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Square and Round Dance

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What is Square and Round Dance?

Square and Round Dance are traditional social dances that originated in the USA. Square Dance is a folk dance where four couples form a square and follow the instructions of a "caller." Round Dance, on the other hand, is a partner dance performed similarly to ballroom dances on a circular path and guided by pre-set choreographies and "cues."

Square Dance is known for its lively social interactions and the variety of figures called out by a caller. Round Dance is more structured and resembles ballroom dancing, as couples dance choreographed steps to different music styles.

How to Dance Square and Round Dance?

Square Dance:

  1. Formation: Four couples stand in a square formation, with one couple on each side of the square.
  2. Caller: A caller gives instructions or "calls" that tell dancers which figures or movements to perform.
  3. Movements: Dancers follow the calls and move accordingly within the formation. This can include turns, partner changes, and other figures.
  4. Communication: Listen carefully to the caller and communicate with your partner and the other couples to coordinate movements.

Round Dance:

  1. Formation: Couples dance in a circular formation around the dance floor.
  2. Cuer: A cuer gives instructions or "cues" that guide dancers through choreographed steps.
  3. Choreography: Round Dance uses set choreographies that match various music styles, such as waltz, cha-cha, or rumba.
  4. Technique: Pay attention to technique and execution of steps, as Round Dance should be precise and elegant.

Basic Steps of Square and Round Dance

Square Dance Basic Steps:

  1. Dosado: Two dancers pass by each other, turn around, and move backward to their original positions.
  2. Allemande Left: Grasp the opposite dancer's left arm and turn around them once.
  3. Swing Your Partner: Dance with your partner by holding hands and turning clockwise.
  4. Promenade: Walk hand in hand with your partner, often around the circle or to the next position.

Round Dance Basic Steps:

  1. Box Step: A basic step that forms a square pattern on the floor. Often used in waltz and foxtrot.
  2. Two-Step: A simple, rhythmic step used in many Round Dance choreographies.
  3. Cha-Cha Basic: A basic step in cha-cha that consists of two quick steps and one slow step.
  4. Rumba Box: Similar to the box step but with characteristic rumba hip movements.

Top 10 Songs for Square and Round Dance

Music is an essential part of Square and Round Dance. Here are ten popular songs often used:

  1. "Elvira" by The Oak Ridge Boys - A classic Square Dance song.
  2. "Rocky Top" by Osborne Brothers - An energetic bluegrass hit.
  3. "Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page - A beautiful waltz for Round Dance.
  4. "Cotton Eyed Joe" by Rednex - A lively song perfect for Square Dance.
  5. "The Last Waltz" by Engelbert Humperdinck - A romantic waltz for Round Dance.
  6. "Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks & Dunn - A popular country song for Square Dance.
  7. "Could I Have This Dance" by Anne Murray - A classic Round Dance song.
  8. "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus - A fun song for Square Dance.
  9. "Blue Tango" by Leroy Anderson - A beautiful song for Round Dance.
  10. "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley - A rock 'n' roll classic for Square Dance.

Styles of Square and Round Dance

Square Dance Styles:

  1. Traditional Square Dance: This version follows traditional figures and techniques, often accompanied by live music.
  2. Modern Western Square Dance: A modernized version that includes more complex figures and choreographies.

Round Dance Styles:

  1. Waltz: A flowing, elegant dance in 3/4 time.
  2. Foxtrot: A slow, rhythmic dance in 4/4 time.
  3. Cha-Cha: A lively dance in 4/4 time with pronounced hip movements.
  4. Rumba: A sensual dance in 4/4 time, known for its romantic movements.

History of Square and Round Dance

Square Dance:

Square Dance has its origins in the English, Irish, and Scottish folk dances of the 17th century. It was brought to the USA by settlers and developed into a popular social dance in rural communities. In the 1930s, dancer and choreographer Henry Ford helped popularize Square Dance by organizing classes and events.

Round Dance:

Round Dance originated from the social dances of the 19th century. It was developed to create a more structured form of partner dance, where dancers performed set choreographies to a variety of music styles. Round Dance gained popularity in the 1940s and has since become a beloved dance form practiced worldwide.

Health Benefits

Square and Round Dance offer numerous health benefits:

  1. Physical Fitness: Dancing improves cardiovascular health, strength, and endurance.
  2. Coordination and Balance: The precise steps and movements enhance coordination and balance.
  3. Mental Health: Dancing reduces stress, improves mood, and provides a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Social Interaction: Dancing fosters social connections and improves communication skills.
  5. Cognitive Function: Learning and remembering dance routines enhances cognitive abilities.

Outfit for Square and Round Dance

The right outfit is essential for comfort and ease of movement in Square and Round Dance. Here are some tips:

  1. Comfortable Clothing: Choose clothing that allows free movement. Women often wear skirts or dresses that spin well, while men wear shirts and trousers.
  2. Dance Shoes: Wear shoes with a smooth sole for easy turning and adequate support.
  3. Layering: Depending on the dance environment, layering can help you adjust to the temperature.
  4. Accessories: Keep accessories minimal to avoid any distractions or discomfort while dancing.


Square and Round Dance are captivating and entertaining dance forms that offer a unique combination of physical, mental, and social benefits. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced dancer, Square and Round Dance provide endless opportunities for personal growth and enjoyment. Find your dance partner on Lets-Dance and start your journey into the world of Square and Round Dance.

Enjoy the dance!

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