The Girl I Left Behind Me is an easy mixer described by Fran Riel and Buleah Davis in their 1966 book Happy Dancing, Handbook of Dance Mixers.
Facing partner, holding right-in-right hands, with Leads facing out, Follows facing in.
Everyone starts on right foot.
Part I - Balance and Turn (4 bars): Balance* forward (1), and back (3), then turn the Follow counterclockwise under R-in-R, trading places with partner (5, 6, 7, 8).
* Riel and Davis give three options for "Balance" in their glossary: 1) step and lift the other foot, 2) step and touch the other foot, or 3) two-step or pas-de-basque when the dance is in 2/4 (as this one is).
Part II - Repeat Part I (4 bars): Repeat Part I to return home (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8).
Part III - Back and Change Partner (4 bars): Back away from partner four steps (1, 2, 3, 4), then walk forward to the right to meet next partner (5, 6, 7, 8).
Part IV - Swing (4 bars): Swing* partner for eight counts, ending in original orientation (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
* Riel and Davis describe "Swing" as turning clockwise, "pivoting on right foot and pushing with left as if riding a scooter," but as usual, a walking swing will also work for beginners.
Repeat from the beginning.
The recommended music is "The Girl I Left Behind Me," or "any good hoedown."
© 2019 Nick Enge
For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.
Home About Dances Manuals Search