International Square Dancing Month

//International Square Dancing Month
September is known for the end of summer and the time (beginning of fall) when most kids go back to to school. One less commonly known thing about September is that it’s International Square Dancing Month.

Square dancing has been around since European immigrants began colonizing America. While it derived from a combination of older dances like the quadrille, jigs, reels, and the minuet, it was used early on as a way to decompress after days of tiresome work to bond and build community.
Over time as the settlements grew, so did the dances. Eventually reaching a point where it became difficult to remember all of steps to each different dance. This led to a caller system, where one person took the lead by giving out cues during the dances. Many callers, also known as prompters, ultimately developed their own special lingo, and often times their own unique moves which they taught to the community; thus causing them to become leaders in their own right and establishing a culture of callers in the square dancing scene.
For example, many of the common square dancing terms still used today such as promenade allemande and do-si-do, (a play on “dos-à-dos” meaning “back-to-back”), were adopted from the French during the American Revolution when many Americans were rejecting anything British.
As the settlers migrated West, the dances followed. Dancing was convenient, fun way to exercise, commune with neighbors, and required not much more than a small space such as a barn to do.
Booming trade and urbanization ushered in dances such as Waltzes, polkas, swing, and jazz, which began to replace and outdate square dancing in urban areas, rendering it primarily to the country. 
But just as it seemed that square dancing was becoming a thing of the past, it saw a resurgence thanks in part to iconic auto maker Henry Ford, who believed it was a great way to work on good manners as well as exercise. Ford hired a dance master to develop a national square dancing program, required the workers in his factories to take classes, and opened dance studios just for square dancing. So it is safe to say that his enthusiasm for the dance did a lot to help revive it, that along with the development of microphones, records and other innovations also helped to bring it back to the forefront of the American frontier once again.
International square dancing month is a great time to partake in special events and dances held all across the globe.


By |2017-09-06T09:12:39+00:00September 5th, 2017|General|0 Comments

About the Author:

Having fearlessly explored every continent, Nneka is multi-lingual and passionate about travel, culture and life. A SDSU alumni, she has worked in KTVU Fox's newsroom, interviewed notable figures and hosted programs for various media outlets. She has also written features for The San Leandro Times and Also a seasoned performer and fitness professional, Nneka holds several fitness certifications, has shared the stage with entertainment icons, and has appeared on various TV Shows. Follow her global adventures in the arts and beyond on IG @nnekaworldtrekker.