Triple two step is also called double two step and it’s also called the shuffle or the Fort Worth shuffle. The footwork timing is often called out as triple step, triple step, walk, walk. The triple two step 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.The Dance Store sells a great instructional video on Triple Two Step.
The footwork timing is often called out as triple step, triple step, walk, walk. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, the footwork timing is generally called out as shuffle, shuffle, walk, walk. In brief, the timing for the basic step is similar to the timing for the basic step in east coast swing
. Counting by the numbers, this timing is often called out as 1&2, 3&4, 5,6. The triple two step 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. Polka music is fully suitable for dancing the triple two step. In fact, in Texas, most dancers will always choose to dance the triple two step in place of the polka when polka music is playing. Though polka music is suitable, slow country swing music written in 4/4 time in the tempo range of 116 to 156 beats per minute is considered to be the most appropriate style of music for this dance.
The basic step consists of a progressive triple step, followed by another progressive triple step, followed by two walking steps. A triple step is three weight changes made within two beats of music. The triple step is usually counted 1&2. The walking steps consume one beat of music each. Thus eight weight changes, consuming a total of six beats of music are required to complete one full basic step. In competitions, the dance is generally defined as follows: “Couples must maintain a progressive step pattern that uses six beats of music and includes two triple steps, followed by two one-count walking steps.” The feet pass rather than close during the walking steps. During the “&” count of the triple step, the feet close rather than pass.
The Character of the Triple Two Step
Compared to swing dancing, triple two step has much less lilt. Instead, it’s essentially a smooth dance in spite of the fact that it uses swing style footwork timing. The popular figures of triple two step borrow both from swing and from the two step. In fact, many two step figures are easily converted to triple two step by replacing each slow step with a triple step, and by replacing each quick step with a one beat walking step. Many triple two step figures can also be danced in the polka.
Like the regular two step, triple two step is driving, and exciting. The popular patterns require that you constantly change positions with your partner. Many figures are designed around there being a left track and a right track. In figures such as the weave, the partners criss-cross, alternately changing from one track to the other. Popular basic figures include weaves, lariats, pretzels, ducts, tunnels, and free spins.
Frame and posture are very important. A common problem among leaders is to allow the arms to soften and to droop. Maintaining frame and connection is also important for the lady. The lady should always dance into the man’s right hand and provide equal resistance in the connection to the man’s left hand. Ladies, a mistake is to lose contact with the heel of the man’s right hand or to allow arms to ever collapse.
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The Triple Two Step can be danced to country-western polka music or to country swing music in the tempo range 116 to 156 beats/minute. Since this is a “niche,” regional dance, there are no music CD’s dedicated to this type of music.
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The triple two step was mainly developed in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas. The dance was greatly modified, starting in the 1970’s. Today, it is danced in country-western dance competitions.
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Unlike polka, triple two step should not have bounce and lilt.
Here are some "universal tips" for learning how to dance a partner dance such as polka.
- First, acquire a few audio CD's of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automoble. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. If necessary, have your instructor assist you in learning to count the step in time to the music. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this "sitting down and listening" exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music. The Ultimate Ballroom Practice CD sold by The Dance Store might be a helpful
- Next, practice the basic step, including the step timing, until the step is automatic - like tying a shoe. Using east coast swing as an example, practice the triple step, triple step, rock step basic until it's automatic. Next, practice this basic to music until it becomes automatic. Many basic steps can be practiced without a partner.
At this point, your brain is "freed up" to allow learning steps and patterns because you no longer have to concentrate on timing and step counting.
Many folks get frustrated if they can't dance competently immediately. Certainly individuals vary in dance aptitude, but all dancers must go through the awkward stages before they get to the polished stage.
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