Two Step is the only popular country partner dance exclusive to country dancing. For example, country dancers do traditional Social dances such as Waltz, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Cha-Cha, and Nightclub Two Step... TO country music. The style may change a bit in some situations, but the structure and steps are basically the same. Below are a couple useful videos showing an overview of country dancing.
Texas Two Step
This dance is sometimes called Country Two Step or the Country Foxtrot. Made popular by the movie Urban Cowboy, the two step is a fast-traveling dance with many turns. In the two-step, the dancers move counterclockwise around the perimeter of the dance floor. The basic step is like an ordinary walking step, but the footwork timing is quick, quick, slow, slow. You can apply all the patterns (turns, spins, pretzels, etc.) of East Coast swing to two-stepping. This is danced to fast country western music in 2/4 timing at a preferred speed of 140-180 bpm.
As with other country/western dances, there are many different versions of two step across the United States, and there may be no one truly "correct" way to perform a particular dance. Even individual dance halls may have their own unique variations which they consider correct.
This dance is sometimes called the Rhythm Two Step. It is a stationary two step dance that is mostly regional to the area of Arizona. What’s great about the AZ Two Step is that it can be done in a very small, crowded space which is perfect for social dancing! Another plus with the AZ Two Step is that you can interchange it with the Country Swing within the same song adding more variety to your dancing. Arizona Two Step can be done to all Texas 2-Step and Swing music. This is danced at 2/4 timing at a preferred 140-180 bpm.
The Social version of cha-cha emphasizes the Latin hip motion while the country version has no Latin hips and a shuffle triple step. There are different versions of the Country Cha-Cha just like there are different versions of the Two-Step. The Cowboy Cha-Cha (also known as the Traveling Cha-Cha) is the most popular. It can be done as a line dance or a progressive partner pattern dance going around the floor. The videos below will concentrate on the partner dance. Most of the partner dance is done from the sweetheart or cape position. The dance is done to slower music at a preferred 100 – 125 bpm.
In this video, Anthony and Rose Lewis of Country Dance X teach you how to dance Country Cha-Cha basic steps. While there are also cha-cha line dances and patterned country cha-cha dances (such as the cowboy cha-cha), the country cha-cha dance in this video is the lead and follow version of country cha-cha dance. These basic steps are useful when a traveling dance is not possible on a crowded dance floor.
Partner videos with basic cowboy cha-cha pattern steps. You may find different sequences and different patterns on each of the videos.
The Country Swing is a relative of the Hustle, a partner dance popularized in nightclubs during the disco era. It features lots of turns and a classic swing maneuver called a rock step. Other names for this same dance include the Pony Swing and the 4-Count Swing. This dance, performed in place, works especially well on crowded dance floors.
Country Swing is not as well defined and has many variations to the basic footwork. It does not have a fixed pattern and can be different depending on the region. These can be seen on the country dance floor or country social gatherings.
Country swing is often referred to as a rotational “spiny” dance and can be very athletic and generally for the younger crowd. Country swing can be done to all Texas and Arizona 2-Step music.
It is recommended that country dancers learn East Coast and West Coast swing before attempting Country Swing because they are multipurpose, much more defined, can be less strenuous, and danced the same everywhere.
Here is a video describing the three types of swing dances (East Coast, West Coast, and Country Swing).
There are several versions of country swing. They are all correct just like there is no perfect color. The video below from timeframe 5:14 to 8:50 does a good job of showing the different versions.
The following videos show more details about the different versions.
Version 1a: quick-quick-slow-slow (rock step – walk-walk) – man rocks back on left foot
Version 1b: quick-quick-slow-slow (rock step – walk-walk) – man rocks back on right foot
Version 2 - a Night Club 2-Step rhythm with quick-quick-slow (rock step-walk) – a Night Club Two Step version rocking back on alternating feet.
Version 3 - a random mix of quicks and slows sometimes called single step.
The Country Triple is also called the Triple Two-Step, the Shuffle, or the Fort Worth Shuffle. The footwork timing is often called out as triple step, triple step, walk, walk. It is often called “swing on the move,” since the dance uses a progressive version of the triple timing swing basic. Like the polka and like the standard two step, the triple two-step progresses around the perimeter of the dance floor in a counterclockwise fashion.
Here is a great summary of this dance.
Pattern dances are choreographed partner dances, commonly danced in a group and are often named after the song they are danced to. These dances can also be done as line dances with some variations. There are a set number of steps and every couple follows them exactly (apart from an occasional spin or little embellishment).
The link below provides information about forty-eight of these dances with Videos and Step Sheets. It is likely more pattern dances have been invented and will continue to be invented.
Thank you and credit to Jane Gromelski. Much of the information presented below is provided by Jane's Saddlebrooke's Partner's Western Dance Club website (esp. "Video and Step Sheets"). The Saddlebrooke Partner's Western Dance Club offers both dances and lessons at Saddlebrooke. (links are available on the Club RESOURCES page)
Saddlebrooke Ranch Social Dance Club
...and Dance like no one is watching