Western Descriptions
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Western  Classes

If you are interested in learning more about the History of Western Dancing, click here

 

Two Step Polka

 
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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 

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

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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 Up.

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 

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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 different nights.

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


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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 dance@ssqq.com)

 

Western Waltz

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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


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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 dancing.

Cha Cha is flirtatious, sexy, easy to learn, and lots of fun!

 

Triple 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 Crash Course.

 

Night Club
 

 


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 recordings. 

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 fascinating alternative!

For a more lengthy description of Night Club, 
click here

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Western Line Dances

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.  dance@ssqq.com 

Trivia Question 1 :
What is wrong with the Twostep Picture ?

Answer :
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 ? 

Answer :
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 it ?

For the anecdote behind the Studio's name, check out the History of the SSQQ page.
(Hint : it is a good story !)
click here

Trivia Question 3 :
When and Where was the Western Swing developed ?

Answer :
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

 
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