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Specific Figures
Quote

Two Step—

4 beats/measure, 40 measures/minute

The Two Step grew out of the nineteenth century galop and polka, social dances characterized by a variety of skipping and hopping steps, and at first it was a vivacious marching dance with interpolated skips. The Two Step became popular in the U.S. toward the end of the 1800s and in the early 1900s, pretty well pushing aside for a time the quadrilles, waltzes, and polkas that had been dominant. The patriotic music of John Phillip Sousa provided some of the stimulus for its development. At one point, he said that his Washington Post March "should make a man with a wooden leg step out."

In its simplest form, the Two Step is an easy, country dance in which you take two skipping steps with the left foot and then two skipping steps with the right: quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow; You might say, wait a minute, that's three steps; why is it called a "Two Step?" I'm not sure. I think you're supposed to ignore the little closing step. You step forward, close, and step forward; that's two forward steps. Anyway, take small steps, keeping your feet under your body. There is no rise and fall, as in Waltz.

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.

Forward Two Step or Triple

phase I

qqs;

In closed position, step forward L (W back R), close, fwd. In semi-closed or open position, both dance fwd, cl, fwd, -;

May be done in any position, with either foot.

In September In the Rain by Hichman, there is a traveling box;;;; 2 fwd two steps;; 2 turning two steps;;
Back Two Step

phase I

qqs;

In any position and with either foot, the man dances back, close, back, -;

In open position, both will dance bk, cl, bk, -;
In In the Mood by Parker, there is a fwd two step; rock fwd rec; bk two step; rock bk rec; hitch dbl;; fwd lock twice;
Side Two Step

phase I

qqs;

In any position and with either foot, step side, close, side, -; In Rock This Town by Oren, there is an open vine 4;; side two step; thru side thru; to two turning two steps;;
Together Step Step

phase II

qqs;

Step forward toward partner and then take two steps in place; In Red, Red Robin by Rotscheid we dance a box;; back away 3; sd two step 2X;; tog 3 to BFLY; vine 3 tch;
Two Turning Two Steps

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step side, close, and turning right, step side and back to pivot 1/2 right to face center; side, close, forward between her feet turning to face wall again, -; A common pattern is two forward two steps and then two turning two steps. You can repeat this for as long as you have the patience.
Left Turning Two Step

phase III

qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step side, close, side pivoting 1/2 LF, -; Repeat: sd, cl, trn, -;
Quick Two Step

phase II

q&q

Usually in semi, step fwd/cl, fwd, May be done backward.
Forward

phase I

q or s

Step toward line of progression and take weight. In I Need To Be In Love by the Lawsons, there is a fwd lock fwd; maneuver side close; pivot 2 to line; fwd run 2; fwd run 2; fwd manuv (2 slows);
Check (and Checking)

phase II

q or s

A "check" is a step followed by progression in a different direction, but "checking" is only the action of stopping our momentum and preparing to go in a different direction. Check includes a weight change; checking does not. In I Need You by the Tanis, we are in CP wall for a scissors to SCAR; scissors to BJO checking; fishtail; walk & face; to 2 turning two steps;;
Walk Two

phase I

ss;

In any position beginning with either foot: fwd, -, fwd, -;

The cue can specify any number of steps.

In Full Speed Ahead by Speranzo, part A begins with a progressive scissors to SCAR; walk out 2; prog scis to BJO; walk & check; fishtail; walk & face; to 2 turning two steps;
Cross Walk Two

phase I

ss;

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

The cuer may ask for any number of steps.

In the Collings' My Song, there are two forward two-steps in semi;; hitch six;; cross walk four;; slow basketball turn in four;;
Thru

phase I

q or s

Step forward between partners with a reaching action. In Blue Suede Shoes Two Step by the Kirschs, the intro begins with a side touch & hold; hold; side touch & hold BFLY wall; 2 side closes; side & thru to SCP; to 2 fwd two steps;;
Face

phase I

q or s

Step and turn to face partner. One weight change. In Movin' Out by the Parsons, there is a traveling door twice;;;; limp 4; walk 2 to OP LOD; hitch 4; walk & face to CP wall; to a strolling vine;;;;
Side

phase I

q or s

Step to the side and take weight. In Sweet Petite by the Seurers, part B begins with 2 fwd two steps;; strut 4;; vine 8;; 4 side touches;; to 2 turning two steps;;
Cross

phase I

q or s

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

One can also cross behind. The cue can be more specific: e.g., cross left in front of right.

In Am I Blue by Smith we begin with an apart point; tog tch BFLY; rock sd rec; cross sd cross; rock sd rec; cross sd cross; trav box w/ twirl;;;;
Unwind

phase II

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.

In semi-closed position, do one forward two step; cross the trail foot in front of the lead and unwind to face; box;;
Hook and Unwind

ss;

Cross the left foot in front of and close to the right, -, rotate the body up to 7/8 RF and change weight, -;

One may hook in front or behind and with either foot. The direction of rotation is that which will uncross the legs. Note that this is an individual, not a couple, action.

In Butterfly II by the Woodruffs, there is a fwd hitch in banjo position; hitch & scissor thru both face LOD; vine 4 to BFLY; BFLY pivot 1/2 to face COH; hook & unwind; sd draw cl; face to face; back to back;
Skate

phase II

s&s&;

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 (W right). Swivel to the right (W left) and step forward on the trail foot, swing the arms to the right (W left). Mimic the pushing and the arm and body movements of ice- or roller-skating. One way to begin a dance is to start a few feet apart from one another and then skate together four to semi;; into two forward two steps;;

In Oren's The Things You Do, part C begins in facing position with a skate left & right; left side two-step; skate right & left; right side two-step; back apart 3 & clap; together 3 to butterfly; susie Q;;

Hop

phase II

& or q

Rise slightly from the floor and return to the same supporting foot or feet.

Usually, only one foot is weighted, and a good technique is to use the free foot to cause the hop. Simply raise the free knee sharply, and that action will create a gentle hop on the other foot.

In Oh Babe, What Would You Say? by Gomez, there is two forward two steps;; step hop twice; forward lock twice; slow walk 4 checking;; slow fishtail;;
Skip

phase II

q or s

Progress with a small step/hop on one foot and then the other.
Run Four

phase I

qqqq;

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

Any number of run steps can be cued.

Or, you could begin in open facing and skate two away from each other; and then run four back together; into a basketball turn; and two turning two-steps;;
Step Swivel

phase II

s&

A solo action: step forward on the ball of the foot, and then turn or pivot a little on that point of contact.
Back Step

phase I

q or s

Step backwards and take weight.

You can do this in almost any position (maybe not in a tight back-to-back position) and with either foot.

In Fooloose by the Rumbles, there is a side touch twice; sd two step & tch; sd tch twice; sd two step & tch; back away 4 with claps;; together 4 with claps;;
Behind

phase I

q or s

Cross the free foot in back of the supporting foot and take weight.

You can do this in almost any position and with either foot.


Dip

phase II

s or q

Step back or to the side with a little twist to the left, relax knee, and leave the free leg extended and toe pointed. Dip back slowly with a little twist to the left, -, recover to closed, -; box;;

In Josephine by the Harrises, we dance 2 turning two steps;; twirl 2; walk face; dip twist; recover touch; apart point;

Recover

phase I

s or q

Shift weight back to the free foot. Normally, that free foot has not moved during the previous step. In Shiek of Araby by Roberts we start with a solo roll 4 to SCP;; rock fwd recover; rock back recover to SCP; 2 fwd two steps;;
Chug

phase I

q or s

Usually in a facing position, bend the knees and straighten them quickly so that the feet slide a short distance backwards. The very last cues in a dance might be two forward two steps to face;; and chug apart;
Lunge

phase II

s

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

phase I

q or s

Bring the free foot next to and parallel to the supporting foot and take weight.
Stomp

phase I

q or s

Step in place with a definite sound. In Way Down Yonder by the Nortons, there is a circle chase to face;;;; stomp & freeze; scissors thru to open; hitch 4;
Strut

phase I

s

Step forward with upper-body sway.

Also called Stroll or Swagger.

In Goody Goody I by Watanabe, part A begins with 2 forward two steps;; strut 4;; rock fwd rec; bk two step; rock bk rec; fwd two step;
Rock Steps

phase II

timing varies: e.g., 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; In Unbelievable by Oren, there is a traveling box to SCP LOD;;;; cut back twice; rock back, recover; to 2 fwd two steps;;
Charleston

phase II

ss; ss;

In open position, step forward, -, point forward, -; step back, -, point back, -;

May be done in closed or butterfly, in which case the woman's first step would be back.

In Bamboo Two Step by Watanabe, there is a half box; scissors thru; half box; scissors thru to half open position LOD; charleston;; 2 fwd two steps;;
Away Step Step

qqs;

Step diagonally away from partner, step in place, step in place, -; Do an away step step; together step step; basketball turn;;
Balance Away and Together

phase I

qqs; qqs;

From closed or an open facing position, turn away from partner, man left face and woman right face, stepping side and forward L (W sd & fwd R). Close to a slight back to back position, and step L in place (W step R). In the second measure, turn back to face: back trng, close, close -;

Either measure may be danced separately. If begun with the trail feet, the initial turn would be RF (W LF).

Balance Together and Away

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In a facing position, step forward L (W fwd R), close, step in place, -; step back (W bk), close, step in place, -;
Change Sides

phase II

qqs;

In butterfly, trail feet free, he dances fwd R, close L, fwd R, -; describing a RF arc in front of the woman (W fwd L, cl R, fwd L, -; trng LF), passing right shoulders, moving from the inside of the circle to the outside (W toward COH) and ending in a position that will be cued. It is something like a square-dance california twirl.

From other positions, you might "change sides" in other ways. In semi-closed position, you could step fwd L (woman fwd R), close, fwd, -; the man turning to the right and passing behind the woman and the woman turning to the left and passing in front of the man under his lead hand. The man moves from the inside of the circle to the outside. This move is also called a lace across.

Change sides can be an ambiguous term, and sometimes you just have to move to the other side of your partner in one measure as gracefully as you can.

For instance, you might vine 3 and touch; wrap; unwrap; and change sides to face;
Lady Under

phase I

qqs;

Both stepping fwd, cl, fwd, -; the lady moves under the man and woman's joined hands. The cuer will tell you which way to go and what position to end in. For instance, you might do two forward two steps;; lady under and around to face;; In this case, she would step fwd R, close L, fwd R, -; in a clockwise circle under lead hands and then continue the circle fwd L, close R, fwd L, -; until she is facing partner.
Lace (Lace Across)

phase II

qqs;

With lead hands joined, step fwd, cl, fwd, -; the man turning to the right and passing on a diagonal path behind the woman and the woman turning to the left and passing in front of the man, under his lead arm. The man moves from the inside of the circle to the outside. Note that this is one type of "lady under."

Also called Lace Across. When the man moves from the outside of the circle under trail hands back to the inside, it is called Lace Back.

In the Cunningham's Paint the Town and Hang the Moon, part A, is choreographed: two forward two steps;; lace across and two step to butterfly facing center of hall;; box;; lace back and two step to face wall;; box to open position facing line;; strut four;;

In Footloose by the Rumbles, there are 2 sd closes; sd thru to semi; lace across; fwd two step; strut fwd 4;; lace back; fwd two step; strut fwd 4 to butterfly;; broken box;;;;

Lace Up

qqs; qqs; qqs; qqs;

This is a combination figure that consists of a lace across; a forward two step with trail feet and man on the outside of the circle; lace back with trail hands joined; and a forward two step with trail feet and man on the inside of the circle; In the Hiltons' Just A Little Talk With Jesus, there is a face to face; back to back; basketball turn to butterfly;; lace up to semi-closed;;;; to two forward two-steps;;
Man Under

phase I

qqs;

Both stepping fwd, cl, fwd, -; the man moves under the man and woman's joined hands. The cuer will tell you which way to go and what position to end in.
Breakaway

phase II

qqs;

In a facing position, step to the side, turning away from partner. Beginning with the lead foot, the turn would be right face for the man and LF for the woman to left open position. Beginning with the trail foot, the turn would be LF for the man and RF for the woman to open position. On the second quick, step back, then recover to face. Follow with a breakaway in the other direction;
Balance Forward or Back or Side

phase I

qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step forward (W bk), close, step in place, -; back, close, step, -; Or reverse measures: back (W fwd), close, step in place, -; forward, close, step, -; Or step to the side, close, step in place, -;

The term "balance" has also been used for a one step figure: step in the direction indicated, and then touch the free foot to the weighted foot, If the cuer says "balance forward" normally you will take three steps: fwd, cl, step, -; If the cuer wants a one-step balance, the cue will normally be, e.g., "fwd, tch."

In Mae by the Hagers, there is a box;; balance left and right;; 2 hip rocks; left two step; 2 hip rocks; right two step; box;;
Balance Forward and Back

phase I

qqs; qqs;
In CP step fwd (W back), close, step in place - ; back (W fwd), close, step in place - ;

May begin with either foot and in any facing direction. May be done in other dance positions. In OP, the lady's steps will be the same as the man's. Either half may be danced by itself.

Balance Left and Right

phase I

qqs; qqs;
In CP step sd L (W sd R), close R, SIP L - ; side R (W sd L), close, SIP R - ;

Usually begins with lead feet free but may be danced with either foot and cued appropriately. May be danced in other positions, in any facing direction, and either half may be danced alone.

Scissors

phase II

qqs;

From a variety of positions we step side, close, and then take a crossing step, -; The crossing step can be in front or behind, and the ending position can vary. All these specifics will be cued. However, a common pattern is a scissors that begins with the lead feet, has RF rotation, and ends in sidecar; or begins with the trail feet, has LF rotation, and ends in banjo. There is no progression.
In the Smiths' Houston, part A begins with two forward two-steps;; box;; scissors to sidecar; scissors to banjo; forward lock forward twice;; hitch 3; hitch scissors to semi; and two turning two steps;;
Scissors Thru (Thru Scissors)

phase II

qqs;

In closed position, step sd with the lead foot turning RF (W LF), close, XIF, -;

Note that both cross in front.
The Fialkos' Baby O' Mine contains a scissors thru to left open reverse; walk two; scissors thru to open position line; walk two; vine apart 3 and touch; vine together 3 and touch; side close twice; walk and face; repeat;;;;;;;;
Progressive Scissors

phase II

qqs;

In closed position facing line of dance, step side turning a little right-face, close, and cross in front (woman in back) ending in sidecar position, -;

Note that the figure progresses. You may start with the trail foot, in which case the body rotation is LF and the ending position is usually banjo. This figure can begin in other positions and facing directions.
In Scherrers' You Never Can Tell, part A begins with two forward two-steps;; point fwd & bk twice;; progressive scissors;; fishtail; walk & face;

In the Wolcotts' Games That Lovers Play, there is a forward hitch in closed position line; back hitch; fwd, -, maneuver, -; pivot 2; progressive scissors;; to a fwd, lk, fwd, lk;
 
Notice that each of these examples uses a two-measure progressive scissors.
Traveling Scissors

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

In brief, this is a scissors to sidecar; walk out two; scissors to banjo; walk in two;

In closed position facing line of dance, step side L (W sd R) turning a little right face, close, cross in front (woman in back) to sidecar position, -; step fwd R (W bk L) moving DLW, -, fwd L, -; step sd R (W sd L) turning 1/4 LF, close, XRIF of L (W XLIB), -; step fwd L (W bk R) moving DLC, -, fwd R, -;

In Goody Goody by the Rumbles, there are 2 fwd two steps beginning with the trail feet;; rock fwd recover; back hitch 3; traveling scissors;;;; 2 turning two steps;;

In What A Merry Christmas This Could Be by the Hichmans, there is two fwd two steps;; traveling scissors checking;;;; fishtail; walk face; slow open vine 4;;

Hitch Forward and Back (aka Hitch Six)

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In closed position, fwd, cl, bk, -; bk, cl, fwd, -; (woman mirrors man) May be done in any other position; in open, the woman's first step would be fwd, too.

Either half may be danced alone.

In the Gloodts' A Naughty Lady, part A has a hitch 6;; scoot 4; walk & pickup; to two progressive scissors;; fishtail; walk & face;

In Meat & Potato Man by the Bahrs, there is a face to face; back to back; hitch back; scissors thru;

Hitch Apart

phase II

qqs;

In a facing position, step bk L (W bk R), close R, fwd L, -; In Paint the Town & Hang the Moon by the Cunninghams, there is a box;; hitch apart; scissors thru; 2 fwd two steps;;
Hitch Four

phase II

qqqq;

In banjo position, step fwd L (W bk R), cl R, bk L, cl R;

Often done in other positions. If done in open position, woman would take her first step forward.

In Puttin' On the Ritz by the Silvas, part B begins with side, close to sidecar, fwd two step; side, close to banjo, fwd two step; fwd/lk fwd twice; quick hitch 4 walk 2;

Note that the hitch 4 is done here, fwd/cl, bk/cl, — "quick time."

Hitch Scissors

phase II

qqs;

Starting in semi, the man does a hitch: fwd, cl, bk, -; while the woman does a scissors: fwd trn 1/4 LF, cl, xif, -; ending in banjo. In the Scotts' A Little Bit of Two Step, part A goes like this: broken box;;;; two side closes; sd thru to semi; hitch 6;; lace up;;;; two turning two-steps;; vine 4; walk pick up; two two-steps;; progressive scissors;; fwd lock fwd twice;; hitch; hitch scissors to butterfly; and hitch scissors to semi;
Scissors Hitch

phase II

qqs;

Starting in semi, the man does a scissors: forward L turning 1/4 RF, close R, cross L in front of R, -; while the woman does a hitch: forward R, close L, back R, -; ending in sidecar
Roll

phase II

timing varies, eg qqs; or qqqq;

Progress in a designated direction, turning individually or solo, using a designated number of steps. For instance, a roll three down line might involve a forward L turning LF, back R continuing the turn, and forward L facing line again, -; 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. A roll six would probably be a 1/2 turn qqs to face reverse; and then the other 1/2 turn qqs back to line; In the Eddins' Fireman Two Step, there is a hitch 6 in open position;; step, -, swing, -; face, -, close to butterfly, -; knee swivel 4; side, -, close, -; slow solo roll 4 to face;; half box fwd; scissors thru; to a slow rock the boat;;
Circle Four With Snaps

ss; ss;

In any position step away from partner with the lead foot and continue walking forward in a complete circle in four steps, man to center trng lf and woman toward wall trng rf. (step on beat 1, snap fingers on 2, and so on) If to semi, walk two and a strolling vine; if to closed, traveling door and two truning two-steps
Circle Away and Together

phase I

qqs; qqs;

In any position, turn away from partner, man LF and woman RF, and step fwd with the lead feet, cl, fwd, -; turning 1/2. Return to partner: fwd, cl, fwd, -; completing a full circle.

We often separate the two halves of the circle, maybe circling away and then strutting back together or visa versa.

Variations in timing and distance are common. We might circle away two and a two-step (ss; qqs;) or circle 4 (ss; ss;) or ircle away two two-steps.

The Wilders' Little White Moon has two forward two-steps;; hitch six;; circle away and together;; hitch apart; and scissors thru to open;
Circle Away Two and a Two-Step Together Two and a Two-Step

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In semi-closed position, turn away from each other and step fwd L (woman fwd R), -, fwd, -; fwd, cl, fwd, -; lunge on trail feet turn LF (woman RF), -, fwd toward partner, -; fwd, cl, fwd to closed position, -;
Circle Away Two Triples Strut Together Four

qqs; qqs; ss; ss;

In semi, turn away from each other fwd, cl, fwd, -; fwd, cl, fwd, -; lunge on trail feet turning LF (woman RF), -, fwd back toward partner body erect shoulders back, -; fwd, -, fwd to closed position, -; In the Woolcocks' All My Ex's Live In Texas, part A begins with two forward two steps;; circle away two two steps;; strut together 4;; twirl two; walk & pick up;
Circle Chase

phase II

qqs; qqs; qqs; qqs;

Release partner, man turns left face and steps away: fwd L, cl, fwd, -; woman follows RLR to tandem M in front of W. Continue your individual forward two-steps in a counter-clockwise circle to left open position both facing reverse, no hands joined. During measure three, continue turning LF to tandem wall, M chasing W. End in designated position.

May be done with either foot and with opposite or same footwork. A Right Face Circle Chase curves RF.

In the Wolffs' Holly Jolly Xmas, part C begins with two forward two-steps;; double hitch;; circle chase to butterfly;;;; to two forward two-steps;; and a progressive box;;
Merengue

ss;

In closed position or butterfly, step side with inside edge of foot then flat causing little hip roll. Then close and roll hip back. Jave Two Step, by the Bonds, begins in LOP both facing LOD with 2 merengues across to OP;; charleston;; to a back scoot 8;;
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, -; In American Bandstand by the Easterdays, there is a circle box;; slow rock the boat twice;; to two turning two steps;;

In A Little Bit of Two Step by the Scotts, we circle away 2 two steps;; strut together 4 to semi;; rock the boat 1 slow and 2 quick;; face to face; back to back;

Side Close to Sidecar

ss;

In closed position, line of dance, step side with the lead foot turning RF, -, close in sidecar, -;
Sand Step

phase II

qqs;

In butterfly position, touch the toe of the left foot to the floor at the R instep and swivel RF (W R toe swiveling LF), touch the L heel to the floor at the R instep and swivel LF, and cross the left in front of right taking weight, -; Often you will repeat the figure with the trail foot.
Progressive Sand Step

qqs;

In open position facing LOD, touch the toe of the left foot to the floor and swivel RF (W R toe swiveling LF), touch the L heel (W R heel) to the floor and swivel LF, and cross the left in front of right taking weight and progressing a little down LOD, -; In Choo Choo II by Powell & Brosie, there is a traveling box blending to open position facing LOD;;;; 4 progressive sand steps;;;; vine apart clap; vine together to face partner; to a slow roll 4 to open position facing LOD;;
Pivot Right Face or Pivot Two

phase III

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. In the Brownyards' Moon Over Naples, there is a two step in closed position; maneuver; pivot two to face wall; lunge down line and recover;
Spot Spin

phase II

qqs;

A solo full turn in place in three steps. Turn in the direction of the free foot: swivel/step, swivel/step, swivel/step, -;
Maneuver

phase II

s

In closed, banjo, or semi, the man steps forward with his right foot and turns 1/2 RF to face reverse in closed position. The classic dance, Butterfly, begins with a walk, -, maneuver, -; pivot two to face wall; to a twisty vine;
Pickup

phase II

s

In one step, the man leads the woman from semi-closed position to closed position facing line. The man takes a small step forward with his right, and the woman steps forward and turns left face 1/2. In semi, lead feet free, try a walk, -, pickup, -; side, touch, side, touch; run four; walk, -, face wall in closed position, -; rock fwd, -, recover, -; rock side, -, recover to open position, -; strut four;;
Circle Pickup

phase II

qqs;

From open position, lead feet free, man steps forward, close, back, -; and leads woman to step fwd, fwd, fwd, -; in a left face half circle to pickup position.
Fishtail

phase III

qqqq;

In banjo position facing line and center, lead feet free, swivel a bit LF with R shoulder lead and cross left in back of right (woman XR in front) such that you progress a little toward line and wall. Begin to turn RF and step side and forward, again toward line and wall. Step forward L (woman back R) turning, and lock behind (woman in front) progressing a little toward line and center. The body movement might suggest the side-to-side and the progressive movement of a fish's tail as it swims or of a car as it skids on an icy road.

There has long been discussion about how this figure should progress on each of its four steps, but we are often sloppy about that. If there was such a thing as a phase II fishtail, it might begin with a simple check forward R (woman back L) and then cross behind, side, forward, lock, such that only the third step progresses. But if you use the diagonals and good upper-body rotation, you can get progression on all steps and a nice "fishtail" swing to the lower body.

Start in closed position, line of dance. Walk two to banjo; fishtail; walk, -, pick up, -; hitch four;
Whaletail

phase III

qqqq; qqqq;

In banjo, an extended fishtail: XIB progressing, sd, fwd, lk; fwd and sd, cl, XIB, sd; In the Heinys' Let's Rock and Roll, there are two forward two-steps;; progressive scissors checking;; whaletail;;two forward locks (lady turns); walk pickup;
Lock

phase II

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. In Patricia, by Walkinshaw & Goss, there is a fwd, lock, fwd, lock; run 3 down line twice;; run 3 and swing; bk 2 and a quick two-step; dip, -, recover, -;
Cut

phase II

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.

Notice that the step is simply "cut," not "cutback." Usually we cut with the lead foot and then step back with the trail foot for a "cut back," but that is two distinct steps.

In Boot Scoot Boogie by Gomez, there is 2 fwd two steps;; cut back twice; rk bk recover to face; 2 turning two steps;;
Cut Back

phase II

qq

Cross free foot in front of supporting foot and take weight a bit behind that foot, step back, In Goody Goody III by Watanabe, part B begins with 2 fwd two steps;; cut back cut back; dip back recover; scoot; walk pickup;
Forward Lock

phase II

qqs;

Step forward, cross the free foot behind the supporting foot and take weight,
Forward Lock Forward

phase II

qqs;

Step forward, cross the free foot behind the supporting foot and take weight, step forward again, -; In Ants On A Log by Lewis, there is a face to face; back to back; basketball turn to open position LOD;; forward lock forward; again; to a hitch 3;
Back Lock

phase II

qq

Step back, cross free foot in front of weighted foot and take weight, Often repeated to fill a measure.
Back Lock Back

phase II

qqs;

Step back, cross free foot in front of weighted foot and take weight, step back again, -;
Box

phase I

qqs; qqs;

In closed position lead feet free, step sd L (W sd R), cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, bk, -;

May be done in any position. If you are in open position, both the lady and the man will step sd, cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, bk, -;
In the Maisch's Not Enough Indians, part A starts with two forward two-steps to facing position;; a slow open vine 4 to closed position wall;; box;; limp 4 to semi; walk & pick up;

In Paper Moon II by the Rumbles, there is a progressive scissors to sidecar; half box back; half box fwd; prog scissors to banjo;

Reverse Box

phase I

qqs; qqs;

In closed position step sd, cl, bk, -; sd, cl, fwd, -;

As in a box, may be done in any position. If you are in open position, both the lady and the man will step sd, cl, bk, -; sd, cl, fwd, -;
In Cooper's New York, New York, there is a box;; and then reverse the box;; vine four; walk two; vine four; walk, -, pick up, -;
Progressive Box

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In closed position step sd, cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, fwd, -; In the Kerns' Maple Leaf Rag, there is a progressive box that is interrupted by a scissors: In part A, we do a half box toward the wall; scissors thru; another half box forward; scissors thru; side, draw, close twice;; limp four; walk two to semi; and two forward two-steps;;
Open Box

phase II

qqs; qqs;

Begin in open or in left open position. Both step sd, cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, bk, -;
Open Reverse Box

phase II

qqs; qqs;

Begin in open or in left open position. Both step sd, cl, bk, -; sd, cl, fwd, -;
Broken Box

phase II

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

In closed sd, cl, fwd, -; rock fwd, -, rec, --; sd, cl, bk, -; rock bk, -, rec, -; In Juke Box Baby by the Gloodts, the dance begins with a broken box;;;; hitch 4; side draw close; and then goes into a little quickstep section with a quarter turn & progressive chasse;;;; to a forward lock forward; maneuver side close; pivot 3; dip & recover;
Traveling Box

phase II

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

in closed sd, cl, fwd,_; walk two to reverse in reverse semi; turn to face sd, cl, bk,_; walk two to line in semi; In the Baldwins' Swingin' Gently, there is a basketball turn;; traveling box;;;; fwd lk fwd twice;; hitch fwd; walk bk 2; hitch bk; walk fwd 2; hitch 4;
Circle Box

phase II

qqs; qqs;

The man does a box: sd, cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, bk, -; and leads the woman to circle under his lead hand a full RF turn: fwd, fwd, fwd, -; fwd, fwd, fwd, -; In Goody Goody II by Watanabe, part A begins with 2 fwd two steps;; circle box to open LOD;; charleston;; scoot;
Left Turning Box

phase II

qqs; qqs; qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step side, close, forward turning 1/4 LF, -; side, close, back turning 1/4 LF, -; side, close, forward turning 1/4 LF, -; side, close, back turning 1/4 LF, -; If you start facing line, you will do half a box to face center, then to face reverse, then wall, then line again. In Buckmaster's Renegades Rebels and Rogues, part B has a travelling door twice to closed position wall;;;; left turning box;;;; side draw close; slow hover in 4;; two forward two-steps;;
Right Turning Box

phase II

qqs; qqs; qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step side, close, forward turning 1/4 RF, -; side, close, back turning 1/4 RF, -; side, close, forward turning 1/4 RF, -; side, close, back turning 1/4 RF, -; If you start facing line, you will do half a box to face wall, then to face reverse, then center, then line again.
Solo Left Turning Box

phase II

qqs; qqs; qqs; qqs;

In a facing position, the man steps side L, close R, forward L turning 1/4 LF, -; and the woman steps side R, close L, back R turning 1/4 LF, -; Partners are right shoulder to right shoulder, man facing line and woman reverse. In the second measure, he steps sd, cl, bk turning 1/4 LF, and she steps sd, cl, fwd turning 1/4 LF, putting partners back to back, man facing center and woman facing wall. In the third measure, the man steps side L, close R, forward L turning 1/4 LF, -; and the woman steps side R, close L, back R turning 1/4 LF, -; Partners are left shoulder to left shoulder, man facing reverse and woman line. Finally, he steps sd, cl, bk turning 1/4 LF, and she steps sd, cl, fwd turning 1/4 LF, putting partners facing each other again.
Slow Hover

ss; ss;

In closed position facing wall, step fwd L (woman bk R), -, rock side, -; recover, -, step thru with trail feet to semi-closed position; In the Eddins' Good Ol' Girls, part A begins with a slow hover to semi line;; two fwd two-step;; to a slow open vine;; two turning two-step;;
Face To Face

phase II

qqs;

In butterfly position perhaps facing wall, step side on the lead foot (man's left and woman's right), close the trail foot to the lead still facing partner, and then step side again and turn away (man turns left and woman right), -;

According to the book, we're supposed to turn 1/2 so that we are truly in a back-to-back position, man facing center and woman facing wall. In practice, most dancers probably don't turn that far, but do try to turn farther than simply to face line.

In Speranzo's Cadillac Tears, part B has a face to face; back to back; basketball turn to semi line;; two fwd two steps;; and hitch four twice;;
Back To Back

phase II

qqs;

In a back-to-back position, usually with the man facing COH and the woman facing wall, step side R (W sd L) moving down line of dance. Close the lead to the trail foot, still facing away from partner, and then dance side again, turning to face partner (M turns right and W turns left). You end in butterfly position with lead feet free. In Street Fair by the Merolas, the ending begins with two fwd two steps;; two turning two steps;; and then quick face to face and back to back 4 times;;;; (whew!) and finally a side, behind (W twirl RF), apart, point;
Wheel

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In banjo position, turn right face, full turn, about a point between partners. Both step: fwd, cl, fwd, -; fwd, cl, fwd, -; In Bliss' Roses For Elizabeth, part A begins with two fwd two-steps;; vine 4 to line; scissors to sidecar facing DRW; twisty vine to reverse; scissors to banjo DLW; wheel to SCAR LOD;;
Big Wheel

qqs; ss; qqs; ss
Where the wheel is relatively compact, the big wheel is wide and broad. You might insert a bit of a strut or other attitude appropriate to the music.

In a right-hand star position and beginning a full RF circle, step fwd L, fwd R, fwd L, -; fwd R, -, fwd L, -; fwd R, fwd L, fwd R, -; fwd L, -, fwd R, -;
In Sweet Home Alabama by Eum & Hadley, we circle away 2 two steps;; strut together 4 to a right hand star;; big wheel;;;; face to face; back to back to open; rock fwd rec; rock back rec;
Vine or Vine Four

phase II

qqqq;

In a facing position: sd, both XIB, sd, both XIF; Vine again for a vine 8;; turn and walk away four;; turn and run back together four;

The Cantrells' This 2 Can't Be Love begins with a side touch L & R; vine 4; walk & pickup; to two forward two-steps;;

Vine Apart and Together

phase II

qqs; qqs;

In open position, lead feet free, release trail hands and step: sd away from partner, XIB, sd, -; sd toward partner, XIB, xd, -; No progression. In the Kincaids' Rhythm 'N Blues, part A begins with two forward two-steps;; hitch 6;; vine apart 3 and touch; vine together 3 and touch; and circle strut with snaps;;
Vine Eight

phase II

qqqq; qqqq;

In a facing position, step side, both XIB, sd, both XIF; step side, both XIB, sd, both XIF; In Rag Mop by the Prows, there is a basketball turn;; vine 8;; to a strolling vine.
Vine Three

phase II

qqs;

In a facing position: sd, both XIB, sd, -; You can continue the movement with a XIF, sd, XIB, -; (which would be a front vine three)

Or in open position, lead feet free, vine apart 3; vine back together and face; sd close sd close; sd, -, thru, - to butterfly;

Open Vine

phase II

ss; ss;

in bfly wall sd,_, xib turning to l open rev,_; sd to line turning to face,_, xif turning to open position line,_; In the Highburgers' Hot Lips, the dance starts in semi with two forward two-steps;; open vine four to semi;; repeat to butterfly;;;;

In Turn Out the Light by Knight, the dance ends with a slide the door twice to butterfly;;;; open vine 8;;;; apt pt;

Twisty Vine

phase II

qqqq; or
ss; ss;

In butterfly position man facing wall, step sd L (W sd R) turning RF, XIB (W XIF), sd turning LF, XIF (W XIB); In the Rayes' Pop Goes the Movies, there are two fwd two-steps;; slow twist vine four to banjo;; whaletale; fwd, lk, fwd, lk;

In This 2 Can't Be Love by the Cantrells, the end begins with 2 turning two steps;; twist vine 8;; pivot 2 twirl 2; step and point thru;

Strolling Vine

phase III

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In closed position facing line of dance, step side L (W sd R) turning RF to sidecar diag wall, -, XRIB (woman XLIF) turning LF back to line, -; sd L turning LF, cl, sd to diag cntr, -; sd, -, XIB, -; sd, cl, sd turning back to diag wall, -;

This is one of the first phase III figures that we learn in this rhythm, and it is a challenge, being relatively complex and composed of parts. Notice that the first measure is simply a twisty vine 2 (phase II; see above). The second measure is a turning two step (again, phase II, although you need to turn it left in the first half of the figure). If a left-turning two step causes you trouble, you might steak up on the turn by practicing in a straight line. Face the wall in closed position. Do your twisty vine 2 toward LOD, and then do a simple side two step also toward LOD. Practice that timing—ss; qqs;—with not turn. Do it with the trail feet toward RLOD. When the steps and the timing are comfortable, then start introducing a turn and then a sharper turn on the last step of that measure.

Another way to work up to this figure, is to relate it to other figures that you know. We have already said that the first measure is a twisty vine 2. Thinking of measures 1 and 2, you might imagine that the man is sort-of dancing a vine 2; face to face. If you can both stay in closed position during that (man's) face to face (phase II), then you'll have something very like a strolling vine 1/2. Another way to play with measure 2 is to make it a left-turning box 1/4 (phase III). If you have gotten comfortable with the 4-measure left turning box, then doing the first measure only, after your twisty vine 2, can help you get comfortable with a strolling vine.

In Howland's Remember When, part B begins with a strolling vine;;;; hitch 4; walk and face; slow basketball turn;;

In Rag Mop by the Prows, there is a vine 8;; strolling vine 1/2;; lunge side and recover to banjo reverse; strolling vine 1/2;; lunge side and recover to banjo;; fwd two step; twirl vine 2; walk 2; vine 8;;

Scoot

phase II

qqqq;

In semi, step fwd, cl, fwd, cl; In Sanders' Makin' Eyes, part B begins in semi with two fwd two-steps;; hitch 6;; scoot 4; walk & pickup; box;;
Limp

phase II

qqqq;

In semi, step side, XIB, sd, XIB; (same as scoot except trail foot crosses behind instead of closing). In a Front Limp, the trail foot crosses in front. In the Matthews' More Than You'll Ever Know, part B begins with a face to face & back to back to open position;; basketball turn to butterfly;; limp; walk two; and two turning two-steps to face line;;
Basketball Turn

phase II

ss; ss;

Usually begins in open position with lead feet free. We lunge fwd on lead foot turning to face partner pat lead hands, -, recover on trail foot turning to reverse, -; lunge to reverse turning out, -, recover to open line, -; (does not travel; trail foot stays in one spot). May begin in a facing position.

May be danced with trail feet free in which case, the first turn would be away from partner.

In the Baldwins' Ain't Got Nothin, part a begins with two forward two-steps;; vine apart & together;; hitch 6;; basketball turn;; to a left turning box;;;;

In Boot Scoot Boogie by Gomez, there is a face to face; back to back; quick basketball turn (qqqq); quick hitch 4 ti face; 2 turning two steps;;

Door

phase II

qqs;

In butterfly, wall, rock side, recover, cross left in front of right, -; In the Clarks' Istanbul (Not Constantinople), there is a box;; sd two-step sleft & right;; door twice;; and circle snap 4 to butterfly;;
Sliding Door

phase II

ss; qqs;

In open position, rock apart on the lead foot, recover on the trail, and release trail hands. Both then cross in front, side, corss in front; changing sides so that the man is on the outside of the circle. End in left open position, trail feet free. No progression. In Salty Dog Rag by the Matthews, we are in open position facing LOD for a charleston;; 2 fwd two steps;; sliding door twice;;;; circle away 2 two steps;; strut together 4 to CP wall;;
Traveling Door

phase II

ss; qqs;

This is really a cha figure, but it is often used in two-step. The second measure certainly has a two-step feel.

In butterfly position, both rock side on the lead foot, recover, XIF/sd, XIF remain facing;

In Dancin' Party by the Francises, we begin in butterfly facing wall with a traveling door twice;;;; to a basketball turn to semi;; and scoot twice; walk 2;
Stair Forward

phase III

qqqq;

In closed pos fcg line, step fwd, sd, fwd, sd; May be repeated.
Stair Side

phase III

qqqq;

In closed pos fcg line, step sd, fwd, sd, fwd;
Twirl

phase II

qqs;

In a facing position with lead hands joined, turn to semi-closed and step fwd, cl, fwd, -; The woman steps fwd and turns RF under lead hands, back L continuing to turn, and sd to face, -;

Notice that the man is doing a Forward Two-Step down line, and the woman is doing a Roll-Three under joined lead hands, also down line. Some awkwardness to watch out for is veering away from your partner. Especially during the "roll" the woman can lose track of direction and veer toward the wall or even into her man. It is also helpful if the man will keep his lead hand open so than the woman's fingers can turn in his palm. If he grips her hand, it can hurt.

Some teachers will present the woman's twirl as a forward step, a closing step with a spin, and then the side step. This pattern is something like the Riff Turn in bolero and looks sharp and elegant, but it is more advanced than the standard Twirl.

In Goody Goody by the Rumbles, there are 2 turning two steps;; twirl two; walk pickup; 2 fwd two steps;;
Reverse Twirl

phase II

qqs;

In facing position, lead hands joined, trail feet free, step side R, close, side, -; The woman steps side and forward, turning 1/2 left face, side and back, continuing the turn, and side to face again, -; In Do You Want To Dance by the Prows, there is a half box fwd; rev twirl in 2; bk half broken box;; hitch fwd; scissors thru;
Twirl Vine

phase II

qqs;

Like a twirl (just above) but the man steps sd, XIB, sd, -; She turns under RF while he keeps up with her by doing a vine down line. In This 2 Can't Be Love by the Cantrells, there is a left turning box;;;; twirl vine 3; Wrap; Unwrap; change sides; 2 fwd two steps to reverse;;

In the Kropfs' Down in the Boondocks, the ending is two forward two-steps;; fwd lock fwd twice to face;; box;; twirl vine 2; apt pt;

Reverse Twirl Vine

phase II

qqs;

Like a reverse twirl (just above) but the man steps sd, XIB, sd, -; She turns under LF while he keeps up with her by doing a vine reverse line.
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;
Susie Q

phase III

qqs; qqs;

Usually in BFLY with lead feet free, swivel RF and XLIF of R (W swvl LF and XRIF of L), swvl LF and step sd R (W mirror), swivel RF and XLIF of R, flare R CCW; swvl LF and XRIF of L, swvl RF and step sd L, swvl LF and XRIF of L; The Woodruffs have made wonderful use of the Susie Q in The Ouah Ouah Song. Part A goes like this (I loved it): in butterfly, step side draw close down line; 2 side closes; side draw close; side two-step; susie Q twice;;;; side draw close toward reverse; 2 side closes; side draw close; side two-step; susie Q twice;;;;

In the Molitoris' Hawaiian Twostep, part B begins with a face to face; rock side recover; back to back; rock side recover to butterfly; limp 4; side close; butterfly box;; one traveling door;; susie Q;; one traveling door;; and two turning two-steps to semi;;

Patticake

qqqq; qqs;

There are as many ways to do a Patticake or Pattycake or Patty Cake as there are children (or choreographers) to think of them. One pattern is to clap your own hands together, clap R-R hands with your partner, clap your own hands together, clap L-L hands with your partner; clap your own hands together, clap L-R and R-L (both) hands with your partner, and then slap your own hands to your own knees, -; In Do You Want To Dance by the Prows, there is a hitch fwd; scissors thru; vine apart and together to face;; patticake twice;;;; scoot apart 5 and point;; strut together 3 to butterfly;



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