One Step By Cook, Susan C.
In the years before the entry of the United States into World War I, the One Step replaced the Two Step as the common popular dance. As the name suggests, it signaled a new relationship between dance step and musical meter. Whereas the Two Step, popular since the 1890s, consisted of a skipping step to music in 6/8 meter, the One Step featured a step, glide, or trot on each beat of duple-meter music marked by the syncopated and dotted rhythms long associated with African American musical practices. African American composer and bandleader James Reese Europe similarly proclaimed the One Step “the national dance of the negro.”