5 Cool Things About Square Dancing
Do-Si-Do. Ok, that’s it. That is the totality of my square dancing knowledge. Growing up in South Carolina, there were two dances one was sure to see, Shagging and Square Dancing. Ashamedly, my knowledge of both of these is lacking. However, since September is International Square Dancing Month, I decided to investigate this classic American dance. Here is some what I learned.
- The New York City Ballet Company was the first to offer Square Dance in a ballet, in 1957. In this original version, the musicians were placed on stage and a square dancer called out the steps. In 1976, the ballet was revived, with musicians placed in the pit and there was no caller (a male dancer improvised the caller).
- Square dancing has been our “official national folk dance” since President Reagan signed an act of Congress in 1982.
- Originally, square dances had a caller in each square, instead of a single caller for the entire hall. That was the only way to hear the calls over the music if the group was very large.
- Over 30 US States have designed square dancing as the official State Dance or official State Folk Dance.
- Do-Si-Do means Partners, or those designated by Caller, face. Walk around each other passing right and then left shoulders back to own position. This is one of many necessary terms needed when square dancing. It seems almost like learning another language if you ask me. Just kidding but there are a lot of terms.
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Learn more about square dancing here, here and here.