Manhattan Blues

{c. 1950}


Manhattan Blues is an easy sequence dance described by Michael Gwynne in 1950, at the height of the Old Time Dancing revival in England.

The Position

Closed position, Lead facing LOD.

The Dance

Part I - Walk and Point (4 bars): Back the Follow three steps (1, 2, 3), then point the free foot along LOD (4). Repeat opposite, against LOD (5, 6, 7, 8).

Part II - Five-Step Two-Step (4 bars): Back the Follow two steps along LOD (1, 2), turning to 1/4 to the right on the second step, then half two-step (side, close, around) to back the Lead (3-and-4). Repeat opposite, completing the turn (5, 6, 7-and-8).

Part III - Step Points, Step Swings (4 bars): Back the Follow one step (1), and point free foot to outside wall (2). Cross through toward the center (3), and point free foot toward the center (4). Step side toward the center (5), and swing the free foot through toward center (6), then step side toward outside wall (7), and swing the free foot through toward outside wall (8).

Part IV - Step Touch and Zig Zag (4 bars): Step side toward the center (1), and touch closed (2), then step side toward outside wall (3), and touch closed (4). Then zig zag two step diagonally forward left and forward right along LOD (5-and-6, 7-and-8).

Repeat from the beginning.

The Music

The recommended music is "12th Street Rag," but slower than usual, at 92 to 96 bpm.

Here's a 1952 recording of the song that's been slowed to the recommended tempo:



© 2018 Nick Enge

For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

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