What is Square Dancing?

Square Dancing is an activity in which four couples form a set (square) and perform a sequence of actions based on calls (instructions.) A caller gives the instructions to the dancers.

During a dance, a caller will call several tips. A tip consists of two parts, the hash or patter and a singing call.

In hash or patter, the caller may give these instructions in any order. Dancers must listen carefully and correctly perform the actions to keep their set from breaking down. The eight dancers must work as a team to execute the calls in a timely manner.

A singing call is a set of calls coreographed to music. A wide variety of music is used for singing calls including country, oldies, big band, etc. The instructions require each woman in the set to dance with her own partner and the three other men in the set during the song. If the calls are followed correctly, the couples end up with their own partner at the end of the song.

In Modern Western Square Dancing, square dancers must take lessons for one school year before they can dance with a club. During the lessons they learn three levels of dancing - Basic, Mainstream, and Plus. After joining a club, some dancers take additional lessons to learn calls at the Advanced and Challenge levels. The dance levels and some sample calls are listed below.


Program Level Number of Calls Sample Calls
Basic 52 Allemand Left, Right and Left Grand
Mainstream 17 Spin the Top, Cloverleaf
Plus 30 Track 2, Load the Boat
Advanced 1 20 Wheel Through, Swap Around
Advanced 2 20 Spin the Windmill, Zig, Zag
Challenge 1 20 Percolate
Challenge 2 20

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What is Round Dancing?

Round Dancing is an activity in which couples form a large circle around the perimeter of a room and perform a sequence of steps and arm movements based on cues (instructions.) A cuer gives the instructions to the dancers.

A round dance is a set of cues coreographed to music. A wide variety of music is used for round dances including waltzes, foxtrot, two-step, etc. Couples must learn the individual cues and put them together as the cuer announces them. The dancers must keep in time to the music. There are six difficulty levels in round dancing.

Two round dances are cued between each tip at Bee Sharps square dances. Many members of Bee Sharps Square Dance Club take round dance lessons at other clubs so that they can do the round dances at Bee Sharps.


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