This week, I would like to ask for your help in creating questions that could be included in a quiz or a flowchart that would help people decide what kind of dancing they might like to do. My opinion about all of the different kinds of traditional dances (modern Western square dancing, contra dancing, clogging, traditional square dancing, round dancing, etc.) is that they are not competing with each other, but that they are offering various options for people who have different tastes. I would like to create a list of questions that could be used in various ways to help dancers choose the kind of dancing that might suit them best.
Please fill out this survey with your ideas of questions that could help direct potential dancers. I will add the responses (i.e. the questions) to the bottom of this post so you can see what others have come up with.
Don’t worry about the answers to the questions for now. There are variations within one kind of dancing (e.g. pop music and country music can both be used in modern Western square dancing, fiddles can be used in contra dancing and traditional square dancing), but don’t let that distract you from making your questions. It’s okay for the potential answers to be complex or for there to be more than one answer. Right now we are more concerned with the questions.
Questions about Music
- Do you like pop music?
- Do you like country and western music?
- Do you like modern music?
- Do you like fiddle music?
- Do you like to dance to fast music?
- Do you like to dance to slow music?
- Do you like dance to live music?
- Do you like to dance to famous singers/bands?
- Can you clap on the beat of the music?
- Can you clap on the off-beat of the music?
Questions about Clothing
- Do you like to dress up to dance?
- Do you like to wear casual clothes to dance?
- Do you like wearing a traditional square dance costume (with a fluffy skirt)?
Questions about Partners
- Do you want to bring a partner to the dance?
- Do you want to attend the dance without a partner?
- Do you like to dance with just one partner all night?
- Do you like to dance with many partners?
- Do you like to dance with people of the opposite gender?
- Do you like to dance with people of the same gender?
- Do you like dancing with all people, regardless of their gender?
- Are you married, or do you have a partner?
- Are you single?
- If you are in a relationship, do you want to dance only with each other?
Questions about Steps
- Do you like remembering lots of steps?
- Do you like to just show up and dance without having to learn anything ahead of time?
Questions about Time
- Do you have time to commit to some lessons?
- Do you want to dance once a year?
- Do you want to dance once a month?
- Do you want to dance once a week?
Questions about the Style of Dancing
- Do you like tap dancing?
- Do you like ballroom dancing?
- Do you like line dancing?
Questions about Feelings about Dancing
- Do you like to use both your body and your mind actively when you dance?
- Do you like to lose yourself in the music and not have to think?
Questions about Physical Contact
- Do you mind being touched on the hands by people of the same sex?
- Do you mind being touched on the hands by people of the opposite sex?
Article in the Chaffee County Times (Colorado) about square dancing.
Modern Western Dancing Originated in Colorado
August 30, 2014
Article in the Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) about contra dancing.
It’s part line dance, part square dance and involves lots of swinging, stomping and switching partners. And social graces such as smiling, looking your partner in the eye and helping beginners through awkward moments. As the band plays its fiddles, keyboard and guitars, dancers divide into two lines, facing their partners. Two couples form squares, dance together, switch partners, then move down the line to the next couple. By the end of the night, they’ve danced with just about everyone.
Contra Dancing Thriving in Charlotte
August 29, 2014
Article in The Acorn (California) about square dancing.
A centuries-old social dance with European roots, square dancing is alive and growing in many parts of the world, and it has been an integral part of American social life. Square dancing is also popular in Germany, Sweden and Japan. “They dance to American English calls. If I were to go to Japan and, even though I don’t speak the language, I could go to a square dance,” Sybil Duhig said.
Square Dancing is Far From Being Square
August 28, 2014
Article in the Collegiate Times (Virginia) about square dancing.
Wagner has played a major role in organizing Blacksburg Square Dance since the very beginning. The idea was originally sparked in the 1980s. Wagner and a few other friends were playing in a house when several of them started to voice frustrations about there not being a more challenging dance venue in the area.
Blacksburg Square Dance
August 26, 2014
Article in the Del Mar Times (California) about square dancing.
People interested in seeing if square dancing is something they would like to do are invited to try a class for free on their first visit. The classes will introduce participants to the modern version of the classic American Square Dance, which uses a wide variety of music styles. Dancers learn dance movements rather than memorize dance routines and follow the lead of the square dance “caller” as he or she creates the dance on the fly to fit the music.
Free Square Dance Classes Offered
August 19, 2014
Article in Glasgow Daily Times (Kentucky) about square dancing.
“The advantage of learning western square dance is, once you’ve learned it, you can go dance any where because it’s standardized. It is called the same way. It is taught the same way. It is the same steps for each call. That is world wide. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, it is taught and called in English. So, you can dance anywhere.”
One big happy family’:Square dance teacher, caller drawn to camaraderie
August 23, 2014
Article in Thurston Talk (Washington) about square dancing.
It’s not the square dancing of your childhood – when you went to the gym because it rained. The hall is full of flashing smiles, tapping feet, and modern music of all types. Some people wear petticoats or western shirts, while others dress more casually.
Try a Free Introduction to Square Dancing at Olympia’s Lac-A-Do Hall
August 22, 2014
Article in KQED (northern California) about square dancing.
“I’ll call until the day I die,” he says. “Maybe not the day I die but until the day I die.”
World’s Oldest Square Dance Caller Keeps Central Valley Dancing
August 22, 2014
Article in the Shreveport Times (Louisiana) about square dancing.
Local Groups Promote Square and Round Dancing
August 21, 2014