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One Figure 

A Step is a movement of the foot from here to there. A Figure is a specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete, is often standardized, and is widely accepted and used as one component of a dance routine.

Slow Two Step, Triple Traveler

by Harold & Meredith Sears

Right now, this is the only phase-V figure in slow two step, and it is danced over three measures (SQQ; SQQ; SQQ). In left open facing position, the man facing line of dance (LOD), he steps forward left, shaping his upper body left-face (LF) and leading the lady into a left turn or inside roll. She will step back turning, side and forward turning, and forward turning under joined lead hands; and the man will continue fwd R, fwd L; following her. At the end of the first measure, we are more or less in left open position (LOP), both facing LOD, the man on the outside of the circle. This first measure is essentially a "left turn with inside roll," itself a standard, phase IV figure.

In the second measure, the man steps fwd R and spirals LF under joined lead hands, and then steps fwd L, fwd R. The lady simply dances fwd L, fwd R, fwd L; keeping up with her man. We are again in LOP.

In the third measure, he steps fwd L and moves the lead hands down and back, leading the lady into a right-face or outside roll. She will step fwd R turning, side L turning, and fwd R turning to face partner and wall. He steps fwd L, fwd R, and crosses L in front of R to face partner and COH. We have trail feet free. We usually follow the Triple Traveler with a Basic Ending. This is so common that, sometimes, a cuer will not cue the Basic Ending, pretending that the Triple Traveler is a four-measure figure. But it's not. We might follow the Triple Traveler with an Open Basic or a Lunge Basic, or maybe even a Fence Line toward LOD, if the choreographer wanted to be exotic and slip a little bolero into his or her slow two step. Once we get our lead feet free, we can dance the Triple Traveler toward RLOD, putting the man back on the inside of the circle -- the figure can certainly progress in either direction.

The standard figure begins with the man facing partner and line of progression, but often the preceding choreography has the man facing wall. For instance, we might be dancing a Basic (two measures) into a Triple Traveler. In this case, the cuer might add a "helper cue." We might hear, "Basic; Picking Up into; Triple Traveler." The cue "Picking Up" tells us to turn the second measure of the Basic and so helps us get into position for the Triple Traveler. If we don't get that helper cue, we might not prepare ourselves fully, but we can certainly dance the figure from DLW or even from wall. The lady's first step becomes fwd R spiraling LF. Then she completes her turn to face LOD during her next two steps as before. The man simply curves his three steps 1/4 LF. Actually, I like the symmetry of this modification: the lady dances a step/spiral on the first step of the first measure, and the man dances a step/spiral on the first step of the second measure.

One final observation: the Triple Traveler is not the same as a Triple Travel With Roll. The latter is a totally different, west coast swing figure.

Published in Dixie Round Dance Association (DRDC) Newsletter, June 2013.


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