Square Dance Merced

Learn to Square Dance

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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

SOCIAL DANCING

“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

https://www.reference.com/art-literature/square-dance-clubs-cfb519f5ce40b4c1?aq=the+square+dance&qo=cdpArticles

Best look at learning to square dance reasons

https://squareyourdance.com/

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.

GOVERNMENT CODE.
GENERAL PROVISIONS.
TITLE 1. GENERAL.
DIVISION 2. STATE SEAL, FLAG, AND EMBLEMS.
CHAPTER 2. STATE FLAG AND EMBLEMS.
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.

GIVE SQUARE DANCING A WHIRL

by Sam Shilmover
14 October 2006

Are you looking for an alternative to going to the gym?
Want an activity that you can do with your entire family?
Want to make some new friends?
Why not give Modern Square Dancing a try?

We all know that exercise is good for you.  Running, aerobics, jazzercising, weight lifting, event sports (basketball and tennis) all seem to be hard work.  Isn’t there a form of exercise that is also fun and doesn’t seem like hard work?

Yes there is – it’s called Square Dancing.

Modern Western Square Dancing may be just the activity you have been missing.

According to a 1994 Mayo Clinic Health Letter :

“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. 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. 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). 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. And finally, Square Dancing contains a social component that solitary fitness endeavors don’t. It gives you an opportunity to develop strong social ties that contribute to self-esteem and a positive outlook.

Square Dancing will Add Ten Years to your life, a surprising study shows:

Dr. Aaron Blackburn states:
“It’s clear that square dancing is the perfect exercise. It combines all positive aspects of intense physical exercise with none of the negative elements.” Dr. Blackburn said square dancing is a low impact activity requiring constant movement and quick directional changes that help keep the body in shape. The study was based on their physical examination which indicated that both female and male square dancers could expect to live well into their 80’s. Square dance movements raise heart rates like many good aerobic exercises should. All the quick changes of direction loosen and tone up the muscles–but not so severally as to cause injury. In square dancing, when you’re not moving, you’re clapping hands and tapping your feet, which all contributes to long-term fitness. “You don’t see a lot of 55 year old basketball players, but that’s just the age when square dancers are hitting their peak”, Dr. Blackburn said.

Good for Body and Mind according to WebMD

(article published July 9, 2001):
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 “dosado” to ‘allemande’ — keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. And the companionship that regular square dancing offers is an antidote to depression and loneliness, a statement confirmed by square dancing advocates everywhere.

Square dancing is a mental and physical challenge. It is dancing and it is thinking. The goal is to work with the others in your square. Moving in rhythm to the music keeps you physically fit. Reacting to the calls keeps you on your toes. No one knows what move will be called next. Experienced square dance callers teach you the moves and the names of the calls that you dance. You practice these moves until they feel as natural as walking. Then your caller combines the basic moves and steps into whole dance patterns. You (and the others in your square) simply follow the calls. Each arm turn brings a surprise, and as the pattern concludes, all the moves bring you back to your partner. The combination of dance figures is almost endless.

Square Dancing is for people of all ages who are ready to socially interact, it is said that “Square Dancing is Friendship set to Music”.  People of all ages square dance finding it a fun social activity where there are no prizes, no points, no wreathes of laurel, no winners or losers, just a feeling of self-satisfaction and well being. It is intended for everyone to have a good time without the stress of competition.  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.   Besides the actual square dancing, dancers learn teamwork (yet there are no teams), cooperation, tolerance and patience.  Let’s face it these are all attributes we all could use a little more in our lives.

A side benefit of Square Dancing is while you’re dancing you RELAX, mentally and physically, and completely forget any troubles that may have been plaguing you (bad day at the office, etc.). This pastime is a perfect way to forget your troubles, it is virtually impossible to think of anything else while you square dance. Because of the mental requirements of this activity, dancers forget about the day-to-day worries of the world and concentrate their efforts at making it through the dance.

Though many men avoid dancing in any form, in actuality, square dancing presents very few of the hated elements. Though square dancing is dancing in the sense of partners, trappings, and music, it’s actually like precision drill stepping performed with partners. Instead of a drill sergeant, there is a “Caller” who sings directions set to the music of popular songs. Following the Callers directions, the dancer’s moves are all coordinated. In square dancing, the dancers responsibility is to simply follow the “calls” and be where they are supposed to be at the moment they are supposed to be there. Novices can walk there; energetic dancers can boogie there – according to your mood at the moment.

Come learn to Square Dance. If you can walk you can learn to Square Dance. With most dance forms you have to learn to place your feet in specific arrangements – you have to learn to walk in a different way which is un-natural. This is not so with square dancing. Square dancing is based upon walking in defined directions for defined distances. Which is exactly what walking is. And as walking is one of the most natural things we do – square dancing becomes so easy to learn.

Square Dancing is good clean fun and generally safe, and people of all ages are involved. An evening of this entertainment is inexpensive. You’ll find yourself interacting with everyone from teenagers to the elderly… and you’ll find you all have something in common.

References:

Articles from the Internet:

For Physical & Mental Exercise, Plus Sociability. Try Western Square Dancing. It’s Friendship Set To Music

Do-Sa-Do: Square Dancing and Mindfulness  by Maya Talisman Frost

What is a Square Dancer

Don’t Be a Square — Dance!  Do-Si-Do Fitness   By Denise Mann  WebMD Feature

Learn To Square Dance!

A Brief History Of Square Dancing

Contributing Factors   by Jeff Garbutt

Prevention Magazine mentions Square Dancing as a healthy activity  by Bob Knowles

Dance for the Health of it!  from January 1994 Mayo Clinic Health Letter

Fun with Fitness   Square Up, Slim Down and Promenade the Pounds Away    By Diane Gustwiller; Defiance, Ohio

Dancing will add ten years to your life!

Square Dancing:  The Historical Geography of an American Folk Custom Richard M. MacKinnon  Allan Hancock College    Santa Maria, California

As you Watch the Video, Keep these things in mind:

This is Modern Western Style Square Dancing!
Likely not what you Think! Watch…

  • All age groups represented.
  • Mental as well as Physical exercise!
  • A lot of the Music used, you will recognize as up-to-date and familiar.
  • Club dances as well as Festival & Convention Dances represented in this video.
  • Which means that there is Local in your area as well as out of area opportunities to dance.


In the next video, There is a miss-spelling at 0:01:12!
The Word is “Not“… not “Now” in the phrase on screen “The dancers do now know what the caller is about to command.”

It should read “The dancers do not know what the caller is about to command.”

What is Square Dance?


Square Dance is for everyone!



Step it up a Notch! Square Dance is for everyone!


NEW DANCER’S HANDBOOK
Callers Association of Modesto Area

PRESENTED BY CALLER ASSOCIATION MODESTO AREA

TABLE OF CONTENTS

WELCOME
CODE OF ETHICS
SPIRIT OF SQUARE\ROUND DANCING
TEN COMMANDMENTS
GROUND RULES
GUIDELINES FOR NEW GRADUATES
DO’s and DON”TS
NEW DANCER HOEDOWNS
DEFINITIONS

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SQUARE DANCING

This booklet is produced in an effort to help those new to square dancing to learn about the “Code of Ethics,” one’s attitude toward square dancing, some of the “does and don’ts in square dancing, some “Ground Rules,” some “Guidelines” to better enjoy the activity, introduction to “New Dancer Hoedowns” and a list of calls thru Mainstream. If you read the booklet and find it helpful and informative, then the purpose of the Callers Association of the Modesto Area (CAMA) has been met.

The object in square dancing is to enjoy an evening of friendship set to music The object in taking Square Dancing lesions is to become proficient enough to dance at the level that is danced at the various clubs’ workshops and Saturday dances.

In order to help you attain this goal, the following is recommended:

1. NEVER MISS A CLASS, unless it is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, one must almost dedicate himself/herself to about one year of weekly lessons.

2. STUDY THE BASIC HANDBOOK, which is available from your caller. Also there is a VCR film produced by Gold Star Productions that you might want to view the various calls.

3. ASK FOR HELP, if you don’t understand a call. Remember the caller/instructor and all the other dancers are there to help you in every way possible.

4. ATTEND A MINIMUM OF FOUR NEW
DANCER HOEDOWNS. Lessons are where YOU learn the calls. Hoedowns are where you learn to react to the calls through practice.

REMEMBER, you will not learn at a steady pace. When it seems extra hard and you get frustrated, keep trying. All the club members are interested in helping you learn to Square Dance. Sometimes we will gently guide you in the right direction, if you go wrong . Keep in mind that we are only trying to help.

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SQUARE DANCE CODE OF ETHICS

1. COURTESY – As a Square Dancer, I will respect other dancers and callers and treat everyone with courtesy.

2. FRIENDSHIP – I will go beyond the limits to be friendly because those who participate in this activity with me are all my friends.

3. LOYALTY – I will support my own club in all activities because it means the continuance of Square Dancing depends on my personal loyalty.

4. CLEANLINESS – I do not wish to offend anyone. I am very particular of my personal habits, breath as well as body.

5. ABSTINENCE – Many Square Dancers are held in public facilities where alcohol is forbidden and their continued availability is dependent upon a favorable public image of Square Dancers . The cooperation of dancers required for following the calls is impaired by drinking and close contact in a square with those who has consumed alcoholic beverages may be offensive. Therefore, I recognize the validity of the efforts to maintain a separation of Square Dancing from drinking, and will refrain from its use before and during the dances that I attend.

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THE SPIRIT OF SQUARE DANCING
DON’T EVER LET IT GET AWAY

“If Square Dancing offered nothing more than physical exercise set to music, the values of participation would be limited. Actually the physical act of Square Dancing, like the folk dances of all nations, is the body within which, the spirit lives, and that spirit is expressive of the people who founded it. Square Dancing is an important social event. The people come because they need each other. They need the encouragement of their neighbors as  well as the relaxation and escape, for a time, from the problems of existence. They dance; they visit; they feast. Hospitality, consideration, kindness, patience, cooperation and good fellowship blend into the spirit of their dancing.”

Author unknown

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“EXAMINE YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHER DANCERS”

Square Dancing is and must always; remain a “FUN” activity that blends people of all professions, personalities, skills and levels of experience into one common recreation pursuit. There is no place for a person whom by nature can’t tolerate “goofs” and slower responses. Be patient, laugh off mixups, and appreciate that you had to learn too. In fact, you may be the next to “goof”.

Be patient and tolerant, laugh together and differences will eventually be swallowed up in your dance , fun and enthusiasm. The GOLDEN RULE should always apply at your club

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TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SQUARE DANCING

1. THOU SHALT – greet thy caller and learn the power of concentration by silently repeating his call as your success depends upon his words.

2. THOU SHALT – wear badges, be friendly and exchange greetings lest thee be labeled a snob and unworthy of the title Square Dancer.

3. THOU SHALT – remain silent while the caller gives advice and instruction. You might receive the ire of the caller as he knows the other seven in your square don’t know what he is teaching.

4. THOU SHALT NOT – Anticipate nor dance ahead of the caller for he possesses the ability to foul you up and make you look foolish to those you dance with .

5. THOU SHALT NOT – ridicule those dancers who have two left hands or feet but do everything in your power to help them distinguish one from the other.

6. THOU SHALT – try always to dance in ” different sets so you can share your personality and experience with all.

7 . THOU SHALT NOT – moan and belittle the caller when you have goofed and save the arguing until after the tip. A set that breaks down doesn’t stand, they usually get into lines and restart when the active sets are in lines or they square up.

8. THOU SHALT – bathe diligently before going to a dance and use deodorants as many pass under our arms.

9. THOU SHALT NOT – partake of strong drink before nor during a dance lest thy mind become befuddled and you end up being criticized by all you dance with.

10. THOU SHALT – be an active part of your class, club or workshop and remember that its success rests upon your shoulders. It is not a sin to as~ for help when you have trials for when you go home confused; you will return confused.

THE REWARDS OF OBSERVING THESE COMMANDMENTS WILL BE GREAT FOR MANY FRIENDS WILL YOU HAVE AND YOUR NAME WILL BE LISTED AMONG THE FINEST PEOPLE …THE SQUARE DANCERS.

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GROUND RULES FOR SQUARE DANCING

1. BE A GOOD LISTENER. The caller is like a quarterback. He calls the play~ by. giving you the signals for the ‘movements he wants you to make. Talking or thinking of something else is distracting to you and makes it difficult for others to listen.

2. GET INTO SQUARES QUICKLY. Don’t make the caller and fellow dancers beg you to dance! Do you realize how much time in an evening is spent that could be used for dancing if so much time was not wasted waiting for dancers to ‘square up’?

3. BE A COURTEOUS DANCER. Standard rules of courtesy are always appreciated. Saying “Thank you” to all those in the set with you is a natural reaction.

Be aware of these special courtesies:

a. Its considered bad manners to pass a square in order to fill another square.

b. Even worse, is to leave a square, once you have joined it, until the tip is over.

4. BE ON TIME FOR CLUB AND CLASSES.

This speaks for itself. Just one person can prevent a square from “squaring up”.

5. BE A THOUGHTFUL DANCER. Personal cleanliness is important in any activity, especially one where folks exercise vigorously in clear contact with each other. Another rule to remember is – BEFORE SQUARING DANCING, DON’T DRINK.

6. BE A COOPERATIVE DANCER. A square is made up of eight individuals working as a unit with no individual person attempting to show off or be “THE STAR”.

7. TAKE IT EASY. Don’t overdo. If you get tired, sit down. Sometimes you can learn a great deal by watching and listening.

8. BE A FRIENDLY DANCER. You are the host in each square you dance. Get acquainted with others in the square and make it a point to dance with as many different dancers as possible each evening. It has been said that “Square dancing is friendship set to music” .

9. YOU’RE NEVER THROUGH LEARNING. You’ll find there is always something new that you can learn or some part of your dancing that can be improved upon. 10. ENJOY YOURSELF. Have fun. Pleasure is contagious. You’ll be surprised how much your smile will pep up t.he entire square.

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GUIDELINES FOR NEW GRADUATES

1. DANCE WITH OTHER CLUBS
Your club needs your support and there should always be a special pace for the club where you learned to dance, but you are missing one of the great things about Square Dancing if you only dance with your home club. You are missing the chance to make many friends and denying other dancers the chance to meet you . At the same time, if for some reason, you are not happy in the club you are with, don’t stop dancing. Find a club you can be happy in.

2. DANCE TO OTHER CALLERS:

During your lessons you have tuned yo ear to the caller who taught you, and you will have a special place for him/her, too. Every caller has a different style and that’s all part of the fun. Decide for yourself which callers you enjoy, but try them all . You might miss a good one.

3. DON’T DANCE IN THE BACK OF THE HALL:

The tendency is for the newer dancer who is a little unsure of his/her proficiency to want to hide in back where he/she thinks the caller can’t (wont see their square break down. If all the newer dancers dance in the back, you are only dancing with each other and your square is more apt to break down. If there is going to be a sound problem, it will be in the back where the sound travel through all the people dancing in front. The crowd noises also makes it harder to hear. Obviously everyone can’t dance in front, but don’t be afraid to take your turn.

4. DON’T DANCE JUST WITH OTHER NEW DANCERS

This goes hand in hand with dancing in the back of the hall. If all four couples in your square are new dancers and a little slow to react to calls, your square will break down. Sometimes an out-reached hand from a more experienced dancer is all that your square needs to keep going. Everyone dancing today was a new dancer at one time and can remember how it felt. They will be happy to dance with you. NOW BE AWARE you may run into the “old grouch”. If they make some unfavorable remark don’t let them dis-courage. Remember there are 100 others that know the ethics of square dancing.

5. TOUCH HANDS WITH EVERY MOVE (on both sides)

ANOTHER MAIN REASON SQUARES BREAK DOWN IS BECAUSE THE DANCERS HAVE FAILED TO ESTABLISH THEIR POSITION BY TOUCHING THE HAND OF THE DANCER OR DANCERS NEXT TO THEM AT THE END OF EACH MOVE. Do AS THE TELEPHONE COMPANY SUGGEST: “Reach out and touch someone”. If you are lost, at least you will know you have company when you are touching hands. Remember: IF YOU CAN TOUCH HANDS.

6. KEEP DANCING DURING THE SUMMER
This is possibly the most important hint. You have all this new information jammed into you head and the only way to make it “second nature” is to practice, practice, practice. If your club shuts down for the summer, find another club that are still dancing.

7. BE AWARE OF YOUR DANCING LEVEL
Most of the new dancers graduate as Mainstream dancers and should have received a list of all the calls. Included in this level. But before you graduate there will be New Dancer Hoedowns given by different clubs. Look for dances that are advertised at the level that you are dancing. DO NOT GO TO DANCES/HOEDOWNS EXPECTING OR HOPING THAT SOMEONE WILL “PULL” YOU THROUGH. Do not be afraid to ask the caller to explain a move or call at a dance if you are having troubles. Many dancers can explain a call, but they may tell you wrong. The best thing is to ask the caller. Callers started out as new dancers, too!!

8. DON’T BE IN A HURRY TO DANCE OTHER LEVELS

There are several levels of Square Dancing. The level you dance has nothing to do with how good a dancer you are no matter what some will insinuate. It has to do with how much time you have had to devote to the hobby. You may choose to move to another level and that’s fine. Don’t make the choice at all until you have danced Mainstream for at least one full year after graduation even if your caller has or is teaching Plus. Don’t let anyone rush you.

9. DON’T TAKE SQUARE DANCING TO SERIOUSLY

Square Dancing is for fun. The odds are fairly good that someone is going to make a mistake once in awhile (SOMETIMES THE CALLER EVEN MAKES ONE)

Don’t worry about whose fault it was. It doesn’t matter. Keep smiling, regroup quickly, form a line and wait until the rest of the dancers are in a line, then start with the next call. There is a saying “If you make enough mistakes, buy some equipment and become a caller”.

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Finally!

Jump right up when the music starts, get in the first open square, introduce yourself, smile and have fun. Thank everyone in your square when the tip is over.

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SOME DO’s AND DON’T’s FOR THE NEW DANCER AND REMINDERS FOR THE “OLD TIMERS”

DO be aware at all times that square dancing is a recreation rather than a completion.

DO keep smiling even if you are angry with yourself for “goofing”. The other seven people in the set might think you are frowning at them.

DO recognize your corner, not only what they are wearing, but who they are. Next to your partner they are most important person in your square.

DO be quiet and attentive to the caller during the instructions even though you know what he is trying to explain. Perhaps someone else in your set needs to be briefed.

DO wear proper Square Dance Attire – long sleeves for men, full skirts for ladies.

DO remember to treat all ladies as yo would want other men to treat your wife. The ladies always seem to treat other men a little gentler than their own spouse.

DO wear a name badge at all times. It might surprise some of the oldsters t learn that they are not as ‘well known or important as they think they are t others.

DO accept or admit you “goofed” this time. Next time it could be someone Else’s turn so don’t feel bad. And when you “goof”, goof gracefully and try to recover the best you can in order to save the set from breaking up entirely TRY TO KEEP DANCING.

DO remember where your place in the square (sides, heads,I,2,3,4 couple) DO end each dance with a flourish, applause and tanks to all in the set and mean it.

DO support a club as a dues paying member. The life blood of the square dance picture flow through this avenue and is the backbone of the recreation If everyone was a free loader, there would be no way to pay the bills.

DO make it a practice to thank guest for coming, the caller for his efforts, and the club president where you are visiting. In general, thank everyone who help make your evening a pleasant one.

DO pretend to be having a good time even if you are bored. Perhaps the other seven are thoroughly enjoying themselves. If you want a real challenge, try dancing with the seven weakest dancers. Maybe you are good enough get them through.

DO take your turn at responsibilities in the Square Dance picture as officers in a club, on the serving committee, in any way that you can help others rather than be catered to always.

CAUTION: Don’t take a club office until you have danced at least a year.

THE LAST DO: Always thank the caller at the end of the dance. His pay is not the small amount of money he receives but the pleasure he sees as you enjoy yourself. Let him know if you had fun. DON’T be a competitive dancer. Don’t try to out do the others.

DON’T be over exuberant. Your yells might drown out the caller’s next command for everyone around you . Learn to be “noisy” at the right intervals: IE. during a Right and Left Grand but not on the Allemande Left or during an Allemande Thar patter and not at the change of command point.

DON’T be a “know-it-all”. Let the caller be the instructor unless you are asked personally after the tip is over.

DON’T cut in or out of a set unless you know how. If you are cut out, leave gracefully.

DON’T be guilty of “horse-play” unless you know the set would not be offended, or the club.

DON’T take that extra swing with your partner. It might make her late for the next left allemande with her waiting corner.

DON’T forget to trade a dance, especially with a guest. And don’t overlook the caller’s wife. She might like to dance rather than sit all the time. At least ask her.

DON’T sit like a bump on a log when another couple is needed for a set. If you want to sit out a tip, disappear into the wash room or some place where you are not seen. But don’t disappear if you think your partner may square expecting you to join the set.

DON’T cry about the hall, the sound, the crowd, the floor. Think positive thoughts so others around you aren’t effected. They might be having the best time ever.

DON’T spin or twirl the ladies unless you know she likes it. Let her decide if she wants that extra twirl. No one ever got a sore arm by not spinning.

DON’T set up squares to go out on the dance floor. If you are sincere about dancing with friends in the same set , stand across from each other and allow any two couples to join you that happen to come along.

DON’T insist on dancing YOUR way when visiting other areas. If these people dance palms up in the alamo, go along with it. If they do or do not stir the bucket, do as the Romans do but keep your opinions to yourself unless asked.

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NEW DANCER HOEDOWNS

Flyers will be available at your class telling you when and where New Dancer Hoedowns are being held. The flyer will state the level of the dance. You can tell if you are dancing the level by checking with your instructor or the list of calls located in this booklet. All the New Dancer Hoedowns in our area will be at the level you are dancing. However, if you attend a dance outside our area, be sure to check the level to insure that you can dance all the calls to be used. If the caller uses calls beyond the advertised level, then it isn’t your fault. If you go to a dance beyond your level and the square breaks down, then it will be your fault. Some experienced dancers will say “Come on, we will PULL you through.” Don’t go. You don’t want to be “pulled” all night, do you?

You will find that you learn a lot at a hoedown. This is the time you can practice and learn to react to the calls. This is the time to enjoy, with less pressure, what you have worked so hard to learn during lessons. Have FUN at Hoedowns. That is what they are for.

HAVE MORE FUN, GOING TO AS MANY NEW DANCER HOEDOWNS AS YOU CAN

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DEFINITIONS

C.C.S.D.A: California Square Dancer Association. All the square dance clubs from Merced, Twain Harte, Turlock, San Andreas have joined together to form an association. Representatives from the various clubs meet once a month to share ideas, coordinate activities and in general work for the GOOD of square dancing. It sponsors one festival per year and publish the Promenader. At the present they’re 7 sq. dance clubs, 4 round dance clubs.

CALIFORNIA SQUARE DANCE Council. All the associations (like CCSDA) in the state join together to deal with issue of state wide concerns in square dancing. The Presidents of the various associations meet regularly. The state council hold one major festival per year called the State Convention. Ever other year the convention is held in a southern state city. The following yea it is held in a northern state city.

NATIONAL SQUARE DANCE COUNCIL: The representatives from the various- State Councils in the U.S. and others meet and promote square dancing on the national level. They hold a National Convention once per year in various cities in the U.S.

FESTIVAL : Usually a three day event from Friday night to Sunday with multi programs; sq. dancing, rounds, clogging, contra, western swing, etc. (Same as National and State Conventions)

WING DING: A three day festival held in Turlock in March sponsored by C. C.S.D.A

CLASSES: Usually refers to those new to square or round dances, but can refer to concentrated learning of a new program. THE EMPHASIS IS ON LEARNING. WORKSHOP: Local clubs meet to learn and practice various calls and routines. More emphases is on practice and enjoying dancing with other club members.

HOEDOWNS OR DANCES OR PARTY NIGHTS: The meaning is basically the same for all. Dancers from all clubs are invited to dance together. The emphases is on dancing. Very little if any teaching is done. Dancers are encouraged to check the level of the dance and not dance “over their head”.

CALLERLAB: An organization of callers from allover the world. It has no jurisdiction over local callers, and is not necessary for a caller to belong to the organization to call. CALLERLAB , has a convention once a year in vario cities of the u.s. There is no dancing at this convention. Members meet to coordinate and share ideas, make suggestions and recommendations concerning square dancing. CALLERLAB been responsible for establishing levels of dance so dancer~ ” can dance the same movements anywhere in the world. At the present there are the BASIC, MAINSTREAM, PLUS , ADVANCED 1 & 2, AND CHALLENGE PROGRAMS.

ROUNDALAB: Exactly the same as CALLERLAB except for round dancing. A the present the round dancers call their programs PHASES. There are six the present, each progressing with difficulty dance steps.

BMI AND ASCAP: Licensing agents for those that write and record music. It is necessary for callers and/or the club to be licensed by BMI AND ASCAP , use the songs and music for square and round dancing. A club or sponsoring agency can be held liable for a very heavy find if the club or their caller and cuer is not licensed. The cost is between $150 and $250 per year.

INSURANCE: For a fee you can buy insurance to cover you while at a dance. This is secondary insurance after YOUR primary.

CALLERS ASSOCIATION MODESTO AREA (CAMA)

 

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