Lee Kopman on the Phil Donahue Show

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Phil Donahue Show

“1980”

Kopman on Donahue Show Video

Lee Kopman created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, who calls for a group of young dancers, Kopman provides lucid responses to the host’s questions, and he provides clear demonstrations of the differences between traditional and modern square dancing.


This Is Your Brain On Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Chris Lynam

2017-02-11

Web Document

This article is actually a promotion for Arthur Murray Dance Studios, but it lists a variety of studies that support the benefits of dance for brain health. The studies apply equally well to square dancing.


Effects of Cognitive Leisure Activity on Cognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

JAMDA Journal

2017-04-07

Effects of Cognitive Leisure Activity on Cognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment

This article documents a Japanese study on the effects of engaging in dance activities, or playing musical instruments, in individuals displaying symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Their overall conclusion: “Long-term cognitive leisure activity programs involving dance or playing musical instruments resulted in improvements in memory and general cognitive function”.

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Design: A 3-arm, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Community.

Participants: A total of 201 Japanese adults with MCI (mean age: 76.0 years, 52% women).

Interventions: Participants were randomized into 1 of 2 cognitive leisure activity programs (60 minutes weekly for 40 weeks): dance (n = 67) and playing musical instruments (n = 67), or a health education control group (n = 67).

Measurements: Primary outcomes were memory function changes at 40 weeks. Secondary outcomes included changes in Mini-Mental State Examination and nonmemory domain (Trail Making Tests A and B) scores.

Results: At 40 weeks, the dance group showed improved memory recall scores compared with controls [mean change (SD): dance group 0.73 (1.9) vs controls 0.01 (1.9); P = .011], whereas the music group did not show an improvement compared with controls (P = .123). Both dance [mean change (SD): 0.29 (2.6); P = .026] and music groups [mean change (SD): 0.46 (2.1); P = .008] showed improved MiniMental State Examination scores compared with controls [mean change (SD): −0.36 (2.3)]. No difference in the nonmemory cognitive tests was observed.

Conclusions: Long-term cognitive leisure activity programs involving dance or playing musical instruments resulted in improvements in memory and general cognitive function compared with a health education program in older adults with MCI.


Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Medical XPress Website

YubaNet Website

2017-08-25

Medical XPress Article

YubaNet Article

This KnowledgeBase entry points to two different articles that summarize the results of the same scientific study conducted in Germany. Both articles provide links to the actual text of the study report for those who like to get into the weeds of the topic. A quote from the study author: “In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”


Media Articles on Square Dancing

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-06-06

This summary article contains a table (see below) that points to a number of media articles about square dancing or people involved in square dancing. They frequently contain information useful in the promotion of square dancing. The articles are initially sorted in descending order by publication date (i.e. most recent first) and location of story, however you may sort on any column by clicking on the small up/down arrows in the column header. Click on the Article Title to see the article text.

This table points to 56 media articles. Last update was 6 June, 2020.

# Publication Date Publication Name Location Article Title Comments
1980-12-31 Phil Donahue Show Chicago, IL Lee Kopman on Phil Donahue Show (video) Lee Kopman has created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, who calls for a group of young dancers, Kopman provides lucid responses to the host’s questions, and he provides clear demonstrations of the differences between traditional and modern square dancing.
1989-01-22 phili.com Philadelphia, PA Only The Dancing Is Square Reporter’s story on how square dancing wasn’t what he expected
2002-09-15 New York Times New York, NY Swing Your Partner and Try to Remember All Those Steps General article on square dancing
2007-12-10 Chicago Tribune Chicago, IL New generation of square dancers intrigued by its math concepts Students discover the puzzles and math underlying Challenge square dancing
2013-05-04 Regina Leader-Post Regina, SK Dancing the test of time History of square dancing in Saskatchewan.
2013-09-03 Fairfield Ledger Fairfield, IA The Square Dance Revival in Fairfield Square dance resurgence in Fairfield, Iowa
2013-10-15 US Army ?? Square dancing as easy as A-B-C An account by US Army veteran Mike Smithers about how he found square dancing and eventually became a caller.
2014-01-01 Iowa Source Fairfield, IA Jerry Story’s Calling Profile on Jerry Story
2014-05-09 KQED News Blog Berkeley, CA Abstract Math Concepts Spring to Life at UC Square Dancing Club Student dancing at UC Berkeley
2014-07-24 Daily Xtra Ottawa, ON Allemande left, do-si-do Profile of Date Squares in Ottawa, Ontario
2014-07-24 Marin Independent Journal San Rafael, CA Square dancing club keeps twirling in San Rafael Profile of dancing at Tam Twirlers
2014-08-21 Nevada Appeal Carson City, NV A brief history of square dancing
2014-08-22 KQED News Blog Fresno, CA World’s Oldest Square Dance Caller Keeps Central Valley Dancing Profile on Ernie Kinney
2014-09-02 Comox Valley Echo Comox, BC Square dancing makes you smarter and healthier Discussion of health benefits
2014-09-07 Daily Telegram Adrian, MI Square dancing club offers family-friendly fun, fitness for all ages Discusses health and social benefits of belonging to Maple City Swingers
2014-09-07 Estevan Lifestyles Estevan, SK They love to call a good dance Discussion of health benefiits of square and round dancing
2014-09-08 Journal News Martinsburg, WV Group provides fresh take on square dancing Chronicles the story of a new club forming.
2014-09-08 Daily Courier Prescott, AZ Square-dancers try to rebuild 60-year-old club Profile of Mile-Hi Squares efforts to rebuild their club.
2014-09-14 Camarillo Acorn Camarillo, CA Square dancing is far from being square Buckles and Bows Square Dance Club is undergoing a resurgence in popularity
2014-09-14 Tallahassee Democrat Tallahassee, FL Square dance calling takes Elmer Sheffield to faraway places Profile of Elmer Sheffield and his recent trip to Japan
2015-01-22 Tullahoma News Tullahoma, TN Don’t be a square – dance! Profile of Estill Springers Square Dance Club and general info on square dancing.
2015-03-05 Newsday New York, NY Square dance legend on LI still has the moves Profile of Lee Kopman
2015-03-16 Medical News Today Loneliness and social isolation linked to early mortality Does not discuss square dancing per se but relevance is obvious
2015-03-25 Wall Street Journal New York, NY Having a Ball: Young New Yorkers Revive Old Dance Craze Contra dancing offers an inclusive atmosphere where participants can work up a sweat, do a little courting
2015-06-06 River View Observer Riverview, NJ Lord of the Square Dance Howard Richman gets Dancers Swinging Profile on Howard Richman and square dancing in New Jersey
2015-06-06 Salina Journal Salina, KS An old form of dance reaches a new generation Starts as profile of 6-year old Damien Smith who is a caller, but develops into a discussion of square dancing as a worldwide activity.
2015-10-05 Kirkland Reporter Kirkland, WA Kirkland’s square dancing club mixes hip hop, charity and pajamas for fun Article on Samena Squares and general benefits of square dancing
2015-11-01 Quartz (Bronwyn Tarr Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford) (Online News Outlet) Science says dancing with friends is good for your health Article on health benefits accruing from music and dance (not square dancing in particular, but emphasising dancing in groups).
2016-01-01 Scan Club Newsletter San Diego, CA Dancing to Good Health Article on health benefits from a health care institution.
2016-08-15 Ventura County Star Camarillo, CA Square dancing to Maroon 5? In Thousand Oaks, that’s not square at all Article on square dance resurgence in Ventura County.
2016-09-27 Tuckahoe ?? Tuckahoe, VA Still Swinging Article on 50th anniversary of Tuckahoe Square Dance Club
2016-11-29 WJON AM1240 St Cloud, MN National Square Dance Day Encourages You to Get Up and Do-Si-Do [VIDEO] Short video essay on Tom Allen and the Beaux and Belles square dance club. Good testimonials promoting the activity.
2016-12-07 Santa Maria Times Santa Maria, CA Square dancing returns to the Grange Hall (video included) After the death of her husband, Don, in July, Yvonne Martin needed an outlet. She belonged to a knitting group, but wanted something more, something that kept her connected with Don. She honed in on square dancing. This article includes pointers to a short video.
2017-02-21 Ukiah Daily Journal (Carol Brodsky) Ukiah, CA Swing your partner! Square dancing returns to Ukiah
This article focuses on caller Lawrence Johnstone but discusses a lot of background and history of dancing in the Bay area.
2017-02-24 Palo Alto Weekly (Patrick Condon) Palo Alto, CA Gay square dance group forms bonds among its members Article describing how all the clubs in the Bay area help to bind the local LGBTQ community together.
2017-03-29 New York Times (Gretchen Reynolds)

Denver Post (Monte Whaley)

Colorado State University Source (Jeff Dodge)

New York, NY

Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Walk, Stretch, or Dance?
Dancing May Be Best For the Brain

Dancing May Help Fend Off Aging in the Brain

Study: Dancing may offset some effects of aging in the brain

These three articles, one from the New York Times, one from the Denver Post, and one from the Colorado State University Source, discuss the results of a scientific study that indicates dancing seems to have beneficial effects for the aging brain. The actual study they refer to was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience on March 16, 2017

2017-04-12 KJZZ NPR Radio (Annika Cline) Phoenix, AZ Not Your Grandpa’s Hoedown: Square-Dance Calls Get A Remix This radio piece was broadcast on NPR. It was recorded at the 44th CALLERLAB convention in Mesa, AZ in April 2017. It provides a reasonably realistic portrait of how MWSD evolved to where it is today, and finishes with comments from a new 16-year old caller explaining how she got into it and why it appeals to her. The link points to both a written transcript and an audio file of the 4-minute piece.
2017-06-21 Vice (Sean Egan) New York, NY America’s Gay Square Dancing Underground Wants You to Join Them

This article in Vice presents a positive description of the gay square dance movement with a focus on Times Squares in New York.

2017-09-18 ABC News Australia (Samantha Turnbull) Australia Forget Tinder, baby boomers say Gen Y should take up square dancing Square dancers say young Australians should be ditching their smart phones in favour of real life connections on the dance floor. More than 200 dancers converged on the northern New South Wales city of Lismore last week for the 38th annual state Square Dance Convention. Square and Round Dance Association of NSW president David Todd said part of their goal was to attract more young dancers to the pastime.
2017-10-06 Clark County Today.com (Suzan K. Heglin) Vancouver, BC Jim Hattrick still going strong calling square dancing in Vancouver Jim Hattrick has been calling for 58 years. This piece in ClarkCountyToday.com describes his career and includes general information on square dancing and recruiting and training dancers.
2018-03-14 Northwest Boomer and Senior News (Deb Allan) Oregon Go Dancing on page 3 of the March 2018 web edition

This article, titled Go Dancing on page 3 of the March 2018 web edition, describes a successful club and dance hall in Springfield, Oregon. Of particular interest is how local clubs banded together to purchase and operate the dance hall. (You will probably need to zoom in to read the text.)

2018-03-14 The Maryville Forum (Jessika Eidson) Maryville, MO Square dancing could improve cognitive and social abilities

Square dancing is not only a lot of fun and a great form of exercise, for older (60-79) adults, it could help prevent cognitive decline. One study done by the University of Colorado found that white matter (the tissue on which messages can be send through the central nervous system) improved in integrity after 6 months of moderate, social exercise.

2018-08-09 The Denver Post (Shaban Athuman, Mark Jaffe) Denver, CO For Some Locals, It’s Hip To Be Square Dancing

This excellent article in the Denver Post does a great job of describing Modern Western Square Dancing and the current efforts of clubs in Denver to attract new members.

2018-09-01 55 PLUS (Colleen M. Farrell) Rochester, NY Square Dancing: Fun for Singles, Couples

This article in 55 PLUS magazine describes the stories of some enthusiasts who say square dancing keeps them mentally and physically active.

2019-02-27 Argus-Courier (Clark Miller) Petaluma, CA Square dancing makes local comeback in Petaluma

This article describes the efforts of Dan Lyke to re-establish square dancing in the Petaluma area. It provides a positive description of the nature of MWSD and outlines some of the challenges square dance groups face in today’s social environment.

2019-07-04 KYWTV (CBS affiliate) Philadelphia, PA Belle’s Run 2019 Square Dance Convention Takes Over Philadelphia

This 3-minute piece does a nice job of depicting square dancing in general and gay square dancing in particular at the 2019 IAGSDC convention in Philadelphia

2019-07-05 WHYY (PBS Radio, Peter Crimmins) Philadelphia, PA Swing those partners: Gay square dancers gather in Philadelphia

This 3-minute audio piece describes the 2019 IAGSDC convention in Philadelphia. It talks about both dancing and calling and provides good information.

2019-07-08 Philadelphia Inquirer (Brandon T. Harden) Philadelphia, PA ‘It’s the world’s best-kept secret’: International LGBTQ square-dancing convention held in Philly for the first time

This piece about the 2019 IAGSDC convention (Belle’s Run) in Philadelphia features interviews with Sandie Bryant and several dancers and organizers.

2019-07-11 AP (Natalie Pompilio) Philadelphia, PA Gay square dancers add new spin to centuries-old dance style

This piece about the 2019 IAGSDC convention (Belle’s Run) in Philadelphia has some nice quotes from dancers and organizers about square dancing and LGBTQ dancing in particular.

2020-01-03 UofL News (Haeli Spears) Louisville, KY UofL researchers study dancing as treatment for veterans with PTSD

Researchers at the University of Louisville and Western Connecticut State University did a pilot study focused on Dancing Well, a local non-profit organization which hosts the Soldier Project. The Soldier Project brings veterans with PTSD together for group dancing and community. The study was aimed at exploring the hypothesis that dancing provides benefits to PTSD patients.

2020-01-17 Times Record (Hannah LaClair) Topsham, ME Square dancing tradition alive in Topsham

This piece is a profile of the SAGE Swingers, a 50 year old club in Maine. It provides a synopsis of the benefits and pleasures of square dancing, as well as a discussion of some of the hurdles the activity faces.

2020-01-31 Capital Gazette (Jack Chavez) Maryland Fort Meade: Swinging squares brings modern square dancing to the community

This profile of Swinging Squares featuring caller Virgil Forbes provides a good positive treatment describing the club and the square dance activity.

2020-02-01 Albany Democrat Herald (Sandra J. Bean) Albany, NY Interfaith Voices: An antidote for despair: dancing

This evocatively written article does an excellent job of describing the mental and emotional experience of square dancing, and the benefits that flow from it.

2013-11-18 San Diego TV San Diego, CA Learn to Square Dance With Buddy Weaver (Video)

Clip for UTSan Diego TV program with caller Buddy Weaver, San Diego Square Dancerss and TV Hosts

2020-05-14 Chicago Tribune (Myrna Petlicki) Chicago, IL Glenview square dance club takes activities online

This article describes how Glenview Squares is staying active and keeping their members engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020-06-05 the Fence Post (Marty Metzger) Bellvue, Colo Such fun being virtually square (dancing)

This article describes how the Lemonaders virtual square dance group came together during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep square dancing alive in their area.


Health Plan Newsletter Extols Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document SCAN Newsletter January, 2016 SCAN Club Newsletter Article Jan2016

SCAN is a health plan that publishes a newsletter for its members. The January 2016 edition contained an article talking about the benefits of square dancing for physical, social, and cognitive health. Considering the natural interest a medical plan has in promoting the overall good health of its members, this represents a strong endorsement.


Newspaper Article: Don’t be a square – dance!

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Tullahoma News
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Kali Bolle, LIFESTYLES EDITOR
2015-01-22 Tullahoma News Article

This article printed in the Tullahoma News provides some interesting historical background and a lot of information on the benefits and appeal of square dancing.


Dancing Makes You Smarter

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Richard Powers 2015

Condensed Article From SRDIAA Sep 2015 Newsletter

Full Article

Full Study In New England Journal of Medicine

This article by Richard Powers discusses the findings of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 which found that dancing offers protection against dementia. Square dancing is not specifically singled out, but the information presented seems to indicate that it would provide one of the highest degrees of protection. In September 2015 the Square and Round Dance Instructors Association of Alberta (SRDIAA) published a condensed version of Richard Powers’s article in its newsletter. The condensed article provides pointers both to the full Richard Power article and the subject NEJM study. Those pointers are also provided here.

Richard Powers is a full-time instructor in contemporary social dancing and dance history, Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Theater and Performance Studies. (Full bio)


Teen Dancing (Petaluma, CA)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Scott Byars 2004-08-01

This is a report on teen dancers in Petaluma, CA as reported in the Press Democrat By Janet Parmer.

—–

Petaluma’s youth bop to a new beat and learn it’s fun to dance to a different tune! Aleksandra and Danielle Olivera once dreaded being dragged to square dances. Now the St. Vincent High School students are largely responsible for the dramatic increase in teenagers learning to square dance in Petaluma. They’ve lured many of their friends to the Tuesday night Adobe Squares club, and most have returned voluntarily to learn more dance steps. The Adobe Squares beginning square dance class, which meets at the Petaluma Women’s club, is anything but traditional, with teens almost outnumbering adults.

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