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date: 28 January 2020

Two-step (Fr. deux temps)locked

  • Pauline Norton


(Fr. deux temps)

A fast ballroom dance of American origin. It became popular in the 1890s, particularly when danced to Sousa's The Washington Post (1889). It spread to Europe about 1900, and remained popular until replaced by the one-step and foxtrot shortly before World War I; indeed, the term ‘two-step’ was often used for the foxtrot in Europe during the 1910s. The steps, to a quick–quick–slow rhythm in each bar, were done with a gliding skip similar to that of the polka. The standard ballroom position with the man and woman facing each other was sometimes replaced by one in which the man stood behind and slightly to the left of his partner, who raised her hands above her shoulders to take his hands. The term also came to refer to the type of march to which the dance was originally performed, with a characteristic skipping rhythm in 6/8 and a light, springing melody. In addition to ...

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