Two Step

by Harold & Meredith Sears

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.

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