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
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
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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