If you are
interested in learning more about the History of Western Dancing,
Two Step Polka
Western music and Western dancing is a long-time Texas tradition. Unlike other areas of
the country where Line Dances are popular, Houston has had a historical preference
for "Partner Dancing."
Western music has long been a major part of
Texas tradition with established artists like George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Reba
McEntire plus newer artists like Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes moving up the ranks. As the
largest city in the state that loves Western music the most, over the years Houston has
emerged as the national leader when it comes to Western Dancing. There are more
people who can dance the Texas Twostep in Houston than any other city in America.
If you would like learn to Western Dance,
the best place to start is our Beginning Two Step/Polka class.
Based on the speed of the music, most of
C&W dancing is either a Two Step or a Polka. Beginning Two Step/Polka covers the
leads, footwork, and timing to both dances. This course is very thorough. If you take the
time to stay for our Practice Night that follows every class at 9:15, by the end of the
course you will be more than ready to hit the Western dance floors.
Trivia Question : What is
wrong with the
Twostep Picture ? (answer below)
Intermediate Two Step/Polka covers
clockwise and counterclockwise Circle Turns as well as Promenades, Crossovers,
Conversations, and Zig Zags. It is an excellent followup course to Beginning Twostep.
This course is usually offered as a Crash Course, but is also
occasionally offered as a 4-week course.
Western Swing is the SSQQ name for the
dance where eye-catching Double Turns are added to Polka and Two Step timing. Known also
as "Twostep with Turns", the man twirls the lady with one or two hands as they
circle the floor. Although Western Swing is a very popular dance, it is difficult to
learn just by watching.
Beginning Western Swing covers the
mechanics of leading the double turns and teaches the ladies how to turn properly. We
assume you already can Twostep.
Intermediate Western Swing covers the more
difficult Polka rhythm and extended patterns based on the Wild West Shuffle and Step Right
Advanced Western Swing covers Reverse
Double turns and various patterns such as the Dishrag, Rope, and Pretzel.
Trivia Question : What does "SSQQ" stand
for ? (answer below)
Ghost Town classes are more complicated
Western Swing patterns that build on the moves learned in Beginning, Intermediate, and
Advanced Western Swing.
We assume the ladies can Double Turn and
the man finished Advanced Western Swing.
There are seven Ghost Town classes that can
be taken in any order. Usually two different levels of Ghost Town are taught on
One entire pattern is taught per week,
sometimes more. Since the pace is swifter than Advanced Western Swing, be sure you are
comfortable with what you learned in Advanced Western Swing before entering a Ghost Town!
Trivia Question 3 :
When and Where was Western Swing invented ?
Death Valley is the ultimate Western Swing
class. When Ghost Town no longer offers many challenges, Death Valley features
lengthy, complex dance patterns. Many of these moves are taken straight from Dance Tapes
featuring Western Dance competitions. These moves are quite tricky.
There are 12 Death Valley classes, one is
offered every month, and they can be taken in any order. The ladies need to spin well and
the men had better plan on staying afterwards to practice or the moves will sneak right
out their toenails ten minutes after they leave class !
(please note Death Valley is currently on a
Sabbatical. If you wish you see it brought back, email your wishes to email@example.com)
Western Waltz has long been considered the
"Romantic" Western dance. Unfortunately, Waltz is much trickier than it looks.
Ladies love to Waltz so much it is
surprising that more men don't take the time to master this graceful dance. Common sense
suggests that a sure way to charm a lady should never be ignored!
Western Waltz is romantic and lovely. The
dancers appear to glide through it so effortlessly, it comes as a major surprise how
intricate the patterns are. Nevertheless, the man who takes the time to learn to Waltz has
an instant key to a young girls heart.
Western Cha Cha
Western Cha Cha is the traditional Cha Cha
used to slow, pretty Polka-speed music. Many of the songs Western Cha Cha works best to
can be described as romantic or sultry, often with a Latin beat in the background.
The most famous Western Cha Cha is
"Neon Moon" by Brooks and Dunn. "Shagging" by Alabama and
"Tequila Sunrise" by the Eagles are two more examples. The Western Cha Cha is a
very clever dance that works well as an alternative dance to the Polka.
Quite popular in
Western clubs in other parts of the country, Western Cha Cha is also a fixture at Western
Dance Competitions. The patterns vary from the simple to the complex and use double turns
when the mood strikes. Best of all, the Cha Cha has an attractive hip motion that makes
Wrangler Jeans do for Western dancing whatever it is that Gap Khakis do for Swing
Cha Cha is flirtatious, sexy, easy
to learn, and lots of fun!
Two Step (Dallas Twostep)
Triple Twostep is an interesting western
dance that combines features of Twostep, Polka, and Western Swing to
become a unique dance with its very own style.
Sometimes also known as the Dallas
Twostep, the Triple Twostep is used to the same music as the Polka, but
has a more leisurely pace. This particular feature appeals greatly to
those who do not enjoy the frantic pace of most Polkas. Plus several
ladies have expressed the opinion that it is a very smooth dance,
containing a gracefulness they find appealing.
This course is only
offered perhaps once or twice a year, so if you are interested in learning
the Triple Two, take it when you see it offered.
Typically it is offered more often as a
Night Club Twostep is an interesting dance that
is described as an "up-tempo" Slow Dance, assuming your
sensibilities can handle such an obvious oxymoron. Popular first in
California and now making its way across the country, Night Club
is a triple-step dance that combines a little bit of several dances and
adds some twists of its very own.
Night Club Twostep has
been a fixture in Western dance competitions for several years. In 2001,
Night Club caught on at SSQQ in a big way.
There are many lovely romantic ballads recorded on Western CDs. Night
Club Twostep gives people an excellent dance to use to these
Although at SSQQ we teach Night Club
predominantly as a Western dance, everyone should be very clear that
the dance is versatile enough to be danced to any 72-90 beat per
minute romantic song there is if that is what you wish to do.
Night Club can be used to an enormous range of
music from a Celine Dion love ballad to a Gloria
Estafan Latin torch song to a Platters hit from the 50s to Bill
Withers’ 70s hit “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”. Up
to now, most of you either found your seat or did the vertical Bear
Hug when songs like these were played. Night Club gives you a
For a more lengthy
description of Night Club,
Western Line Dances are pretty rare in the
Houston area. Most Western dancers prefer to Partner Dance instead. We have had Line
Dance courses in the past, but they have been poorly attended. However if you are
interested, it never hurts to email us and let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Trivia Question 1 :
What is wrong with the Twostep Picture ?
The man and the lady have their arms reversed. He should have his right hand on her back
and be holding her free hand with his left.
So what do artists know about dancing ?
One smart student suggested I
reverse the picture, but then the man would be going backwards... how are we going to sell
any lessons if the men think they have to go backwards ?
Don't tell 'em the truth,
girls, until after they sign up for the lessons.
Trivia Question 2 :
What does "SSQQ" stand for ?
Slow Slow Quick Quick, the timing of Twostep.
Actually once you get the feel
for Twostep, most people consider the true rhythm to be
"Quick Quick Slow Slow", but don't you agree that doesn't have the right ring to
For the anecdote behind the
Studio's name, check out the History of the SSQQ page.
(Hint : it is a good story !)
Trivia Question 3 :
When and Where was the Western Swing developed ?
Right here in Houston during the "Urban Cowboy" era of 1979.
We have a five-page writeup of the story called the "History of Western Swing".
If you are interested, click here