Square Dancing is...
A Healthy Lifestyle
Easy to Learn
One of the first things we learn as children is how to walk. In next to no time you don't have to think about how to do it - you just do it. You don't worry about where your feet go - it's automatic. With most dance forms you then have to learn to place your feet in specific arrangements - you have to learn to walk in a different way which is un-natural. Not so with square dancing. Square dancing is based upon walking in defined directions for defined distances - which is exactly what walking is. And since walking is one of the most natural things we do - square dancing becomes so easy to learn.
No matter where you go in the world square dancing is the same. The movements have been standardized and are called in the same way, regardless of language. The dance programs used are all standardized and no matter where in the world you learn - you can still dance the same in other parts of the world. You may not be able to converse with some of the other dancers you meet - but you can interact with them. Your Square Dance family truly includes the whole world!
11 Reasons to Square Dance per USDA.org
1. Social Aspects – Square Dancing & Contra Dancing are great ways to meet people in a non-threatening, relaxed social atmosphere. You never know who you are gong to meet. Lifelong friendships are formed, and many have met the love of their life. There are clubs for singles, couples, the handicapable, gays & lesbians, campers, and youth, although usually everybody is welcome at all clubs.
2. Healthy Environment – Square Dance, Round Dance & Contra Dance clubs are smoke and alcohol free.
3. Stress Relief – Since these 3 dance forms, Square Dancing, Round Dancing, & Contra Dancing, are all led by a leader giving commands, you become so focused on the “task at hand” that your other mental worries are forgotten, at least for a couple of hours.
4. Cardiovascular Fitness – Dancing is a safe way to exercise. The level of exertion is up to each participant. You can rev it up for a high intensity workout or take it easy for a relaxing, yet beneficial workout. Dancing regularly can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and an improved cholesterol profile.
5. Body & Brain Boost – Square, Round, & Contra dancers react to calls as they are given. This forces the body and brain to be tightly coordinated. A number of the calls are memorized which keeps the brain sharp.
6. Calorie Burn – Dancing burns between 200 and 400 calories every 30 minutes of dancing. That’s equivalent to walking or riding a bike.
7. Distance – The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends 10,000 steps per day to maintain physical fitness. It is estimated that a typical square dancer can expect to clock 9,000 to 10,000 steps per dance.
8. Sturdy Bones – The side to side movements of dancing strengthen weight-bearing bones, tibia, fibula, and femur, and help prevent the slow loss of bone mass.
9. Rehabilitation – Dancing is a way to get back in the swing of things if you are recovering from an injury. Dancing keeps your joints moving, and is nice alternative to jogging or other high-intensity activities.
10. Mental Health – Studies have shown that activities that involve both physical mental activity at the same time help to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
11. Balance – Studies have shown that adults who have a history of activities such as dance, tend to have less incidents of falling as they get older.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT.
The caller is there to entertain you - to make dancers forget about your day to day worries. And it works! No matter how tired you are from a long day's work, once you start dancing, you become energized again and forget all your troubles. You'll find yourself dancing to many different types of music, including country & western, rock, jazz, sing-a-longs, gospel... even some rap!
Square Dancing Misconceptions Explained
It's such a great activity! "We have one of the best-kept secrets in the country", states square dancer Ron Mueller of Sheboygan. If we can get people to try it once, they find out how much fun it is!
He cited several misconceptions:
Dancers perform in exhibitions as a main activity or for competition.
Actually it is done sporadically, on a volunteer basis.
(There is no competition.)
Square dancing requires expensive clothes.
False. Comfortable shoes, a long-sleeved shirt for men, and a comfortable full or prairie skirt or slacks for the ladies will suffice.
Dancing is only done to country western music.
Again false. Pop, polkas, show tunes, spirituals, as well as many familiar songs are sung as square dance music.
Admission is expensive.
Not so, the admission per person per night is about half the price of a movie. Refreshments are potluck.
It will be like classes in school.
The difference is a live caller, spontaneous calling, and a variety of music.
We all know that exercise is good for you, but it all seems like hard work. Isn't there a form of exercise that is also fun and doesn't seem like hard work? Yes there is - it's called Square Dancing. The physical effort made in square dancing results in square dancers outliving the average person by ten years! Of course, there are many alternate healthful activities, notably regular brisk long walks, working out at the gym, bicycling, swimming, etc. But after a few months, most people find those routines difficult to stick to. Contrast such workouts with three hours of square dancing that fly by with calories burned equal to a comparable painless 3-1/2 mile run. And it's so much fun, you can't wait to come back for more!