SSD FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document SSD Committee 2020-09-16 Social Square Dance (SSD) Frequently Asked Questions

Those who are considering use of the Social Square Dance (SSD) system usually have many questions about how it works, the best way to implement it, and the issues they may have to address along the way. The Social Square Dance Committee has published the SSD FAQ document to address these questions. The document Table of Contents is reproduced below so you can see the topics that are addressed. Once you access the PDF document itself, the entries in the Table of Contents are links that take you directly to that part of the document.

We Urgently Need Beginners 4
Why do we need new dancers? 4
Why can’t we do what we’ve always done in the past? 4
What is the Dance Program Escalator? 4
What is the difference between Learn Mode and Dance Mode? 5
What kind of square dancing would be easier to sell? 5
What kind of shorter program can be easily learned by new dancers and also enjoyed by experienced dancers? 6
How can we maximize “Friends Bring Friends” recruitment? 6
History of SSD 7
Who started SSD? 7
What is the difference between SSD and the CALLERLAB Basic program? 7
What’s the difference between SSD and Target 2000? 7
What’s the difference between SSD and Mainstream? 8
Why was SSD created? 8
What do the letters S.S.D. mean? 9
If SSD is from CALLERLAB, why can’t I find it on the CALLERLAB website? 9
Who uses SSD? 9
The SSD List of Calls 10
If square dancing is a grass-roots activity, why do we need a list of calls? 10
Why can’t SSD use an existing list? Why do we need a new list? 10
Where can I get a copy of the SSD list? 10
Why should I follow the SSD list exactly, instead of my own variation of it? 10
What if my favorite call is not on the SSD list? 10
What if I think the SSD list should be bigger or smaller? 11
Starting Your SSD Program 12
How do I get started? 12
Where do I find beginner dancers? 12
How often should I start an SSD class? 12
How many weeks should my SSD class last? 13
What is the structure of an individual SSD session? 13
Where can I get a copy of the SSD guide book? 13
Who will promote SSD to dancers? 13
Who will promote SSD to callers? 14
How do I get my club to offer the SSD program for new dancers? 14
What if I just don’t like SSD and I prefer to teach the same programs I’ve taught for years? 15
Should I teach the calls from all formations and arrangements? 15
SSD Dancing 16
What do SSD dancers do after 12 weeks of class? 16
How can I keep dancers entertained long-term, using only 50 calls? 16
May I teach my favorite call, even if not on the SSD list, to my own group of dancers? 17
If I teach my favorite call to my group, can other SSD dancers still visit and dance with us? 17
How do I get my club to allow dancers to remain at SSD with no pressure to move up? 17
Can my SSD group visit other clubs which dance Mainstream or Plus? 18
Where can SSD dancers find other SSD dance groups? 18
Should national square dance conventions have a separate hall for SSD? 19
How does the CALLERLAB recommendation “that calls be taught from more than a single position (formation and arrangement)” fit in with SSD? 19
I heard that SSD focuses on symmetry. What is symmetry? 20
How to Keep Your SSD Program Strong 22
Where can I find ideas and success stories? 22
Where do I find dance material which uses only SSD calls? 22
Which is more important: What I call, or How I call it? 22
What happens if my club insists on continuing to teach SSD dancers all the way through Mainstream or Plus? 23
SSD was originally called “Sustainable Square Dancing”. What does sustainable mean? 23
How do I encourage people to bring their friends to the next SSD beginner class? 24
What do I do when a nearby caller tries to recruit my SSD dancers? 24
My question is not answered in this FAQ. Where can I ask additional questions? 25

Save Square Dancing With SSD

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Jerry Story and Deborah Carroll-Jones 2020-08-14

SSD (Social Square Dancing) is one of those “new” things that has been around for a long time but is now starting to be noticed and implemented widely. SSD evolved to address the recruitment and retention issues that have developed over the past decades. But its approach and design makes even more sense in this “age of the pandemic”. This story by two of SSD’s most prominent practitioners goes over the rationale and usage of the system and how it has been shown to address square dancing’s most prominent problem.

Read More …


Welcoming Dance Environment Documentation

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB

2020-07-01

Goals and Handbooks

Guidelines For Dealing With Inappropriate Behavior

Square Dancing is an overwhelmingly social activity. Therefore, it is essential that square dance groups create a social environment that feels welcoming, engaging, and safe. Events in recent years have caused shifts in social norms that raise questions about what “welcoming, engaging, and safe” actually means. CALLERLAB has acted to provide guidance in this area. The result is two documents, one providing an overview of objectives and a handbook of procedures, and a second containing a template process that clubs could adapt for handling instances of inappropriate behavior. Click on the button below to see an abstract of the document contents.

In the spring of 2018, the CALLERLAB Board of Governors updated the CALLERLAB Code of Ethics to include the following item:
5. Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all. I am committed to providing an environment free from sexual and other forms of harassment or bullying without bias based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability, and always be respectful of the hearts and spirits of others.

Expanding on this commitment, it is our goal for all participants to have a pleasant social experience while attending square dance events. In support of this goal, CALLERLAB will provide its members and the greater square dance community with guidelines, information, and educational opportunities to assist them in preventing, recognizing, addressing,and eliminating inappropriate behavior. In addition to the documents listed below, look for additional educational opportunities such as large group presentations, small group discussions at the CALLERLAB Conventions, and Articles in Direction.

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment CALLERLAB Handbook for Organization Leaders and Callers for information about the following topics.

  • Definitions of Harassment and Other Inappropriate Behavior
  • Enhancing Caller Awareness
  • Teaching Dancers about Appropriate Behavior

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment CALLERLAB Handbook for Dancers for information about the following topics.

  • Appropriate Dancer Behavior
  • Defensive Dancing
  • Helping Create a Safe, Secure, and Welcoming Environment

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment Organization Guidelines for Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior for a draft Club or Organization Policy with specific information about the following topics.

  • When and How to Make a Report
  • Guidelines for Taking a Report and Addressing a Complaint
  • Inappropriate Behavior Complaint Form


SSD Documentation and Support Materials


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-09-07 15:17:27

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system called Sustainable Square Dance (SSD). Earlier versions of this system had been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

In July, 2020 CALLERLAB announced this system and the supporting Committee were renamed Social Square Dance (SSD). Only the name changed. All existing supporting materials still apply. At the same time, the CALLERLAB Board of Governors formally endorsed the use of SSD as a recommended vehicle for a rapid restart of square dancing after the COVID pandemic subsides.

SSD is designed to provide a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 20-25 hours of instruction, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to SSD, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers happy in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

This article collects in one place documentation and materials that support the use of the SSD system. Some were created by the CALLERLAB SSD Committee while others were created by people using the system in the field. These are presented in two separate groups below. Click on the buttons below to view the respective tables.

Item Title (link) Description
Social Square Dance (SSD) Teaching Guide This comprehensive document provides a lesson plan, teaching tips, and sample choreography to jump-start callers on implementing the SSD lesson system.
Press Release announcing Board Of Governors endorsement Board Of Governors endorsement for using SSD as an approach for rapid restart of square dancing after COVID-19.
COVID-19 Information Page This page collects CALLERLAB information related to COVID-19.

The table below has two sections. The first contains materials of direct assistance to callers/dancers working with SSD – lists, videos, call definitions, etc. The second contains stories and experiences contributed by users of SSD.

Item Title (link) Description
Supporting Documentation and Materials  
SSD Teaching Videos North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL created a series of teaching videos that demonstrate the calls in the SSD 50-call lesson plan.
Flash cards for SSD calls. Each card has the name of the call on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call on the other. These sets of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.
SSD Call Booklets North Shore Squares of Evanston, IL created definition booklets as an SSD teaching aid. The booklets contain a concise and easily read definition for each call, many including color diagrams to illustrate the action.
SSD Alphabetical Call List A single page that alphabetically lists the calls used in the SSD lesson system. The sheet highlights the calls from the Mainstream list that are used in SSD and also lists separately the Mainstream calls that are NOT used..
Stories and Experiences
North Shore Squares – 0 to 50 in 18 months An inspiring personal narrative that charts a journey through the process of using the Social Square Dance (SSD – formerly named Sustainable Square Dance) system as a tool to dig their club out of an all-too-common hole.
Stories from Facebook Some stories posted in Facebook about experiences using SSD.
Teaching an SSD Class This Winning Ways story from a newer caller explains how she is using the SSD program to teach new dancers.
Save Square Dancing With SSD Jerry Story and Deborah Carroll-Jones outline the philosophy and approach of SSD and how it can be used to solve square dancing’s biggest problem: recruitment and retention.

Cuesta Squares: A Social Success

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Luis Magana 2020-05-31

This is the story of Cuesta Squares which is an LGBTQ club that dances in San Luis Obispo, CA. It is different in that it is told by a new member and relates his experiences learning to dance with the club. It is an excellent example of the importance of the social environment of the group to the success of the club.

Read More …


Ideas for Creating Social Connections

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Cory Geishauser (corbengeis@gmail.com)

2020-05-14

Icebreaker Questions

Cory Geishauser provides some ideas for stimulating socialization by getting people to ask questions about each other.
 
“I’ve seen places have a blast with these kind of questions. For instance, make a big bulletin board with these displayed. I’ve seen folks make trivia out of it and play with their entire group such as.. “Guess who in this club fishes every morning in their barefeet?” Some have made scrapbooks and made copies for everyone in their clubs. Even Club and Dancer Facebook pages and groups highlight a different member each day, or once a week etc.
Go crazy with it… Corby Geis”


United Square Dancers of America (USDA)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

USDA

USDA Website

The UNITED SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA, INC. (USDA) was formed on June 26, 1981, during the National Square Dance Convention held in Seattle, Washington, and has grown to the size that approaches the representation of 310,000 dancers throughout the United States. USDA is an organization formed by dancers, for dancers, and is under the operational control of dancers. The purpose of the organization is to:

  • Promote and perpetuate the total Square Dance Movement which includes Square, Round, Contra, Clogging, Line and Heritage Dancing.
  • Establish a line of communication from the individual dancer to a recognized unified body so that an expression of varied opinions can establish or influence policy for making decisions at the national level.
  • Provide for education to further the growth and enjoyment of Square Dancing through educational publications, distribution of a quarterly magazine “USDA NEWS”, and annual participation in seminars at the National Square Dance Convention.
  • Encourage cooperation between member clubs, state associations, councils, federations; national and international organizations; or other groups involved or interested in the promotion of Square Dancing.
  • Provide a forum for implementing the benefits of membership in the UNITED SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA and assist members in any way possible. Our programs include offering Affiliates 501© (3) non-profit status, USA Travelers Program, and accidental medical and liability insurance.
  • Represent Square Dancing to the general public as a wholesome, enjoyable family type recreation. USDA awards Founders Youth Memorial Scholarships , a Centennial Award for dancers reaching the age 100, as well as support for the Handicapable Dancers.


Virtual Square Dances and Recordings


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-07 15:19:17

There have always been pockets of people who find themselves unable to assemble a whole square, or sometimes even another couple, but who want to dance anyway. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole square dance population into such people. As the pandemic wears on more and more of this sort of dancing is becoming available. To the point that guides and calendars are emerging to help sort through the offerings. The first three entries in the list below are such items. The first is the IAGSDC calendar of Virtual Dances (it’s the first item in the table below). The second is the Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide, which focuses on Advanced and Challenge dances. The third is a guide published by the Austin Square and Round Dance Association that includes all levels.

In addition to the pointers to the online calendar and guides, this article provides a collection of recordings specifically aimed at people dancing by themselves. Some are in the form of a “virtual dance” where you can see other couples dancing along with you in their living rooms. Others are more in form of a demo couple showing you the moves.

Click on the item heading to go to the recording. Some are video, others both audio and video.

IAGSDC Virtual Dance Calendar
As the pandemic wears on virtual dances have become increasingly numerous. The IAGSDC addressed this issue by putting up an online calendar of virtual dances. Virtual dance sponsors can enter their event on the calendar by filling out a form on the calendar page. It is not restricted to members of the IAGSDC. Some of the events are recorded and may be found after the dance date on YouTube or Facebook, or in one of the collections following below. Others are live Zoom sessions that allow you to interact with other dancers between tips.
wheresthedance.com
In response to the changed situation due to the pandemic, the wheresthedance website has updated their facility to include virtual dances. After following the link above, click on “Show all virtual: Square Dance” to see all dances registered with the site. This site has a separate KnowledgeBase article with additional details which you can view here.
Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide
The Trailblazers square dance club in LA has published a guide for virtual dances at Advanced and Challenge. It is available online and will be updated as new information is received. If you have information you would like added to the guide contact vsdeditor20@gmail.com. The link provided takes you to a page that appears to show two documents. Only the first one takes you to the PDF. The second has a title of the form “Updated {date}.pdf”, and is just a dummy to tell you when the last update to the first one was done.
ASRDA Virtual Square Dance List
The Austin Square And Round Dance Association is publishing a frequently updated list of Virtual Square Dances at all levels. The link takes you to a calendar, but the actual dance information for each week can be viewed by clicking on the document link in the Sunday of each week.
Intro to Virtual Dancing
The SquareDanceCalgary organization has put together this page explaining the basics of virtual dancing using Zoom. It includes pointers to several instructional videos that explain how the dancing works, and how to use the Zoom program to access dances.
Ett McAtee Virtual Advanced and Challenge dances and workshops.
Ett McAtee wished to keep her C1 class up and running after they had to shut down due to the pandemic. Her program has grown to a regular C1 workshop on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons, an A2 dance with C1 star tips on Friday evenings, a Sunday Challenge series, and a C3A workshop/review co-called with Linda Kendall on Tuesday evenings. Email Ett for more information and to get “on the list”. Her email address is available if you follow the link above.
Buddy Weaver One-Couple Dancing
Buddy Weaver has recorded several tips specifically choreographed for a single couple. The tips progress in difficulty with Part I being the easiest. All tips have an audio recording, and some have a video recording as well.
Mike Dusoe Virtual Dances
Mike Dusoe has hosted a number of virtual square dances over Zoom. He often has guest callers as well. The video screen shows a number of windows, each containing a couple (or a single) dancing the material in their own home. This page is an index to those dances.
Dancing In The Garage Series
Specifically designed for two person Square Dancing, the “Dancing in the Garage Series” is created by Bob and Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love from Vancouver Island. These are presented as dance along fun-shops and tutorials. There are currently over 200 videos available.
Mike Seastrom Connects With His Class via Zoom
During the pandemic Mike wanted to keep in touch with his dancers, so he called some dancing they could do in their own living rooms.
Darren Gallina Zoom Dances
Darren Gallina has posted several “Zoom” dances to his YouTube channel during the pandemic. Called by Darren and a variety of other callers.
Calgary Virtual Square Dance Videos
The Calgary & District Square & Round Dancers Association has held a number of Zoom dances aimed at single couples during the pandemic. They have posted the recordings on YouTube.
Challenge 2-Couple Zoom Virtual Square Dance Videos
During the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Challenge virtual dances were held over Zoom. Levels include C2 through C4. Keith Rubow recorded these dances and they are available for purchase on his site. Information on the scheduling of the live dances is available on the IAGSDC calendar.

Ed Foote – All Things Considered

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-06-15

Ed Foote is a well-known caller who has been calling since 1965. He was a founding father of Challenge dancing and served as Chairman of the CALLERLAB Advanced & Challenge Committee for 30 years. He created the National Advanced and Challenge Convention, which for decades was a highlight on the calendar of most Advanced and Challenge dancers. Yet half of his calling every year has always been for Mainstream and Plus clubs. He is a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach and has conducted hundreds of caller clinics and schools around the world. In 2008 he received the Milestone Award, one of CALLERLAB’S highest honors, for significant contribution to the square dance activity.

He writes prolifically and has had articles published in square dance magazines in all parts of the world. He has been writing a monthly column for American Square Dance magazine called All Things Considered for over 30 years. Below are pointers to a number of these articles as well as some education material from his caller schools.

https://greenechamber.org/blog/using-secondary-sources-in-literature-review/74/ https://recyclesmartma.org/physician/viagra-geiger/91/ here resume video marseille paris 2011 go to link canada thesis go to link modern day romeo and juliet essay national honor society essay examples do my coursework alex how to write a paper for school viagra sold in the usa lasix canadian follow resume for university admission see https://earthwiseradio.org/editing/romeo-and-juliet-fate-thesis/8/ go here dissertation data presentation and analysis https://fotofest.org/solving/purpose-of-scholarly-writing/5/ https://zacharyelementary.org/presentation/tesis-tentang-komunikasi/30/ https://carlgans.org/report/david-foster-wallace-consider-the-lobster-and-other-essays/7/ intracranial hemorrhage viagra custom curriculum vitae writer sites usa how to get viagra illegaly cyber security analyst resume levitra franklin levitra campo bonito sat essay the manhattan project essay research 3 how to use mla format free hero essays Click on a section heading below to view articles in that section

Articles for CallersArticles For Callers and DancersArticles About Advanced DancingThoughts and Opinions On Various Topics

Click on a sub-section heading below to see the articles it contains



2019 IAGSDC Survey Results

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Brad Bruner (liaison@iagsdc.org)

2019-07-17

Survey Results PDF

The International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC) is an association of square dance clubs that mainly focus on LGBTQ square dancing, although members of all backgrounds and identities are welcomed. While membership numbers vary with time, at the time this survey was done the association contained 60 member clubs. More information on the IAGSDC can be found at the IAGSDC website.

While there are come historical and cultural differences between gay and straight clubs, there are many more commonalities. Gay clubs face the same difficulties as straight clubs in the areas of recruitment and retention. In an effort to understand what their members were doing to address those problems and which efforts seem to be meeting with success, the IAGSDC commissioned a 46-question survey of their members. The PDF file contains the summary results of that survey. A total of 43 surveys were sent out and 41 responses were returned – a very high response rate for such a project. While a few of the questions deal with matters specific to gay clubs, such as participating in Pride parades, most apply equally well to any square dance group. These survey results provide a useful and very current window into the operations of square dance clubs.


Alberta Chatter Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com)

Back Issues
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014

The Alberta Chatter newsletter is published every six to eight weeks. It contains articles on promotion, member retention, and general interest articles, as well as a regular column by a visually impaired dancer, Dee Jackins, entitled “The Lighter Side of Darkness”. 

NNJSDA Keynote Addresses From Roy and Betsy Gotta

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation Northern New Jersey Square Dance Association Convention April 2018 Betsy and Roy Gotta (separate presentations)

DREAM (Betsy’s Keynote)

They’re in the Door (Roy’s Keynote)

Talking Up Square Dancing

At the Northern New Jersey Square Dance Association annual convention in 2018, Betsy and Roy Gotta delivered individual keynote addresses. Together, these presentations provide a wealth of insights and suggestions on how to market, recruit, and retain new dancers. Click on the links to the left to see the text of the presentations.

  1. Check out Betsy’s keynote, titled “Dream”, for an exposition on how to market and communicate with non-dancers. How can we change the way non-dancers perceive our activity? What messages do we need to communicate?
  2. Roy’s keynote is titled “They’re In The Door”. If your marketing and recruiting is successful, how do you keep them coming back? How do you build a successful club?
  3. When you get an opportunity to talk about square dancing, do you know what to say? Has a friend ever expressed curiosity? Has a reporter ever approached you? Do you have an “elevator pitch” ready? “Talking Up Square Dancing” provides guidance on how to deliver appropriate, targeted, and concise messages when an opportunity presents itself.


How Rounds Are Scheduled Can Be Important

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jerry Junck (junck@aol.com)

2018-04-23

N/A

Jerry Junck reports on an observation from a club on Vancouver Island. Their format involved having a round between tips and they noticed that new dancers had difficulty getting into squares with the experienced club members. This seemed to be because the experienced dancers were doing the rounds and simply squared up right away since they were already on the floor. The club decided to make a change and do the round immediately after the square dance tip, then take the break. Now they have found that the new dancers were able to join squares with experienced dancers much more easily. We should be thinking of ways to INCLUDE new dancers, rather than unintentionally EXCLUDING new dancers in our dance programs. Breaking down the walls of US (the experienced dancer) versus THEM (the newer dancers).


Seating Can Change The Social Atmosphere of a Dance

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jerry Junck (junck@aol.com)

2018-04-23

N/A

This account from Jerry Junck describes a seemingly trivial change in the way dancers are seated during breaks which he believes has improved the social atmosphere of the group and lead to an increase in the number of dancers attending his dance. Something to think about …

==========================

For years I had always set up my hall with two rows of chairs in the back, side by side. Never really gave that a thought, but did it because “that is what I’ve always done.” That section is a 20 foot wide area behind a row of four columns. Too small an area to dance, but great for seating away from the floor.

Two seasons ago, my activity director decided to leave tables set up in that area all the time. I wasn’t all that sure about it, but that is what she wanted. They set two rectangular tables set end to end. Each table will each seat 4 people on a side, and there are ten sets of these tables. That seats 160 people. Using my old method of chairs side by side, I could not seat that many dancers.

What I have found is that dancers LOVE those tables. To the extent that I believe it has contributed to the growth of this dance in these last two seasons. Also, people are arriving earlier to “stake out” their tables for their friends. This has given dancers a place to put their drinks, their bags, and plates, if we have treats, and a place to put their elbows, if nothing else. It has increased the social aspect of the evening tremendously. Much easier to visit with people across the table rather than down the line beside them on chairs.

As an aside, I just called a dance here in Nebraska this afternoon for a club I started 51 years ago. They are not a big group anymore, but they also set up tables for people to sit around, rather than on the benches around the hall. It was amazing to watch how much they enjoyed being able to visit with each other.


Sets In Order Archive

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Osgood

1948-1985

SIO Archive Page

Click on the link to view a page pointing to digitized copies of complete editions of the Sets In Order magazine.

This page is a tribute to Bob and Becky Osgood. The Sets In Order magazines are one of their legacys that comprise in these pages the history of modern square dancing. Bob began publishing SIO in 1948 and the last issue was issued in December 1985, 444 issues.

This material is Copyright (C) by Bob Osgood, and his heirs and may not be reproduced in any form including digital transmission for commercial purposes. Short articles may be reprinted using credit: “Reprinted from [magazine] and magazine year and month. magazine should be replaced by the appropriate magazine name such as SQUARE DANCING Magazine, official magazine of The Sets in Order American Square Dance Society” or just “Sets In Order” for earlier issues. Please credit by-lined authors.


Media Articles on Square Dancing

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-09-09 15:40:27

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 58 media articles.

# 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.

2009-12-16 Wall Street Journal New York, NY Strictly Come Square Dancing: Historian Digs Into Dance’s History

This article from the Wall Street Journal in 2009 give a brief overview of the history of square dancing.

2020-09-07 Salt Lake City Channel 13 Salt Lake City, UT TV News Item

This video from Channel 13 in Salt Lake City provides a positive report on square dancing. It was done during the pandemic and shows people dancing outdoors wearing masks and gloves, with good commentary by Suzi Page.



Rocky’s Success Story

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Doreen Guilloux (jdguil2@cciwireless.ca) March, 2016

Three years ago the Rocky Mountain House Whirlaways were struggling to hold their own. This spring they already have 2-1/2 squares signed up and paid for, for next fall, and they haven’t even advertised yet! Their recent President’s Report explains how their club worked together to turn things around.

Read More …


Otonabee Squares – Success Starting a New Club (2009)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Jean Lander (hjlander@gmail.com) 2015-08-03

Report from Jean and Howard Lander about their success in starting up a new club in Peterborough, Ontario. The report contains much interesting information about how they advertised, promoted, and recruited for the new group.

Read More …


Using Square Dancing For Rehab (2004)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Barbara Blencoe 2005

Report from Barbara Blencoe about how her square dance group and activity helped her rehabilitation from a stroke.

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Success Strategy – Broken Wheel Squares (Kirtland, OH)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Mike and Rose Speers at RVROSE @Earthlink.net or 28845 Serenity Lane, Wickliffe, OH 44092. 2003-10-30

The 35th Anniversary Year of the Broken Wheel Squares came at just the right time. The club was in the doldrums. It had inexperienced leadership, an aging membership and was losing its spark. To many we were just going through the motions. We had good dances, but any excitement was coming from the caller not the membership. We were losing money on about a third of our dances and were surviving by the thinnest of margins.

Read More …


New Dancers – (Crosstrailers – Warren, OH)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Margie McCummins 2004-03-30

We have enjoyed thirty-seven new dancers (students) for lessons this year ….. thirty-seven! Our lesson nights have ten to eleven squares, and yes, they are a bit noisy with all the laughter and fellowship.

When we polled our new dancers to see what brought them to our lessons and squares, thirty-seven came because of a personal invite; one couple found our club on the Internet. Sixteen new dancers said they had previously seen a demo; four had seen a flyer at a fair; and four read our article in the local newspaper. However, this did not bring them to our lessons …. it was the personal invitation that brought them to lessons.

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Winning Ways (2003/2009/2018) Sage Swingers

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Brunswick, ME
FoundationFL@aol.com for more information.
2003/2009/2018

In the various square dance magazines and web sites you can read how square dance clubs and national organizations have plans for advertising square dancing, for “improving” our public image, for altering the dance program and for growing memberships. For the SAGE Swingers in the process began with a change in philosophy. What are the club’s goals for its dancers? The Club thinks this can determine how you go about gaining and keeping new members. Their first report is from 2003, followed by updates in 2009 and 2018 describing how the club is faring.

The Clubs goals today are different from what they might have been five and ten years ago. For example, at SAGE Swingers some of our goals are:

  1. To help the club grow by getting more new members
  2. To make sure people are having a good time learning to dance.
  3. Insure that new members return.


Here are some of the “old” goals the club no longer strives for.

  1. The Club does not feel people need to graduate from a Mainstream program by a certain date.
  2. Classes do not have to start in September only.
  3. Learning to dance is not a race to see how quickly you can get to Plus or A-1
  4. The Club tends to downplay classic square dance clothes and make sure people know it’s optional
Read 2003 Report …
Read 2009 Update …
Read 2018 Update …


Dancing In A Social Club

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Kittyhawk Squares
Marvin Stibich
2003-03-23

The Kittyhawk Squares are a social club that square dances and not a square dance club that socializes. We have an excellent home dance location: The Lathrem Senior Center of the Kettering Recreational Center. They help recruit and publicize our events in their bi-monthly news letter.

Read More …