What is it?
Eight dancers pair into four couples and form a square. They dance as directed by a caller. The pattern of calls is not memorized; the caller mixes them up, keeping a smooth rhythm that matches the music being used. There are no fancy footsteps required, if you can walk, you can square dance. Most of the calls involve a hand movement with another dancer. This keeps the square connected as everyone moves to the beat of the music.
The many benefits can be grouped as physical, mental and social.
- Physical benefits:
- Square dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity.
- Square Dancers typically "travel" 3 to 4 miles per evening on the dance floor, burning 300 to 800 calories.
- Square dancing strengthens weight-bearing bones and slows loss of bone mass. It provides cardio-vascular conditioning.
- Square dancing maintains your balance, coordination and range of motion.
- Mental Benefits:
- Square dancing is an activity that keeps your mind working.
- Square Dancers laugh a lot.
- Square dancing clears your mind of other distractions; it is hard to remember the tough day you had when you are dancing.
- Social Benefits:
- Every dance is a party.
- Square Dancers are friendly people you will enjoy and feel comfortable around.
- Square dances often have a theme, we love creative ideas.
- Square Dancers enjoy traveling, often car-pooling to an event.
- Most Square Dancers become life-long friends.
What about the music? Is it country western?
Most callers use a wide variety of music. This will include country western, pop, show tunes, classic rock and others.
At a typical dance you might hear songs by George Strait, Elvis Presley, Shania Twain, Savage Garden, The Eagles, Toby Keith, The BeeGees, The Beatles and maybe even classical music.
What about the clothes? Are boots and petticoats still worn?
You can wear them if you want to, but they are not required. You will see dancers wearing prairie skirts, jeans, polo shirts or anything that is comfortable. We are a family-oriented activity.
Who are the square dancers? Is there an age minimum?
Square dancers could be your friends and neighbors. We are all ages. Everyone is welcome at the dances. There are a few dancers in elementary school and a few in their 90's. It's an activity families can do together. It's a good activity for singles and couples.
How do you learn the calls?
You attend a series of lessons taught by a caller. The current dancers help you learn.
Can I just watch first, to see what square dancing is like?
By all means come and watch us at any club dance. Guests and spectators are always welcome and free of charge at every dance. To find the dances check the website: www.squaredancene.org. Omaha is in the Eastern Federation. A calendar of dances is available on that website.