There are many types of country western partner dances based off of similar ballroom styles. Country Two-Step, Waltz, Swing and Cha-cha all share related steps and pattern, danced to country music with a more relaxed look. Each country dance shares identical characteristics, most notably positioning one’s partner from dancing face to face, to side by side, throughout the dance. For anyone who has already learned basic ballroom, country dancing is a breeze to pick up, and vice versa!
Country Western Two-Step
Often called the “Texas two-step” or simply the “two-step,” is a dance with many names and styles depending on the area of the country, and even in the particular dance hall. There may be no one “correct” way to do the Two-Step, but there is a foundation most country dancers agree upon. The Two-Step is a traveling dance meaning it proceeds counter-clockwise around the dance floor, like a Nascar race. The best overall look of the dance is smooth and gliding to the music. Although, it is common to see it danced “joyous and bouncy” due to one too many beers. It is the country version of Foxtrot, however it may start with either the slow steps, or the quick steps, as the local custom dictates. It can be danced over a fairly wide range of tempos, making it the most popular of the country dances.
There are different variations of the Country Two-Step including “Triple two-step”, which is usually danced to slower music. Since the music is slower, more steps are added to fill in the extra time (referred to as triple steps). This is the same count as many of the Swings, although Triple two-step still travels around the floor, where as Swing stays in place. The Triple two-step has other names like the “Double two-step” and “Country shuffle” but shares all the same moves as the Country Two-Step.
Is usually a fast pace waltz, since country music tends to favor a quicker tempo. This can make one feel like they are just running around the floor if they do not have the proper balance and control. However, a simple streamline step is the basis for this dance making it an easy pattern to master and maneuver around a dance floor. It shares similar steps to ballroom Waltz, often using the side by side position known as shadow position, and has many nice turns and spins that add to the look and fun.
Is a simple, steady version of single-time Swing, danced with a slight “lilt”. It shares patterns with Swing and Hustle, demonstrating a riotous style, fun turns and pretzel like spins. It is different from West Coast Swing, which is also danced at country venues. West Coast Swing is a slinkier and slower swing, with no bounce, allowing both partners to improvise.
Shares the same basic pattern as the Cha-cha, however, the country version is usually danced in a side by side position known as shadow position. It can have a more genteel look to it, with the men bowing and tipping their hats to the ladies, and the women curtsying in return. Country Cha-cha can also travel around a dance floor, stopping and going depending on the turns and curtsies. Often danced repetitively, Country Cha-cha can be related to a ten-step and makes for easy memorization.