All fans of country music know that it was absolutely made for dancing, and there are plenty of different styles that you can let loose to. One of the most popular types is the Two Step, and this is one that you have to try if you haven’t already!
Even if you’re already a master at this dance, do you know the history behind it? If not, kick off your dancing boots for a few minutes and read on! A little bit of learning will allow you to show off your knowledge as well as your dance moves next time you’re in the Grizzly Rose.
Origins of the Two Step
As with many great things in history, it’s hard to say exactly when the Two Step was originally created. But, it didn’t just come moseying on in one day. Instead, it was basically a mixture of the Foxtrot and the One Step, two other dances that were quite popular in the past. This was all going on in the early part of the 1800s, and these styles had their roots in the waltzes that were popular throughout Europe at the time. The first common name coined for this dance was the “valse a deux temps,” however, a French name didn’t quite match with the feeling of the dance, so it was eventually traded to become the Two Step.
Development of the Dance
The Two Step has gone through many changes over the years, but the early days of the dance become popular thanks to some music created by the famous composer John Philip Sousa. He wrote a song called the Washington Post March in 1889, and the pattern of the song pushed people to drop the more traditional gliding dances in favor of the style of the Two Step.
As an interesting little side note, the song was in fact named for the famous paper in our nation’s capital. The paper was hosting an awards ceremony for an essay contest, and they wanted to have some patriotic music playing. So, the leader of the United States Marine band wrote the song, and you can thank the newspaper business for helping to inspire one of your favorite pastimes!
These dances at the beginning were very different from the Two Step that you dance today. It was really various versions of the Foxtrot back then, but the important part is that they started moving one-step and two-step moves into popularity. Kids particularly liked dancing these moves when they were learning how to square dance, and they were so fun that they wanted to stick with them as they grew up.
The Country Two Step
The dance is often called the Texas Two Step or the Country Two Step, and those names came from the period when it started to separate from the Foxtrot. It was popular in the south, as is quite common with country music, so plenty of people in Texas were dancing along to it.
Evolution of the Two Step
There were many different changes made to the dance over the years, but there was one particular instance that really spread it around. The movie Urban Cowboy came out in 1980, and of course people were impressed by John Travolta’s dance moves. The fact that it takes place primarily in a bar called Gilley’s in the Lone Star State is another reason this dance often has Texas stamped at the front.
But, the Two Step has gone through quite a few changes even since people agreed on a name. The early days saw dancers kicking back and forth down the floor in a straight line, but it slowly changed into the circular pattern that we know and love today.
How to Dance
Do you know how to do the dance? Let’s go over that to help all of this make sense! It’s done with partners (one is the “leader,” and the other is the “follower”), and they start out by facing each other. The leader obviously does the leading, and the pair goes counterclockwise around the dance floor. Various patterns of steps are followed (a mixture of quick and slow), and it depends on the dancers and exactly which style they’d like to do.
Learn to Two Step at the Grizzly Rose
On second thought, we can write about it all day, but let’s be honest for a second. You shouldn’t learn a dance by reading it, or even by watching online videos. You need to be in a Country Western environment surrounded by good music, cowboy hats, and plenty of friends!
So, do you want to learn these moves yourself? We have Two Step classes at the Grizzly Rose, so sign up and grab your boots! There are options for both group classes and private lessons for couples. We’ll have turn you into a master in no time, then you’ll be able to dance your nights away in true country style.