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Avant-Deux (De Travers)

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a dance

From: Ron Houston. Folk Dance Problem Solver (1987). Austin, Texas: Society of Folk Dance Historians, 1987.

(ah-vahn-DOO de trah-VEHR) = advance 2, from Travers, Bretagne, France


The Bumper-Car Dance. The Roller Coaster Dance.


Avant-Deux is a popular generic dance type of Brittany, the eastward-jutting peninsula that separates the Bay of Biscay from the English Channel, the Gulf of St. Malo, and all those islands with cows' names. Bretons, the inhabitants of Brittany (or Bretagne) have endured centuries of Druidic domination, Catholicism, Anglo-French territorial disputes, and, since the late 1950's, hordes of ethnographers mining their rich folk heritage. Yves Moreau introduced this dance to the US in 1981.


Short (4 to 6 people) lines of men and women. Actually, lines of 3 are recommended. Hold hands, bend your elbows, and interlock your arms tightly. People on the ends of the lines hold their neighbor's near forearm with their free hand.

1-8No action, unless you count adrenalin surges in response to the infectiously happy music.
  Forward and back.
1-2Run forward 3 steps onto: R ft, L ft, R ft (cts 1,2,1), hop on R ft (ct 2).
3-4= 1-2, with opposite footwork and moving backward.
5-16= 1-4, 4 times in all. Rotate CW as a line to move to different parts of the room.

Note: the first time it's done, this part lasts only half as long because the Introduction takes the other half.

  Rest step.
1Step smally forward onto R ft (ct 1), hop lowly on R ft, picking L heel up behind R heel (ct 2).
2= 1, with opposite footwork and stepping back.
3-4= 1-2, but stepping to R and to L instead of forward and back.
5-16= 1-4, 4 times in all.

Repeat the dance from the beginning, about 5 more times.