The Washington Quick Step OR Washington's Quickstep

Source: Traditonal; published in English Dance & Song, May 1948, Volume XII, No. 2
Formation: Longways; Duple Minor; Proper or First Couples Improper

A1 Star Right; Star Left (Hands Across)
A2 #1s Lead Down the Middle, Turn Alone (if dance is Improper) OR Turn as a Couple (if dance is Proper)
#1s Lead Up, Assisted Cast into 2nd Place - either way the #1s should now be Improper
B1 Ladies' Chain x2
OR Four Changes of Rights & Lefts
OR Right & Left Through x2
B2 Long Lines go Forward & Back; Partner Swing
OR Partner Balance & Swing
For an Improper dance the #1s need to finish facing down. For a Proper dance eveyone needs to finish on their own side.

32 bars. Suggestions: Lady in the Boat, Bugle Horn, Rustic Jig.

A traditional dance, so lots of different versions! Another version was published by Ralph Page in Dixie Folk and Square Dance Institute in 1951 (page 38) and two versions in Northern Junket, Vol. 3, #12, p. 17-18 (April, 1953). He taught Washington's Quickstep at the 1954 Stockton (California) Folk Dance Camp, where he was on staff for many years. The SFDC's archives show the same wording as page 38 above.

You can also do the dance Proper, with Turn Alone in A2. Then the Right & Left Throughs in B1 are same-gender. This move, known as an Eyes-Only Right & Left Through is a very popular move in traditional American dances. You cross by the right, stand side by side and turn as a unit, just like a courtesy turn but with the only contact being the eyes, the left hand person going backwards, the right hand person going forwards. You can see an example in Queen Victoria.

This dance was also published in the Community Dance Manual. But in my copy it has "Improper" and "Turn as a Couple" which will make everyone Proper for the Ladies' Chain!

The EDS version is Proper, with "returns improper" to switch the #1s over. In this "Turn as a Couple" it is often left to the dancers to choose whether they do a Wheel Around or a California Twirl. This was probably originally a Wheel Around.

Original page from English Dance & Song, May 1948

The Washington Quick Step

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