The International Square Dance Magazine


A dancer recently approached me and asked if there was any material written for a dancing couple to show a non-dancing couple square dance moves at home to help them gain and maintain an interest in square dancing. In other words, “What can we show or teach them about square dancing.” After our dance we had a discussion and I jotted down several simple two couple calls for them to show. I cautioned them not to get complex, as most of our Basic and Mainstream calls can be accomplished by only two couples. Later it got me wondering can or should we encourage our dancers to show non-dancers fun and interesting choreography. Can they be encouraged to try a square dance class if they already know, circle left, circle right, right or left hand stars, maybe even partner trades, and do I dare say square thru? I told them to try it with their friends and please bring them to a dance.

Speaking of a dance. One of the clubs I call for for two years in a row had zero response to their class. I printed fliers for them, and paid for advertising in the local papers – zero results. I received the usual excuse, I have told everyone I know about square dancing, or everyone I know is a square dancer. Last year I (with permission from the club) said, “If anyone walks in that door, we will teach them square dancing.” We do not have rounds or lines between tips, so now I do not take any break time at all. I greet the dancers as they come in the door and then it is dance time from basic circle left squares to plus tips, for two and a half hours I call. Most of my plus dancers join in with the basic dancers. One of them admitted they enjoyed it as much as the plus, especially the singing call choreography. I have to admit it is fun using very few figures to create interesting singing call sequences. I also will admit a lot of it is accomplished by what I call creative plagiarism, I hear, I like, I steal, and I sometimes modify, but I think I am still legal.

Are you getting ready for our National Square Dance Convention? Many if not all of the callers have received their calling schedules. I have talked to several dancers in Florida who are attending. Are you? Conventions can be fun. The dancing, the people, the shows, the vendors, did I mention the dancing? On more than one occasion, JoAnn and I have danced in squares where no one else spoke any English. They could speak square dance. A mix of cultures, a mix of individuals, and a variety of square and round dance programs. High energy to relatively easy comfortable pace and of course the Teen Hall. One of my favorite places to call. I hope to see all of you in Springfield.

Fun set to music!