Bronco Schottische

(Le Bronco, The Bronco)

(1880s - 1890s)

Contemporary Description

This variation, like the Newport it is based on, is rarely seen today, which is unfortunate, because it's a whole lot of fun.

The Position

Waltz position throughout.

The Footwork

Begin with the Follow facing forward along LOD, and the Lead facing against LOD (or turn clockwise before the first step to get there, as in rotary waltz).

1: The Lead leaps straight back along LOD with his left foot, while the Follow leaps straight forward into him with her right foot. They land downward precisely on the count.

2: The Lead leaps straight back with his right foot, while the Follow leaps straight forward into him with her left foot.

3 &4 &5, 6 &7 &8: One full turn of the Newport, beginning with the Lead leaping backward a third time (leap, side-close, side-close / leap, side-close, side-close).*

* Gilbert 1890 describes only the first part of the dance, saying that repeats after eight counts. Davis 1888 described a second half to the dance, below. The short version and long version are both good, though the long version has the added benefit of resembling a schottische, with its two different parts.

9 &10, 11 &12, 13 &14, 15 &16: Two full turns of Waltz Galop (4 x "leap, side-close").

Repeat from the beginning.

Both Davis and Gilbert note that it can be reversed.

The Music

Davis 1888 provides the following music, and suggests that the dance should be performed at 120 bpm.

Creative Variations

These two variations aren't actually described in the sources below, but they're also fun, and well within the realm of 19th century possibilities. They were both invented for the Waltz Lab as a response to the question, "How might we keep things turning more continuously?"

Role Reversal Bronco: After the initial two slides, replace the first two counts of each repeat with an additional Waltz Galop, i.e., two Newports, and five Waltz Galops. This will cause the dance to repeat opposite. As suggested in Durang's Hungroise, the arms can be transitioned to reverse waltz position during the final Newport.

Pivoting Bronco: After the initial two slides, replace the first two counts of each repeat with half-turning jeté pivots.

© 2013-2015 Nick Enge

(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions

Le Bronco (Davis, 1888):

Tempo: 30 measures per minute [120 beats per minute]. Movement a La Waltz.

Part First.

For Gentlemen:

Commence with left foot. Glide directly backward two steps. Count 1—2—. Glide backward again (left foot), and begin turning a la Ripple. Count 3 & 4 & 5—6 & 7 & 8—, transferring the weight from left foot to right at 6. Two measures.

Part Second.

Continue rotary motion a la Waltz. Count 1 & 2—, 3 & 4—, 5 & 6—, 7 & 8—. Two measures.

Note.—Reverse "ad lib" in rotary form.— The lady, to begin the dance will step forward; commencing with right foot.

Thanks to Richard Powers for finding this source.

The Bronco (Gilbert, 1890):

M.M. = 120. 6-8 time.

Leap backward from the right to left foot, 1; leap backward upon the right foot, 2; leap backward upon the left, 3; pass right to side and immediately draw left to right (a la Newport), & 4; pass right to side and draw left to right, & 5; leap forward upon the right, 6; pass left to side and draw right to left, & 7; pass left to side and draw right to left, & 8; four measures.

Repeat, commencing as at first. The second time the right foot may move backward at the sixth count, making the turn to the left.

Counterpart for lady.

For more, see our two books on dancing:
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge,
and Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge.

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