Let’s do “something old-fashioned and weird”. (The Next Step: Season 3, Episode 17)
This one at least gets points for having an African American character saying it’s one of his favourite hobbies, and for having one of the characters suggest that square dancing needs an image change. Points off for adding line dancing at the end and making it seem more contemporary and fun.
When Red and Eric forget Kitty’s birthday, they agree to do something that she wants that is “the most horrible thing in the world”. (That 70s Show: Season 3, Episode 17)
This is, unfortunately, another example of how square dancing has a negative image in popular culture. The dancers in this video are not following what the caller is saying, the costumes are the usual ridiculous froofy dresses, and the music is hokey. That 70s Show was very popular when it was on the air, so it is too bad that this opportunity to show how fun square dancing can be was missed.
Square Dance Story is a short fictional movie (14 minutes) that features square dancing. It was made in Canada (specifically in British Columbia) in 2011. There is no dialogue in this movie, and the only speech that is understandable is the square dance calls.
An outsider enters a strange bar hoping to connect with people and instead finds a curious square dance troupe in the back. In the troupe, he pursues a mysterious square dancer only to be chastised [by her] and the square dance caller steps in order to save the troupe from fragmenting.
The square dancing seems legitimate (although the calls and what the dancers are doing in the shots do not always match), so this instance of square dancing appearing in popular culture will not be given the ignominious label of “not quite right“, unlike the vast majority of other instances.
Square Dance is a movie featuring Winona Ryder and Rob Lowe. This is a rare case where the square dancing in the movie — which is mentioned explicitly three times — is almost accurate. (Usually square dancing is not portrayed very accurately in popular culture.) The grandfather in the movie introduces Ryder’s character Gemma to square dancing moves such as bowing to your partner, dosado, swing, and promenade.
Unfortunately, this movie isn’t about square dancing per se. Square dancing is used as a metaphor for something that the main character is longing for — a simple, predictable life with few complications, where people act the way they are supposed to act.
I’m not sure how long this link will be active, but for now, you can watch the whole movie on YouTube.