You can’t actually travel back in time with this step, but time steps can be traced back to the vaudeville era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During that time, time steps were used as an introductory step for improvised dances. The dancers would perform a time step to communicate their tempo to the musicians performing with them. After they performed the time step, the music would begin playing at that pace, and the dancer would begin performing their improvised routine. Because different dancers had different styles, there was a lot of variance in the way dancers performed their time steps. That is why we have so many of them today.