Square Dancing for Everyone

Donn Thomson

Callerlab Member

What is Square Dancing like today?

The Square Dance of today is still true to its roots. All the original fundementals are still valid and practiced worldwide. There have been changes in the style of choreography and tempo of dance, however. We execute more calls and dance somewhat slower than dancers did in the past. Memorization of dances is out, knowing individual calls and spontaneous response is in.

Technically, Square Dancing as a dance form could be defined as the interactive dancing of four couples arranged in a square formation with one couple per side, facing the flagpole center of the formation. Continuing, the four couples dance by executing the instructions of a "caller." They do this using passing hand holds, loose closed ballroom dance positions, no contact passing movements, and arm to arm pivots. But alas, as is common, the technical definition falls way short of faithfully describing what’s really happening.

What's really going on...

A caller is audiblizing (like a football quarterback) dance step instructions, one at a time, synchronized with the music. The steps are learned by the dancers before the music begins, using a kind of language unique to the activity. Each step or call has a name which the caller delivers clearly and in a timely fashion so that eveyone symultaneously executes it smoothly. The experience of dancing interesting choreography, to lively music, with seven other friendly people brings on feelings of satisfaction and pleasure.

This is a truly unique and beneficial dance form! Square Dancing is rhythmic movement, puzzle solving, teaming, and tactile reassurance all at the same time! It's fun, it's healthy, it's green, it's local. For all these reasons, everyone should be doing it.

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