Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

THE HISTORY OF BALLROOM TWO STEP
(Revised 06/03)


The "Two Step" was developed in 1965 by a 15 year old teen from Whitaker, Illinois named Buddy Schwimmer . Buddy was doing a line dance called "Surfer Stomp". It was based on two steps and a stomp. This worked well with fast music, but the footwork was too slow for medium and slow tempo songs. The timing was changed and it went from a line dance to a partnership dance. This then became the dance called "Two Step". Eventually in 1978, Buddy opened a dance studio in Costa Mesa, California and started teaching "Night Club Two Step".

The "Two Step", like all dances has gone through changes over time. It has evolved into two different feeling dances. The original footwork was "Rock, Inplace, Side" (Quick, Quick, Slow), which exists in the dance called "Night Club Two Step". The Country Western dancers have adopted it and have included it in their competitions. However, it has been "ballroomized" into a dance called "Ballroom Two Step". Ballroom Two Step's basic foot work is "Side, Cross Behind, Inplace (Slow, Quick, Quick).

These two variations have very different feelings. The "Ballroom Two Step" is very gliding, continuous, strong and powerful with a big sweeping feeling. It is precise and quite technical. "Night Club Two Step" feels more like a choppy Cha Cha and is quite compact. It has a more casual relaxed feeling.

The "Two Step" is a dance you can do in night clubs as well as ballrooms, weddings, cruises, etc. It's an alternative to the "Slow" dance. That's the dance where you stand, put your hands on your partner's waist and your partner puts her arms around your neck and you sway back and forth, back-and-forth etc., etc.

"Two Step" is perfect for medium and slow music. The Two Step is danced to popular music, mostly ballads. Songs such as "Lady In Red", "On the Wings of Love", "Love the World Away. The song Lady In Red is a medium tempo song played at 39 MPM (measures per minute).

When learning "Two Step", or any dance, learn why you do steps a certain way. Figure out which one is correct and why. Don't just do a step a certain way because so-and-so says to do it that way. The movements should feel natural and not forced. It's not the patterns that makes a good dancer, it's how well you dance them.

The "Ballroom Two Step" and "Night club Two Step" are not fad dances. They are here to stay. The "Two Step" is popular in California and all along the west coast. It's popularity is slowly moving east. It is taught at BYU (Brigham-Young University) and is starting to be taught in Europe. It is just a matter of time before it is danced everywhere in the United States.