The Marine Four-Step

{c. 1912}


The Marine Four-Step is an easy Two-Step sequence dance, composed by James Finnigan around 1912 and revived during the mid-20th century Old Time Dancing revival in England.

The Position

Both facing LOD, holding inside hands.

The Dance

Part I - March and Point (4 bars): Three steps forward along LOD (1, 2, 3), and point inside foot forward while hopping on outside foot (4). Then three steps back against LOD (5, 6, 7), and point outside foot forward while hopping on inside foot (8).

Part II - Pas de Basque and Rollaway (4 bars): Pas de basque outward and inward (1-and-2, 3-and-4), then roll away from partner along LOD with a full two-step, Lead turning left, Follow turning right (5-and-6, 7-and-8).

Part III - Side Steps* (4 bars): Taking two hands, promenade three steps along LOD (1, 2, 3), and close without weight, swiveling to face against LOD (4). Repeat against LOD (5, 6, 7, 8).

Part IV - Two-Step* (4 bars): Taking closed position, two full turns of two-step (1-and-2, 3-and-4, 5-and-6, 7-and-8).

Repeat from the beginning.

* An early source has this alternate ending: Side (1), close (2), side (3), close (4), then six bars of two-step (5-and-6, 7-and-8, 1-and-2, 3-and-4, 5-and-6, 7-and-8) [WH12].

The Music

Two-step music in 6/8 time, at 112 bpm.


© 2018 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.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

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