Square dances are based on
one or more squares made up of eight dancers (four couples) who start in
a squared up set with one couple facing each wall. The common
terminology of square dance designates two of their pairs as head
couples and the other two as side couples. During a square dance, the
dancers follow a caller who leads the dancers by calling the steps for
them to follow in a very similar way to which the leader of an aerobics
workout leads the participants though the exercises.
A sequence is a set of calls
with all the dancers starting at their home positions, dancing the
calls, and ending back at their home positions again. When dancers
square up they dance a number of sequences with the same people. That is
called a tip. At the end of the tip, it is traditional to kindly thank
everyone in your square and shake hands. Then there is a short break
before the next tip. And by tradition, every tip starts with a “bow to
your partner” and “bow to your corner.”
Square dances are easy to
learn in that nearly all the listed movements take either 4, 8 or 16
steps. It should be easy for students to find their beginning and ending
points at any given time. All they will need to be able to do is find
the underlying the underlying 1-2-3-4 beat of the music. Square dance
music usually has a particularly easy beat to follow.
Sample square dance
HERE for 10 terrific square
Now, try these samples below.
Sample Square Dances
1. Four men turn the corner
Left Hand Around ... Put the ladies in the center back to back* ... Men
Promenade Single File around the outside ... Turn this same lady once
and a half ... Put the men in the center back to back ... Ladies
Promenade Single File around the outside ... Turn the same man by the
Left Hand Around ... Swing your partner
* The ladies/men step into the
center of the set and face out so that all four people are back to back.
Several other variations can be built around the same theme. For example
the men or the ladies could be asked to turn the opposite or the right
hand person once around before coming home.
2. Four Ladies Chain Across
... Chain Back ... Put the Ladies in the Middle Back to Back ... Men
Promenade Outside ... Turn Your Partner by the Left Turn Your Corner by
the Right Partner Left ... Corner Promenade ...
3. Allemande Left ... Put the
Ladies Back to Back ... Men Promenade Around the Outside ... Allemande
Left Once and a Half and put the Men in the Center Back to Back ...
Ladies Promenade Around the Outside ... Allemande Left ... Grand Right &