Yellowstone Square dance council
Modern Square Dancing Is ....
First off, SQUARE DANCING is probably NOT what you think it is!
It's usually portrayed in movies, or what you did in gym class, as a fairly "simple" activity (you know -- do-si-do, promenade, swing your partner, etc.).
Nothing could be farther from the truth!
What is Important in Life ?
If The ANSWER Is:
Family & Friends
Staying Fit and Healthy
Meeting New People
You owe it to yourself to take a quick look at the following VIDEOS/PHOTOS and the Q&A that follows:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Square Dancing?
Square dancing is a social activity where eight people interact through a series of movements as "called" by the square dance caller. It is a healthy, very social and fun activity. Square dancers often say that their recreation is "friendship set to music." The American Square Dance is an important part of our cultural history. Square dancing is good, old-fashioned fun and a lively way to spend time, and there are many benefits to this activity.
Square Dancing is an Americanized version of the medieval court dances of Old England, and of the various folk dances that are part of many European cultures. What has distinguished Square Dancing from most other folk dances is the use of a caller to help direct the steps of the dancers. Typically, groups of couples are arranged around a circle or square shape, with the steps moving them around the circle and back and forth with other partners. A caller has music and a microphone, and directs people through a variety of routines and steps. It's fantastic fun, and as a pastime, Square Dancing offers tons of health benefits. It also can provide social and emotional benefits for the rest of your life.
Why Do People Love to Square Dance?
Square Dancing is fun! It's great physical and mental exercise. There's a friendly atmosphere at Square Dances, so naturally, Square Dances are a great place to meet people and make new friends. Many people have made life-long friends at square dances. Many married couples first met at a square dance. And cultural background does not make a difference. In fact square dancing breaks down many barriers between cultures.
Is this the Same Kind of Square Dancing that I did in School?
Square dancing is not the same as it was in elementary or middle school. Sure, some of the calls are the same, do-si-do, promenade, circle left, and square through. Many of today’s callers use modern music. Have you square danced to Lady Gaga or Adele songs? Not all of square dancing is twangy country music.
Besides that, you are not in junior high any longer. It may have been a bad experience with a bad teacher. Wipe out those junior high memories and create some new square dancing memories. It’s fun and some of the friendliest people around.
There are several levels of square dancing: Mainstream, Plus, Advanced and Challenge. Calls get more complicated as you move up and more challenging. It keeps you sharp and alert and mentally focused on what’s coming next.
Why is Square Dancing more Social than other types of Dance?
Not only will you "square-up" with many different couples during the course of an evening, but you will rotate partners around the square during each "tip" or group of dances. In other words, you will mix naturally with a large group of people during the evening. Add to that the open and welcoming nature of square dancers, and you have a great way to meet new friends.
I have two left feet when I try to dance. Is Square Dancing different?
Absolutely! Square dancing is considerably different from other types of dancing you may have tried. There is no fancy footwork to contend with. It's more like walking in rhythm and forming patterns with the other dancers. The caller lets you know what move you are to make next.
Sometimes the pace of the square dance is slow other times it can be quite fast. Throw in some swinging and twirling, and some optional flourishes, and you will have a ball.
Will people get mad if I cause the whole square to stop dancing?
As in many sports, square dancing is a group activity, where participants strive to be in the right place at the right time so the moves will be smooth. The more experienced dancers are very supportive and will guide and direct the beginners.
However, squares do "breakdown", and the best thing to do is to form two facing lines and wait for the caller. He will notice the square has broken down and will make the appropriate call to get the square dancing once again.
Square dancers are very forgiving. All square dancers make mistakes at one time or another. Most people just laugh it off, waiting until they can get back into the with the caller.
Can I Square Dance anywhere in the country?
No matter where you go in the USA or the world, square dancing is the same. The movements have been standardized and are called in English in the same way, regardless of language so you can still dance the same in other parts of the world. You may not be able to converse with some of the other dancers you meet - but you can interact with them through dance.
Do women have to wear those full skirts with lots of petticoats?
Not unless you want to (although they are kind of fun). Lots of women wear the popular long mid-calf skirts, or prairie skirts.
The square dance clubs in the Billings area do not have a dress code for their club dances. Usually, the women wear either pants or skirts and the men wear long sleeve shirts and slacks or jeans. The dress code for open dances that are attended by other clubs and out of town guest dancers are more formal where the woman wear skirts (either prairie skirts or traditional square dance skirts) and the men wear long sleeve western style shirts and slacks or jeans. The most important thing is comfortable shoes. Many people prefer leather soled shoes to make twirling and swinging easier, but it’s entirely optional.
No investment in attire is required for the beginners learning square dancing. Casual wear, work clothes or slacks are fine. Low-heeled shoes are a good idea.
What kind of music will I find at square dances?
Square dancing uses many different types of music, including country and western, rock, jazz, sing-a-longs, and gospel.
Interactive - The dance pattern is directed by a caller. The sequences are generally made up "on the spot". Dancers have to listen to the caller to find out what's next. Callers also have to get a feel for the "mood of the dancers" and respond as required - know when to call something exciting and know when to call something mellower. This two-way interaction truly makes square dancing unique.
What kind of Square Dance Activities are there?
There are regularly scheduled Square Dances in Billings, and throughout the state. There are also Square Dance Weekends, National and State Square Dance Conventions, Square Dance Cruises, etc. Come join the fun. Call about lessons today!
How do I Sign-up for Square Dance Lessons?
You can take the first step in learning to square dance by signing up for the Beginner Lessons. Click in the box on this page to get the latest details. You won't regret it.
Copyright (c) 2016 Yellowstone Square Dance Council