Square Dancing Day exists to celebrate the square dance form of folk dancing, and is a great excuse to get out and “Dosey Do”. This fun, healthy and simple form of dance with a long history definitely deserves a holiday all of its own, and it has one!
The History of Square Dancing Day
Square Dancing has its roots in traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk dance. Square dances were first documented in 17th-century England . They came to North America right along with the European settlers, where they were modified and improved over the years. The Western American square dance is perhaps the most famous type of square dance worldwide; in fact, the suware dance is the official dance of 19 American states. Square dancing is mainly associated with a romanticized image of the Old West, and cowboys wooing Southern belles during dances organized at saloons to celebrate various occasions. The dance is accompanied by jolly, lively music on guitars, fiddles, accordions and bagpipes. The dances normally form patterns of lines, circles and, as the name suggests, squares, with couples – male/female, female/female or male/male – taking a turn in every role. In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted through the square dance choreography to the beat of the music. Sometimes, this so-called “caller” is one of the dancers, but more commonly the “caller” is found on the stage with the band. Interest in square dancing, which had waned during the World Wars, experienced a revival in New York City in the 1950s, during the American folk music revival.