Country and Western > Who hijacked the Two Step?

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by G & B, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. G & B

    G & B New Member

    Having danced the two step for several for several years, more then ten and less then fifty, I noticed some of the women I dance with are not on the same step. I recently attended a dance lesson for the two step and realized they are no longer teaching people to do the two step, but are teaching them to walk to Country music! What is going on?
  2. b19wh33l5

    b19wh33l5 Member

    Which step do you use?
  3. G & B

    G & B New Member

    The country two step is, step left-right together left-step right-step, women on the opposite step.
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Was this beginner's class? I can understand the walking if it was such a class . . . as dancing in its most basic form is called "walking."

    I have a video where they taught some beginners and newcomers the 2 Step, and told them to walk in groups of "fours." The video finally gets into the count at the end of the tape. The video also teaches basic turns in this walking fashion . . . I thought it was strange, but if I didn't know anything about the dance, I could remember 1, 2, 3, 4 just tad easier than Q, Q, S, S . . . maybe.

    I've also seen a group class where they instructors were trying to teach "being smooth" in the 2 Step . . . and they had everyone walking instead of dancing to the music . . . maybe this is what you saw?

    There is a lot to be said about a natural step and dancing . . .
  5. G & B

    G & B New Member

    They were beginning classes, but no mention was ever made of the correct step. I went on the web Saturday and noticed that a web site described the two step as a walk walk walk walk in a quick quick slow slow manner. I emailed this person to ask where this came from and his response was "Nobody dances Step,Together, Step, Step anymore. The "together" step is replaced with another forward walking step. So, the feet pass on all closing steps, no "together" steps. This change took place in the early 1990's." Of course, I responded with anyone that has been dancing for more then ten years, dances the two step with a step together step step.

    After that I decided to go on the forum and ask if anyone else knows what happened.
  6. G & B

    G & B New Member

    Sorry Vince A, I missed your comment, "There is a lot to be said about a natural step and dancing . . ."

    I agree with you 100% But, as Buddy did with the Night Club Two Step, if you choreograph a new dance, name your new child don't advertise it to be something it is not!
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    And I agree with you . . . I also think that you know what you're supposed to be doing. Yes?
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Couple things on this topic.
    In order to do quick steps in time to the music (especially if it's a fast one) that second "quick" step with the right foot has to be pretty small. I can see how "step together" can come out pretty much like quick quick.
    The "slow" steps can be a bit longer, because you have more time to complete them.
    I gues it comes down to what you emphasize.
    As far as the walking part goes...
    I know some people who don't even try to keep up with quick quick slow, slow when it's a fast two step. They just walk (No quicks). I know lots of people who try to do quick quick slow, slow, and ending up doing it as fast as they can, but not as fast as the music. I usually sit out those really fast two steps, because in my experience most women can't go that fast. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find someone who can.
    In learning Argentine Tango I've discovered that the way tango people dance to a "faster, more upbeat energetic type of tango" called milonga works really well for those fast two steps.
    Milonga - the dance - is stepping on each beat. Step step step step. It sounds like it might be boring, but when you can turn anyway on any step, or go in any direction on any step, it gets pretty interesting.
    Now, if only I could find someone to do it with.
    Doing milonga to two step was the first thing I thought of when I read your post.
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Ooh, ooh! Me! Me! I wanna try milonga to a two-step! Me! Me!
  10. G & B

    G & B New Member

    Vince A, Yes!

    Steve, the two step is a quick quick slow slow. The two step their teaching now is a walk walk walk walk (in a quick quick slow slow manner). The step together is way different then a complete walk step, which throws off the timing between a person doing the two step and someone walking.

    The question goes back to who changed, and why, the two step from step together step step to walk walk walk walk?
  11. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Isn't there a similiar debate in Foxtrot over whether a basic should close with the QQ as side-close or if a continuity styling is better? Still, they are both a Foxtrot. There is a guy who has been doing 2-step for a very long time in my area. I asked him about the other basic and he explained that it used to be quite common, but the passing QQ was also common. It did not make a lot of difference because many of the turns at that time were in the line of dance (LOD). So the difference between a closing QQ and a continuity QQ with a small step is not important.

    The way he described the change is that as country music modernized, the 2-step became a much more open dance. So now a ton of the turns are lead out of promonade. He was telling me that the toughest habit he has to work on is the older style promonade had the feet closing and rocking back so both the man and woman faced forward. As the cw dancers got more talented they noticed that the guy facing forward in promonade tended to pull the lady's shoulders slightly out of line and she ends up a little out of balance during her inside turns.

    The continuity step style allowed the man to continue down the LOD and be slightly in front and turned toward the woman in a L shape. As they dance down the LOD, he dances sideways with a cross over step. This allows the lady to be better ballanced in her turns. The added benefit is that the continuity step allows for the number of Qs to be varied much easier. So the man can lead different combinations of QQQQSS QSSQSS etc much cleaner than closing the feet.

    Finally, patterns like pretzl runs and lariates never have an opportunity for a closing QQ because the feet are either crossed to square up the hips at the beginning or split while the couple passes each other. So these moves require a passing QQ. Then end result seems to be that most dancers are not closing the QQ but allowing it to pass and the key focus is on holding the second S long enough to show a distinct difference in pattern footwork.
  12. G & B

    G & B New Member

    Yes, there are syncopations with most dances and couples competing need to work them out together or dancres need to learn them properly so when they lead their partner both will be on the same page.

    But the porblem is someone has taken it upon themselves to change the step pattern of a dance that has been around for more then thirty years. The new step pattern, walk walk walk walk does not fit with the correct pattern, step together step step. There is a half of step difference, which puts a couple out of step.

    What is the step patern for the fox trot and when was it changed, or has it been?
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Oh my . . .
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, Vince. Oh, my.
  15. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Steve, just think . . . all of these years . . . wasted . . . . doing it wrong???

    What am I going to tell my Pro???

    . . . sorry . . . for going off the deep end with this . . .
  16. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    G&B, step together step step is still four weight transfers. So you should absolutely not end up a beat off. The gentleman who sometimes reverts to that basic can lead any woman and not miss a beat.

    The same with foxtrot. Doing SSQQ as walk walk side close is the same number of weight transfers as walk walk walk walk.

    I mentioned the other part because I suspect the answer is when a specific style starts consistently winning the competitions, it becomes the norm for social dancers. Vince probably sees the style differences as someone pushes the envelope every few years.
  17. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    What do ya' mean . . . "every few years?"

    I push it everytime I compete and social dance . . .

    I'm not knocking what you wrote, and I sorta do exactly what you said . . . it was just "such a mouthful" . . . I had to read it several times to get it through my thick skull! Are you a technical writer . . . I mean, do you do that for a living?
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I should probably stay out of this at this point, but...
    If the woman just walks, and all of her steps are slows, when the man does a quick quick, the couple is "off".
    (In Argentine Tango this is an accepted practice, but unless the woman has learned that is is not a problem, she will often do a quick quick to get back on the "same" foot as the man.)
    So if the woman does walk, walk, walk, and the man does step together walk, walk they will be on "different" feet, and the same feet with each repetition of the pattern - either walk, walk, walk taken as slows, or step together step step done as quick quick slow, slow.
    I'm going to guess that this may not help at all, but I couldn't help myself.

    PS If you ever come to Portland for one of the Tango festivals, Peaches,...
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    My brother in law is close to Portland, so there's a distinct possibility. :)

    One question, and this may or may not be relevant...when you (all) say "step, together" is the "together" part an actual change of weight, or is it a tap step? If it's an actual weight change, then are you (all) just talking about the difference in passing the feet or not--aka, two walk steps vs. a closed change?

    Either way, and take this with multiple HUGE grains of salt since I know next to nothing about 2-step, does it really matter so long as both leader and follower are doing QQSS? It seems that it'd be a small difference in the distance traveled (or not) on the second Q--which, if the woman is following, wouldn't really matter. Does it make a difference in terms of advanced patterns?
  20. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    There is a dance hall that is focused on square dancing in my area. So the callers and instructors are all 70ish and they still teach the step together step step pattern. The step together is a full weight change. That is why it doesn't matter if the feet pass or just come together. The couple should still end up on opposit feet.

    They are the only group teaching that way in my area and probably have been teaching the same way for 50 years. Everyone else passes the feet.

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