Square Dance Nebraska - Ideas
THE GROUND RULES
From Sets in Order Indoctrination Handbook
BE A GOOD LISTENER.
Not only does talking in a square distract you but it also makes
it difficult for others in the square to hear the instructions
and the music. Remember, too, that there is room for only one
teacher at a time. You can help others best by being in the
correct place at the correct time.
GET INTO SQUARES QUICKLY. When the caller announces "square your sets", join the square nearest to you that needs a couple. If you're looking for a square let the caller know where you are by raising your hand as you move across the floor. If you need a couple to fill out a square, raise a hand and indicated the number of couples needed by number of fingers you hold up.
BE A COURTEOUS DANCER. Good, standard rules of courtesy are always appreciated. Asking a partner for a dance and then saying "thank you" to all those in the set at the end of the tip is a natural, courteous reaction. In square dancing there are a few specials to look out for. It's considered bad manners to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another. And even more important, beware of the unpardonable sin: Never leave a square once you have joined it until the tip is over. (If you must leave in an emergency, find a substitute to fill your spot.)
BE ON TIME FOR CLASS AND CLUB. Tardiness may be stylish in some activities but in square dancing one late couple may mean that three couples must sit out. In planning an evening's program the caller leans heavily on the first and last tips to pace his dance. If you're late, or if you leave early, you are not taking full advantage of the evening the caller has prepared.
BE A THOUGHTFUL DANCER. Personal cleanliness is important in any activity where folks exercise vigorously in close contact with each other. For that reason, a good deodorant and an effective mouth wash are among square dancers' best friends. Because the enjoyment of the other people in a square depends upon you and your coordination, don't drink before or during a square dance. Be at your absolute dancing and thinking best!
BE A COOPERATIVE DANCER. A square is not made up of eight individuals working independently but rather as one unit. The real pleasure comes when eachperson does his share in making the square run smoothly.
TAKE IT EASY. Don't overdo. Square dancing can be a strenous exercise, particurlarly when you're getting started. If you get tired, sit down. Don't let anyone talk you into dancing if you should stop and breather a little bit. You can still learn a great deal by watching and listening.
BE A FRIENDLY DANCER. Friendship is square dancing's greatest reward. You are the host in square dancing. As a matter of fact, everyone is. Take the opportunity to get acquainted with others in the square and make it a point each evening to dance with as many different dancers as possible. It has been wisely said that "Square Dancing is Friendship Set to Music."
YOU'RE NEVER THROUGH LEARNING. You'll find there is always something new that you can learn or improve upon. Mistakes are a normal part of dancing. When the opportunity presents itself, don't hesitate to ask your caller questions. You may be the only one to ask but chances are a number of the others, too shy to raise their hands, will be grateful to you.
ENJOY YOURSELF. Come to a square dance expecting to have a good time and you'll have it. You'll be surprised how much a smile can pep up an entire square. Just remember that when you clap at the end of a tip you have enjoyed, you're applauding the caller, certainly, and you're saying thank you to the others in the square, but you are also applauding yourself!