Adapting C2S Moves to CW


Well-Known Member
I've often heard that you can use your Country Two Step (C2S) moves in Country Waltz (CW), but I'm still having a hard time working out the timing.

First, is there a simple straight-forward mapping of the six counts of C2S (or "QQSS" if you don't use counts) to the six counts of CW? Obviously, a simple 1-to-1 mapping would only work up to 3, since C2S holds on counts 4 and 6 and so you'd be on a different foot on 5 than you would be in CW.

I'm kind of looking there for some general ideas and concepts that I could use to reason my way through adapting a particular step. Figuring when to prep her is another thing I have to think through.

And if there's anything else you could suggest, I'd appreciate it.

Although CW is danced here, I have very rarely seen any lessons offered. For that matter, local studios have only recently started offering more C2S.

I've also had ballroom waltz and am currently in a silver-level group class. I have also been told I can adapt ballroom waltz moves, though I would think that I'd have to keep it simple. Seems like a whole different look and feel.


Active Member
The basic rule I was taught is the lady can only turn in the direction of the foot she is on. So as long as I am using normal footwork, I can only turn her the opposite direction from the foot I am on. That seems to work for converting all the inside and outside turns between dances. I'm sure there are other ways of describing the same concept, but that visual seemed to stick with me.

Everyone around me describes country waltz and American standard waltz as being very similar. The really good country waltz dancers I know tend to be pretty amazing ballroom waltzers as well.

As for directly converting 2-step patterns, I would think any of the QQS,QQS 2-step patterns would convert if you just make them larger instead of tighter? However, if you know silver ballroom patterns, I would lead what you already know and I bet it would go great.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
This is what I tell my partners -
Listen to the music and ALWAYS take your steps in time to the music. That's what I'll be doing.
When I lead a turn, or whatever, continue taking your steps. Don't worry about how fast you are supposed to be turning. I will still be there when you are done. You worry about your steps, and I'll guide your body.
Just keep going.

Now, you should by now have a feel for your partner's balance, and therefore which way she can turn.
If they've got a good, clean axis, and keep their steps on the small side, rather than the larger side, and are giving you enough feed back through the "frame" (in either a closed or "promenade" position), this should be easy to do.

"Prepping" for me means that you are at the same time testing to see if her balance is available for her to go in the direction you will send her when you next give the full lead.

For instance, you are in a promenade (or shadow or cape) position. (Where I am this position is quite common. Much let so in Texas.) You are going to move her right hand over her head, so that she will be moving her left shoulder back and her right shoulder forward, turning to the left.
If I can't fell her body swaying during the "prep" for this, which is again that small movement in that same direction, I know that there may be problems doing this smoothly. This also gets her attention that she may be turning that way very soon.

This approach concentrates more on lead follow skills rather than learning patterns. Then, rather than thinking about patterns, you think more about how you can move this way while she moves that way, and you can change hands here, etc.
But, you really have to pay attention to your partner and respond to what she is doing, or not doing.
Sometimes I'll start things and have no idea how it's going to end up.

Have you checked to see if any of the CW places in your area offer lessons?
They probably won't tell you it's about lead and follow, I'd be willing to bet. The level of instruction might not be vey high, but I know lots of "ballroom dance teachers" who can't even dance in time to the music. But you would get some idea what they local teachers teach.
In what I consider to be the "real world" of wanna be "honky tonks" or Country Western Dance Halls, CW is all pretty informal, I'd say.
For instance: Country Western dance + alcohol = good
To use 2 step moves in waltz you can break it down this way. The 123 steps in waltz are the same as the QQ steps and the 456 steps are the same as the SS steps.

For example, a basic pattern in 2 step is from closed position you turn the follower out to the left on the QQ, take the follower down the line of dance during the first S, bring the follower to a facing position on the second S, then spin the follower on the QQ back to a closed postion for the SS.

The same pattern in waltz would be from closed position you turn the follower out to the left on the 123, take the follower down the line of dance and bring the follower to a facing position on the 456 (you can use a step together step or grapevine on the 456), then spin the follower on the 123 back to a closed postion for the 456.

One thing to keep in mind is to take your time and slow everything down, the waltz is usually slower and you are using 3 steps instead of just two.

Using this technique you can use a lot of 2 step moves and patterns in Country Waltz.

Hope this was helpful.

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