The Girl I Left Behind Me



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.

The Position

Facing partner, holding right-in-right hands, with Leads facing out, Follows facing in.

Everyone starts on right foot.

The Dance

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 Music

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.

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