THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF SQUARE
AND ROUND DANCING
How to make Friends and Influence people!!
- Never leave a square
early. Your ability, or that of your fellow dancers, is no excuse. We all
start at the same level and the only way to get better is to dance. If you
become ill or an emergency arises advise the other members of the square
and if possible try to find a replacement.
- Don't dance over your
own level of dance, unless invited. If you attempt to dance over you head without being invited you will only embarrass
yourself and may upset the remainder of the square. If you haven't
completed mainstream lessons don't expect to dance with those who have
unless you are explicitly invited. If you are a mainstream dancer and a
plus level tip is announced, sit out.
- Male dancers please wear
long sleeves. No one will deny they are warm; however, most will admit
they don't enjoy grabbing a sweaty arm. Ladies should avoid wearing
excessive jewelry. It hurts. Everyone is expected to wear a name badge.
- Don't come to a dance,
workshop or class if you have been drinking or under the influence of
drugs, be they legal or not. Square and Round
dancing requires your best mental and physical alertness. Your
coordination must be at its very best. Should you be suspected of being
"under the influence" you will probably be asked to leave.
- Personal cleanliness is
important in square and round dancing. If possible always shower or bathe.
Use your deodorant, cologne or perfume and, don't forget to use something
to sweeten your breath (mouth wash, chewing gum, etc.) Avoid eating garlic
or other offenders before attending a dance.
- In addition to
applauding the caller and thanking your fellow dancers at the end of each
tip you should personally speak to and thank the caller and or cuer before leaving the dance. If you are a visitor
you should also make a point of speaking with a club officer.
- Once a tip is underway,
refrain from talking. It is frequently difficult to hear and your talking
may very well prevent someone else from hearing a call. It is also
extremely rude to talk while announcements are being made. Try to quiet
anyone speaking to you. Give the speaker the same consideration you would
want if you were speaking.
- When the music starts,
get on the floor. Don't make other dancers wait or the caller
"beg" you to fill the square. Join the square nearest to you
that needs a couple. It is considered "bad manners" to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another. If
you are looking for a square, raise your hand as you move across the
floor. If your square is not full, raise your hand with as many fingers
extended, as couples are needed. If two or three couples are squared up
and do not have a hand up, it indicates that they are waiting for someone
who has promised to dance with them. Do not try to square up with them
without asking. Do not arrange squares more than once in an evening. It is
best not arrange a square at all. Do not get on the
floor and expect the caller to find you a partner.
- IX. Be on time and don't
leave early. In square dancing, one late couple or person may mean that
three other couples or seven people must sit out. By leaving early, you
are telling the other dancers and caller that you did not have a good time
at the dance. The "wind-down" tip is just as important as the
first or middle tips. Plan to spend the complete evening when you come.
- X. Always introduce
yourself and your partner to others in the square if you don't know them.
Thank them for dancing with you after the tip.
- XI. For some, square
dancing can be a strenuous exercise. If you feel you are unable to dance,
sit out. It is usually best to remove yourself from the dance area and
return after the tip has started. Sometimes you can learn a great deal
just by watching and listening. Be considerate. If another dancer is
watching and listening, don't insist upon talking. Square dancing is a
social event but not a place to socialize during tips or rounds even if
you are not dancing.
- Square dance clubs are
the backbone of Square & Round Dancing. While there are Round Dance
only clubs, there are many more Square Dance clubs where Round Dancing is
also a part of the activity. The point of this dissertation is that
without the clubs, Square and Round Dancing will cease to exist.
Therefore, it is important that all dancers belong to and participate in
at least one club's well being. What I am attempting to say is really very
simple: If you square or round dance then you should belong to a club and
as a member of the club you need to support the club by 1.) Becoming an
officer. 2.) Paying dues in a timely manner 3.) Supporting refreshment
obligations. 4.) Attending club visitations. 5.) Attending club meetings
and social activities.
- Every club has to have
money that they can count on to operate. Halls are expensive and getting
more costly. Callers and cuers must be paid
enough to meet their expenses and be compensated for their time. Some
clubs charge admission for members as well as visitors. Others only charge
visitors and club dues are the members admission
to the function. You would never go to a movie, bowl, or play golf without
expecting to pay. Compare the cost of nearly every other activity with the
cost of square dancing and you will find that square dancing is a bargain.
- At the end of the dance
the hall usually must be swept and chairs have to be put away. Sometimes a
kitchen must be cleaned up, and several other small chores must be
accomplished. Responsible club members don't just walk out after the
dance; they stay until all the work is done. Also, make it your personal
responsibility to welcome, visit with, and say good-by to every visitor.
- Most clubs in West Virginia
belong to the West Virginia Federation For Square
and Round Dancers. A federation usually sponsors week-end festivals, helps
clubs secure insurance, disseminates information
between clubs and at the state and national level. They perform other
services that are different in different areas. Their main function is to
promote square dancing in West Virginia. The federation has no
jurisdiction over local clubs.
"Yellow Rock"(hug your corner) or
"Red Rock"(hug your partner) are common signals to square dancers.
"Hugging is a miracle medicine that can relieve many physical and
emotional problems". Some women do not like strangers hugging them, so be
a little careful until you get to know them. Most men like the tradition. In
any case, "Have you hugged somebody today?"
Invite non-square dancers out to visit with you.
Try to get them interested in lessons. Non-dancers may be afraid to start
lessons. You should bring them to class until they are comfortable coming by
themselves. Make friends and share the fun with those friends.
DON'T FORGET "A SMILE ON
YOUR FACE HELPS YOUR FEET WORK BETTER.
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