Bob Wills & George Strait
Arthur Murray & Fred Astaire
And the Rest of the Male Species
All the Neglected Women
who want . . . and need . . .
more men to know how
and have the desire . . . to dance
HAVE HARMONY WITH WOMEN
Cowboys-- You know where you stand with your horse, but: have you ever reached your full potential to satisfy the ladies on the dance floor? Whether you're a gold-buckle bronc rider or steer roper or still a tenderfoot, this Heinsian
WESTERN SWING dance manual is just the thing to help you round out your skills as a top-hand. Using fine horsemanship skills, learn:
thirty-three Western Swing move-basics for both four- & six-count swing
And use your swing moves with these other gaits:
Montana two-step ~ Slow Dance
Fabulous one-step ~ Waltz ~ Polka
Texas two-step ~ Chaparral cha-cha
~ Alternative cha-cha
Using the most danceable music of Bob Wills, George Strait, and many others, learn from GARY HEINS, the master of western swing, from the HeinsQuarters of the SWINGIN' G RANCH.
Dance together, to the music, with disciplined spontaneity, not arbitrary memorization, and keep your lady light and responsive, so she won't go looking for a stranger--or worse, another Line Dance or another Social Networking site. And, with his appoint-ment as U.S. DANCE TEACHER, now you can feel even safer on the dance floor.
Ladies-- If your man is perfect in every way . . . except that he won't dance you to your full potential, it could be deep down . . .
dancing is the one social scene that scares him most. Written in a language men can understand, Heinsian WESTERN SWING will give him confidence and yourself satisfaction on the dance floor and beyond. But be careful: he'll be certified to dance with strangers.
Includes his classic poem, "The Dancing of Shoe McGrew."
WESTERN SWING It behooves . . . a man to learn.
SWINGIN' G BOOK
HAVE HARMONY WITH WOMEN
~ GARY HEINS ~
U.S. DANCE TEACHER
HAVE HARMONY WITH WOMEN
---Heinsian WESTERN SWING
by GARY HEINS
SWINGIN’ G BOOKS
PO Box 784
Saint Johns, Arizona 85936
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in critical reviews.
Copyright © 1992, 1997, 2010 Gary Lee Heins LCCN
DISCLAIMER & CLAIMER:
Western Dance can be dangerous: a difficult move, an awkward song, a slippery dance floor, ill-fitting boots, unre-quited love, a lag in confidance, an angry partner, a jealous boy-friend or girl-friend, forgetting to take off your spurs, . .
. and all the unpredictable dancers around you with similar problems---these and more problems too numerous to mention . . . are all very real possibilities. For some people who don't have the knack or the right partner, dancing can be like pro wrestling---but with no referee. This book attempts to make it as easy for you as possible; but there is no guarantee you won't find danger along the way. There could be mistakes in the writing, typos, or you might misinterpret---going left when you should be going right could be a problem.
I do believe this is the safest, smartest, gentlest book on the subject---but it is a dangerous subject, Western Dance, probably more dangerous than taming broncs. Especially be considerate of other people's feelings, even your own; but steer clear of high-percentage of dysfunctional dancers out there who have what I call "a Black-Belt in Cowboy Jitterbug"---don't you dare confuse my brand of slow-n-smooth Western Swing with that. Please take responsibility for your own dancing and where it takes you; but I don't think we need to resort to wearing mouth-guards and cups. Be careful out there---I didn't get where I'm at today without a few bumps and bruises and broken hearts along the way.
U.S. DANCE TEACHER
SWINGIN' G BOOKS
"You've got to dance with who brung you, swing with who swung you---
life ain't no forty-yard dash.
Be in it for the long run;
in the long run, you'll have more fun
if you dance with who brung you to the bash.
Yeah, dance with who brung you to the bash."
Asleep At the Wheel
HAVE HARMONY WITH WOMEN
---Heinsian WESTERN SWING
Forward Foreword---& Meet GH---USDT (by JD) . . . . . . . . 11
Dancing Is Like Riding a Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Three Main Rules For Leading
---Three Basic Rules For Following
Enforcing the Art & Science of Western Swing---I, II, III . 31
(Don't be overwhelmed, Guys: learn as much, or as little, as you want)
A Word About: Music, Dance Floors, Etiquette
39, 68, 93
the most common, but overlooked, beat
51, 83, 108
a most basic, but neglected, beat
52, 84, 111
a step worth mentioning
Fabulous One-step, False Waltz
53, 85, 112
the same beat as walking
55, 85, 113
a uniquer form of walking
56, 86, 114
a slower beat than many think
58, 87, 116
a great step, but not a panacea
---like four-count, only timed different
---a nice hybrid of MTs&P
---a quieter dance beat you'll encounter
---a spicy hybrid, of ATs&CC
Possible Misc-steps---just in case
Picking Up a Stranger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Out on the floor
When the band quits playing
The Dancing of Shoe McGrew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Afterword (By JD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
with a Big FootNote
Apndx A: GH Wstrn Swing Moves & Gaits
Apndx B: GH Cntry-Wstrn Song List
Certificate . . . to Dance With Strangers . . . . . . . . . 186-7
10 -- Heinsian WESTERN SWING
Forward Foreword -- 11
& Meet Gary Heins
---U.S. Dance Teacher
Congratulations: this is a great book . . . and a simple book to follow. But, before we get too far, let's nip something in the bud right now. It would be a huge mistake to assume that you know what Gary Heins does or how he does it; and, until you get into this book, it would be difficult for you to fully understand why he does what he does. Gary Heins does not teach Square Dancing, which requires a trained caller and an exact number of couples in multiples of four: Square Dancing is an established phenomenon best left to highly-specialized clubs where every member is on the same sheet of music----oftentimes, at a guest ranch, for instance, where the trained caller is brought in, some of the participants are ranch workers forced to participate after a hard day's work in order to get the exact number needed for the guests, who may also see it as a chore. He does not teach Line Dancing, the fast-food of Western Dance, where desir-ous couples are often stampeded off the floor to make room for the unbending lines of the main herd. "I get so tired of defending what I do sometimes," says Gary: "people find out you're a western dance teacher, and too many of them automatically assume you dress up like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for hard-core Square Dancing; . . . or they assume you've sold out and succumbed to Line Dancing." . . .
And Gary does not teach Ballroom Dance or the mainstream
12 -- Heinsian WESTERN SWING
Latin Dances or the Dirty Dancing that Patrick Swayze made popular, or the Disco Dancing that John Travolta made famous; nor does he teach his Western Dance with the same laborious methods as the teachers of those other disciplines.
. . . Not that each of those dance disciplines don't have their flash-in-the-pan place---it's just that you won't find them here, and Gary swears he "won't be swept away by what everyone else is doing---not when there's a dire on-going need for someone to be doing what I'm doing, and how I do it." This disciplined yet-spontaneous Western Swing, and all the easy steps that go with it, . . . is something you can take downtown or do at home: you can do it anywhere popular country-western music is played, as long as you have a man and woman who have a desire to get along with each other,
. . . which undoubtedly will be forever.
To be united in one dancing unit of heart, mind, and body on the western dance floor is, by many couples, a desired goal older than Bob Wills, the king of western swing. -
--But! sadly, this has been a waning goal for too many decades, and it's always been the women's goal more than the men's. When dance teachers don't do their job, and then the men can't do their job, we see unintimate line-dancing sweeping the country like impervious paving, with fewer and fewer men out on the floor; and we hear young DJs . . .
afraid to play classic western swing for fear that no one will dance to it---because very few know how. Not to mention: many so-called country dance halls often resort to playing non-country music just to get more people out on the floor---
what a sad commentary on the country dance lessons we've been offered by everyone else up to now. Then, when too many folks do get out on the floor, either for too many line-dances or too much non-country music, the establishment owners need to get a high-percentage of them back to their tables and the bar for buying drinks---our growingly-greedy economy makes it hard for folks to get to dance (but, as America's economic policies and attitudes backfire since 2008, we are finding out we need to get back to the simpler
Forward Foreword -- 13
pleasures in life, like dancing with your partner, maybe even a stranger). . . . Congratulations, and Thank You, . . . for striving to be a dance-abiding citizen.
Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire got famous in the Big Band Era's Ballroom Arena; but, up to now, no one's ever led the way in the Western Dance arena---and it's constantly been becoming a less-and-less established part of our culture. And, even though the Big Band Music of their era lives on somewhat, mostly because of the big competitions, even Art and Fred did more to confuse and intimidate the Average Joe than they did to help him; they didn't do him justice-
--or her either, for that matter. Part of the problem: with all its tuxedoey-n-gown glitz and glamour, Ballroom Dance too often has an air of competition to it, which has been somehow subliminally or politically transferred to the Western Dance Arena---we don't need the inevitable resulting politics that always accompany subjective competition. Now, when real cowboys who don't care for dance competition finally do get out on the floor with their best girl on Saturday night after the rodeo or some cutting-horse competition, you get the bland feeling their dancing is nothing more than an afterthought, a last-minute chore they don't totally have their heart in, and with good reason: whereas great horse trainers are getting to be a dollar a dozen, with everybody and their dog giving clinics and writing books these days on colt breaking and horsemanship, . . . virtually no one yet but Gary Heins has ever set out to teach the cowboy to dance a lady to her full potential---and! make it easy for him. Just ask a rodeo or ranch cowboy to name two great western dance teachers, who make their life easier like the famous horse whisperers---he won't have met any of those drug-store-cowboy city slickers who enter western dance contests wearing those gaudy costumes full of fringe and feathers, because they are not out to make his life easier. Says Gary:
"Good dancers don't have to be choreographed acrobats in my book. For every five talented musicians, there ought to be ten good harmonious couples out on the dance floor---the
14 -- Heinsian WESTERN SWING
western dance floor hasn't come close. Society has forfeited too much of their dancing prowess . . . to a handful of spoiled celebrities on TV shows like Dancing With the Stars-
--most of society is relegated to becoming nothing but a bunch of spectators, watching how hard it is rather than how easy it can be. We won't get bogged down in trying to be perfect; we are going to get the Average Joe moving with his girl . . . and have some fun doing it, without making it a painful contest.
Country-Western Music gets a bad rap from a big percentage of American Culture---too many people stereotype it as being too simplistic, not refined enough, too far beneath them, too depressing, bad grammar, and so on,---
and they don't see how much fun it is, nor how danceable it is. But, I can tell you: besides all the danceable emotion, country music is full of delightful surprises, just in the words alone---it's kind of like fine wine or cheap beer, or cheap wine and fine beer: you have to acquire a taste for it, which you probably already have since you've got this book open. Songs like "All I Gotta Do Is Act Naturally" by Buck Owens, or George Strait's "Let's Fall To Pieces Together," or Gene Watson's "The Truth Is I Lied," or Asleep At the Wheel's "How the West Was Swung," or the Gatlin Brothers'
"If You're Ever Down-n-Out This Way Again"---these songs are so delightfully simple, word-wise, you almost have to ask yourself: "How Come I Didn't Write That?"---it's probably a hit right there. The play-on words and double meanings in Country Music are tremendous, with further songs like "Heavenly Bodies" by Earl Thomas Conley, or "She's Playing Hard To Forget" by Eddie Raven, or "I Know How He Feels" by Reba McEntire. Anybody who's been around the block can appreciate what Merle Haggard means when he sings, "From Now On, All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers." How on earth could anyone think "Country Music Ain't Fun"?---probably another hit. A lot of your "depressing" songs are downright funny: take Sammy Kershaw's "Yard Sale"---"they're sortin' through what's left of
Forward Foreword -- 15
you and me, . . . paying yard-sale prices . . . for each golden memory"---it don't get any funnier than that.
Then the great voices . . . of Tammy Wynette, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Milsap, Suzy Boggus, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Anne Murray, Janie Frickie, Kathy Mattea, Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Juice Newton, Ed Bruce, Olivia Newton-John, George Strait, Sylvia, Jennifer Warnes, Crystal Gayle, Donna Fargo, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, . . . and many others, to name a few, . . . are absolutely one of a kind---even obscure little Charly McLain's "You Don't Have the Heart To Break Mine In Two" . . . just makes you wanna melt on the dance floor. We're selling the sizzle right now---and we'll get to the big juicy steak. I believe the singers are tickled pink when they look out on the dance floor and notice that the dancers care as much about their music as they do themselves. And they'd appreciate it if they knew their music could live on like the non-country music of the Big Band Era.
There's no reason Heinsian Barroom Dancing can't out-do Ball-room Dancing ten-to-one, country music being more for the common man and all---another hit! "The Meek Shall Inherit the Dance Floor."
Without the Heinsian Method, most folks who learn the couples end of Country Dance . . . are limited to the usual condensed swing and Texas two-step, with a little bit of waltz and polka, and some canned cha-cha; . . . but, in order to cover the vast full gamut of country music, Gary Heins offers two distinct versions of swing, three different two-steps, two separate modes of cha-cha, as well as the standard waltz and polka, and then he adds the up-to-now absent . . .
elegant slow-dance and one-step---but he makes it so easy (. .
. even a caveman can do it). With Gary, you get all the tools and ammunition you can use on the dance floor---it ain't easy trying to get along with the opposite sex. "I do believe my system and philosphy works," says Gary, "not so much because of my good looks, but because the women can see that I know how to dance . . . and bring out the best in them; the guys flock to it too . . . because they know I can help
16 -- Heinsian WESTERN SWING
them do the same---I hope it's not because of my good looks." . . . The bands are going to love you for doing some homework: when you do it right, they almost wish they could be out on the floor with you, almost---but then they realize how fulfilled and content they can be . . . just being the music makers . . . so that you can dance.
Up to now, before this book, too many top hands even have had nothing to go on but sterile memorized hand-me-down movements or just crude muscle-n-guts; finally, with the dedication and philosophy of Gary Heins, true unity between the cowboy and a lady is closer than ever before.
When Gary gives a spectacular demonstration with a stranger he's never met before, he's not just showing off the way Ray Hunt often did (and some of his disciples still do) by riding an untouched horse; he's trying to show them the potential of what they themselves can do: Have Harmony With Women. As one lady onlooker put it: "Gee whiz! he makes every woman he dances with look like a million bucks" (---a billion bucks in today's economy). We've all seen the choreographed celebrated Fred Astaires doing spectacular things with Ginger (yawn, yawn); but, to witness an Average Joe waltz into a roadside bar and get along spectacularly with a stranger, now, that's something that's hard to ignore---and "Gary Who?" has done it thousands of times over, . . . but you can too. (Soon, with the promotion and marketing of this book finally in 2010, about seventy years overdue and twenty years behind schedule, the Heinsian Dancemanship Method and Philosophy will be as well-known and revered as Ray Hunt Colt Starting.) . . . It's been a rough road for Gary to be the only guy on the floor sometimes who gets along well with almost any woman---a lot of rough-tough cowboys have big egos and don't always like it that someone else, some stranger, . . . can do something more and better than they can, even if they don't particularly like dance competition. It can be an unfair world: if you're not already rich-n-famous, it is difficult for people who know deep-down you are a leader . . . to follow you; when you are
Forward Foreword -- 17
rich-n-famous, people follow you even if you don't know how to lead or even where you're going. Those tough cowboys have a healthier attitude and start reaching their full potential when they bravely admit they can learn from Gary; otherwise, they stay stuck in the Status Quo---and that's what hurts our country, and we're not just talking about dancing here.
Right or wrong, bad or good, a woman learns from every man she dances with, and very few can get light and responsive after dancing with a heavy-handed lead with a limited and repetitious repertoire; so it makes sense that this manual is directed toward the man, the supposed leader on the country dance floor. We must empathize with the woman: no matter how great she may be as a dancer, a woman cannot do much more than what her man partner communicates---that's got to be frustrating sometimes, and hence the proliferation of line dances, which get in the way of teaching men to lead women. The way Gary dances them, older women feel younger, green girls appear more polished, and unsuspecting strangers invariably comment:
"Oooh, that's a new one!" or "My, I've never done it that way before!" More than a few women have come off the floor with Gary kind of dazed and excited, declaring, "That's better than sex!"---that ought to tell you something about Gary's dancing (if not about some women's sex lives). It's not uncommon for onlookers to assume Gary and a stranger are a couple---after only three songs together! . . . I was an older green woman when I first met Gary, and he was the first guy I ever met who could lead me in a way that would benefit us both. There are plenty of places in the mo-bile culture where people can learn canned line dances, the same old routines; and the women often outnumber the men sadly four-to-one.
This manual, Have Harmony With Women, finally offers a man the discipline to lead her spontaneously and with confidance, because only then can a woman learn to follow to her full potential. ---Don't get us wrong: Gary is not out to dominate women; he is simply trying to revive and reinvent
18 -- Heinsian WESTERN SWING
a lost art and culture on America's dance floors---and, except for the dance floor, he admits he follows women almost everywhere else.
It is common knowledge that Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys founded, or made popular, Western Swing music as we've known it for decades. By insisting on adding drums and horns and a steel guitar to his Texas fiddle music, Bob Wills "put the beat in country music," according to Merle Travis, "and made it so that you could dance to it."
And jive-talking Bob Wills, who undoubtedly learned lots from his Black neighbors in the south, has greatly influenced all of today's country music, especially the music of a quiet man who continues to set the standard for Western Swing today: George Strait & His Ace-In-the-Hole Band. With songs like "San Antonio Rose," "Faded Love," "Deep In the Heart of Texas," "Amarillo By Morning," "Famous Last Words of a Fool," "Right or Wrong," "Drinking Champagne,"
"Milk Cow Blues," "Time Changes Everything," "Any Old Time," "I Wasn't Fooling Around," and "I'd Like To Have That One Back," and dozens more, both Bob Wills and George Strait have ensured an element of elegance in country music, while still wearing blue-jeans and plaid shirts. Of course, there is a wealth of other great artists out there using all the right tools: like Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Emmylou Harris; like Reba McEntire, with swing songs "One Thin Dime" and "I Don't Need Nothin'
You Ain't Got"; the Marshall Tucker Band, with "Fire On the Mountain" and "Searching For a Rainbow"; . . . and many great swing songs, like Willie Nelson's "Turn Me Loose and Let Me Swing" and Asleep At the Wheel's "Texas Fiddle Man" and "Bob Wills Is Still the King," and Tracy Byrd's
"Back In the Swing of Things," are actually about Bob Wills and Western Swing music; but "Dance With Who Brung You" is my personal favorite. ---So, with so many songs to pick from, Gary is particular about what songs he dances to, much more-so than who he dances with---when trying to get along with a stranger, he can't afford to dance to just any old
Forward Foreword -- 19
song any more than George Strait can afford to sing one he doesn't have his heart in. We're not talking about the latest fads here, nor are we talking about artificial performances with the hottest new stars smashing $2500 acoustic guitars and swinging from Tarzan ropes; . . . we're just talking about great western music that's going to stay great for a long long time, and music meant for dancing to. Both Bob Wills and George Strait from the beginning insisted on performing their own brand of music the way it is meant to be, despite socio-economic pressures from big recording labels and mass-thinking. And both men come from a strong ranching and cowboy life environment in Big Texas, not surprisingly.
Now, they might be glad to know their follower Gary Heins is, among other things, a seasoned dude wrangler who can start unridden colts and fillies, unlike ninety-nine-point-nine-percent of your regular status-quo western-dance teachers. ---What this means is: he's schooled his share of spoiled horses and started a number of unridden colts and fillies; he's instructed many a dude and dudette not only to stay on their horse . . . but also to guide their horse underneath them, or to lead their four-legged partner with harmony. Of course, "Dancing is just a part of being a well-rounded wrangler," says Gary, and his logic is simple: "If a guy can ride well . . . and go on to teach riding, then he ought to be able to dance well and go on to teach dancing."
A slender man of modest looks and boyish charm, Gary has danced with thousands-and-thousands of under-danced women . . . one-at-a-time---it's gotten to the point where, as much as he'd like to, he cannot afford to dance with every woman who comes along . . . any more than George Strait can sing to each and every woman one at a time. "When you dance with a woman for one evening, you help feed her soles for an evening," Gary says, "but, when you teach her husband how to dance and lead her well, you help feed all four of their bottom soles, and both their inner souls, . . . for a life-time." Also a seasoned ski instructor---this is what initially taught Gary to break things down and get inside his