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One Step—

4 beats/measure, 40 measures/minute

The One Step is a smooth, steady, walking rhythm in which the dancer walks on every other beat (a "slow" count) or runs on every beat (a "quick" count). The One Step evolved out of the Two Step about 1910 and was a very popular social dance, along with the Foxtrot, Waltz, and Tango. One of the most popular One Steps was the Turkey Trot. The man simply walked forward and the woman back, one step per beat, with some syncopated wing movements added for interest. Another was the Bunny Hug, and truly brilliant was the Castle Walk, created by Vernon & Irene Castle. The Castles' presentations of the One Step, Two Step, Waltz, and Tango were so popular that Vernon has been called the "father of modern dancing."

A current American dance rhythm that is related to our One Step is the Peabody. There is little rise and fall. Forward walking steps are taken heel/toe. Running steps are taken on the balls of the feet, and back walks are taken toe/heel. Contra body movement (CBM) is used during progressive steps to create a subdued swaying back and forth of the body.

Much of the cueing for a One Step will consist of step cues, rather than larger figure cues. Again, the One Step is closely related to the Two Step and the Five Count, and many dances contain patterns from all three rhythms.

(For additional figures, see the Two Step page.)

Figure Name, Roundalab Phase Level, & Timing

q=quick, 1 beat
s=slow, 2 beats
&=1/2 beat; a=1/4 beat

Steps and Actions That Make Up the Figure

Each description focuses on the man, with the woman's footwork in parenthesis. If a woman's step is not given, it is the natural opposite or follow of the man's. Help: basic dance positions and steps, actions, directions, and abbreviations. Non-standard punctuation: a comma separates two beats of music, a semi-colon marks the end of a measure, and a slash (/) indicates a split beat, two things occurring in a single beat.

Here are some sequences to help you visualize the figure in context.

Walk Two

ss;

In any position beginning with either foot, step fwd, -, fwd, -; In closed position, line of dance, walk two; run four; walk, face; side close twice; side and through to semi;
Back Two

ss;

In any position beginning with either foot, step bk, -, bk, -;

Both forward and back steps can be used in any number, at a variety of tempos, and in any direction, both relative to the floor and relative to your partner.

In Left Footers One Step by the Johnsons, we are in closed position facing the wall, and the man steps back L toward COH (W bk R toward wall), bk, bk, bk; sd L (W sd R), sd, sd, sd; walk in L (W fwd R), fwd, fwd, fwd to face partner and wall; sd, sd, sd, sd blending to sidecar facing RLOD;
Run Four

qqqq;

In any position beginning with either foot fwd, fwd, fwd, fwd;
Turn

q or s

A change in direction — specifically a change in the direction in which a foot is pointing relative to the direction in which it was previously pointing. Such a cue can mean to change direction without changing weight (without taking a step), but usually the cue will mean to step and turn in a direction indicated. You might turn right, left, in (toward partner), or out. In Left Footers One Step by the Johnsons, we are in semi-closed position, and we walk 2, turn, and point trail feet to reverse; repeat toward LOD;
Step Skip

qq

Step forward (or back) and then raise the free knee sharply to produce a little scooting movement at the weighted foot. The step involves a weight change; the skip does not. You could walk two; run four; step, skip, step, skip; run four;
Side Close

ss;

In butterfly wall, step to the side, -, close trail foot to the lead, -; In Sanders' Speak Softly, part B begins with a quick side close: side, close, side, lift; behind, side, thru, flare CW (woman CCW) to left open position facing reverse line of dance; then a forward two-step to face partner in butterfly; lunge side to reverse, -, recover, and cross in front blending to closed position wall;
Cross Walk Two

ss;

Step forward and slightly across the weighted leg, toe/heel, and with a bit of a swagger, -, again forward and across, -;
Lunge

s

Step forward or to the side, flexing that knee and checking your movement.
Chug

q or s

Usually in a facing position, bend the knees and straighten them quickly so that the feet slid a short distance backwards.
Skate

ss;

In open position or perhaps facing but somewhat apart, swivel to the left (woman right) and step forward on the lead foot, swinging the arms to the left. Swivel to the right and step forward with the trail foot, swing the arms to the right. Mimic the pushing and the arm and body movements of ice- or roller-skating. In skaters position, both with left foot free, skate left, -, skate right, -; skate left, -, woman pick up, close (man step, touch; walk, -, face, -; sd, cl, sd, cl;
Draw

s

With no weight change, bring the free foot toward the weighted foot and touch. In Nadia's Theme by the Gosses, we are in maneuver position for a pivot 4 to SCP facing LOD; lunge fwd L (W fwd R), -, recover, draw to CP facing wall; side, behind, …
Circle Four With Snaps

ss; ss;

In any position step away from partner with lead foot, -, fwd man to cntr trng LF woman to wall trng rf, -; fwd curving back to ptnr, -, fwd to closed or semi, -; (step on beat 1, snap fingers on 2, and so on) Blend to semi;; walk two; and a strolling vine;;;; or circle four to closed;; traveling door;;;; and two truning two-steps;;
Roll

phase II

timing varies

Progress in a designated direction, turning individually, using a designated number of steps. For instance, a roll three and touch down line might involve a forward L turning LF, back R continuing the turn, and forward L facing line again, touch R to L; Starting with the trail foot, you would roll in, man RF and woman LF. A roll four would be a full turn in four steps. In The Apartment by Wakeland, there is a roll 3 & touch; slow roll back 3 & touch to CP LOD;; to a diamond turn 3/4 in 9 even steps - back, side, promenade sway;;;
Merengue

ss;

In cl or bfly, step sd with inside edge of foot then flat causing little hip roll, -, cl and roll hip back, -; Do it some more and get some sway going.
Cross

q or s

With either foot, step forward, in front of, and slightly beyond the weighted foot. Take weight.
Unwind

s

In a position in which the legs are crossed and leaving the feet in place, rotate the body to uncross the legs. For instance, if the left is crossed in front of the right, you will rotate almost a full turn right face or clockwise.

A little trick is to cross the one foot in front of the other and place its heel on the floor. Release the heel of the foot that is now behind. If you unwind, pivoting on the heel of the front foot and toe of the back foot, your feet will end up reasonably parallel and side by side, ready for the next step.


Rock Forward Recover

ss;

fwd, -, rec, -; Rock side, -, recover to semi line -; Then try this from Left Footers One-Step: walk two; step, turn in, point trail foot to reverse, -; walk to reverse, -, walk, -; step, turn in, point lead foot to line, -;
Rock Steps

timing varies: eg qqs; or qqqq;

In any position, step in the direction indicated, recover, and repeat so that you take the number of steps indicated. For instance, a forward rock three would be: fwd, rec, fwd, -; A side rock four would be: sd, rec, sd, rec;
Rock Four

ss; ss;

fwd, -, rec, -; fwd, -, rec, -; May be done to the side or back and any number of steps.
Rock the Boat

ss;

In semi, step forward on lead with knee straight and body bent forward, -, relax knee, close trail foot and straighten body, -;
Charleston

ss;

In open position, step forward on the lead, -, point forward with the trail, -; step back, -, point back, -; May also be done in butterfly or closed position, in which case, the woman mirrors the man (steps back when he steps forward).
Side Close to Sidecar

ss;

In closed, line, side with lead foot turning RF, -, cl in scar, -; triple to diag wall; sd, -, cl to bjo, -; triple diag cntr;
Balance

qq

Step forward, backware, or to the side, and then touch. In My Love by the Proctors, the dance begins in CP LOD with balance forward & bk;; walk 2; turn L close to face RLOD; bk 2;
Pickup

s

In semi, fwd on trail feet woman turning LF to face man in closed, -, In semi position, walk, -, pickup, -; side, touch, side, touch; dip back, -, recover, -;
Maneuver

s

In closed, banjo, or semi, the man steps forward with his right foot and turns 1/2 to face reverse in closed position
Dip

s

Step back or to the side, relax knee, and leave the free leg extended and toe pointed.
Recover

s

Shift weight back to the free foot. Normally, that free foot has not moved during the previous step.
Twirl Two

ss;

In butterfly, walk two down line, raise lead arms, and she turns a full turn RF. Try a twirl two; walk two; walk three and face;; side close; side through to semi;
Pivot Two

ss;

Usually in closed position, step back on the lead foot. The woman steps forward between the man's feet. Turn in place 1/2. Then step forward between her feet turning 1/2 again. My Love by the Procters uses a lot of pivots: In part A, closed line: walk two; turn left two; walk back two; pivot two to wall; twist vine four blending to closed position;; pivot two to closed line; dip back, -, recover, -;
Lock

q or s

Cross free foot in front of supporting foot and take weight a bit behind that foot so that the newly free foot has to move back. Performed as the second step in a measure. From My Love, part B (using some two-step figures): two forward two-steps;; fwd, lock, fwd, lock; walk, -, pick up, -; hitch four; walk, -, face the wall, -; half a box forward; scissors thru to semi; fwd, -, check, -; fishtail;
Cut

q or s

Cross free foot in front of supporting foot and take weight a bit behind that foot so that the newly free foot has to move back. Performed as the first step in a measure. The classic Crazy Eyes has this sequence in part A: walk four; cut, back, cut, back; back, side to face, through to reverse, flare to semi (no weight); thru with trail foot, -, side, close;
Turn Left in Four

ss; ss;

In closed position, step forward L (woman bk R) turning LF, -, side and back R, -; bk L turning, -, bk R, -; You will have turned 1/2 LF, man facing reverse.
Turn Right in Four

ss; ss;

In closed position, step forward L (woman bk R), -, fwd R turning RF, -; sd & bk L turning, -, bk R, -; You will have turned 1/2 RF, man facing reverse.
Hitch Four

qqqq;

In closed position, step fwd, cl, bk, cl;
Vine Four

qqqq;

In bfly wall step sd, XIB, sd, XIF; Vine again for a vine 8 to face;; side, -, close; side, -, close; side, -, pick up, -;
Open Vine

ss; ss;

In bfly wall sd, -, XIB turning to left open rev, -; sd to line turning to face, -, XIF turning to open position line, -; Follow with two forward two steps both moving down line;; circle away
Twisty Vine

qqqq;

In butterfly position facing wall, step sd turning RF, XIB (W XIF), sd turning LF, XIF (W XIB); In semi, walk, -, face, -; twisty vine; forward, -, face, -; vine; walk, -, pick up, -;
Scoot

qqqq;

In semi, step fwd, cl, fwd, cl; basketball turn;
Limp

qqqq;

In semi, sd, XIB, sd, XIB; (same as scoot except trail foot crosses behind instead of closing). In a front limp, the trail foot crosses in front.
Basketball Turn

ss; ss;

in open lunge fwd on lead turning to face pat lead hands, -, recover on trail turning to reverse, -; lunge to reverse turning out, -, recover to open line, -; (does not travel; trail foot stays in one spot) circle away and together
Stair Forward

phase III

qqqq;

In closed position LOD step fwd, sd, fwd, sd; repeat
Stair Side

phase III

qqqq;

in closed line sd, fwd, sd, fwd;
Forward Twinkle

sqq; sqq;

In loose closed position, step forward L (woman bk R), -, side R turning a little LF, recover; fwd R, -, sd L turning a little RF, recover;

You can do this with more of a turn. Cross left in front of right to sidecar postion, -, sd R, recover L; XRIF of L to banjo position, -, sd L, recover R;


Fishtail

phase III

qqqq;

In banjo position, the man crosses left in back of right, and the woman crosses in front. Step side R, progressing a little down line. Step fwd L (woman bk R), and lock behind (woman in front).

To put a little more swivel in it and make it more "fishy," begin with right shoulder lead (so not contra-banjo) and maintain that lead during the XLIB of R. On the side R, lose the right-side lead and lead a bit with the left shoulder. Step fwd L with R-side lead again, and lock R behind L with L-side lead. You might call this a "swivel fishtail."

The classic Dance has a nice sequence in part B: In closed position, line of dance, step forward, -, check outside partner to banjo, -; fishtail; fwd, fwd, lock, fwd; side, -, close, -; side, -, through to semi, -;
Whaletail

phase III

qqqq; qqqq;

In banjo, an extended fishtail: XIB progressing, sd, fwd, lk; fwd and sd, cl, XIB, sd;
Eight Count Peabody Turn

ss; ss; ss; ss;
In BJO LOD stp fwd L (W bk R), -, fwd R comm RF trn, -; Sd & bk L to CP RLOD, -, bk R to BJO RLOD, -; Bk L comm RF trn, -, sd & fwd R to SCAR LOD, -; Fwd L in SCAR, -, fwd R to CP LOD preparing to blend to BJO LOD, -;

Throughout, use a loose hold and a slight rolling sway, left on the L foot, right on the R foot (W right & then left), and so on.
In It Don't Mean A Thing by Rumble, there is quarter turn & prog chasse ;;; ,, fwd ,; eight ct peabody trn ;;;; fwd lk fwd ; qk op reverse ; ,, hover corte , ;;
Peabody Twist Vine

ss; ss; ss; ss;
In BJO LOD fwd L, -, fwd R trng RF to CP WALL, -; Sd & bk L trng RF to SCAR RLOD, -, bk R in SCAR, -; Trng LF to fc stp sd L LOD to CP WALL, -,trng LF to BJO LOD stp fwd R, -; Trng RF to fc stp sd L LOD to CP WALL, -, trng RF to SCAR RLOD stp bk R in SCAR, -;

Throughout, use a slight rolling sway, left on the L foot, right on the R foot (W right & then left), and so on.

Peabody Open Left Turn

ss; ss; ss;
In CP DLC, fwd L trng LF (W bk R), -, sd & bk R to CP RLOD, -; bk L to BJO RLOD, -, bk R to CP trng LF, -; sd & fwd L to CP DLW, -, fwd R to BJO DLW, -;

Use left sway during steps 2&3 (W right) and right sway during steps 5&6 (W left).

Barefootin'

qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq;
Facing partner and wall with no hands joined, extend L forward (W R) and touch the heel to the floor without taking weight, close L to R, extend the R heel forward ( W L), close R to L; step in place L, R, L, R (W R,L,R,L) turning 1/4 LF (W RF) over the 4 steps; and repeat these 2 measures 3 more times to end facing partner and wall again;;;;;;

During each set of 4 steps in place, you may use any sort of arm work, hip movement, and/or body sway that the music might suggest.
In Barefootin' by the Parkers, there is a hitch forward and back in open position;; circle away and together to face;; barefootin';;;;;;;; basketball turn;; 2 side closes; side draw close;
Castle Walk 

ss; ss; ss; ss; qqs; ss; ss; ss; ss; qqs;

(from Vernon and Irene Castle, 1919)

In closed position, line of dance, just walk.  Reach out with the toe, stay up, light and breezy, legs a bit stiff.  Sway into the turns, stretch the opposite side; think of riding a bicycle.  The two-step (qqs) is a little skip.

You might take four steps to banjo;; four steps back to closed;; four steps to sidecar;; The Castles called this the Step Out.

They also did the Step Out to banjo;; then turned 1/2 RF to sidecar with man backing;; and a turn 1/2 LF back to banjo again;;

(You can see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers do the Castle Walk in their 1939 movie, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.)




dingbat




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