Cowboy Dancing and a Give Away!

When different people and cultures came to America, they didn’t have a lot in common with each other because they were so different. But one thing that brought people together was dancing. Different dances came to this country over the years and by the time we get to those occupied by the cowboy, there were quite a few. But our beloved cowboys didn’t have to be well educated in the latest dances of the day to have a good time. They managed quite well with a few caveats.
After long hours in the saddle, cowboys weren’t exactly the stuff of ballet dancers. They moved stiffly. Add to that the fact most cowboys weren’t very interested in learning new dance steps or giving up the time it took to do so. No, he was happy to jump into a dance without so much as taking his hat off or gun belt. One observer commented in 1873, that “some punchers danced like a bear ’round a beehive that was afraid of getting stung. Others didn’t seem to know how to handle a calico, and got as rough as they do handlin’ cattle in brandin’ pens.” And yeah, in case you’re wondering what a “calico” is, it’s a woman.

Of course, not all cowboys did this. There were those that did take the time to learn dances so they could better court a young lady. There was the minuet, cotillion, pattern dances, and courtly processions. When the Polka came west it was thought to be great fun! And folks gathered just about anywhere to dance — on ranches, in barns, in the wide-open spaces under the stars. Slowly a dance that was specifically “western” began to evolve.

To prevent chaos from dominating the dance floor (not everyone knew the same steps), someone had to call out steps to keep everyone from tripping over each other. This hero was the caller and it was his job to orchestrate the crowd into harmonious movement. And the rest is history on that development!

I’ve written quite a few books that have dances in them. My fictional town of Nowhere in Washington has it’s annual Christmas and Valentine dance. There are barn dances in my town of Clear Creek, and of course, the big Fourth of July Celebration in my town of Independence. In fact, dancing has been such a big part of storytelling, I can’t begin to tell you how many dances I’ve written into my books!

For any ebook of mine of your choice, tell me if you like to dance (or not) and how long its been since you’ve danced. For me, it was last summer in New York at a writer’s conference.

Kit Morgan
Kit Morgan is the author of over 100 books of historical and contemporary western romance! Her stories are fun, sweet stories full of love, laughter, and just a little bit of mayhem! Kit creates her stories in her little log cabin in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. An avid reader and knitter, when not writing, she can be found with either a book or a pair of knitting needles in her hands! Oh, and the occasional smidge of chocolate!
Updated: June 22, 2020 — 3:30 pm

50 Comments

  1. I my younger days, before marriage, my friends and I went out dancing a lot.

    The last time I danced was at my oldest son’s wedding.

    1. Oh wow, I think the last wedding I danced at was … hmmm, my own? Gads, Denise, it’s been so long I can’t remember!

  2. Good morning Kit. I love to dance and have my entire life. My parents taught me at a young age. Two step, waltz, jitterbug, cotton eyed joe, and shuffle. In college as a fun easy elective I took dancing and they taught us how to square dance. Tha was so much fun.
    My husband is a great dancer, we’ve danced here in the house, last time was a year ago when we were remodeling. I dance with my dog all the time. I pick her up and we will dance around the living room. She thinks it’s a hoot. My hubby just laughs at our fun antics.

    1. I’ve always wanted to learn a lot of different dances but never seem to have the time. I did have square dancing in highschool as part of PE. Everyone hated it! Ha! It meant you had to hold hands with boys and look ridiculous. Now I look back and think, wow, with a different attitude we could have really enjoyed ourselves!

  3. I not much of a dancer, mainly because I don’t really know how . The last time I danced was here at home my hubs will take a spell and want to dance around the living room or kitchen. He loves music and puts some on every evening. I am sure if someone looked in our windows he/she would get a big laugh out off us trying to dance.
    Love and Hugs to you Kit!

    1. I think it romnatic to dance with your hubs in the eveing.

  4. I love dancing group dances,like the Virginia Reel.

    1. I do love historical dances. The last one I learned and danced was at the Historical Romance Retreat back in 2016. What fun! It was a Regency era dance.

  5. I am not a dancer. I do not know how. I wanted to learn when I was younger, but wasn’t allowed to take lessons. My husband has no interest in dancing, so taking lessons now is out of the question.

    1. Years ago I took some lessons with another family that was taking them. My dance partner was their teenage son. That was a hoot! Now a days about the only dancing I get is dance work-out dvd’s, Janine. Which can be fun too.

      1. I never thought about dvd’s. That’s an idea.

  6. I am not much of a dancer. It doesn’t help much when your husband shows no interest in dancing at all. He would rather set in front of the TV all day long.

    1. Yes, I’m hearing a lot of that in the comments about hubbies not wanting to dance. Sigh. But, like I mentioned in one of the comments, dance workout dvd’s are great!

  7. I’ve never been dancing. I’d like to go line dancing, but haven’t. I’m not really that coordinated, either! I love to watch others dance, though! If I had a partner, I’d do square dancing!

    1. Oh, I’m with you Trudy. I’ve always wanted to try line dancing but am afraid of tripping over my own two feet. In one of my books under my other pen name, my time traveling 17th century Scotsman witnesses line dancing in a western bar in the 20th century and is horrified by it.

      1. Oh, I bet that’s a great scene!! I have a cousin that did clogging, and was very good. I’d be very tempted to try if I had a partner! I have friends that used to do square dancing, too. I loved doing it in school!

        1. Clogging? Now that’s interesting.

  8. Avatar

    I always loved to dance but it’s been awhile since I went to a dance. Now, dancin’ in my kitchen… that’s another story!

    1. Well there you go, Connie! You can dance anywhere in your house!

  9. Well it was at the last wedding we attended sometime last year – we didn’t dance at Wedding we attended on Saturday due to the virus and social distancing!

    1. Just being at the wedding was a feat in itself, Teresa! At least you got to do that.

  10. I love to dance. It is so freeing and fun.

    1. So true! My big sis and I took belly dancing at the town community center once. What a hoot!

  11. Welcome today. What a fun post. I have always loved to dance. When younger I took ballet, jazz and ballroom dancing. My husband and I learned together ball room dancing for our wedding. We settled on a waltz. When practicing, we sort of turned it into our own waltz. LOL We danced to Waltz of the Flowers by Disney. Afterwards, a friend of my moms came up to us (she used to teach ball room dancing) and she asked where we had learned the Venetian Waltz. What? We thought we were just having fun with OUR dance. LOL So funny. We still waltz, just not the Venetian anymore. It is a great bonding and stress reliever time for the two of us.

    1. I met a woman years ago who ballroom danced. She was in her late sixties and had the best pair of legs I’d ever seen. Dancing if fun and beneficial. Good for you, creating your own dance (and inadvertantly learning the Venetian waltz at the same time!)

  12. I like to dance but I am not good at it. The last time I danced was last September at my son’s wedding, it was fun.

    1. You and me both, Vicki! I’ve got two left feet, that’s for sure. But I do like to dance.

  13. It has been quite some time since I last danced out in public, but I love dancing around the house sometimes.

  14. Ditto on dancing around the house at times! It’s fun!

  15. Great blog, Kit! I dearly loved square dancing (secretly, of course–everyone in grade school “hated” that when we did it in PE). To admit to actually LIKING square dancing would have been social suicide! LOL But we did a lot of those dances–folk dances. The Virginia Reel was another one I loved, and I always thought it would be fun to belong to a square dancing group when I got older, but I never did.

    1. Oh, I hear you on the social suicide of “liking” square dancing in school! I know a few people who do square dancing as adults and love it.

  16. Such a fun post, Kit! When I was in the eighth grade, we spent a few weeks learning square dancing instead of our regular PE class. I loved it! I am not much of a dancer, but do enjoy dancing around the kitchen with CC once in a blue moon.

    1. We had it in Junior High AND High School. The double whammy! Next came archery and the chance (or at least give the appearance) of getting back at those that embarrassed you during the square dancing.

  17. I’m not much of a dancer. Kit, Thank you for the fun post!

    1. I’ve never been much of a dancer either. I prefer kitchen dancing, by myself, where I can also laugh at myself. Loudly!

  18. Avatar

    Hi Kit! I’ve never been much of a dancer. Just not enough coordination I guess. We did square dancing back in the day in school. Used to go out some on the weekends and do a little bit of the two step or such. It’s been quite some time since I went dancing!!

    1. Yeah, the only dancing I get in nowadays is from a work out dvd!

  19. Unless playing with my younger siblings counts I’ve never danced really.

    1. It counts! The nice thing about dancing, it doesn’t have to be anything formal.

  20. I love to dance, but haven’t in a very long time. I have an autoimmune condition which is attacking my nerves. One of the side effects is a rather poor balance. I really miss dancing. Dancing doesn’t work too well with a cane.

    1. That would be challenging, Patricia. Someone needs to invent sit-dancing. I think that actually exists. I’ll have to research that.

  21. Love to dance. Just not any good at it. Nobody patient enough with me to learn much. Last effort was with my boyfriend, who cannot dance either, was 23 years ago. Did get two “pitty dances” last year from friends. Thought I was gonna get a chance when a friend found out that I could waltz. Proved it to him on the spot. Nothing came of it.

    1. You can waltz? I’m so jealous. One of these days I’d like to take lessons, just to say I did. Okay, I did have some once, but I forgot everything! I’d have to learn all over again. Even if you’re not very good at it, at least you can do it.

  22. Hi Kit! Idk when the last time I danced was….it’s been quite a while. At least 20 or more 0
    years (please don’t enter me for the ebook. Just want to show my support for all of y’all)

    1. That’s a long time. But then, I only dance when I absolutely have to nowadays! Mainly because I’ve got two left feet!

  23. I love to dance, but can’t remember when I did last….Well, at least in public … and with a partner.

    1. I hear ya, Alisa! Partner? What Partner! The last time I danced was at a writers conference with a romantic suspense author. We danced so we could say we did! Besides, when you’re in a room with a bunch of lady authors, who else are you going to dance with?

  24. Hi, Kit! One of my favorite things to do is dance a two-step to a good country song! Great post!

    1. Now that’s a dance I’d like to learn!

  25. Hi, Kit. My favorite kind of dancing is Country Line Dancing. One of the things I always liked about it was dancing in a group. (I didn’t feel so self-conscious). Back when Country Line Dancing was so popular, I guess during the 90’s — I took line dance classes and really enjoyed going to line dancing at Western bars and dance halls. Everybody was friendly and nice, and it is the best exercise! I really miss it. I wish it were still popular.

Comments are closed.