Square Dance Nebraska - Ideas
Square dancers pride themselves on being friendly, courteous and honest on and off the dance floor. Following is a few items to remember when attending a square dance:
- 1. Never leave a square early. Your ability, or that of your fellow dancers, is no excuse. We all start at the same level and the only way to get better is to dance. If you become ill or an emergency arises advise the other members of the square and if possible, try to find a replacement.
- 2. Don't dance over your own level of dance, unless invited. If you attempt to dance over your head without being invited, you will only embarrass yourself and possibly upset the remainder of the square. If you haven't completed mainstream lessons, don't expect to dance with those who have, unless you are explicitly invited. If you are a mainstream dancer and a plus level tip is announced, sit out.
- 3. Male dancers, please wear long sleeves. No one will deny they are warm; however, most will admit they don't enjoy grabbing a sweaty arm. Ladies should avoid wearing excessive jewelry. It hurts. Everyone is expected to wear a name badge.
- 4. Don't come to a dance, workshop, or class if you have been drinking or under the influence of drugs, be they legal or not. Square and Round dancing requires your best mental and physical alertness. Your coordination must be at its very best. Should you be suspected of being "under the influence" you will probably be asked to leave.
- 5. Personal cleanliness is important in square and round dancing. If possible, always shower or bathe. Use your deodorant, cologne or perfume and don't forget to use something to sweeten your breath (mouth wash, chewing gum, etc.). Avoid eating garlic or other offenders before attending a dance.
- 6. In addition to applauding the caller and thanking your fellow dancers at the end of each trip, you should personally speak to and thank the caller and/or cuer before leaving the dance. If you are a visitor, you should also make a point of speaking with a club officer.
- 7. Once a tip is underway, refrain from talking. It is frequently difficult to hear, and your talking may very well prevent someone else from hearing a call. It is also extremely rude to talk while announcements are being made. Try to quiet anyone speaking to you. Give the speaker the same consideration you would want if you were speaking.
- 8. When the music starts, get on the floor (whether for squares or rounds). Don't make other dancers or the caller "beg" you to fill the square. Join the square nearest to you that needs a couple. It is considered "bad manners" to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another. If you are looking for a square, raise your hand as you move across the floor. If your square is not full, raise your hand with as many fingers extended as couples are needed. If two or three couples are squared up and do not have a hand up, it indicates that they are waiting for someone who has promised to dance with them. Do not try to square up with them without asking. Do not arrange squares more than once in an evening. It is best not to arrange a square at all. Do not get on the floor and expect the caller to find you a partner.
- 9. Be on time and don't leave early (if possible). In square dancing, one late couple or person may mean that three other couples or seven people must sit out. By leaving early, you are telling the other dancers and caller that you did not have a good time at the dance. The "wind-down" tip is just as important as the first or middle tips. Plan to spend the complete evening when you come.
- 10. Always introduce yourself and your partner to others in the square if you don't know them. Thank them for dancing with you after the tip.
- 11. Don't hassle other dancers to get up to dance or shame them for not dancing.
- 12. For some, square dancing can be a strenuous exercise. If you feel you are unable to dance, sit out. It is usually best to remove yourself from the dance area and return after the tip has started. Sometimes you can learn a great deal just by watching and listening. Be considerate. If another dancer is watching and listening, don't insist upon talking. Square dancing is a social event but not a place to socialize during tips or rounds even if you are not dancing.
- 13. Never walk between the caller or cuer and the dancers.
- OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Invite non-square dancers out to a dance with you. Try to get them interested in lessons. Non-dancers may be afraid to start lessons. You should bring them to class until they are comfortable coming by themselves. Share the fun of square dancing with your friends. Make new friends and share the fun of square dancing with them.