I've Never Square Danced Before - What's It All About?

If you have never come into contact with square dancing, you are missing the fun, friendship and entertainment of participating in the original American folk dance. You participate as one of four couples in a group, executing patterns in response to the instructions of a square dance caller.

The caller exercises his/her skill by putting standard moves together so as to choreograph an interesting and entertaining dance. The dancers exercise their skill in following the caller's instructions, dancing the patterns, and especially having fun as a team.

The calls are simply instructions to those within a 'square' to move from one position to another, so that essentially, if you can walk, you can square dance. The essence of the dance is in the patterns created, so that for an individual it is not physically demanding to the same extent as some other dance forms.

Modern American square dancing consists of 4 couples (or 8 people) who form a square and execute calls (movements) from a caller. The calls used are at the discretion of the caller. All calls give the dancers a location to move to. Square dance callers can either call what is known as "patter," which is the dancers reacting to what the caller calls. There are also "singing calls," which put square dance moves to familiar music. A typical night of square dancing will feature some of both. Here is an even more detailed description.

The leader/caller teaches individual calls rather than whole dances. Because the calls are strung together to create a dance, each time you dance it can be different from the last time.

Modern Square Dancing is standardized throughout the world. All the calls are in English and are danced the same way, no matter where you are. Wherever you travel, you can find a square dance and friends!

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