Square Dance is more than dance. It is a collaboration of people beyond race, religion and hierarchy. It is teamwork in the best sense, because dancers and callers are dependent on each other. Within a Square it means: if only one goes wrong seven others go with it. If it happens it is OK as tolerance is very important.
Square Dance is working together. Contrary to folklore and Ballroom Dancing sequences are not learned by heart. The student of a square dance class learns the individual dance steps of a program. The combination of these figures into a flowing dance is the sole responsibility of the caller, the dancers have to hear and execute his calls. This makes Square Dance special and asks the dancers concentration and involvement.
It depends a lot on the skills of the caller on how he leads his dancers through the figure diversity. He must be a good teacher to explain new steps. He should be kind of a psychologist, because he constantly works with larger groups, which are in different moods. And he must ‘get across to the dancers’ to let them have fun. Not an easy task!
Square Dance is international. Throughout the whole world the same programs are taught, it does not matter where you are dancing. This is a significant advantage over the usual dances, where there can alreday be differences in dance schools within a city. Just two partners need some time to dance together. Square dance language is English, the figures have the same name everywhere. This also promotes cooperation. However in Germany it is not necessary to speak English fluently (although it helps). Teaching is in German. You learn some English on the fly – an additional benefit.
Square Dance is making friends. This will be found out when joining dance meetings. Two times a year Jamborees take place in Europe. These are hosted by different clubs each time. In large halls 800-2000 square dancers from around the world meet. You will stay in hotels, hostels, tent or campers or in a sleeping bag in one of the halls. Often, however you will meet people you already met on other dances. Many friendships were formed in this manner, often across borders and oceans.
In addition to major events almost every weekend there are regional meetings or special dances at one of the Square Dance clubs. Clubs set up these meeting and invite square dancers from near and far to join. Some specials dances have up to 500 visitors. 100 to 250 visitors is not uncommon.
Square Dance is open. Open to people of all ages, of every religion, of every color and of both sexes. Some Kids start with age of five or six years. And even with 80 square dancers are not too old for a tip. There are whole families who are affected by this “Virus”. Where else do you find leisure activities that can be exercised jointly by all age groups? Even the physically handicapped have the chance to participate in this activity, without having to give them a “special treatment”; There are groups of wheelchair dancers dancing together with “normal” dancers.
Square Dance is to join in. Besides regular dance meetings and larger events, there are many activities being undertaken by a Square Dance Clubs: Bus tours are organized to visit distant clubs and events. They meet during the summer holidays in the garden of a member or at New Year’s Eve in the big basement of another.
With this information, I would like to reflect my enthusiasm for my hobby. I hope to find some equally enthusiastic people here.