Square Dancing

7pm Thursday evenings

Open House dates September 19 and October 3. Singles welcome.

square dance is a dance for four couples (eight dancers in total) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. Square dances were first documented in 16th-century England but were also quite common in France and throughout Europe. They came to North America with the European settlers and have undergone considerable development there. In some countries and regions, through preservation and repetition, square dances have attained the status of a folk dance. The Western American square dance may be the most widely known form worldwide, possibly due to its association in the 20th century with the romanticized image of the American cowboy. Square dancing is, therefore, strongly associated with the United States. Nineteen U.S. states have designated it as their official state dance.

The various square dance movements are based on the steps and figures used in traditional folk dances and social dances from many countries. Some of these traditional dances include English country dance, Caledonians and the quadrille. Square dancing is enjoyed by people of all ages around the world, and people around the world are involved in the continuing development of this form of dance.

In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted or cued through a sequence of steps (square dance choreography) by a caller to the beat (and, in some traditions, the phrasing) of music. In some forms of traditional square dancing, the caller may be one of the dancers or musicians, but in modern Western square dancing the caller will be on stage, giving full attention to directing the dancers. Modern Western square dances are not learned as complete routines; the dancers learn basic movements, each with its own distinctive call, but do not know in what order they will be called.