Here is a lot of what you need to know about square dancing but didn't where to find out.
1. Do I need a partner?
Square dancing is a couples activity. Since a square is composed of four couples, having a partner is necessary.
2. What’s the minimum age?
At our club the minimum age is 18.
3. What’s the proper attire?
In the old days, there were strict dress codes especially for women.
For most of our club dances, couples dress casual and for comfort. Leather shoes are recommended. Since square dancing involves spinning and twirling, it’s best to avoid sneakers or gym shoes because you don’t want to wrench a knee from shoes that stick to the floor.
Men are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts. Some square dancing is fast and dancers can heat up and long sleeve shirts prevent sweaty arms from interfering with dancing.
Traditional western wear and square dance apparel is encouraged and sometimes required at special or formal dances, but some folks enjoy dressing up for our weekly club dances. As mentioned above, at Square Heels, wear what’s comfortable for you.
4. How long will it take to learn to dance?
The good news is that you will be square dancing right from the start and build each week as new calls are taught. The teaching pace is determined by the comfort level of the class members, so the answer isn’t fixed, but it does take roughly a year to become a competent dancer. The longer and more often you dance, the better and more fun it becomes.
Modern square dance calls are split into three groups: Basic (~70 calls), Mainstream (~18 calls) and Plus (~30 calls). By the end of Mainstream lessons, you can dance at most square dance clubs in the US. There are additional US and European clubs that dance at Plus or higher levels, but fortunately square dancing all over the world is called in English, even in countries such as Russia and Japan.
Although Square Heels is a Plus club, we dance all three levels. Don’t worry about the number of calls you have to learn, but enjoy the journey and the new friends that you’ll make.
5. What's a tip?
It's composed of 2 parts: the first part is a "hash" call.
6. Do I have to come to class every week?
The straight answer is that the classes are only useful if you participate regularly and most of the time. We realize that everyone has a busy life today and it's impossible to have perfect attendance. But regular practice is critical in at least 3 areas: to become a good dancer, to get value for the money you invest, and to keep up with the rest of the class.
Once you learn the calls up through Mainstream, attendance is more relaxed based on your own schedule. But more floor time translates into better skills and more fun--they feed on each other.
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