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History & Technique
Specific Figures

Slow Two Step—

4 or 6b/m; 16-32m/m

The nightclub or California two step was originated by Buddy Schwimmer, Lee & Linda Wakefield, & Ron Montez during the 1970s in crowded dance clubs on the west coast as a rhythm one could use to the very slow love ballads that are otherwise hard to know what to do with. When you are young and in love, you can clutch and sway to a slow tempo, but such a dance does lack the interest of variety.

But the nightclub two step encourages you to draw out a side step and use up some of the "extra" time that way. Schwimmer taught the dance as a quick rock, recover, and then side, or a cross behind, recover, side. Apparently, Slow Two Step was introduced to round dancing in the early '90s by Bill and Carol Goss, but they presented it as a "slow, quick, quick" rhythm, with the side step done first and the rock/recover second. In 1992, they published a cue sheet for Kiehm's Are You Still Mine, and they wrote their own, Even Now. Jim & Bonnie Bahr released What Am I Living For in 1993.

Most choreography is written as though the timing of the figures is "slow, -, quick, quick;" and if the music is 4/4, that is a good description, but if you have good 6/8 music, it would be better to think of the timing as slow, -, slow. -/&;" but even this representation is approximate. Out of the six beats of music, the first step uses three, the second uses two, and the last is a quick of just one beat.

On the surface, Slow Two Step is similar to Bolero (that initial slow side step). More often than I like to admit, I haven't paid attention to the cuer's introduction, the dance has started, the cue is "basic," and we just try something. But Bolero is usually slower, smoother, a bit sensual. Bolero has conspicuous rise and fall. Slow Two Step is a little faster, sharper, peppier. There is an elastic, push-pull connection between partners. It is up and flat—no rise and fall. And each rhythm has its own characteristic figures. The Half Moon is Bolero, and the Triple Traveler is Slow two Step. However, the dancer does need to remember that round dance choreographers are not the least bit shy about borrowing figures from other rhythms. In a Slow Two Step, you could easily find a New Yorker or Fence Line (maybe even a Half Moon) from Bolero, or a Vine or Wheel from Two Step or even a Bota Fogo from Samba. (I'm looking at the Shibatas' What A Wonderful World, right now.) So, if you don't find one of your Slow Two Step figures in this list, do a site search or check the master index. It might come from another rhythm.

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.


phase III

sqq; sqq;

In a facing position, closed or butterfly, step side with the lead foot, cross behind (woman also) with the trail, and recover; repeat with the trail foot: sd, -, XIB, rec;

The rocking step is a tight one. Don't rock apart as you would in jive, but turn the foot out and place toe to heel. Don't take weight fully, but push back onto the initial supporting foot. There should be no up-and-down bounce, but a little side-to-side bounce.

In Stairwalt's Rachel's Song, part A begins with a basic;; underarm turn; basic ending; left turn with inside roll; basic ending; left turn with inside roll; basic ending;
Side Basic

phase III


The first half of a basic: step side on the lead foot, -, XIB, rec; In the Gloodt's Chanson D Amour, the ending begins with a side basic & wrap to face line 9man transition);; Now both have the right foot free and we do two sweetheart rund to tandem;; two side closes; to a side corte;
Basic Ending

phase III


The second half of a basic: sd with the trail, -, XIB, rec; In the Kropfs' Is It Really Over, part A begins with a left turn with inside roll; basic ending; right turn with outside roll; basic ending; to two side basics;;
Open Basic

phase III


Step to the side and open the body out to either half open (if begun with trail foot) or left half open (if begun with lead foot). The steps are: sd, -, XIB, rec; In Midnight Blue by the Woodruffs, there is a basic ending to CP wall; two open basics;; to a traveling right turn with outside roll;;

Later in the same dance there is a triple traveler one half;; horseshoe ending to CP wall; open basic ending (that is, with the trail foot); to a traveling right turn with zig zag;;

Lunge Basic

phase III


In closed or butterfly position, step side, recover, and then cross in front: sd, -, rec, XIF;

May be done in shadow or in wrapped position in which case the lady will do the man's footwork.
In I Believe In Santa Claus by the Matthews, there are 2 open basics;; 2 switches;; 2 lunge basics;; right turn with outside roll; basic ending; 2 lunge basics;; underarm turn; basic ending;

In The More I See You by Gloodt, we have lunge basic; lunge lady wrap in 2; sweetheart runs;; parallel lunge basics lady in 2 to CP;; sd basic;
Twisty Basic


In butterfly, wall, step side with the lead, -, cross RIB (woman LIF), recover; Helms; Behind Closed Doors begins with twisty basic twice;; lunge basic twice;; left turn with an inside roll; and a basic ending;
Hip Lift


Usually in a facing position, step side R (woman sd L), -, draw L to R with no weight and use a little toe pressure and contraction of the left buttock to lift the left hip (woman right), lower hip; Only one weight change.

Can be done in any facing position and with either hip.

In Traces by the Senecals, we start with hip lift twice;; lunge basic twice;; underarm turn; open break;
Underarm Turn

phase III


Step to the side with lead foot and raise lead hands to lead woman to begin to turn RF. Cross RIB of L as woman steps forward, crossing left over right and turning 1/2. Both recover onto lead feet, woman completing turn back to face partner. In the Kropfs' I'm Not Lisa, there is a lunge basic twice;; underarm turn; open basic; two switches;; to a triple travler;;;
Reverse Underarm Turn

phase III


This one begins with the trail foot. Step side right, raising lead hands and bringing them between you to lead the woman to begin to turn LF. Cross left in front of right, and woman will cross right in front of left and turn 1/2. Both recover onto trail feet, the woman continuing her turn to face. In the Hichmans' Blue to Gold, part A begins with a fence line; spot turn; side basic; reverse underarm turn; cross body; new yorker; time step;
Eggbeater Turn

sqq; s -- (ss);
In BFLY position, perhaps facing wall, raise lead hands & step sd L also take trail hands through at shoulder level under lead hands (W trng RF & step sd & fwd R beginning to turn under lead hands), -, XRIB of L trng W under lead hands (W fwd & across L), recover L taking lead hands to M's upper R arm to release lead hand hold and immediately re-join under M's R arm while trng W under trailing hands (W fwd R trng under trail hands) [end this measure in loose BFLY (arms will not be crossed) ld hnds low tr hnds hi W continuing to trn RF]; sd R leading W under trail hands again (W sd & fwd L twd RLOD trng 1/2 on L, -, lower into lunge line (W small sd R lowering [end in wrapped position wall & R lunge line] - ;
In Worlock's Long As I Live, phase VI, released in March 2014, we finish a sequence in part B with a twisty basic end, BFLY BJO DRC; eggbeater turn to wrapped position wall right lunge;; sweetheart break to L wrap DRW; sweetheart switch to wrap pos DRC M on outside of circle;

In Preskitt's I'll Stand By You, phase V, 2021, in wrap LOD, we dance a sweetheart run 3; sweetheart switch; lady across; shad lng basics; second lady fc tch to BFLY wall ld ft; eggbeater turn;; lady sync L trn insd roll BFLY COH;
Underarm Roll

In shadow position, both facing LOD, both with R feet free, step fwd R beginning a RF roll and raising joined left hands. Step fwd & sd L turning under raised left hands. Step fwd & sd R to end in M's shadow or in tandem position, M in front, both facing COH.

May be underturned. We step fwd R, fwd L trng 1/2 RF, bk R to M's shadow RLOD. This version has been called a Shadow Right Turn or an Arm-Over Shadow Right Turn.
In You Needed Me by Worlock, the dance begins in shadow LOD R ft free. We dance 2 shadow right turns;; fwd 3 to face wall; shadow lunge basic; roll right to face M in 2 trail feet; sd draw tch to low bfly; twisty basic;;

Later, in You Needed Me, we do the same 2 shadow right turns;; to an underarm roll right; slow cross lunge & extend;;

So in this one dance, we do the underturned version that turns 1/2 and then the full version that turns 3/4.
Change Sides Underarm

In left open facing position (lead hands joined) M fcg wall, fwd L toward W's R sd trng RF and raising ld hnds (W fwd R toward M's R sd spiraling LF under ld hnds), -, turn to face COH and step sd R (W turn to face wall and stp sd L), XLIF of R (W XRIF of L) ending LOFP COH;
In 4 My Angel (Malaika) by Rotscheid, there is a basic end with the trail feet; underarm turn; open break; change sides underam; open break; change sides underarm; qk vine 4 RLOD; lunge basic;
Shoulder Tuck & Spin


In a half open position with right/right hands joined on woman's right shoulder facing LOD, step forward L (woman fwd R turning a little LF). This is the "tuck." The man then steps fwd R leading the woman to spin RF (woman spins RF stepping L), fwd L (woman steps R and completes 1 1/2 spin) to end in open facing position line and center no hands joined. In the Shibatas' Adeline, there is a side basic; open break joining right hands over left; cross-hand underarm turn with both face loop;; shoulder tuck & spin; fwd break; to back traveling cross chasses (woman spiral);;
Open Break


Usually in a facing position, such as left open facing or butterfly, step side R (woman sd L), -, back L (woman bk R), recover fwd R (woman recover L); In Beat of Your Heart by the Preskitts, part A begins with basics;; travelling right turn with outside roll;; side basic; open break to a handshake; change places underarm to CP COH; to a rudolf ronde lariat to LOP both facing RLOD;
Forward Break


In an open facing position, step forward R (woman bk L), -, fwd L lowering, recover R;
Forearm Spin


In left open facing position, place right hand on woman's right forearm, step forward L, and push, leading her to turn RF (woman fwd R and begin RF spin), -, fwd R turning 1/2 LF (woman step L and continue spin), recover L (woman step R and complete 1 1/2 turn); As a couple, you will have turned 1/2. In the Vogts' The Rose, part A begins with a half basic facing wall; open break; forearm spin to face center; open basic with pick up; to a left turn with inside roll back to the wall;;
Traveling Chasses

phase III

sqq; sqq;

In butterfly line of dance, or even a close low butterfly, step forward with the lead foot (woman back) turning 1/8 LF. Step side toward diagonal line and wall, and then close left to right. In the second measure, step forward and turn 1/4 RF to face diagonal line and wall, step side, and close.

Notice that we both turn the same direction. The idea is to keep the shoulders parallel and to "slice" forward with the body at an angle.

In Chances by Lawrence, there is a basic ending fcg COH; side basic; traveling chasse 4 times down LOD (starting with trail feet);;;; lunge basic picking up to RLOD; left turn w/ inside roll to face wall; basic end;
Traveling Cross Chasses

phase IV


Fwd L (W bk R) trn LF, -, sd, XIF;

Usually danced more than once; the cue might be traveling cross chasse 4X;;;; With the trail foot free, the body rotation is RF, so that each forward step produces CBM.

Again, the man is using right-side lead during the first measure and left-side lead during the second. As you move out and then in again, lean into your partner with a compression that will establish a partner awareness. This connection will help keep the woman from moving away from the man and the man from over-running the woman.

In the Nelsons' Wonder of You, part B begins with traveling cross chasses;; left turn with inside roll; basic ending;
Back Traveling Cross Chasse


In butterfly position, step back L turning a little RF (woman fwd R turning RF), -, side & back R, XLIF of R (woman XRIF); In Can't Smile by the Martins, there is an underarm turn to a lariat;; outside roll M fcg center; basic end to face LOD; 3 traveling cross chasses;;; passing traveling cross chasse; 2 back traveling cross chasses to face wall;; basic;;
Passing Cross Chasse

phase VI


This is a traveling cross chassé in which the man passes the woman on her right side and ends it like a back traveling cross chassé.

In butterfly position, step forward R (W back L). You probably just did a (forward) traveling cross chassé with the lead foot and so are facing DLC (W DRW). So, make this first step toward line and wall as if you were going to do a second traveling cross chassé. Turn RF and step side and back L passing the woman on her right side (W small side R). Keep turning to face RLOD and XRIF of L (W XLIF);

In a lady's passing cross chasse, she does the man's footwork and passes on his right side. Can be done in other facing directions.

In the classic Are You Still Mine by Kiehm & Goss, we do three traveling cross chassés;;; passing cross chassé; to a pull pass; lady rondé to inside wrap to shadow lunge;
Pull Pass

phase VI

ss; (sqq;)

In low butterfly position facing RLOD, step back L allowing hands to rise (W fwd R resisting man's pull), -, turn RF 1/4 to 3/8 and step back R pulling W by on M's right side lowering hands to encourage W to run, (W finally runs fwd L, fwd R past M) -; Note that he took two steps and she three.

This is not a figure with a clear ending position. He has turned about to line and center, and she is running down line. The next figure will determine how this flight will be arrested.

Can be done in other facing directions.

In Are You Still Mine by Kiehm & Goss, we did three traveling cross chassés;;; a passing cross chassé; to a pull pass;

At that point, the man holds and pulls on the lady to make her step fwd L toward RLOD and rondé her right foot RF. She crosses R behind L. He steps back L and she steps fwd L turning LF to an inside wrap. Both then step side R to a shadow wrap lunge facing LOD. (The flight is now arrested.)

Note the elastic, yo-yo effect — pull, release, pull — that is characteristic of Slow Two Step.

Sweetheart Runs

phase IV


In wrapped position facing line of dance with same footwork, step forward, fwd, fwd. That is, both step forward left, right, left; or right, left, right; Again, in Blue to Gold, from a facing position, lead feet free, we do a sweetheart wrap (man transition); sweetheart run; throwout to low butterfly (man transition); to travelling cross chasses;;
Parallel Runs

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;

In varsouvienne position, right feet free, both step forward R turning 1/2 RF to face RLOD in left varsouvienne, -, back L, bk R; bk L, -, bk R, bk L; bk R turning 1/2 LF to varsouvienne facing LOD, -, fwd L, fwd R; fwd L, -, fwd R, fwd L; In the Rumbles' Can't Help Falling In Love, there is two lunge basics, man transition to varsouvienne facing LOD;; parallel runs;;;; woman roll RF; woman spin LF, man transition to face; fence line; and basic ending;
Left Turn with Inside Roll

phase IV


In loose closed position, lead foot, step forward turning LF (W back R), raise lead hands, and bring them between couple to lead the woman into a LF turn (an inside roll; notice the lead hands move "inside" the couple). The second step is side, turning as W turns under joined lead hands. The last step is a cross in front while the woman steps side R continuing her turn to face partner. The hard way to do this figure is to begin facing wall and to turn 1/2. More often, the preceding figure will be modified, as in "basic ending to a pickup," so that the left turn is begun early, and the figure then needs only to turn 1/4.

An important feature of this and many other slow two step figures is the third step, which crosses in front for the man. Something often makes us want to cross behind. Maybe we're thinking about a vine, but doing so breaks our connection with the woman and makes it harder to progress along with her. Make that third step forward and thru—you'll stay together better.

Hoopers' Too Many Rivers begins part A with lunge basics;; left turn with inside roll; and repeat;;;

Rumbles' Can't Help Falling in Love uses a basic;; left turn with inside roll; basic ending; and repeat;;;; switches;; open basics;; switches;; open basic; basic ending;

Lady's Inside Roll


Any LF underarm turn done by the lady.

For instance, in a facing position with trail feet free, you might step side R (woman side L beginning to turn LF under lead hands), -, thru L (woman thru R turning), and side R to face;

In the Rumbles' Can't Help Falling In Love, the intro begins in butterfly sidecar facing reverse and wall. The man steps forward L (woman bk R and develope); then recover R and lady inside roll toward LOD to loose closed position facing wall; for a basic;; left turn with inside roll; basic ending;

In the Reads' You Raise Me Up, part B starts with Basics;; Traveling Right Turn; Outside Roll; Lunge Basic With Inside Roll; Basic End;

Right Turn with Outside Roll

phase IV


In loose closed position, lead foot, step side and forward turning RF, and raise lead hands, moving them sort of around in back of her head ("outside" of the couple, rather than between your faces or "inside") to lead her into a RF turn. Step side and back with right foot as woman steps forward under lead hands. Finally, cross LIF of R to face, and she will step side, finishing her turn, also to face. This figure, too, can be done the hard way, incorporating 1/2 turn, but more often the previous figure is modified, as in "basic ending to a maneuver," so that the turn is begun early, and the figure itself then needs only to turn 1/4. In Blue Moon by the Woodruffs, there is a basic picking up ;; left turn with inside roll ; basic end picking up ; left turn inside roll ; basic ending maneuvering ; right turn with outside roll ; basic ending ; underarm turn ;
Lady's Outside Roll


Any RF underarm turn done by the lady.

For instance, we do one in the third measure of a triple traveler. We might be in left open position, both facing line of dance, lead feet free, and lots of other choreography could put us in this position for an outside roll. He steps forward L (woman fwd R beginning to turn RF under joined lead hands), -, fwd and side R turning LF to face partner (woman sd L turning), and cross LIF of R (woman fwd R) to end in left open facing position;

Starting with the man on the outside of the circle, he will end facing COH, trail feet free. May be done from a variety of starting positions and alignments.

In the Reads' Stranger On the Shore, there is a sequence that begins in half open position, lead feet free. The man steps forward, maneuvers, and pivots; to a rudolf ronde and he changes sides under lead arms to end in left open facing position, man facing COH; lady outside roll; basic ending; left turn with inside roll; basic ending to face wall;
Passing Outside Roll

s--; (sqq;)

In a facing position, perhaps LOD, step forward L (woman fwd R) to R/R forearm contact, -, hold and raise right arm leading woman to turn RF (woman fwd L turning RF under right arms), hold facing wall (woman back R to face LOD) and join right hands;

Note that the man only takes one step and turns 1/4 RF as he leads the woman's underarm turn. The woman takes three steps and turns 1/2 as she passes from one side of the man to the other (in this case, from LOD side to RLOD side). Could be done from other facing positions.

In the Reads' You Raise Me Up, there is an open break, man facing LOD; passing outside roll; to a check ronde and back pass; and lady around to face;
Traveling Right Turn


In closed position, turn to semi-closed and step forward L across the line of dance and turning RF. Use left-side stretch and a right head to sway toward COH (woman fwd R with left head). That right sway feels a little like a "ripple," as in a ripple chassé. On the first "quick," cross R behind L with partial weight to prepare for something like a twist turn, delayed weight change, and change of sway to the left (woman fwd L with left-side lead unwinding). On the second "quick," step back L with left sway again toward COH (woman fwd R) to banjo position facing LOD. In the Reads' Stranger On the Shore, part A begins with basics facing the wall;; traveling right turn; outside roll to face wall again; to a lunge check to a woman's inside roll; and a lunge basic;

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

In half open position, facing line of dance, begin turning RF and step forward and side left, crossing in front of the woman and moving to the outside of the circle, step side and forward turning to left half open position, and then fwd L (W fwd R). The woman takes small steps: fwd, -, fwd, fwd; In the second measure, the woman "switches" across. She steps forward and side L, crossing in front of the man and turning RF, fwd and sd R turning to half open position again, and finally fwd L.

For the one switching across, the amount of turn on the first two steps can vary. For instance, you might still be facing your partner at the end of step 1 so that step 2 is side and back, rather than side and forward. That is, you might not complete your turn to face LOD on the first step. However, it is important to get to the outside of the circle on the first step. You needn't complete all the turn on the first step, but do get all the way across.

In The More I See You by the Gloodts, there are open basics;; switches to butterfly position wall;; lunge basic; lunge and hold lady wrap; to sweetheart runs;;
Sweetheart Switch

In a switch (just above), we begin in half open, and each switch is done individually, usually first by the man and second by the lady. In a sweetheart switch, we begin in wrapped position, both with left foot free, and we dance our modified switching action together, at the same time.

In wrapped position both facing LOD (or other facing direction), we both step fwd L toward DLW and sharply turn RF. If we follow the pattern for the standard switch, our goal is to turn fully 3/4 and end that first step in L Half OP LOD. In these Half OP positions, we are sliced with shoulder lead -- in Half OP, L shoulder lead, shoulders facing DLW, and in L Half OP, R shoulder lead, shoulders facing DLC, but our line of progression is LOD. On this first step, the man is going around the lady, so his step is bigger; she is taking the same step but more spinning in place. Then we finish the figure with a forward R, L, in L Half Open Position, M on outside.

That first step is the key. The man is using his lead foot and he has to get all the way across and turn big. If we were using the trail foot, it would feel like a maneuver, or an open in & out run (in wrapped pos), but using the lead foot makes it a bigger step. A second key feature is probably keeping a tight, close position, so we don't have as far to go, but with loose arms so we don't tug on each other.
In Return To My Hawaii by Worlock, we are in OP Wall L ft free. We cross lunge (S) and recover to a quick vine 3 rock 3 (6 Q) lady roll LF to wrapped position DLW, R ft free. We dance a sweetheart run 3; sweetheart switch; lunge basic & release hands to shadow DRC; slow fwd lunge extend L arms;

In this dance, it is interesting to see that Worlock does not ask us to make the full 3/4 turn in the first step of the sweetheart switch, so he is modifying the standard switch to flow more smoothly in wrapped position. We dance forward L toward DLW and sharply turn RF to tandem COH (~5/8 turn). Then we finish the turn on the second step, stepping side R toward LOD and then small forward and across L completing the 3/4 turn.
Arm to Arm

This is a lady's switch, with the lead feet from half open to left half open or with the trail feet from left half open to half open.

So, in half open position LOD, step fwd L (lady fwd R across in front of the man trng LF), -, fwd R (lady sd L to L half open pos), fwd L (lady XRIF of L);

Also cued as Flip Flop.

May begin in any facing direction with either foot free.
In I'll Be Faithful To You by Noble, we dance open basic 2X to half open LOD;; arm to arm; open basic to half open RLOD; arm to arm 3X moving to RLOD;;; open basic to half open LOD again;
The Square

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;

This figure consists of four STS switches (above) that have been modified to move the couple counterclockwise to the four sides of an imaginary square. We might begin in half-open position facing line of dance. The man begins to turn in front of the woman, steps side L, and turns sharply right-face to left half open position facing COH (W steps small fwd R and turns left-face), and then both step sd & fwd, thru, toward center (sqq). Note that as a couple, we have turned 1/4 left-face. To accomplish this, the woman has turned 1/4 left-face (if we focus on the direction the feet are pointing), but  the man has turned 3/4 right-face. The modification referred to above lies in the amount of turn and in the ending facing direction. A standard switch would involve a full turn for the man, no turn for the woman, and an ending position of left half open facing line of dance.

In the second measure, our roles are reversed. The woman begins to turn in front of the man, she steps side L, and she turns sharply to half open position facing reverse (M steps small fwd R and turns left-face), and then both step sd & fwd, thru, toward reverse. The third measure is the same as the first and ends in left half-open facing wall. The fourth measure is the same as the second and ends facing line again, in the starting position. This figure has also been called a Switch Box.

In It Takes Two by the Gosses, there are open basics;; man switch; lady switch; the square;;;; full basic;; underarm turn; slow lunge to the side and hold;

In Warner's Cold Day in Hell, we are in butterfly position. We do a side basic; reverse underarm turn to half-open; switch box;;;; two switches;; two open basics;;

Triple Traveler

phase V

sqq; sqq; sqq;

In left open facing, line of dance, step forward L turning LF and leading woman into a left turn or inside roll. She will step back turning, side turning, and forward turning; and you will step fwd L, fwd R, fwd L; following her. At the end of the first measure, you will be more or less in left open position, facing line of dance, man on outside of circle. In second measure, the man steps forward R and spirals LF under joined lead hands, and then steps fwd L, fwd R. The woman simply steps fwd L, fwd R, fwd L; keeping up with her man. In the third measure, step forward L and swing lead hands down and back, leading her in a RF or outside roll. She will step forward R turning, side L turning, and forward R turning to face wall and partner. He steps fwd L, -, fwd R, XLIF of R; Note that the man is facing center at the end of this figure. In Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby by the Woodruffs, part A begins with a left turn with inside roll; basic ending; lunge basics facing COH;; right turn with outside roll; basic ending; open basics facing wall;; triple traveler with a basic ending twice;;;;;;;; (part B) and part C begins with an underarm turn; basic ending; into four switches;;;;

I should say that one of the ABC sequences is as described above, for Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby is a "variable" dance with A, B, and C modules provided in two step, slow two step, foxtrot, and jive, at phase levels from II to V. A cuer can mix and match to create quite a variety of dances to this one piece of music.

Circular Triple Traveler

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;
In CP DLW step fwd L raising lead hands (W fwd R spiral LF full), -, fwd & sd R (W fwd & sd L trng), fwd & across L in front of R (W fwd R under ld hands) to LOP LOD shaped to partner; fwd & across R twd COH slowly turning LF under joined ld hnds (W fwd L, -, R, L curving tightly around M RF) to LOP RLOD shaped to partner; fwd & across L toward RLOD raising ld hands (W fwd & across R), -, sd & fwd R (W fwd & sd L turning RF under joined ld hnds), fwd & across L (W fwd R) to LOP RLOD;fwd & across R twd wall slowly turning LF under joined ld hnds (W fwd L, -, R, L curving tightly around M RF) to LOP LOD shaped to partner; fwd & across L toward LOD raising ld hands (W fwd & across R), -, sd & fwd R (W fwd & sd L turning RF under joined ld hnds), fwd & across L (W fwd R) to LOP LOD; May be done in other facing directions.

How does this figure compare to the standard triple traveler (above)? In the standard figure, measure 1 is softer and much like a left turn inside roll. Here (as structured by the Worlocks), measure 1 is sharper, with a full spiral by the lady.

Measure  2 in the standard figure begins with a spiral by the man, but here he dances a tunnel left while the lady does a tight lariat to the outside of the circle. Note that the man only takes one step to the lady's three, giving him a calm, stable presence as she circles -- a nice contrast of stillness at the center of her movement -- but it requires her to stay close as he has no additional steps to adjust his position.

Measure 3 is the same as the third measure of the triple traveler, measure 4 is the same tunnel as measure 2, and measure 5 is measure 3 repeated toward LOD.
In Hopelessly Devoted by Worlock we step side to a hinge; rise & close lady swivel to same foot lunge line/quick pick up; circular triple traveler;;;; BFLY COH; fallaway ronde & roll to cross chasse handshake;; open break to trade places 3X;;;;

In Just the Way You Are V by Garza we dance a right turn outside roll to BFLY COH; open basic; a three-measure circular triple traveler to BFLY COH;;; open basic; switches toward RLOD;;
Lady's Neck Wrap


In a facing position, such as left open facing or butterfly, step side L (woman side R), -, XREB of L (woman XLIF of R and wrap RF into man's left arm), recover fwd L (woman fwd R) both facing RLOD; In the Reads' Stranger On the Shore, there is a left turn with inside roll; basic ending; lady's neck wrap; unwrap to butterfly line; into two cross hovers;;
Flip Flop


In facing position, arms at sides, step side L and turn sharply 1/2 RF (woman sd R and turn 1/2 LF), -, sd R and turn sharply to face, -; In the Eums' Face To Face, there is a syncopated vine 4 to face partner and wall; flip flop twice;; side basic; reverse underarm turn to sombrero; and wheel 6 to face COH;;

phase IV


A ronde is really just an action (not a figure) in which you flex the supporting knee, extend the free foot and point that toe, and move free foot forward or back in an arc above the floor. An "aerial" ronde is done a little higher off the floor. Low = level with ankle; Medium = level with calf; High = level with knee; or you can raise the foot as far off the floor as conditions allow. In A Whole New World by Rumble we dance traveling cross chasses;;; pass her by; pull pass; lady ronde behind & fwd; lady curl M ronde to circle vine;
Fallaway Ronde


In closed position facing wall, step side R (woman side L) turning to semi-closed position both facing LOD. At the same time, ronde L CCW (woman ronde R CW) beginning to cross lead foot tightly behind trail foot. The next step will be back, and this will be the actual fallaway position. The rest of the measure has to be cued.

The lead for this figure turns out to be quite busy. I suppose it would possible to analyze any figure in agonizing detail, and to make each of these figure descriptions run to 500 words, but let me try to look at a few details for this one. If it all seems too picky, you can easily skip down to the next figure.

The man's actions all happen at about the same time, but if there is a sequence, it might be the left sway that comes first. This opens the woman's head and causes her to think about opening out or turning a little RF. At the same time, he begins to turn his hips to the left and bumps her with his right hip. Now, this sounds a little crude. In dancing, we don't push, shove, or bump our partners—we "lead" them—but still… As I step side, I turn my hips LF to begin my ronde, and it feels like I'm bumping Meredith with my right hip, and she says she feels a bump. Maybe it's not right, but I "bump" her with my hip. She has just taken her side step, so her weight is on her left foot. The part of her body that is free is her right side, so the "bump" causes her right hip and right leg to swing out turning RF. I am turning my hips LF and rondeing my L leg LF, so we ronde together.

It is interesting to compare a simple side R, -, close L, side R; to a fallaway ronde, -, behind, side; During a "side close side," there is no sway change and no hip bump. Do them both, and you can clearly feel the lead for the fallaay ronde.

For his third lead, the man uses RF upper body rotation to continue to propel her ronde. Don't push with your left hand, but rotate the whole frame to lead her right leg around in its arc. You will notice that you are turning your upper body to the right but your lower body to the left, in its ronde, producing quite a twist. This is the man's lot, to get some of his body to dance his part and the rest of his body to dance the lead for his partner.

Fourth, you can use a little pressure with your right hand on her back to reinforce her ronde. Tighten up a little on the left side of her back, and that will leave the right side freer, by comparison, to do its ronde and behind.

So, you might do a side basic; fallaway ronde, -, behind, side;

In My Hawaii by the Worlocks, part A starts with an underarm turn; fallaway ronde; lady spirals and rolls 2; reverse underarm turn; half moon;;
Rudolph Ronde


In closed position, lower and step forward R between the woman's feet rather like dancing a chair, and she will step back L. As a part of this step, tap the inside of her right knee with your right knee, leading her to lift her R leg from the hip and ronde it CW. Here we go again, pounding on our partners (see Fallaway Ronde above). Do be careful. Don't tap her right leg until she has taken her back step, otherwise her right leg will be anchored, it won't move, and you'll leave a bruise.

Second, leave the left leg side and back and the right leg soft, but lift and rotate the upper body RF to suggest something about the height of her ronde. Third, the amount of follow-thru leads the speed of the ronde. Sometimes a Rudolph is danced in one slow count; sometimes over a whole measure. The lady's head should follow her foot and so move from closed position to strongly right.

Double Ronde


In closed position, step forward R (woman fwd L) and with RF body turn ronde L leg (woman R leg) CW turning RF and ending in closed position with lead feet free.

This figure is also done with slightly delayed body turn and an initial back step for the woman. Amount of turn and orientation on floor varies.

Double Double Ronde

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Begin in a side-by-side position, man facing wall and woman facing COH, right/right hands joined. Step forward R and ronde L leg CW (woman sd & fwd L turning 1/2 RF to face wall and ronde R leg CW keeping right hands joined in front and extending left hand behind man) to woman's left shadow, -, XLIF of R, side R (woman XRIB of L, sd L) to woman's right shadow both facing wall with right hands joined behind man's back and taking left hands in front of woman;

The second measure is a man's twist turn. Step back L (woman fwd R turning RF and releasing right hands), -, hook R behind L no weight (woman fwd L toward RLOD and spiral RF under left hands to end facing almost RLOD in front of man), turn RF on L to face DLC (woman fwd R turning 1/2 RF taking joined L hands over woman's head and bringing them down and joining right hands again) to end both facing DLC with man in front of woman and left/left and right/right hands joined low; In this measure, it is important to let the woman do her spiral before the man turns.

In the third measure, we do the second set of double rondes. Turn RF to face wall and step fwd R and ronde L leg CW (woman sd & fwd L turning RF to face wall and ronde R leg CW) to an open position both facing wall right hands joined in front of woman and left hands joined behind man, -, XLIF of R (woman XRIB of L crossing behind man), sd R (woman sd L) to a left open position facing wall right hands joined behind man and left hands joined in front of woman;

This one comes from the Rumbles' A Whole New World, where there is an open break; woman outside roll to side-by-side position; Double Double Ronde;;; woman outside spin to face; basic ending;

Some material from this page was reprinted as
“Slow Two Step—the Rhythm,” Roundalab Journal, 31:2, p.13–14, fall 2007.


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