Monday, May 5, 2014

Ciara Gold's comments on Two-stepping

First, I confess this is a repeat post from another blog I'm on, but alas, this week is when my AP portfolios are due. Just got finished with a big art show this past weekend so... no time to research for a new post. I'd wanted to do something on Cinco de Mayo. I will give you this tidbit from Wikipedia, "Historian Justo Sierra has written in his Political Evolution of the Mexican People, that had Mexico not defeated the French in Puebla on May 5, 1862, France would have gone to the aid of the South in the U.S. Civil War and the United States' destiny could have been very different.It's because Mexico defeated the French in Puebla, Mexico that Mexico and now, many Texans celebrate Cinco De Mayo. Anyway, I promise to deliver something new next month. :-)

We used to go dancing at the local country western dance hall quite frequently, but since they tore down the hall to make way for a Super Walmart, we haven’t been in a while. Regardless, dancing was something that we both did well and enjoyed, so - I thought I'd comment on the art of Texas two-stepping.

Okay, first of all for those of you that don't dance country, with the two-step, you step twice slow, then twice fast, so - 1, 2 slow, 1, 2, fast. A really good two-stepper doesn't lift his feet, but slides. So perhaps, slide, slide slow, slide, slide fast. That's much better than the bunny hopper. Oh yeah, the hopper is hard to follow. Hop, hop, slow, hop hop fast. I had to dance with a hopper once and yep, only once. My husband, on the other hand, is a great slider.

Now then, there's the hitcher. This is a very uncomfortable move for me because I'm a slider, but heck, I've seen some great hitchers. So what's a hitcher? So glad you asked. A hitcher moves like this: 1, 2, slow, hitch. He hitches his hip up and holds his toe to the ground for the count of the fast 1, 2. It's kind fun to watch them hitch that hip.

I found this entry from a long ago post made about 6 years ago and thought I’d share. Evidently we had a grand ole time;

“Last night we saw it all; hitchers, sliders, two-steppers (thems that don't slide) and hoppers. We also saw an unusual combination that made us both smile a lot. An older couple, older meaning about 20 years older than us, danced almost every dance. They were having a grand time, but he was dancing and trying to lead with a two-step, while she waltzed most of the night and dang if they didn't manage to make it all the way around the floor without tripping. I love to see older folks having fun and dancing. I picture myself in their shoes when I'm their age.”

No one is quite sure when the two-step came into being but it is speculated that he derived from a variety of dances. The most likely dances being the Foxtrot and the One Step. In the 1800s, couples would dance the “valse a deux temps”, which was a two-beat waltz. Some speculate that the two step comes from this two-beat waltz. Whatever the situation, in 1847, writer Henri Cellarius declared that this particular dance be called the two step. Since then, many variations of this dance have come into play.

John Philip Sousa wrote the “Washington Post March” in 1891 and couples discovered this to be a great song to dance the two step to thus making the dance and the song grow in popularity. The advent of record albums and radio broadcastings of Country Western music made it easier for young couples to enjoy dancing. Dance Halls began to pop up in the late 1800s and gave young couples a fun “courting” activity. The term “honky tonk” first appeared in print in 1894 in the Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, Oklahoma) and referred to a bar that had a dance floor and a stage for musicians. “Taxi-dance” halls were places where men could pay a small fee to dance with a hostess.

One of the most famous dancehalls in Texas got its start in the 1880s and was rebuilt in the 1920s. By 1967, Luckenbach, Texas was almost a ghost town until it was put on the market and sold to John Russell “Hondo” Crouch and partners, Kathy Morgan and Guich Koock.   John turned the small town into the place where “everybody is somebody.” In 1977, after Hondo had died, Waylon Jennings gave us a song that put Luckenbach on the map; “Luckenbach, Texas (Backto the Basics of Love)”. Even now my toes are tapping to the beat even if it is a waltz beat and not a two step. Maybe I can talk hubby into some dancing this weekend.


Unknown said...

I used to go line-dancing two to three times a week when it was in fad, and loved it. Sadly, where I lived, the rage died out along with the fun nights I got married. I love watching people two step, but I think dancing with my younger siblings in my youth caused me to want to lead and I can't follow for the life of me. I did manage to learn a few couples dances and enjoyed them, but they were more like a line dance next to someone. *lol* I've stepped on many a toe in my pursuit to learn the two step, but men do like to lead. *lol*

Ciara Gold said...

I had to lead when we were in Girl Scouts and I sometimes revert back. My husband is very patient with me and just gives me "that look" and I relax and let him take over. LOL.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I always loved dancing the two step and the waltz. Wouldn't you know I'd marry a man who can't dance. I don't mean he doesn't want to; I mean he doesn't hear the beat and just wanders around the floor. So, we don't go dancing. Since that's his major flaw, I consider myself fortunate! Great post. I didn't know where the term "honky tonk" originated. Good to know.

Ciara Gold said...

Thanks Caroline. My first husband had two left feet. I'm very fortunate my currant hubby and love of my life can sweep me off my feet every time we dance. LOL.