What is the origin of Two Step?


Well-Known Member
Since this thread from long ago veered into bpm territory...

I enjoy these languid songs as an alternative to practically running around the floor.

What do you think? Too slow?
Oh, slow, but in general I love "languid", so if the leader is happily embracing a slow cw2s, I'm sure I would enjoy it.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
You mean, this isn't true?
That's a pretty old post you got there!

I've spent a lot of time with books and such since that tongue in cheek post. One thing I've learned is that with the internet, it seems like every dance studio or teacher feels obligated to put some sort of historical information about the dances they teach on their site. One owner I contacted wrote that he had hired "essay writers" who most likely combed the web for material and pasted something together.

There is quite a bit of truth in the original post regarding "two step" and "Urban Cowboy."

Take a look at the web site that meets my criteria for having credibility.
Quick-Quick-Slow: The Two-Step Infiltrates the Foxtrot

Lloyd Shaw was an expert on US country "Cowboy" and "Round" dances. He wrote two books that were published in the mid 1900s. And Two Step was quick quick slow. And, it was found throughout rural areas in the West.

Several people worked with John Travolta to get him ready for the dancing in "Urban Cowboy." Two of them appear in one of the circa 1980 books I have, and they were "regulars" in the cw dance scene where the film was shot.
Another known contributer was Patsy Swayze, Patrick Swayze's mother.

'Patsy first came to fame in the 80s after acting as choreographer for 1980's film Urban Cowboy, teaching John Travolta how to do the two-step.'
Now, Patsy also started the Houston Jazz Ballet Company. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity...owboy-choreographer-mother-dead-at-86-2013199
So, I would say there might have been some filtering going on there.

It was after "Urban Cowboy" when many people wanted to learn western / cowboy dancing (discos became CW dance halls practically over night) that most people learned "Texas Two Step" that was qqS S .

Check out this site for information on how dance teachers influenced what was taught at that time. http://www.ssqq.com/stories/westswng.htm
And this is where some confusion comes in because Califronia already had a dance called "Western Swing" since the early 1950s (and quite possibly earlier).
Bottom line is that this is when qqs s, or SSQQ as Archer calls it, became the dominant form of "two step."

I could go on and on with tangents to this, but that seems to be the heart of it.

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