many times as you choose.
Rhythm S S QQ S S QQ
Man's weight L R LR L R LR
Direction Fwd Fwd SiClBk Fwd SiCl
Arm Swing  Bk Fwd Change hands Bk Fwd Change hands
Hands Man's R, Lady's L Man's L, Lady's R   Man's R, Lady's L

TRANSITION OUT: End on a forward promenade with Man leading Lady into closed position on the second "slow", closing on the "quicks".
  S S QQ
Direction Fwd Fwd SiCl
Arm Swing Bk Pull Closed

ONE-STEP: FORT WORTH SHUFFLE: This is little more than walking with a "limp". All of the variations done for the Two-Step and Jitterbug may be done in the One-Step.
Music 1 2  3 4
Rhythm S S  S S
Weight L R  L R
Direction Fwd Fwd  Fwd Fwd

Bk=Back     Cl=Close     CCW=CounterCW(L)     CW=Clockwise(R)     FWD=Forward     He=Heel    
Ho=Hop or Hold     IP=In Place     K=Kick     //=Parallel     Si=Side    S-O=Semi-Open    Tn=Turn    
To=Touch     X=Cross 

[<< Previous page] [Next page >>]
CONTENTS PAGE - Ballroom and Country/Western Dance Packet
Rosemary Slack's Home Page