Square Dancing ~ Square-Up Etiquette
Our motto is Friendship set to Music. Naturally, we have etiquette for behaviour during a dance. Here are some pointers:
- Arrive early! You will need to sign
in and have time to greet those you know and make new friends.
Wear appropriate attire for your event. Modern Western square dance
has developed a "look" that has become known as "traditional square dance
attire". At some clubs and at open dances, dancers are often expected
to wear western-style square dance outfits, ie, "traditional square dance
attire", However, many clubs and dances have adopted less restrictive
attire designations: "proper" attire and "casual" attire. Most local dance
clubs drop the "traditional" dress code requirement for classes and for their
summer dances, and some have never had a dress code.
Soft-soled shoes with low heels are required for dancing. Most dance halls require you to carry in clean shoes to protect their wood floors.
- Wear a name badge. They help refresh the memory. It is a compliment to
remember a person’s name. If you are a 'stranger', make sure you introduce yourself - remember ‘a
stranger is a friend you have yet to meet!
- Join the nearest incomplete square. When you bypass a forming square you are
rejecting the friendship of those in it. It leads to the formation of cliques
and can stop strangers from meeting and dancing with you.
- Walk around squares. To walk through a square is disruptive and impolite,
can lead to collisions and is inconsiderate of those in the square.
- Stay in your square. To join and then leave a square that is forming gives the
message that you do not wish to dance with those already there. To leave
in the middle of a Tip is a cardinal sin of square dancing. Only walk out if
you're not well. Ask for help & let others help you. Remember the caller is
there to help if need be! When you walk out of a square seven people lose their
- Remember your corner. She/he is the next most important person in the square
after your partner!
- Remember your role. Are you Heads or Sides when you square up?
- Smile ~ you are among friends. If you're wearing a frown, the other 7 people
in the square may think you're angry with them! Remember the Square Dance Motto!
Friendship set to Music
- Forgive ‘goofs’. We all get our turn and yours may be next! When it happens
to you, release your anger immediately and smile.
- Square Dancing is fun. It is not a competition.
-- Don't speed through the calls or perform time-consuming
styling. Some actions can be dangerous to others around you (eg, twirls
- Be gentle. Ladies especially appreciate tenderness, but not so gentle that
you become a limp fish. Roughness is inconsiderate.
Be very careful with handholds. Palm-to-Palm is best. Watch out for
Do not Swing labels,
plaster casts and bandages.
- Attend all teaching sessions. When you miss two
consecutive sessions most people have difficulty catching up. Worse still you
may be causing the square to break down and be holding back the rest of the
group. See if you can come early to the next class to get some help for
- Attend dances designed for your level. The more you dance, the better you
will be. Practice makes perfect! When you go to dance at other clubs you get the
opportunity to hear another caller and make some new
friends. What a deal! But be aware of the level you can dance at. Do not dance
at higher levels until you have had lessons. Be very comfortable with your
dancing before you go to the next level. If you rush it, you will frustrate
yourself and the others in your square. This is inconsiderate.
- Keep chatter to a minimum and listen to the caller!! Even if you think you know what he's going to say, someone else in the square may not. Wait and listen. After the tip, applaud the caller & thank your fellow dancers.