American Square Dances of The West
& Southwest - online instruction book

With Calls, instructions, diagrams, steps & sheet music

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American Square Dances
form, under the name of "catch calling," in which the caller not only varies the figures, but even calls them backwards. The object of this is to catch the dancers off guard, as the dancers so caught are obliged to leave the floor with their entire set. It is a lot of fun, and a form of square dancing which taxes the ability of the most skilled dancers. They are the ones who use it, and then very seldom. Like "hash" calling, it is not for the general and average "floor." Dancers should be at ease and confident in their knowledge of what is expected of them if they are to dance well and get the most fun and social recrea­tion out of their dancing.
In exhibition dancing, variety is the rule, with no repetitions, if possible. Promenades, Circles, and Grand Right and Lefts should be kept to a minimum, as this type of dancing is designed for the audience, eye appeal, and show routine, and is danced by highly trained performers in a well-rehearsed routine. It is beautiful to watch, interesting to learn, and a joy to perform, but only as an exhibition.
The Square Dance Step
The Western Square Dance uses no particular routine of steps in any movement. The rules are simple. Keep your head up, your shoulders level, your feet on the floor, and dance. That is all! Use little jig or "catch" steps whenever you wish, or when­ever the music indicates. Two-step as much as you like, espe­cially in the movements danced in one place, such as a Swing, a Do-si-do, and the Sashays, but never slow down your set by holding back the movements of those behind you. Just dance!
The matter of carriage, posture, and balance is all important in the Square Dance. You must keep your head and chest high; dance tall, high, wide, and handsome. Strut it, dance it, step from the hip, not the knee, with your feet on the floor, and a smile on your face, in time with the music, rhythm, and beat. The dancer who leads with his chin, allows his head to go for-