CALIFORNIA SQUARE DANCE COUNCIL, INC.
Learn to Dance

CALIFORNIA SQUARE DANCE COUNCIL, INC.

 

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Attend six different affiliate festivals and one state convention.

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CONTACTS

President
Jim and Pam Kidwell
619-294-9893

Vice Presidents

Northern Area
Jim Davis
408-981-9129

Central Area
Joe Boyajian
805-489-5436

South Central Area
Jerry Ferguson
951-893-3806

Southern Area
LPaul Schmidt
619-222-0445

Webmaster
Joe Dehn
408-774-1570

Learn to Dance

Why Learn to Square Dance?

Because it's fun!

Because it's good exercise for both the body and the mind!

Because you like moving to music!


"Intro to Square Dance Fun"[MORE VIDEOS]

Square dancing is a combination of many enjoyable things.

It is a physical activity, a mental activity, a musical activity, and a social activity.

If you enjoy any of these things, and especially if you enjoy more than one of these things, maybe it's time to give square dancing a try!

So what exactly is this?

If you have already watched some of the videos on this site you may have a general idea of what modern square dancing is about. But for a basic introduction to things like what makes a square and what a caller does, intended for somebody who may have never even heard of square dancing, watch this quick introductory video from Sweden:


"What Is Square Dance?"[MORE VIDEOS]
Of course by now you know that the "square" in "square dancing" doesn't mean "old-fashioned"! It refers to a geometric shape, formed by four couples, a total of eight people. In modern square dancing the dancers form many different shapes, like circles, stars, rectangles, and diamonds. Sometimes the caller will play games with the dancers and make even more complex patterns. Watch this video to see some examples, along with some comments about how square dancing has changed since 10 or 20 years ago:


"Modern Pattern Dancing"[MORE VIDEOS]

Not convinced?

Maybe you don't think of yourself as the type of person who dances. Many people who are now square dancers thought that before they started!

But somebody convinced them to try it, they came for a few introductory or class sessions, and discovered that they did like it:


Some people who needed convincing...[MORE VIDEOS]

Square dancing is not a spectator sport. It's very hard to understand what it's like just by watching. We do it for fun, as a recreational activity. Except for a few groups specifically organized for that purpose, we are not putting on a "performance" for the benefit of spectators. You are welcome to watch, but to understand why we like it ... You really need to try it yourself!

 

How Can I Learn to Dance?

Like most sports and hobbies, square dancing is an activity that can be enjoyed on many levels. The basics are very simple. You can come to an introductory-level event and be dancing in just a few minutes!

People who want to make square dancing an ongoing part of their life usually join a square dance club. Members of most square dance clubs dance together on a regular schedule - weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. In addition, these clubs may sponsor events to which they invite dancers from other clubs nearby. So that they can all dance together, they all learn a particular set of calls. That way the caller doesn't need to explain everything from scratch each time -- they can just start dancing right away!

Many clubs that dance using a particular set of calls (a "program") offer classes that teach these calls. Once new dancers have learned a program (set of calls), they can dance at any club that uses that program.

The programs most commonly taught to beginners vary by geographic area, to match the programs used at club dances in those areas. The programs most commonly used at club-level dances in California are called "Mainstream" and "Plus". ("Plus" includes more calls than "Mainstream", so it takes a bit longer to learn.) Some clubs make use of smaller sets of calls to make it easier for new dancers to get started - these may have names like "ABCs of square dancing", "Basic", "GDP", "SSD", or "50 call program".

But it doesn't really matter much which program you learn to start. It's generally best to begin with whatever program is recommended by current dancers in your area - they know what will be most useful for attending events in that area. And once you get the idea of how square dancing works, you can always learn additional calls, if you want to be able to dance in other areas or at more kinds of events. The important thing is to get started!

 

Where Can I Learn Square Dancing?

Many square dance clubs offer introductory sessions suitable for people who have never done any square dancing before, as well as ongoing classes for people who would like to learn the calls normally used during their club dances.

Here are examples of sessions coming up in the next few weeks where you could try out square dancing (no previous experience needed):

DateCityMore Info
September 21 (Fri)Palo AltoEl Camino Reelers
September 22 (Sat)San LeandroOaktown 8s
September 24 (Mon)CarlsbadSandpipers
September 24 (Mon)VistaOcean Wavers
September 25 (Tue)Buena ParkBoys N Berries
September 25 (Tue)BurbankWestern Weavers
September 25 (Tue)San JoseCPSD
September 25 (Tue)FremontSwinging 21ers
September 26 (Wed)OrovilleOroville Promenaders
September 26 (Wed)TorranceBoots 'n Bows
September 27 (Thu)BakersfieldJoaquin Squares
September 27 (Thu)Grass ValleyGoldancers of Nevada City
September 27 (Thu)La Selva BeachLucky Steppers
September 27 (Thu)WhittierMajor Keys
September 27 (Thu)UkiahUkiah Promenaders
September 30 (Sun)FremontEl Camino Reelers
September 30 (Sun)Portola ValleyStanford Quads
October 02 (Tue)San JoseCPSD
October 03 (Wed)OrovilleOroville Promenaders
October 03 (Wed)MartinezMartinez Swingers
October 04 (Thu)BakersfieldJoaquin Squares
October 06 (Sat)MartinezDiablo Dancers
October 06 (Sat)San JoseSCVSDA Jubilee
October 07 (Sun)Portola ValleyStanford Quads
October 08 (Mon)RosevilleMavericks
October 11 (Thu)AuburnButtons N Bows
October 14 (Sun)Portola ValleyStanford Quads
October 15 (Mon)RosevilleMavericks
October 18 (Thu)AuburnButtons N Bows
October 19 (Fri)San JoseEl Camino Reelers
November 03 (Sat)San DiegoSDSDA Fiesta

Contact the clubs in your area for information about when other sessions and classes are being scheduled.

Or contact any of the California Square Dance Council's area Vice Presidents or other officers and they will be happy to help you!

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