Two-step down to the Calgary Stampede Dance: Country lessons offered in Okotoks
By: Jenica Foster Posted: Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 06:00 am
Quick, quick, slow, slow. Quick, quick, slow, slow. That's the pattern of the famous two-step that is about to take over southern Alberta in 17 days with the arrival of the annual Calgary Stampede.
Wherever there's some country music, people can be found two-stepping and line dancing to the latest hits and the golden oldies.
"Ladies love dancing," said Dale Tosczak, owner of ACDA Dance Studio. "So if you are a guy and you love dancing you're going to be keeping the ladies happy."
Tosczak is operating a two-step and line dance class out of the Foothills Composite High School in Okotoks every Wednesday until July 10. He said if people know how to two-step, it will allow them to get out on the floor during corporate events and have a little bit more fun.
"We have a chance of learning how to dance or sitting at a table drinking beer watching other people dance," he said. "Personally, dancing sounds a lot better than getting drunk and getting into a fight."
The two-step wasn't always seen as a hillbilly dance. It originated out of the more sophisticated and regal foxtrot. The dance first became popular when composer John Philip Sousa wrote the "Washington Post March" in 1889, to which the two-step was danced. From there, the dance becamemainstream through movies like Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta.
Two-step originated out of Texas, which is another reason why it is associated with the wild west.
There are actually nine different country dances, Tosczak said, which include the two-step, polka, triple two-step, double shuffle, cha cha, nightclub, waltz, east coast swing and west coast swing as set out by the United Country Western Dance Council. He said many of these dances have been modified from traditional ballroom to become country.
Helen Rees decided to learn two-step as a way of enjoying a date night with her husband.
"Lot's of parents realize they haven't done much for themselves for quite a long time so dancing is a good thing to start with," Rees said.
We live in a world where it is easy to stay at home and relax on the couch, but she said dancing is a good way to develop a social life. She said people won't be as shy to get out on the dance floor and meet people once they have the confidence that comes with learning to dance.
Rees has also got her friends Karen Humbly and Coenraad Pool involved with ACDA Dance.
"My mouth dropped open when Coenraad said he wanted to do it," Humbly said.
Since starting in February, Humbly said she has learned patience because dancing makes her work with her partner and increased her confidence.
Tosczak will be teaching a new line dance every week until July 10 at the Foothills Composite High School. Drop-in fee is $10. However, the two-step classes build from week to week, so interested people must register with Dale Tosczak or Amanda Fleet at 403-512-7013. All ages are welcome and no partner is required.