SQUARE DANCING FOR ALL
Perhaps you remember square dancing from your school days, and how uncool it seemed. Well, forget those memories, because modern square dancing is so much more than just do-si-do and promenade! And modern gay square dancing is even better since anyone can dance in either position, regardless of gender presentation or sexual orientation.
WHAT IS MODERN SQUARE DANCING?
Modern square dance, like traditional or “old-time” square dance, is directed by a caller. The caller strings together a sequence of individual dance calls to create a figure or sequence. These calls are the building blocks of the choreography that is danced by the eight people (four couples) in the square. The square functions as a “dance team” for the duration of the square dance “tip”, which is usually composed of one patter call dance and one singing call dance. Patter calls are based on a quick and fluid succession of sing-song or spoken (“pattered”) calls. Singing calls are based on a sung delivery of calls, most often to a recognizable melody, and square dance calls are mixed in with the song's original lyrics.
SOME THINGS YOU'LL LOVE ABOUT MODERN SQUARE DANCING
Friendships and networking – You'll meet many new people who may become your new best friend, partner, or business connection. Many dancers consider their square dance clubs part of their family. Square dancers are all kinds of folks sharing a love of action and teamwork.
All are welcome – Whether singles or couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and their friends. Come by yourself or with a friend. If you're learning to dance, it's easier to have an experienced partner who may give helpful hints. Square dance clubs are ready-made groups of friends.
A wide variety of music – Modern square dancing goes beyond the traditional country/folk music. Current top 40, oldies, Broadway, disco, - anything goes. Square dancing is friendship set to music.
Unlimited left feet – Many people who feel they have “two left feet” or "no rhythm" when it comes to dancing, find they square dance extremely well. Square dancing doesn't require any special footwork. If you can walk, you can square dance.
A body and brain boost – There are physical and mental benefits to square dancing. Dancing is exercise so, naturally, it will assist in strengthening your bones and muscles. As your strength increases, you will have more energy. Dancing also incorporates several brain functions at once- kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional. Also, dancing requires you to remember various steps and sequences, so your brain power is boosted which helps to improve your memory.
Dancing across the world – When you travel there are dance clubs to find on practically every continent, in every country, in every state or province. The calling is done in English, whether in Japan or Sweden. Learn to square dance, and a whole new world of opportunities for fun and fellowship will open up for you.
Square dancing makes you smile – When you dance your body releases endorphins. This is a chemical that triggers positive energy and good vibes.
READY TO GIVE MODERN SQUARE DANCE A TRY?
Here is a list of square dance clubs across the world where you can begin your square dance adventure.
IAGSDC is the umbrella organization of a group of LGBTQ* square dancing clubs. All Join Hands is a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting the funding of projects that will preserve and promote LGBTQ* square dancing and other associated dance forms.