A New Song and Dance Routine
Introduction to Modern Square Dancing
Square Dancing is party time every time you do it. Square dancing brings people together for fun and fellowship--even when learning how. The fun starts right on the very first night. You meet new people and make new friends. And the fun keeps right on going as long as you do--most square dance groups meet once a week. It's a wonderful way to share common interests with other people, and to escape the worry and pressures of today's busy world.
Modern square dancing is a mental and physical challenge. It is dancing, it is thinking, it is teamwork. You can't do it by one's or two's. Moving in rhythm to the music keeps you physically fit. Reacting quickly to the square dance caller's calls keeps you mentally on your toes. And your team of eight dancers depends on you to keep those toes moving.
- Table of contents:
- It's A Party...
- It's A Challenge...
- It's American Folk Art too...
- It's the New Generation of Square Dancing...
- It's About People From ALL Walks...
- It's Organized...
Learning the basic steps is easy. Experienced square dance callers teach you the moves and the names of the calls that you dance. You practice those moves until they feel as natural as walking. Then even more fun begins as you join a club. Your square dance caller combines the basic moves and steps into whole dance patterns. You and your teammates follow the calls--each arm turn brings a surprise--and as the pattern concludes all the arm turns bring you back to your partner.
Modern square dancing has an American heritage. The ancestors of this dance came to America with the earliest settlers. The "traditional" roots of our heritage dance are well established in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, as well as the French Colonies to name a few. Over the centuries it has changed into what we know today as modern square dancing. It is as American as barn raisings, barbecues and ice cream socials. In recent decades square dancing mushroomed in popularity as more and more people got in tune with this traditional art form. Square dancing is still on the move--new dance figures are being added and you never have to worry about being bored with what is sure to become your favorite pastime.
Perhaps you think you know square dancing from your school days. Well, think again, because this is not your father's dance routine. You will hardly recognize modern square dancing. There is new music, from Golden Oldies to Elvis to current hits. There are new dance steps, exciting new patterns that keep changing, and unique calls to learn. No more rough dancing in the barn. modern square dancing happens in school halls, dance halls, resorts and cruise ships. Square dancers travel to new places all over the world. Even people who don't speak English square dance! You will find square dance clubs within most countries of the world including Japan, Sweden and Germany--they dance in English, but they don't speak it. Learn to dance and a whole new world of opportunities for fun and fellowship will open up for you.
Square dancers are all kinds of folks sharing a love of action and teamwork. Square dancers are company presidents, secretaries, machinists, farmers, corporals, colonels, doctors, nurses, whatever you think of. When square dancers get together they talk about square dancing. No one knows who's the corporal and who is a colonel. What they want to know about you is can you really dance. That is what matters.
Square dancing is movement to music. It is done in couples, with teams of four couples. It is not a spectator sport. It is for the active in heart and mind. Square dance clubs are ready--made groups of friends. When you travel there are dance clubs to find on every continent, in every country, in every state or province. There is no better way for active, contemporary people to meet each other and build a circle of friends.
Square dancing is much like ballroom dancing(except you can still square dance with two left feet)! This activity is organized by volunteers in each club. Square dance clubs are non-profit organizations that are run by members of the club. A minimal fee is charged (around $2.50 per person) to learn to dance to cover the charge of the square dance caller and/or hall to dance in. Dances are also held in different locations almost every Saturday night. The charge for a dance is around $5.00 per person, to cover the higher expense of the caller for a dance and the cost of the rented hall. The dance lasts 3 hours and refreshments of finger foods are served for free. Coffee and water is also available all evening for free. There are no alcoholic beverages at classes or dances. This is a non-alcoholic activity.
A lot of people say they won't join square dancing because of the clothes. Well, class attire is casual (jeans, t-shirt and sneakers). For dances, a lot of people now are wearing prairie type outfits. Line dancing and Country Western dancing go hand in hand with square dancing. If you enjoy those activities, chances are that you would also enjoy square dancing.
The above was taken from a CALLERLAB pamphlet and is being made available with the permission of CALLERLAB. If you would like to learn more about CALLERLAB's FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESERVATION AND PROMOTION OF SQUARE DANCING (click here). If you would like to order these brochures in bulk. (order here)
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Don and Patti Brown
Last Updated: Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 5:54:34 PM