Rhythm 2-Step Basics

(Using 6 and 8 Beat Patterns plus Extensions)

Lesson Plan
by
H. Leon Raper

Let me say at the very beginning that Rhythm 2-Step (AKA: Arizona 2-Step) is a very fun dance. It is exciting to watch and has a great many Step Patterns. It even progresses on to a more exciting style referred to as "Half Time" (a definite misnomer). I enjoy doing these dances myself.

Rhythm 2-Step is normally done in a side-to-side fashion. The downside is that if a student is taught Rhythm 2-Step first, they will develop some very bad habits that will severely hamper their ability to go on to other forms of dance.

To prevent bad habits from being formed, I teach Rhythm 2-Step as though it were Progressive 2-Step - including 6 and 8 beat step patterns as are allowed under UCWDC Progressive 2-Step rules. Then I teach the students how to stop the patterns (in-place, non-progressive) on the next to last or last lesson of a 4 or 6 week lesson series.

All of the following Step Patterns can be stopped and done in place as Rhythm 2-Step is normally done.



Table of Contents

HELP




LESSON SEQUENCE 1

CPB, Movement, Foot Positions, Frame

DEFINITIONS

CPB: Solar Plexus.
Movement: Move your "CPB".
Foot Positions:
   1st Foot Position: Feet together.
   2nd Foot Position: Feet about shoulder's width apart.
   4th Foot Position: Walking
Frame: Is the means of connecting the CPB of the Leader to the CPB of the Follower.
   Open Position (Two Hand Lead):
      Body Positions: Facing each other about one arms length apart.
      Arms: Upper Arms down with Lower Arms extended forward.
      Elbows: Just forward of center of rib cage.
      M Hands: Cupped inward.
      M-Thumbs: Rest on top of W: Hands, but don't press hard.
      W Hands: over top of Mans.

2nd & 1st Foot Positions - Music

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards: 2 Single Rhythm Unit Cards.

SETUP

Frame: Open Position - 2 Hand Lead - Stand Tall.
M: Starts with Lt Foot - Stepping Lt in 2nd Foot Position.
W: Starts with Rt Foot - Stepping Rt in 2nd Foot Position.

PATTERN

         &a1  &a2    &a3  &a4
        [  X    /]  [  X    /]
M:Foot     L    R      R    L
M:Dir      S    T      S    T
M:Pos      2    1      2    1


W:Foot     R    L      L    R
W:Dir      S    T      S    T
W:Pos      2    1      2    1

Verbal: [Side Touch] [Side Touch]

IMPORTANT POINTS

2nd and 1st Foot Positions.
Drive CPB, your Feet will Follow.
Count [&a1 &a2] [&a3 &a4]

Forward & Back, 4th & 1st Foot Positions - Music

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards: 2 Single Rhythm Unit Cards.

SETUP

Frame: Open Position - 2 Hand Lead - Stand Tall.
M: Starts with Lt Foot - Stepping Forward in 4th Foot Position.
W: Starts with Rt Foot - Stepping Back in 4th Foot Position.

PATTERN

         &a1  &a2    &a3  &a4
        [  X    /]  [  X    /]
M:Foot     L    R      R    L
M:Dir      F    T      B    T
M:Pos      4    1      4    1


W:Foot     R    L      L    R
W:Dir      B    T      F    T
W:Pos      4    1      4    1


Verbal: [step touch][step touch]

IMPORTANT POINTS

4th and 1st Foot Positions.
Drive CPB, your Feet will Follow.
Count [&a1 &a2] [&a3 &a4]



LESSON SEQUENCE 2

(LOD, Etiquette, Sending Foot, Receiving Foot, Unit Foot)

DEFINITIONS

LOD
"Counter Clockwise" around the outside of the dance floor.
Etiquette
Be courteous, don't bump into people - apologize if you do accidentally bump into someone. Also, remember that in night clubs the non-dancers have as much right on the floor as trained dancers (and they don't know how to use floor space efficiently).
Press
Press the ball of the foot down into the floor in order to move the CPB in the desired direction.
Sending Foot & Receiving Foot
The "Sending Foot" sends the CPB to the "Receiving Foot"
Unit Foot:
Odd Rhythm Units: Place CPB over Unit Foot.
Even Rhythm Units: Placement of CPB varies.

LOD in 4th Foot Position, Sending & Receiving Foot - Music

SETUP

Frame: Open Position - 2 Hand Lead - Stand Tall.
M: starts Fwd with Lt foot - stepping directly into lady.
W: starts Bk with Rt foot.
Footwork: Foot brushes floor on beats 4 and 6 in 1st foot position (sandpaper the floor).

PATTERN

         &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6
        [  X    X] [  X    /] [  X    /]
M:Foot     L    R     L    R     R    L 
M:Dir      F    F     F    T     F    T
M:Pos      4    4     4    1     4    1


W:Foot     R    L     R    L     L    R
W:Dir      B    B     B    T     B    T
W:Pos      4    4     4    1     4    1
Verbal: [quick quick] [slow       ] [slow      ]
Verbal: [step  step ] [step  brush] [step brush]

IMPORTANT POINTS

Listen to music.
Don't watch feet.
Drive CPB from "Sending Foot" to "Receiving Foot".
All students say either verbal outloud



LESSON SEQUENCE 3

(Resistance, Lead & Follow)

DEFINITIONS

Resistance

Active Resistance: During Lead - Notable Compression or Tension

Passive: During Follow - Slight Compression or Tension - transferred from the CPB of the Leader to the CPB of the Follower.

Lead & Follow (Action & Reaction)

Lead (Action): Man leads from CPB (not arms).

Follow (Reaction): Woman follows from CPB (no spaghetti arms).

General Info: There must always be some form of resistance between partners which will be either Active or Passive. Arms can not be allowed to just hang there lifeless. When the man moves the woman's arms, the woman's body must respond in the direction of the movement - that is, her body must move, not just her arms. Caution: Stiff Arms or a Stiff Body are not proper Resistance techniques.


Resistance - Stationary Position - Music

The purpose of this lesson is to help the students get the feeling of Compression Resistance. They will compress toward each other then away from each other without losing hand contact. It is not just lean in, then hit the partner's hand and push away. It is a smooth motion that compresses toward each other then away from each other. This exercise will be done to music so both dancers can learn to react equally in time with the music. A music tempo of about 100-110 bpm is good for this exercise.

DEFINITION

"&a3": Compression Resistance - CPB's move toward each other.
"&a4": Compression Resistance - CBP's move away from each other.


SETUP

Frame: Open Position - 2-Hand Lead - Hands Up, Palm to Palm.
M & W: Standing on both feet.

PATTERN

   &a1   &a2   &a3      &a4		
  [..count..] [..exercise..]


Verbal: [&a1 &a2] [&-a-in  &-a-out]



LESSON SEQUENCE 4

(Closed Position Frame)

DEFINITIONS

Posture: Pulling your muscles into your CPB will help accomplish all of the following.

Stand Erect.
Eyes Level (don't look up or down).
Buttox tucked in.

Frame - Closed Position:

Body Positions: Directly facing each other.

Man's Lt & Woman's Rt. Hand: Palm to palm, at about the chin level of the shorter person.

Man's Rt Hand: On woman's back just below her Lt shoulder blade with his finger tips just about touching her spine.

Woman's Lt Hand: On top of man's right shoulder or on man's upper right arm - subject to preference.

Arms:

Rt. Arm bowed.
W: Rt. Arm on top of M: Lt Arm, but the woman must not press down onto M: Lt Arm.


Frame, 4th Foot Position in LOD - Music

SETUP

Frame: Closed Position in LOD.
Stand Tall.
M: starts Fwd with Lt Foot - stepping directly into lady.
W: starts Bk with Rt Foot. 

PATTERN

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6
           [  X     X]  [  X     /]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        L     R      L            R
M:Dir         F     F      F     T      F     T
M:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     1


W:Foot        R     L      R            L
W:Dir         B     B      B     T      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     1

Verbal: [quick quick] [slow ] [slow ]

IMPORTANT POINTS

Down LOD in 4th Foot Position.
Double Tracking.
Resistance



LESSON SEQUENCE 5 - TURN TECHNIQUE

(Flashlight, FFF, Spotting, Pivot)

DEFINITIONS

Cross
A foot position that places the free foot in front of, and over the weighted foot.
Hook
A foot position where the "hooking foot" (free foot) goes behind the weighted foot and positions itself next to the outside arch of the weighted foot.
Flashlight
Protruding forward from your CPB.
FFF
Feet Follow Frame - The frame leads and the feet follow.
Pivot
Turn Flashlight " turn" (180 degrees) in the direction of the "Forward Foot" - Inner Thighs together in turns.
Spotting
The head stays facing one direction while the flashlight turns. When the head can no longer maintain its position, then it moves instantaneously in the direction of the turn coming around to the original spot, or to a new spot - depending on whether it is a full turn (360 degrees) or a pivot ( turn - 180 degrees).

Rt Turn (CW) - Absolute Pattern
Developing FFF - Stopping - No Music

For this exercise, the Man and Woman will both do the Woman's Absolute Step Pattern with their back to LOD. The pattern will be stopped at different points so the students can make sure they are executing each pattern element correctly. The students will start by stepping back on their Left Foot on the "&a6" counts prior to this pattern so the students can make sure they have their Right Foot Forward. This will help them get use to the concept of turning in the direction of the Forward Foot.

SETUP

M & W facing Back to LOD.
M & W start with Rt Foot Free.
M & W will do the same step pattern.
Single Tracking - on same line.

PATTERN (ABSOLUTE)

        &a5   &a6   &a1    &a2
       [  X     /] [  X     X]
Foot      L           R     L
Dir       B           F     B
Fpos      4           4     4
Turn             1/2Rt>1/2Rt>


Verbal:
Setup...... [&a5 &a6] ... stop prior to executing pattern.
Pattern.... [&a1 &a2] ... 

The following are examples of what happens on every dance count - prior to entering the turn and during execution of the turn. Have the students stop at each point to make sure they are executing each element correctly.

Pattern Setup- "&a6"Pattern Setup
Step "straight back" with Lt Foot - 4th Foot Position (do not turn body or foot). This is a preparatory step for entry into the following Step Pattern.
"&"
turn Rt (CW) with Flashlight - Spotting.
Allow the Rt foot to follow into a Cross in front of the Lt foot. Keep inner thighs together.
"a"
Left Rt Foot getting ready to step forward on count 1.
"1"
Step "straight forward" with Rt Foot - 4th Foot Position (do not turn body or foot).
"&"
turn Rt (CW) with Flashlight - Spotting.
Allow the Lt foot to follow into a Hook behind the Rt foot. Keep inner thighs together.
"a"
Left Lt Foot getting ready to step back on count 2.
"2"
Step "straight back" with the Lt Foot - 4th Foot Position.

IMPORTANT POINTS

Single Tracking - on same line.
Press into turns.
Monitor full  turn with Flashlight (Spotting)
Count [&a1 &a2]

Rt Turn (CW) - Absolute Pattern
Without Stopping - No Music

SETUP

M & W facing Back to LOD.
M & W start with Rt Foot Free.
M & W will do the same step pattern.
Single Tracking - on same line.

PATTERN (ABSOLUTE)

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6
           [  X     X]  [  X     /]  [  X     /]
Foot          R     L      R            L
Dir           F     B      B     T      B     T
Fpos          4     4      4     1      4     1
Turn     1/2Rt>1/2Rt>


Verbal: [&a1 &a2] [&-a-slow &-a-brush] [&-a-slow &-a-brush]
"&a1"
turn Rt on "&" count - Spotting.
Allow the Rt foot to follow into a Cross in front of the Lt foot.
Step Forward with Rt Foot - 4th Foot Position
"&a2"
turn Rt on "&" count - Spotting.
Allow the Lt foot to follow into a Hook behind the Rt foot.
Step Back with the Lt Foot - 4th Foot Position.
"&a3"
Slow
"&a4"
Brush
"&a5"
Slow
"&a6"
Brush

IMPORTANT POINTS

Single Tracking - on same line.
Press into turns.
Full  turns with Flashlight - Spotting.
Keep Inner Thighs together in turns.
Count outloud.



LESSON SEQUENCE 6

(Basic Step Patterns 1)

All of the following Step Patterns will be executed in LOD


W: Rt Turn (CW)
AKA: Underarm Turn or Outside Turn
6 Beat Step Pattern

This exercise is a Woman's Right Turn (CW) and is executed in LOD. The man leads with his Left Hand (M:Lh). His lead must start "up" on the "&a" counts prior to count "1". The Woman must complete a 1/2 Rt Turn (CW) and have her weight transferred to her Right Foot on count "1". The woman must also complete another 1/2 Right Turn (CW) and have her weight transferred to her Left Foot on count "2". Her CPB must be over her weighted foot on counts "1" and "2". The Man's Left Hand will then come down to normal position by count "3" (the first Slow) thereby allowing him to step into Closed Position Frame by count "5" (the second Slow). Throughout this process the Man's Left Hand moves up and back down in an arc in LOD without moving from side to side. Any movement of the Man's hand out of LOD will throw the Woman off balance. The man is not to assist (or crank) the Woman in her turn. The Woman is to execute the turn under her own power. The dancers must not grab each others hand. The Man's fingers of his Left Hand should be pointed down which will allow the Woman's hand to turn against his fingers without a grasp by either dancer.

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards: Double, Single, Single

SETUP

Frame: Closed Position

PATTERN

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6
           [  X     X]  [  X     /]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        L     R      L            R
M:Dir         F     F      F     T      F     T
M:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     1


W:Foot        R     L      R            L
W:Dir         F     B      B     T      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     1
W:Turn   1/2Rt>1/2Rt>

Verbal: [Quick Quick] [Slow ] [Slow ]

IMPORTANT POINTS

Man
Man starts his left hand lead (M:Lh) up and forward in LOD on the "&" of "&a1".
The man's Lh lead goes up in an arc and forward in LOD (not going to either side) and returns to normal dance position on the first "slow" (count "3").
The woman does not crank the woman in the turn.
Woman
Woman does 1/2 Rt Turn (CW) on counts "&a" and steps forward into LOD on count "1".
Woman continues with another 1/2 Rt Turn (CW) on counts "&a" and steps back into LOD on count "2".
The woman does the turn under her own power.
Man & Woman
Repeat Verbal outloud - [Quick Quick] [Slow ] [Slow ]

W:Double Rt Turn (CW)
AKA: Double Underarm Turn or Double Outside Turn
8 Beat Step Pattern

This exercise is a Woman's Double Right Turn (CW) and is executed in LOD. To execute a W:Double Right Turn (CW) we are going to insert a Double Rhythm Unit Extension after count "2" which makes this an 8 beat Step Pattern. As with the Womans single Rt Turn (CW), the man starts his Lh lead up on the "&a" prior to count "1" continues with his Lh up moving in LOD until count "4", after which the Man's Left Hand will then come down to normal position by count "5" (the first Slow) thereby allowing him to step into Closed Position Frame by count "7" (the second Slow). The Woman's weight must be changed and her CPB must be over her weighted foot on each beat count.

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards: Double, Double, Single, Single

SETUP

Frame: Closed Position

PATTERN

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6    &a7   &a8
           [  X     X]  [  X     X]  [  X     /]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        L     R      L     R      L            R
M:Dir         F     F      F     F      F     T      F     T
M:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1      4     1


W:Foot        R     L      R     L      R            L
W:Dir         F     B      F     B      B     T      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1      4     1
W:Turn   1/2Rt>1/2Rt>.1/2Rt>1/2Rt>

Verbal: [Quick Quick] [Quick Quick] [Slow ] [Slow ]

IMPORTANT POINTS


W:Rt Turn (CW) followed by W:Lt Turn (CC)
8 Beat Step Pattern

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards: Double, Single, Double, Single

SETUP

Frame: Closed Position

PATTERN

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6    &a7   &a8
           [  X     X]  [  X     /]  [  X     X]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        L     R      L            R     L      R
M:Dir         F     F      F     T      F     F      F     T
M:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     4      4     1


W:Foot        R     L      R            L     R      L
W:Dir         F     B      B     T      F     B      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     1      4     4      4     1
W:Turn   1/2Rt>1/2Rt>              1/2Lt>1/2Lt>

Verbal: [Quick Quick] [Slow ] [Quick Quick] [Slow ]

IMPORTANT POINTS


W:Double Rt Turn (CW) followed by W:Double Lt Turn (CC)
12 Beat Step Pattern

DEMONSTRATE

Rhythm Unit Cards:
Double, Double, Single, Double, Double, Single

SETUP

Frame: Closed Position

FIRST HALF OF PATTERN - W:Double Rt Turn (CW)

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6
           [  X     X]  [  X     X]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        L     R      L     R      L     
M:Dir         F     F      F     F      F     T

M:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1


W:Foot        R     L      R     L      R     
W:Dir         F     B      F     B      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1
W:Turn   1/2Rt>1/2Rt>.1/2Rt>1/2Rt>

Verbal: [Quick Quick] [Quick Quick] [Slow ]

SECOND HALF OF PATTERN - W:Double Lt Turn (CC)

            &a1   &a2    &a3   &a4    &a5   &a6
           [  X     X]  [  X     X]  [  X     /]
M:Foot        R     L      R     L      R     
M:Dir         F     F      F     F      F     T
M:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1


W:Foot        L     R      L     R      L     
W:Dir         F     B      F     B      B     T
W:Pos         4     4      4     4      4     1
W:Turn   1/2Lt>1/2Lt>.1/2Lt>1/2Lt>

Verbal: [Quick Quick] [Quick Quick] [Slow ]


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