Modern Western Square Dance

Many activities were still running side by side. The groups dedicated to the Country Dance and the Square Dance worked separately from each other. Each region had its own dances and special customs. In the 60s, a group of callers began to collect material and standardize it. In the early 70s they created the first programs.

This meant that every dancer who mastered a particular program, could dance anywhere else too where this program was danced. The Callers were able to exchange their material much easier and suggest new figures. New figures were developed and “tested” around the world.

In a large collection more than 5,000 square dance figures are documented. About 400 of them are listed in approximately 10 programs that are danced around  the world. The address list of international square dance clubs is a book of letter format, two inches thick and contains about 10,000 addresses.

The square dance came to Germany after the end of World War II with the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1949, Paul Hartman founded the first European Square Dance Club in Bremen. Originally intended for the U.S. Army only, the Square Dance virus spread all over Germany soon.

Also other European countries were “infected”: Switzerland, Austria, the Benelux countries and even in the Czech Republic you find Square Dance clubs. In England and in Sweden there is a very active scene.