Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Square Dance?
- I had to square dance in school and hated it. Why should I try it now?
- Do I have to wear traditional square dance attire?
- What if I cannot dance?
- I’m excited about square dancing, I want to learn, but I can’t come on Friday nights or I do not live near Katy?
- How much do square dance lessons cost?
Why Square Dance?
Benefits of Square Dancing
Alemand left and do-si-do, swing your partner, round she goes! The American Square Dance is a important part of our cultural history. Square dancing is good, old-fashioned fun and a lively way to spend time, and there are many benefits to this activity.
Square Dancing is an Americanized version of the medieval court dances of Old England, and of the various folk dances that are part of many European cultures. What has distinguished Square Dancing from most other folk dances is the use of a caller to help direct the steps of the dancers. Typically, groups of couples are arranged around a circle or square shape, with the steps moving them around the circle and back and forth with other partners. A caller has music and a microphone, and directs people through a variety of routines and steps. You can dance one number, or you can dance all night!
It's fantastic fun, and as a pastime Square Dancing offers tons of health benefits. It also can provide social and emotional benefits for the rest of your life.
- Music is a great benefit to our spirits and to the lasting health of our brains.
- It's easy. This is a great benefit to beginners. Square dancing is MUCH easier than line-dancing or prescribed dance routines, because a caller helps you through the steps. The calls are simple and easy to learn. If you mess up, you'll quickly catch up by watching your group. There are always experienced dancers around to help you out.
- The movement that square dancing provides is great for your body. Square dancing is not strenuous. This means that most people can square dance. Square dancing gets you moving, providing some aerobic benefits. This health benefit is of importance to all square dancers. The music and the fun can make you forget you are getting a workout, but your blood is pumping, your limbs are moving and your lungs are pushing fresh air plenty of fresh air.
- Square dancing is addictive, meaning you will be back again and again to reap it's benefits.
Exercise is not of any benefit to you if you don't do it! Square dancing, however, has a great appeal and a social connection, so it is common for dancers to more than once a week.
- People who are embarrassed by free-style dancing often find square dance steps more comfortable. Every one is doing the same thing you are doing, so there's no reason to be shy! This helps reduce the stress people sometimes feel socially or at activities.
- Square Dancing is social! It is a blast to hang out with friends and families in this way. Square dancing is a very an easy way to meet new people.
- Square dance calls or steps require the use of both sides of the brain. This is known as "cross-lateral" movements. Cross-lateral movements are those in which arms and legs cross over from one side of the body to the other. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side. Both sides are forced to communicate when arms and legs cross over. This “unsticks” the brain and energizes learning.
- Square dancing reduces stress. Stress is a major health issue, and it is related to disease and many disorders. The combination of all of the above-listed benefits make square dancing an excellent solutionmmfor stress-reduction.
- There are no age limits or ability requirements to square dancea. There are no barriers from making square dancing a lifelong hobby.
With all of these benefits, the pastime of Square Dancing has many fans. It is a fun link to our country's past, and it is a fantastic way to improve your health while spend time with others. Swing your partner and give it a try!Back To Top
I had to square dance in school and hated it. Why should I try it now?
Square dancing is not the same as it was in elementary or middle school. Sure, some of the calls are the same, do-si-do, promenade, circle left, square through. Many of today’s callers use modern music. Have you square danced to a Lady Gaga or Adele song? Not all of square dancing is twangy country music. There are singing calls and patter to all types of music.
Besides that, you are not in junior high any longer. It may have been a bad experience with a bad teacher, or worse yet, as preteens many of us thought members of the opposite sex had “cooties.” Wipe out those junior high memories and create some new square dancing memories. Its fun and some of the friendliest people around.
There are several levels of square dancing: Mainstream, Plus, Advanced and Challenge. Calls get more complicated as you move up and more challenging. It keeps you sharp and alert and mentally focused on what’s coming next.Back To Top
Do I have to wear traditional square dance attire?
Many square dance clubs do have a dress code where the women ladies wear skirts (either prairie skirts or traditional square dance skirts) and the men wear long sleeve shirts and slacks or jeans.
However, there are clubs that have no dress code and you can dance in more comfortable clothing. The Katy Prairie Promenaders do not enforce the traditional square dance dress code.
No investment in attire is required to learn to square dance.
The most important thing is comfortable shoes. Many people prefer leather soled shoes to make twirling and swinging easier, but it’s entirely optional.
Once or twice a year, Houston area clubs give you the opportunity to purchase gently used square dance apparel at greatly reduced prices.Back To Top
What if I cannot dance?
You can think of square dancing as walking set to music. The caller lets you know what move you are to make next. Sometimes the pace of the square dance is slow other times it can be quite fast. It just depends on the music the caller chooses.
Square dancers are very forgiving. All square dancers make mistakes at one time or another. Most people just laugh it off, waiting until they can get back into the rhythm with the caller.
When a square breaks down, the best thing to do is to form two facing lines and wait for the caller. He will notice the square has broken down and will make the appropriate call to get the square dancing once again.Back To Top
I’m excited about square dancing, I want to learn, but I can’t come on Friday nights or I do not live near Katy?
There are square dance clubs in all areas of Houston and the surrounding towns. You can square dance every night of the week except Sunday. On Sunday, you can round dance. For information about other clubs in the Houston area check out the Houston Square and Round Dance Council website at www.squarethru.com.Back To Top
How much do square dance lessons cost?
The cost of square dance lessons is $5.00/person per week.
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