What is Modern Square Dancing?
Square Dancing is a social activity where 8 people form a square with 2 people on each side, then dance a series of movements as “called” by the square dance caller. It is a healthy, recreational, fun activity. It is often said that square dancing is “Friendship Set to Music”. Dancing is done to modern music, 50’s and 60’s to 80’s and 90’s or later – from Pink Cadillac, Bill Bailey, When the Saints Come Marching In, Elvis Presley tunes, Oklahoma, etc.
In Modern Square Dancing there are no set patterns for a dance. The dancers learn a number of moves which the caller then puts together to form the dance. The caller “calls” out these moves and the dancers execute the “calls”. The dancers do not know which moves will be called next. Usually all dancers move together, although some calls are executed by just four people.
How do Modern Square Dancers learn the movements?
Here in Saskatchewan people usually join “ New Dancer” classes where the basic movements are mastered.
New dancers enjoy an evening of fun while being taught the movements by the caller.
What countries have square dance activities?
Modern Square Dancing is a worldwide activity. Square dance calls are standardized and are called in English around the world. Once dancers have learned the calls, they can dance at any club or square dance event anywhere.
Are there square dance competitions?
There are no competitions. Square dancing is recreational and done strictly for the fun of it. There are various programs within the square dance activity, each program encompassing an increasing number of calls. Dancers move at their own pace through the programs. They may decide to dance a certain program for an extended period of time, or they may decide to move on to the next program, learning additional calls.
The formal organization of Modern Square Dancing
The basic unit is the local club. Clubs may have anywhere from eight to several hundred members. In Saskatchewan clubs belong to one of 8 regional “Zones”. These Zones form the provincial Saskatchewan Square & Round Dance Federation Inc. (SSRDF Inc.) This Federation is in turn part of the Canadian Square and Round Dance Society (CSRDS). The Federation and the Society publish magazines, sponsor special dances and events, assist callers in obtaining training, and, in general, work to promote square dancing and to ensure the smooth operation of the movement. The callers also have organizations at the local, national, and international levels to ensure the standardization of calls and to help them in the planning and running of the best programs possible for the dancers.
Clubs and dancers
There are hundreds of clubs, 10 federations, and many associations, and dancers registered in Canada with the Canadian Square and Round Dance Society.
From beginners to avid dancers, everyone is welcome on the dance floor. Select your nearest city to find clubs, schedules, lessons, and events in your area.