|Ethnic Dance Chicago (EDC)|
|Dancing As a Second Language|
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|About Ethnic Dance Chicago|
|What Is Square Dance?|
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American Square Dance is a folk dance for four couples (eight dancers) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side. Many square dance movements have their origins in the traditional folk and social dances of ethnic groups that migrated to the USA. Some forms of square dance may include a ninth dancer (the ninepin) or may include six or eight couples instead of four.
People around the world are involved in the continuing evolution of American Square Dance.
The more traditional forms of American square dance are based on older figures and are often danced to live music.
More modern forms of American “Western Style” square dance began to evolve in the late 1950s and early 1960s and introduced newer and more complex figures and were danced to contemporary recorded music.
Square Dancers are prompted by a series of figures by a “caller” to the beat of music. In the modern forms, the caller leads, but usually does not participate in the dance, while in some traditional forms the caller may participate in the dance, or each set may have its own designated caller.
Other ethnic groups and countries also have folk dances for four couples done in a square formation. Square formation dances are found in: Germany, England, Ireland, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania and Russia.