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Tue 29th Nov, 2016 will be...

Dates

29th Nov each year

Square Dancing Day exists to celebrate the square dance form of folk dancing, and is a great excuse to get out and “Dosey Do”. This fun, healthy and simple form of dance with a long history definitely deserves a holiday all of its own, and it has one!

The History of Square Dancing Day

Square Dancing has its roots in traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk dance. Square dances were first documented in 17th-century England . They came to North America right along with the European settlers, where they were modified and improved over the years. The Western American square dance is perhaps the most famous type of square dance worldwide; in fact, the suware dance is the official dance of 19 American states. Square dancing is mainly associated with a romanticized image of the Old West, and cowboys wooing Southern belles during dances organized at saloons to celebrate various occasions. The dance is accompanied by jolly, lively music on guitars, fiddles, accordions and bagpipes. The dances normally form patterns of lines, circles and, as the name suggests, squares, with couples – male/female, female/female or male/male – taking a turn in every role. In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted through the square dance choreography to the beat of the music. Sometimes, this so-called “caller” is one of the dancers, but more commonly the “caller” is found on the stage with the band. Interest in square dancing, which had waned during the World Wars, experienced a revival in New York City in the 1950s, during the American folk music revival.

How to Celebrate Square Dancing Day

In short: learn it! Go to a dance school with some friends or try on your own at home. If you and your family or friends do decide to try at home, it may not work out very well at first, but that doesn’t mean the time will be badly spent—the laughs and food and drink you could prepare to go along with the evening can easily more than make up for your mistakes and stumbles. There are many reasons why this dance is so popular—thanks to the caller telling you what steps to do next, it is easy to learn, lively, and a great chance to meet lots of new people to have fun with! The atmosphere is usually relaxed and relatively amateur, meaning that even those who have always felt they have two left feet can join in and enjoy themselves. Exercise, music and fun – get them all by going along to a celebratory Square Dance Day party! An alternate way to celebrate could be to watch Winona Ryder’s 1987 film, “Square Dance” about a young country girl who suddenly finds herself thrown into the realities of the big city. At first, she is happy to run away from the small town she comes from, but eventually begins to miss the simple life. The movie earned a Golden Globe nomination for the outstanding performance of Rob Lowe, who played an intellectually disabled friend of the main character, and is definitely worth a watch on this day. Another reason the film is noteworthy is that one of the “members of the Bayou band” in the film, the then near-anonymous Trace Adkins, later went on to become a country star with numerous countrywide hits.

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