Square Dance Merced

Learn to Square Dance

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The Point of this page is to emphasize, even though Square Dance started in the USA as the folk dance of America, it has spread over the world into many countries.

Please note that the calls are always in English even though some of the song lyrics are in the native language. I personally only speak English, but could have attended any of the dances in the videos below and danced happily after I adjusted my thinking to the voice of the caller. (It doesn’t take me long)


On the behalf of Buffalo Squares, here is a video from Swedish Square Dance Convention 2015!

1050805 55th All Japan Square Dance Convention in Yokohama

6th Taiwan Int’l Square Dance Convention on April 27~28, 2013.
Japanese Caller Koji Harai

Polish Square Dancing at St Stanislaus Polish Festival 2015

Germany: Darmstompers Square Dance Club e.V. in Darmstadt; Öffentlicher Auftritt in Darmstadt-Arheilgen 2017; Video von Hans Jost (Darmstadt-Arheilgen)


Currently, The crossing at the tracks (D Street Crossing) is closed for repairs.

From the North:

You can still use the Yosemite Exit, then Follow 16th down to G Street, turn Left, over the tracks and turn Left again onto 15th street.

Where 15th meets B Street, is Stratford and Evans.

Turn in at the iron gates and the Hall is on the Left.

Note: MLK (187B) is NOT a friendly exit during high traffic times. Use the Yosemite exit and be happy!

From the South:

Skip the Yosemite Exit and use the next 186C Exit and then Follow 16th down to G Street, turn Left, over the tracks and turn Left again onto 15th street.

Where 15th meets B Street, is Stratford and Evans.

Turn in at the iron gates and the Hall is on the Left.

This article is from Eastern Ontario Square Dance Club.

Reprinted from Mayo Clinic Health Letter January 1994


“Jazz up your fitness routine with a regular dose of dancing!

Evelyn resolved that in the New Year she’d exercise regularly. But it’s only the beginning of the New Year and she’s already bored with her new stationary bike. The rowing machine and treadmill at the YMCA held little appeal. When a friend coaxed her to go along for an evening of free dance lessons, she realized exercise doesn’t have to be a chore.

It’s true. Whether you’re swirling across the dance floor to a Strauss Waltz or doing do-si-dos to the commands of a square dance caller, you’re getting exercise – and probably having fun too.

Dancing pairs you up with more than a partner. From burning calories to socializing with friends, dancing offers these health benefits:

Calories – Dancing can burn as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. During a half-hour of dancing you can burn between 200 and 400 calories. One factor that determines how many calories you’ll expend is the distance you travel. In, one study, researchers attached pedometers to square dancers and found that each person covered five miles in a single evening.

Cardiovascular Conditioning – Regular exercise can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol profile. Experts typically recommend 30 – 40 minutes of continuous activity three or four times a week. Dancing may not provide all the conditioning you need, but it can help. The degree of cardiovascular conditioning depends on how vigorously you dance, how long you dance continuously, and how regularly you do it.

Strong Bones – The side to side movements of many dances strengthens your weight bearing bones (tibia, fibula and femur) and can help prevent or slow loss of bone mass (osteoporosis).

Rehabilitation – If you’re recovering from heart or knee surgery, movement may be part of your rehabilitation. Dancing is a positive alternative to aerobic dancing or jogging.

Sociability – Dancing contains a social component that solitary fitness endeavors don’t. It gives you an opportunity to develop strong social ties which contribute to self-esteem and a positive outlook.”

In addition to all this from the Mayo Clinic News Letter, there’s MORE! Square dancing is less costly than a Health Club membership AND …

Dancing nourishes the mind-body connection. With all its moving, twisting, and turning, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering all the calls — from “do-si-do” to “Allemande” to “Quick Vine Eight”– keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. And the companionship that regular square dancing is a good antidote for depression and loneliness, a statement confirmed by square-dancing advocates everywhere.

Ready to Dance Your Way to Fitness? You’re tempted, but not sure if you’ve got what it takes? Don’t underestimate yourself. Come to an Open House and find out just how much FUN it is. As you might expect, MEN are the hardest to get in the door … but did you know they are last to leave once they try it.

We have secured the hall for Tuesday evenings!

As anyone knows, we need a place to gather if we are going to Square Dance. The people at Stratford & Evans were kind enough make their hall available to us for Tuesday nights.

Stay-tuned for first night of class to start. We still have to go through the channels with the club to get our ducks in a row.

  • Dress Code For the Activity

Can You Identify the Activity by the Dress code?

Often the dress code is dictated by the activity such as the Biker below where leather helps survive  contact encounters with the pavement. Many times I have stopped by a store on the way to or from a Square Dance with my Square Dance attire on. Many people will instantly recognize and comment on my outfit. If my partner is with me in dress, it is even more impressive to the onlookers. It makes for great advertisement for our activity.

Can you tell what the activity is by dress code in each picture below. Even the silhouettes are identifiable.

Square Dancing

  • Men: Western facsimile long-sleeve shirts. (Ladies don’t like sweaty men’s arms… for that matter, men don’t like ’em either.)
  • Women: Western facsimile dress with a crinoline petticoat and petti pants all in matching colors.

It is common to have matching outfits for the man and the woman. Often a club will have a club dress code whereby all the members have the same matching style and colors.


This video does a good job of showing the energy and fun of square dancing.

Having Fun, In Popular Culture, Videos


Best look at learning to square dance reasons


You will find links to Searches for each topic below. Enjoy your research as you read.

Click on the (-) to the right of the line below to compress…

George Washington

Yes, the one and the same, cofounder of the Constitution of the United States

More Here Than Meets The Eye:

Everyone knows about George Washington’s great accomplishments but few know that he was a Square Dancer. Several engravings still exist depicting our most famous founding father engaged in early forms of Square Dancing.

Link: “George Washington”+”Square Dance”

Henry Ford

Yes, he invented the assembly-line for automobiles, but did you know he is also responsible for saving and preserving Square Dancing.

Ford dedicated vast amounts of his money and resources to documenting, promoting , and preserving square dancing for future generations.

He is also the one responsible for making square dancing a part of the physical education requirement of the public schools.

Search Link: “Henry Ford”+”Square Dance” (Not everyone knows how to spell Henry)

and: “Henery Ford”+”Square Dance”


Thomas Edison

First Square Dance Record Producer

We all know Thomas Edison invented the Phonograph, but did you know that the first record ever recorded by Edison Recording Company was a square dance record. The record featured Caller Benjamin Lovett who was employed by Henry Ford.

Link: “Thomas Edison”+”Square Dance”

Glen Campbell

“Gentle On My Mind”

Many people are familiar with this famous song made popular by Glen Campbell. This song was written by the famous American composer John Hartford. John was also known for being a lover of square dancing and a Hoedown Caller.

Link: ” Glen Campbell”+”Square Dance”

Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter credits a rural square dance club he joined in 1953 with helping him win a state Senate seat by a scant 66 votes. President Carter has said that he would have never become President if it wasn’t for Modern Western Style Square Dancing.

Link: “Jimmy Carter”+”Square Dance” Link:

Square Dancing Leads Back To The White House.
On January 25, 1982 the 97th Congress unanimously passed a Joint Resolution designating square dancing as the national folk dance of the United States and on June 1, 1982 President Reagan signed it.

This Resolution was a temporary action which would expire in two years. To make the national recognition permanent the Congress requested that the proponents return to the States for individual state endorsement and when two-thirds of the states complied, reconsideration by Congress would be automatic.

Search Word: “Congress”+”Square Dance”
Link for the text: House Joint Resolution/15

Ronald Reagan

President Ronald Reagan made square dancing the National Folk Dance 1982-1983.

“Ronald Reagan”+”Square Dance” Search link:

Our National Dance and State Dance

Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers began his career as a Square Dance Caller from Ohio by the name of Leonard Slye. When he moved to California he changed his name to Roy Rogers as the movie studio thought it was more fitting for a cowboy. They must have been right since he ultimately become the King of the Cowboys.

Search Word: “Roy Rogers”+”Square Dance”

California Official State Dance

Square Dance is the official California state folk dance.

The law designating the Square Dance as the official California state folk dance is found in the California Government Code, specifically Title 1, Division 2, Chapter 2, Section 421.5b.

SECTION 420-429.7.

421.5. (a) West Coast Swing Dance is the official state dance.
(b) The Square Dance is the official state folk dance.