What is Square Dancing?

 Square dancing is team dancing done in groups of eight, who form the shape of a square - two people standing on each of the four sides. Each dance begins and ends in the square formation, with a sequence of dance steps known as "calls" in between. The dance instructor, referred to as a "Caller", directs the dance by calling out the steps.  This way the Caller can arrange the calls to form an endless variety of  dances. 

Is all Square Dancing the same?

 No, Modern Square Dance evolved from Old Time Square Dancing, into a multi-level sophisticated program.  Where Old Time Squares is a single program with about 25 calls (dance steps), Modern Square Dance has 10 programs with over 500 calls. The most commonly danced program is "Mainstream", consisting of 67 calls. Our club, Wheatland Whirlers, is a Mainstream club. 

What kind of music is used?

Old-time fiddle tunes have given way to any type of music  with a strong beat. Genres include, but are not limited to pop, rock, easy listening, show tunes, salsa, classical, old and new country.

Are special clothes required?

 No, dress is your choice - casual, dressy, western or the traditional costume (ie. lady's skirt and crinoline, man's matching  shirt with scarf). 

It is important to wear comfortable, indoor shoes suitable for a gym floor.  

Is this for couples only?

 No, singles, couples and families are welcome. It’s not unusual for two ladies to partner up.  Children must be able to take instruction and be accompanied by their parents. 

Is it true that people with 'two left feet' can square dance?

Yes, that's true!  There are no intricate steps or fancy footwork to learn. Unlike couple-dancing, square dancing is a team dance so dancers do not need to be concerned about leading or following a partner.   If you can walk and listen at the same time, you can square dance.    

Is it much of a work-out?

 Yes!  Square dancing shares the same benefits as low-impact aerobics. It burns as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bike - 200 to 400 calories every 1/2 hour. It boosts stamina, helps bones to stay strong, and improves heart health. An evening of dance is equivalent to 7,000+ steps. 

It's an activity that uses both sides of the brain - a proven workout for the mind.  

The best benefit, though, is  that square dancing turns exercise into a fun and enjoyable social experience. 

What ages square dance?

 All ages! From young teens who have the option of competing in annual dance festivals, to university groups like M.I.T.'s "Tech Squares", to families with school-age children through to baby boomers and beyond. 

The Caller has the flexibility to adjust the program that best suits the dancer on the floor - new or experienced, younger or older.  

What is Round Dancing?

Round dancing is a companion to square dancing, and often an evening of square dance will include some round dancing, such as two-step or waltz.  It is ballroom dancing, but with a twist. The dances are pre-choreographed and the dance instructor announces the steps as the dance proceeds.  Dancers do not need to memorize sequences and partners do not need to be concerned with leading or following. Instead the dancers can focus on the steps and the rhythm, making this a little easier to learn how to dance.   

Round dancing got it's name because couples form a large circle around the dance floor. As they dance, they progress around the circle in the same direction, preventing collisions with other couples.  

For detailed information about Round Dancing: