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History & Technique
Specific Figures


4 beats/measure, 40 measures/minute

The name "five-count" describes the "slow, slow; quick, quick, slow;" stepping pattern in many of the two-measure figures.  Round and country dancers are also familiar with the "two-step," which steps "quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow;" and the One-Step, which dances "slow, slow;" or "quick, quick, quick, quick;" and many round dances contain figures from all three of these rhythms.

(For additions figures, see the Two Step page.)

Figure Name, Roundalab Phase Level, & Timing

q=quick, 1 beat
s=slow, 2 beats
&=1/2 beat; a=1/4 beat

Steps and Actions That Make Up the Figure

Each description focuses on the man, with the woman's footwork in parenthesis. If a woman's step is not given, it is the natural opposite or follow of the man's. Help: basic dance positions and steps, actions, directions, and abbreviations. Non-standard punctuation: a comma separates two beats of music, a semi-colon marks the end of a measure, and a slash (/) indicates a split beat, two things occurring in a single beat.

Here are some sequences to help you visualize the figure in context.

Walk Two


In any position beginning with either foot, step fwd, -, fwd, -; You can walk two and a triple and then repeat with trail foot.


In open position or perhaps facing but somewhat apart, swivel to the left (woman right) and step forward on the lead foot, swinging the arms to the left. Swivel to the right and step forward with the trail foot, swing the arms to the right. Mimic the pushing and the arm and body movements of ice- or roller-skating. From semi-closed position, walk two apart; two-step to face; skate two with trail feet to bjo; and scissors thru to semi;


Step back or to the side, relax knee, and leave the free leg extended and toe pointed. In closed position, line of dance, dip back, -, recover, -; fwd, lk, fwd, -; rock fwd, -, rec, -; bk, ld, bk, -;


Shift weight back to the free foot. Normally, that free foot has not moved during the previous step. In Only You by the Scotts, there i a twist vine 3 maneuver;; pivot 2 to line; dip back recover; to a side close to sidecar and triple out;;


In semi, step fwd on trail feet woman turning LF 1/2 to face man in closed position line of dance, -, In semi position, lead feet free, try a forward, -, pickup, -; and a triple; forward two and a triple;;

q or s

Cross free foot in front of supporting foot and take weight a bit behind that foot so that the newly free foot has to move back. Performed as the second step in a measure. In semi, walk, -, pick up, -; fwd, lock, fwd, -; rock fwd, -, recover, -; bk, lk, bk, -;
Two Step or Triple


In any position, step, close, step. In semi-closed position, both can dance: fwd, cl, fwd, -; One can two-step back or to the side. Unchained Five Count, by the Scotts, includes a pretty sequence: In semi, do a forward two-step; thru with trail feet, -, flare lead feet to a facing position and touch, -; If you blend to a banjo position, then you can wheel two and a triple;; wheel two and a triple;;
Hitch Forward


In closed position, fwd, cl, bk, -; (woman mirrors man) May be done in any other position; in open, man and woman's footwork is the same. Hitch forward three; walk back two; hitch back three; walk forward two;


In closed position facing line of dance, step sd L (W sd R) turning RF, cl, XLIF of R (W XIB) to end in sidecar position; Do a scissors to sidecar; walk toward diagonal wall two slow steps; scissors to banjo; walk in two steps;
Scissors Thru


In closed position, step sd turning RF, woman LF, close, xif, -;

Both cross in front.

Facing wall, do a scissors thru to reverse; walk two; scissors thru to line; walk, -, pick up, -; dip back, -, recover, -;
Progressive Scissors


In closed position facing line of dance, step side, turning a little right face, close, and cross in front (woman in back) to sidecar, -; In Yakkity Sax by the Libertis, there is a fwd two step with the trail feet; progressive scissors to sidecar; walk 2; prog scissors to banjo; walk check; whaletail;;
Traveling Scissors

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

In brief, this is a scissors to sidecar; walk out two; scissors to banjo; walk in two;

In closed position facing line of dance, step side L (W sd R) turning a little right face, close, cross in front (woman in back) to sidecar position, -; step fwd R (W bk L) moving DLW, -, fwd L, -; step sd R (W sd L) turning 1/4 LF, close, XRIF of L (W XLIB), -; step fwd L (W bk R) moving DLC, -, fwd R, -;

In Goody Goody by the Rumbles, there are 2 fwd two steps beginning with the trail feet;; rock fwd recover; back hitch 3; traveling scissors;;;; 2 turning two steps;;

In What A Merry Christmas This Could Be by the Hichmans, there is two fwd two steps;; traveling scissors checking;;;; fishtail; walk face; slow open vine 4;;



With lead hands joined, step fwd, cl, fwd, -; the man turning to the right and passing on a diagonal path behind the woman and the woman turning to the left and passing in front of the man, under his lead arm. The man moves from the inside of the circle to the outside. Lace out; walk two; lace back; walk two;
Forward Lock Forward


Step forward, cross the free foot behind the supporting foot and take weight, step forward again, -; In Chances Are by Lawson, there is a twisty vine 4 maneuvering; pivot 2 dip bk rec; walk 2 to BJO fwd/lk fwd; walk 2 to SCAR fwd/lk fwd; rock fwd rec side cross to BJO; fishtail;
Face to Face and Back to Back

qqs; qqs;

In butterfly position facing wall, step sd, cl, sd turn away half, -; sd, cl, sd turn to face, -; Do a face to face; and in the back to back position rock side, -, recover, -; do the back to back; rock side recover again;
Wheel Two and a Triple

ss; qqs;

In bjo step fwd turning CW, -, fwd turning, -; fwd, cl, fwd, - ; (full turn) Repeat;;

qqs; qqs;

In closed position, step sd, cl, fwd, -; sd, cl, bk, -; In Nite Nite by the Moores, we begin with a side sway left and recover; half box fwd; walk 2; half box fwd; walk to banjo check; fishtail;
Broken Box

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

In closed position, step sd, cl, fwd, -; rock fwd, -, rec, -; sd, cl, bk, -; rock bk, -, rec, -; Follow with a traveling box;;;;
Traveling Box

qqs; ss; qqs; ss;

In closed position, step sd, cl, fwd, -; walk two to reverse in reverse semi; turn to face sd, cl, bk, -; walk two to line in semi; Follow with a basketball turn;;
Circle Away Two and a Two-Step;; Together Two and a Two-Step;;

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In semi, turn away from each other and step fwd, -, fwd, -; fwd, cl, fwd, -; lunge on trail feet and turn LF woman RF, -, fwd back toward partner, -; fwd, cl, fwd to closed, -; Then do a strolling vine;;;;
Figure 8

ss; qqs; ss; qqs; ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

This is a circle away two and a two step;; together two and a two step;; (see above) Notice that the "circle" is CCW for the man and CW for the woman. You then pass right shoulders as the man crosses to the other side of the circle, and you again circle away two and a two step;; together two and a two step;; This time the man will circle CW and the woman CCW (to make the "figure 8" shape). In Yakkity Sax by the Libertis, there is a twirl vine 2; walk 2 to open position; figure 8 to face center;;;;;;;; to slow charleston crosses;;;;
Sand Steps

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In bfly point lead big toe to trail instep, -, place lead heel to trail instep, -; xif, sd, xif, -; now with trail feet toe, -, heel, -; xif, sd, xif, -; In As She's Walking Away by Dodge we circle away 4; strut tog 4; sand step 2X;; prog rock 4; twirl 2 walk 2;

Note that this dance was written in a kind of half-time (qqq&q;) rather than the faster tempo (ss; qqs;).
Sliding Door

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In open both rock side away from each other, -, rec, -; xif woman passing in front of man, sd, xif to left open, -; rock side, -, rec, -; xif, sd, xif back to open, -; Do a sliding door;;;; walk, -, pickup, -; scissors to sidecar; walk toward diagonal wall two slow steps; scissors to banjo; walk in two steps;
Traveling Door

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In bfly both rock side, -, rec, -; xif, sd, xif remain facing, -; rock side, -, rec, -; xif, sd, xif bfly wall, -; Follow with a strolling vine;;;;

In the Scotts' Only You, part A starts with a traveling door twice to closed position;;;; twist vine 3 and manuver (four slows);; to a pivot 2 to line; dip back and recover;

Strolling Vine

phase III

ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In closed position, line of dance, step sd turning RF to scar diag wall, -, XIB woman XIF turning LF back to line, -; sd turning LF, cl, sd to diag cntr, -; sd, -, XIB, -; sd, cl, sd turning back to diag wall, -; Do a strolling vine to banjo diag wall;;;; rk fwd, -, rec, -; back triple; slow rock four;;

In the Woodruffs' Around the Christmas Tree, there is a strolling vine to semi;;;; traveling box;;;; broken box to banjo;;;; to two forward two-steps;;

Strolling Box

ss; qqs; ss; qqs; ss; qqs; ss; qqs;

In closed position, line of dance, do a strolling vine one-half to face center;; step side, -, XIB (woman XIF), -; back chasse to face reverse; strolling vine half to face wall;; and again twisty vine two and back chasse to face line again;;

It's a four-part figure over 8 measures, each part turning 1/4 LF. In the first part, do a twisty vine two and a turning chasse. Then a twisty vine two and a back chasse. Repeat.

This is not a standard, round dance figure, but it comes from the classic, Apres L'Entreinte, by Hank & Mary Dahl (1979). Thanks to Dick and Pat Winter for showing us the smooth, boxy organization of an otherwise challenging sequence (Dick likes to call it an "Aggravation Box"); and thanks to Anne Gupton for the more positive figure name (notice that it is "Anne" with an "e," like the Queen).


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