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The Texas Two-step is the most common dance you'll see in a country-western bar, and that's with good reason. The two-step is among the most fun ballroom dances in the country, both to watch and to dance. Unlike place dances (such as the jitterbug, which is also danced to country music), the two-step moves around the floor in a full circle. When two-stepping, you'll cover the entire room as you spin and twirl with your partner.

Work on your rhythm

If you don't already have good rhythm, you'll have to practice counting and tapping beats to get it down. Although many people are convinced that they have "no rhythm," almost everyone can learn good rhythm with just a little bit of effort.

Counting the beat

Although the two-step is danced to a four count beat, only three counts are actually stepped in the dance, then the pattern is repeated. So, instead of counting all four beats: one, two, three, four; one, two…, you should count only three: one, two, three; one, two…. Keep in mind that this does not change the music, in the least. All this recount will do is adjust your step.

Learning the basic pattern

The basic, or set of steps for the two-step is very easy to learn. Start without music, so that you can concentrate on your feet. Do not look at your feet, just think about what they're doing. For men, the first step will be left foot forward. For women, it will be right foot backward. The next step will be right foot forward (left foot backward for women). Finally, the next two-steps (here's where the name comes from), will be fast steps. Take a very small left and then right step in the same amount of time it took you to take a full step forward earlier. Although your second step should go past the first foot (just as when you're walking), the second quick step (fourth step over all) should not pass the first. You should step to about half-way up your first foot.
So, the step will be: left, right, left/right…left, right, left/right…left, right, left/right. The first two steps are full steps, the second two are quick steps, which will not move far. Practice walking around the room or a yard this way. You may feel a bit foolish, but this is how you get comfortable with the step.

Add some music

Country-western music is not actually required for the two-step (any four count will do), but it is recommended. At the least, it will put you in the right mood. Also, the beats are generally very easy to recognize. Count along with the beat, as you learned in step one, then add the step to it. On count one, take your first step; on count two, take your second step; on count three, take both of your quick steps. Do you see why we needed to adjust our counting a bit? Go back to dancing in a circle around the room.

Switch directions

Men, start dancing around the room backward now, while the women should try going forward. Do not switch your lead step, though; men should still take their first steps with their left legs and women should still take their first steps with their right legs. All we are doing here is getting used to going in the opposite direction so that you can turn around while you are dancing.

Add your partner

It's now time to try dancing with a partner. Men, stand in front of the women and just a little to the left. That way, you won't step on their toes. Quite understandably, women hate it when men step on them. Now, put out your left hand. Ladies, take his left hand with your right. The man's hand should be on bottom. While you should not grip too tightly, you should use enough arm pressure to be able to feel what your partner is doing. Limp arms make dancing very difficult.
Men, put your right arm around her and place your hand upon her shoulder blade. Do not hold on lower than this, or you will be unable to lead effectively. Almost all of your lead should come from this hand, unless you are twirling her on the other. Ladies, put your arm on his right shoulder. In order for a couple to dance well together, the man should be pulling her gently toward him with his right hand, while she pushes gently away with her left. Stand as close together as makes you feel comfortable, but be aware that dancing too close is a bit difficult for a beginner.
Never watch your feet. Always keep your head up and your eyes looking forward. While it is nice to make frequent eye-contact beware of boring a hole in your partner's head by staring at him or her.

Start dancing

With your partner, dance around the available circle. If you'd like to practice dancing in the opposite direction, either stop and reverse or take a quarter turn on each of your first two steps. This will leave you dancing in the other direction. In social setting, it is never appropriate to stop and reverse, doing so will cause a collision with other dancers.

Learn something new

When you're comfortable with the basic step, try doing a full pirouette with your partner. Turn a quarter on each of your first two steps, and then pull a very fast half turn on your quick steps. Keep your head up and your eyes focused on something straight ahead. When you get used to it, do several turns consecutively. There are also several other positions, in which the two-step can be danced. Watching others dance will make these quite obvious. Asking someone will almost always result in good advice in learning new tricks.

Get out there and dance

Have yourself a good time on the dance floor. The two-step is a wonderful dance and will give you plenty of fun with any number of partners. Go out and dance. Don't feel like you don't know enough, because everyone who knows a lot learned by going out and getting started. Remember that dancing is fun and the Texas Two-step is no exception!

Let's recap:
1) Work on your rhythm
2) Learn the two-step count
3) Learn the basic pattern
4) Add some music
5) Try switching directions
6) Add a partner
7) Go dancing!