Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Clint Black
Cover of Clint Black
What is the difference between Nightclub Two-Step and Country-Western Two-step? And, what’s up with the Country-Western Triple Two-Step

They are all fun dances, but sometimes I get them mixed up - too many two-steps!

I have been exposed to all three at one time or another at previous Aspen Community Social Dance events, but with my still-limited dancing experience, I found it challenging to remember the differences.

Fortunately, the last two Aspen Community Social Dances featured two-step lessons.  In May, we learned the Nightclub Two-Step, and this past Saturday we were taught the Country-Western Two-Step and were given the opportunity to go over the Country-Western Triple Two-Step. 

We were reminded that the Country-Western Two-Step and Triple Two-Step are progressive dances, meaning that couples travel counter clockwise around the dance floor’s edge, while the Nightclub Two-Step is danced primarily without “traveling”. I was still a little confused as to which of these to use for a particular song (they all rely mostly on a 4/4 signature), but it seems that the tempo and feel or mood of the music dictates the appropriate style. 

What I Think I’ve Learned About The Basics of The Two-Step Dance Varieties 

The Nightclub Two-Step (also, Disco Two-Step or California Two-Step), whose development in the 1960’s is attributed to Buddy Schwimmer, is “frequently danced to mid-tempo ballads in 4/4 time that have a characteristic Quick-Quick-Slow beat. A classic example is the song Lady In Red.” -  

The Country-Western Two-Step (often called the Texas Two-Step), which consists of a Quick-Quick-Slow-Slow pattern, is usually danced to a faster-tempo country music beat found in songs such as Clint Black’s “Better Man” -

The Triple Two-Step (also known as the Double Two-Step?) is generally danced to slower music and consists of a Triple Step – Triple Step – Slow – Slow pattern.  Here’s a helpful Triple Two-Step instruction video:

The Aspen Community Social Dance June Event

Once again, the Aspen Community Social Dance provided a great opportunity to learn new dance steps and was a lot of fun.

Although we were not able to make it to the Triple Two-Step session, the Country-Western Two-Step instruction was fantastic, and we remembered our previous Nightclub Two-Step and Triple Two-Step lessons well enough to practice them when the appropriate music was played.

I now no longer feel like I have two left feet, and I also do not feel like there are too many two-steps.


  1. Hey Rich, I think you'll like the October Aspen Community Social Dance. We have live music, the Caleb Dean Band, and you'll be able to practice your two steps, triple steps, cha chas, etc. Spread the word? More details on

  2. We'd love too, but we'll be out of town that weekend. We have been and will continue to spread the word, though!