What is a square dance?
A: A square dance is a dance for four couples, or eight dancers in total, arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square.
Square dances contain elements from what?
A: Numerous traditional dances.
Where were they first documented?
A: In 16th-century England.
Early square dances, particularly English country
dances and French quadrilles, traveled to
North America with whom?
A: The European settlers and developed significantly there.
In some countries and regions, through preservation and
repetition, square dances have attained the status of what?
A: A folk dance.
Square dancing is strongly associated with what
A: The United States, in part due to its association with the romanticized image of the American cowboy.
How many states have designated it as their official
The main North American types of square dances include
A: Traditional square dance and modern western square dance, which is widely known and danced worldwide.
Other main types popular in England, Ireland, and
Scotland include what?
A: Playford dances, regional folk dances, ceili, Irish set dances, and Scottish country dances.
In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are
prompted or cued through a sequence of steps by what?
A: A caller to the beat (and, in some traditions, the phrasing) of music.
In other variations, dancers have no caller and instead
A: Memorize and perform a specific routine and sequence of steps.
Dances can be organized by whom?
A: Square dance clubs, bands, individuals, or similar organizations.
The standard square formation can also vary at times to
A: More or fewer dancers or arrange dancers in a different shape.
In the early 1800s, English country dances merged with
French dances to form the quadrille, a dance for what?
A: Four couples in a square.
After the American Revolution what became especially
A: The quadrille.
Quadrilles were originally danced from memorized steps
and sequences, but as African American slaves played music for the dances,
they began what?
A: Calling out the steps.
This practice became common by the early 1900s and gave
rise to what?
A: The modern caller.
Traditional square dance is not standardized and can be
subdivided into what three main regional styles?
In some forms of traditional square dancing, the caller may be one of the dancers or musicians, but in modern western square dancing, the caller is what?
A: On stage giving full attention to directing the dancers.
Traditional square dance is primarily danced to what?
A: Live music.
Since the 19th century, much of the square dance
repertoire has been derived from what?
A: Jigs and reels from Scotland and Ireland.
This sort of music is played on what?
A: Acoustic instruments, such as the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and double bass.
In some communities where square dancing has survived,
the prevailing form of music has become popular songs from when?
A: The 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
It’s played on instruments such as what?
A: Saxophones, drums, and electric guitars.
Tempos can vary from around 108 to more than how many
beats per minute, depending on the regional style?