Country dancing is far from an easy thing to do. Regardless of what you have seen on the classic movie channels, the dance steps to country dancing is just as tough as any type of dance. Still, it is possible for anyone to learn the steps and do them well, and most of the dances branch off of one baseline partner dance – the two step. The basic two-step is a very defined set of steps that are tough to get right away, but once you get them down pat, you will never forget them. Here is how to do the two-step in simple language.
The first thing to know about the two-step is that it is not a set speed. The two-step can be done at a slow pace, or at a fast pace, depending on the song you are dancing to or your mood at the time. This means that the man must be a good leader, and be able to set the pace of the dance. The way you do this is to listen for the baseline beat of the song. Most often you can find this by listening for the drums. You can often get the beat of a particular two-step straight from the drums with country music.
The steps themselves are rather simple, but tough to get used to. The two-step is a mirror dance. In other words, the female will always be doing the direct opposite of the male so that the two are moving in unison when facing one another. This gives the two-step a fluid motion and allows the dancers to stay together throughout the dance.
The man can start facing in the direction the dancers will be going, or they can start out with their back facing the direction they are going. For this example, the man will be facing forward.
The woman will face backwards, and will place her feet together. The man will also start with feet together. The man then places his left hand out to the side and take the woman’s right hand. The man’s right hand will then go on the left hip of the lady, and the lady will place her left hand on the gentleman’s upper right shoulder or arm. There should always be at least two feet between the two dancers unless they are doing a very slow two-step to a love song. In this case, the two can dance however they wish!
The space between the dancers is important because in later versions you will be adding spins and turns into the dance. Keeping this space also allows for the movement of the feet and it keeps you from stepping on one another.
From this start position, you will begin the dance. The man will begin with a step forward on the left foot. The lady will at the same time take a step back with her right. Immediately following these steps the man will then step forward with the right foot. The woman back with her left. At this point there is a slow step forward from the man with the left. The woman with her right. This step is a two beat step. That is it should be twice as slow as the first two steps. Then another step identical to this one is performed with the other foot.
The dance is described as “Quick, Quick, Slow, Slow” in a count. You will continue in this fashion throughout the dance. That is the basic step of the two-step and once you become used to it, you can then begin to add the spins, turns, and tricks that the two-step is famous for. Practice the steps going forward and backwards to the radio, and you will soon be dancing the two-step like a pro.