The Evolution of Modern Square Dancing

When most people hear the term “square dancing”, they immediately think back to their memories of school dance programs, where they tried to interpret what to do upon the commands of “do-si-do” and “allemande left.” For many, to be excited about square dancing meant you had to be a fan of old-time country music and dress up in traditional dresses and duds.

But square dancing has evolved quite a bit since the days of the ho-down and come out of the honky tonks and into the mainstream.

Modern square dancing has been around for a long time, evolving from various types of dancing in the United Kingdom and continental Europe as well as North America. Modern and traditional square dancing are similar in that both involve groups of eight, all interpreting and responding to the calls.

What sets modern square dancing apart is that participants focus on mastering the individual steps, each of which are given names, rather than an entire dance. The Caller strings these steps together, with the dancers reacting to the calls. Part of the fun is not knowing what steps will be called next. No two dances are ever the same.

Not only does this evolution of square dancing make it much more exciting, it also makes it easier for the beginner to jump in and get involved.

Even the clothes people wear no longer fits the style long associate with square dancing. While some people enjoy donning those traditional-style clothes, all a participant really needs are comfortable shoes and clothing.

Not a fan of country music? Modern square dancing can employ any type of music, from classic rock, easy listening and classical, as long as it is up-tempo.

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