A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 06, 2006
Texas Two-Step (dance)

The Texas two-step dance was popularized by the movie Urban Cowboy (1980), but the dance has been around since at least the 1950s.


eHow
How to Do the Texas Two-Step

The Texas two-step is danced with two quick steps and two slow steps.

Leader
Steps:
1.  Stand with your feet together facing your partner. 
2.  Put your right hand on your partner’s waist. 
3.  Put your left hand out to your side with your arm slightly bent. 
4.  Gently grasp your partner’s hand. 
5.  Wait for the music to start. 
6.  On the first beat, step forward quickly with your left foot. 
7.  On the second beat, step forward quickly with your right foot. 
8.  On the third beat, step forward again with your left foot, but slowly. 
9.  Pause through the fourth beat. 
10.  On the fifth beat, step forward slowly with your right foot. 
11.  Pause through the sixth beat, then pull your left foot even with your right. 
12.  Repeat. 

Tips:
Don’t pick up your feet much. You want your feet to glide across the floor. 

Warnings:
This isn’t as easy as it looks.

Follower
Steps:
1.  Place your left hand on the leader’s right shoulder. 
2.  Bend your right elbow and place the palm of your right hand lightly on his outstretched palm. 
3.  Do the opposite of what your partner does. Move your right foot back when the leader moves his left foot forward on the first beat. 
4.  Continue following the directions for the leader, but in reverse - stepping back with your left foot when he steps forward with his right. 


Internet Movie Database
Plot Summary for
Urban Cowboy (1980)
Bud Davis is a country boy who moves to the city to visit his uncle. He starts hanging out at Gilley’s, owned by Mickey Gilley himself. He takes a job at the refinery where his uncle works. He also meets Sissy, a cowgirl, and they fall in love and suddenly get married. And then their marriage is shattered when Bud sees Sissy allegedly seeing con man Wes, who teaches her how to ride the mechanical bull...and plans to rob Gilley’s. When a bull-riding contest is announced, Bud decides to sign up. Can he win the contest and save his marriage to Sissy?
Summary written by watzdabigdeal {watzdabigdeal@aol.com}

5 August 1951, Santa Fe (NM) New Mexican, section B, pg. 2:
Square Dance Jamboree In
Las Vegas Draws Champions
(...)
The Lazy Eight set from Los Alamos, which just missed being the adult amateur champions, will exhibit their fine teamwork featuring the Texas Two-Step style

10 August 1951, Santa Fe (NM) New Mexican, pg. 3:
...Texas two-step in all their figures which gives them…
(The text in this photo caption is partly illegible. It’s again about the square dance jamboree and the Lazy Eight of Los Alamos—ed.)

21 May 1976, Las Cruces (NM) Sun-News, “Shakespeare Goes Rock Ballet,” pg. 24: 
HOUSTON (UPI)—Choreographer James Clouser, for many years enchanted by Caliban in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” pondered how the classic could be translated into ballet.

It was not until he came to Texas and experienced such earthy dance routines as “The Cotton-Eyed Joe,” and the “Texas Two-Step” that he put it all together in the rock ballet “Caliban.”

20 June 1978, New York (NY) Times, “The Urban Cowboy, 1978 Style” by William K. Stevens, pg. C1:
If Texas chic is noticeable in New York, it is positively pervasive in Houston. Cowboy hats and boots, Lone Star belt buckles and Levis are in. Bankers and bank clerks, computer programmers and secretaries, truck drivers and refinery workers flock to such spots as Gilley’s or Fool’s Gold to drink beer out of long-necked bottles and dance the Cotton-eyed Joe or Texas two-step, a controlled, old-fashioned country dance of considerable grace and elegance.

6 January 1980, Los Angeles (CA) Times “Travolta’s Biggest Fan: His Director” by Roderick Mann, pg. P27:
For this story (The film Urban Cowboy—ed.) of the Texas oil-rig men who crowd into Gilley’s Bar in Pasadena, near Houston, to impress themselves and their girlfriends by riding the bar’s mechanical bull intrigued him hugely.
(...)
“There was always a lot of dancing in the story—things like the Texas Two-Step and Cotton-eyed Joe which they do on the floor of Gilley’s.”

30 March 1980, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pg. 14:
The two-step is danced at Gilley’s, but the virtual anthem of the urban cowboy is a song and dance called “Cotton-eyed Joe,” a square dance maneuver in which the participants link arms and shout the refrain “Bull ----!”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, August 06, 2006 • Permalink