Complied by: Steve Longwood
IS SQUARE DANCING RIGHT FOR ME?
IS SQUARE DANCING HARD TO LEARN?
No, with most other dance forms you have to learn where to place your feet and it is just so hard to concentrate “the left foot goes here, now the right foot here and followed by the left foot over there”. With Square Dancing you don’t have to worry about that. Square dancing uses normal walking steps, now what could be more natural than that?
CAN I SQUARE DANCE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD?
Yes in fact square dancing is done in just about every country on this planet. What’s more because the terminology is a language all of its own, the English words used to cue the sequences are the same everywhere. You may not be able to talk with dancers in a foreign country, but you can dance with them and understand the English ‘commands’. Besides you all share a common language that goes far beyond the spoken word,” fun and friendship set to music”.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN?
It does take about 6 months to reach a standard where you can join others in the really big International events, but there are also dances organised for lesser experienced people. There is a similar lead time required with many other hobbies and sports before you can become involved with other clubs. However with square dancing, you are actually dancing and enjoying yourself right from day one.
IS THERE MORE?
Square dancing offers several programs for those who really want to “challenge themselves”. It is your choice, you can either learn the “core movements” or occasionally attend clubs that just dance for recreation or you can learn more and make it into a regular activity. There is no pressure.
BUT I’VE GOT 2 LEFT FEET!
It doesn’t matter. You can walk can you? Well that’s all you need to do. Square Dancing concentrates more on listening to the calls given to you and following the directions given. And by the way, you must know how to smile.
I DON’T LIKE DANCING WITH THE SAME PERSON ALL NIGHT!
That’s good because in each bracket (or tip) you will actually be dancing with 7 other people. And you are constantly changing partners!
I’M VERY SHY – I DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK SOMEONE TO DANCE
Don’t worry, you won’t have to. You just get into the round up and you will end up dancing with 4 other people from the opposite sex before you know it.
DO YOU HAVE ANY COMPETITIONS? Yes, but the competition is focussed on your own personal challenges of balancing “mind and body” health with fun. Square dancing is a win win competition. It is a team effort between the 8 dancers in each square AND the caller and all the sets being called to.
ARE THERE ANY REGIONAL DIFFERENCES? Actually very little, the moves and programs danced are all standardised. There may be one or two styling differences, but they are easy to adapt to.
I DON’T HAVE A REGULAR DANCE PARTNER CAN I STILL COME?
In most clubs it doesn’t matter, we match you up with a partner. But you better check first with each club just as a courtesy.
IS SQUARE DANCING EASY TO MASTER?
One of the first things we learn as children is how to walk. In next to no time you don’t have to think about how to do it – you just do it. You don’t worry about where your feet go, it’s automatic. With most dance forms you then have to learn to place your feet in specific arrangements, you have to learn to walk in a different way which is un-natural. Not so with square dancing. Square dancing is based upon walking in defined directions for defined distances. This is exactly what walking is. And as walking is one of the most natural things we do, square dancing becomes so easy to learn and master.
IS SQUARE DANCING HARD WORK?
Square dancing is done at about 126 beats per minute which is a natural rhythm for human activity, so you can burn as much excess body fat as can be achieved by jogging without “feeling” like you are exercising.
IS SQUARE DANCE INTERESTING?
The caller is there to help entertain you and make dancers forget about the day to day worries of the world. Square dancing is often referred to as “Fun and friendship set to music”.
WHAT SORT OF MUSIC IS PLAYED?
Square dancing uses many different types of music, including country & western, rock, jazz, sing-a-longs, and gospel.
IS IT VERY 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.
WILL I HAVE FUN?
Ask any square dancer how much fun they have – view video clip ‘Why Square Dance’ and read Square Dance Information as to why men & women love it so much after they have given it a go!.
CAN I MAKE FRIENDS EASILY?
Many people have made lifelong 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 IT CHALLENGING OR EASY?
Square dancing has a selection of programs available to match your time and commitment desires. If you wish to attend easy dances there is a program for you, if you wish to delve further into challenging dance routines there is also a program for you and several programs exist between those two extremes.
IS IT MENTALLY STIMULATING?
Square dancing can not only exercise the body but also the mind. You have to store a buffer memory in your brain to keep up with the ever changing dance patterns, which builds up your memory capacity through mental exercise.
ARE DANCERS DOING THEIR OWN THING?
You are working together in harmony with 7 other people plus the music.
IS THERE CULTURE BARRIERS?
There are no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world with all sorts of different ideologies meet on the dance floor. Square dancing helps to promote universal peace and co-operation throughout the world.
ARE THERE LOSERS?
Everyone works together during the dance the 8 dancers in the set work together with each other and with the caller. No-one competes otherwise it doesn’t work. As a result there are no losers.
WHY NOT TRY SQUARE DANCING?
Are you looking for a new way to exercise and stay fit and healthy?
Square dancing is a fun and easy way to exercise both mind and body.
Keep fit, socialise, stimulate the mind, have fun, laugh and make new friends.
Local, State, National and International events held regularly
Square dancing is fun and friendship set to music
If you can walk, you can square dance and it is inexpensive.
Join the many thousands who have discovered the amazing benefits of Modern Square Dancing.
Here’s six great reasons why you’ll be glad you came:
You’ll find it’s easy to learn and lot’s of fun.
It’s an inexpensive night out.
You’ll enjoy making lots of friends.
You’ll feel great after exercising mind and body
You can dress to suit your budget.
Clubs are located in most major areas with a variety of nights.
© Square Dance Australia National Square Dance Society of Australia Inc