Modern Square Dancing

Questions About Square Dancingsquare_dance_clip_art_2

Q: What is modern square dancing?

A: Square dancing is a fun, easy to learn social dance with eight people dancing as a group.  The group dances to music while moving in formations called out by a “caller”.  A song or set of songs is called a “tip,” followed by a break (and snacks, of course). What makes it so fun is that you aren’t just dancing with one person all night, nor with a whole room of people. Seven others are just enough to interact with and have a good time. Since the choreography is called out during the songs, you don’t have to memorize entire songs, just the calls. Men, that means you aren’t expected to make up a fun routine for your partner on the spot, as with ballroom dancing. Ladies, that means the choreography is left to the professionals!

Q: Do I need a partner to square dance?

A: You can come with a partner, or come as a single. We go out of our way to line up and rotate partners during a dance.

Q: I can’t dance; I’m too uncoordinated.

A: You don’t need any special dance experience or skills: if you can walk you can do square dancing. Unlike most forms of dance, what is important is to move around the floor in patterns with the other dancers to the cues from the caller. Exactly how your feet get you there or where your arms are doesn’t matter much. The caller will teach you the steps to the pattern you need to know. You’ll learn quickly because the patterns are repeated often. By the end of the class, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the new moves you learned and even the complex patterns you can perform.

Q: I hate country music! Isn’t square dancing all country music?

A: Square dance is played to a wide range of music from classic square dance music to top contemporary songs of today. We dance to rock, pop, country, marches, top radio hits, shows tunes, and even hip-hop!

Q: What should I wear?

A: Wear low, smooth-soled shoes, and loose, comfortable clothes. No traditional square dance attire is required. Fancy dance clothes can make their appearance on large district dances and special events with other clubs, but simple “dance attire” is adequate for these too.

Q: Is it good exercise?

A: Square dancing is great physical exercise. Each night of dancing is the equivalent of walking several miles. It’s also great mental exercise, too, as you learn the calls and put them into practice as the caller cues them.

Q: Isn’t square dancing for old people?

A: Modern Square Dancing hit its peak in the 1970’s when it became popular with young adults. As the popularity declined (lost its fad status), many people continued dancing and naturally aged. This lead to an aging demographic, which became self-fulfilling as the myth of this being an “old people” activity spread. The reality is that square dancing started as young and exciting, and it still can be. Some clubs cater to high energy youths, while others cater to a slower elderly crowd.

Q: Do we always dance in Eldorado?

A: Our home dance floor is in Eldorado, but members often choose to visit other clubs in our area (Albuquerque, Los Alamos, etc.). District and state level dances involve many clubs at various locations. Enthusiastic square dancers can dance three or more times in a week by visiting  clubs within an hour drive of Santa Fe. We often have out-of-town and out-of-state visitors; because the calls are standardized, they fit right in to our dances.

Q: Do I have to be a resident of Eldorado?

A: No. Our club members come from all over the Santa Fe metro area.

Q: How can I learn more?

A: You are always welcome to stop by and visit us on a dance night; see Calendar.  See our Contact page on this site and sign up for our newsletter. Lessons for Basic and Mainstream levels usually start in the fall, and continue through February. We may start a new second set of lessons after the New Year.  Outside sources to review and learn calls can be found on YouTube and the Taminations web site and mobile applications.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: Lessons this fall will be $75 per person for 20 weeks of instruction (a good deal!). Dues thereafter for club members are $60 per quarter per person. This covers caller’s fee, space rental, etc.