Talk:Modern Western square dance

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I removed external link to western square dance events in the Pacific Northwest (primarily Wash-ington, as best I can see), as I also did on the square dance article. This is a general article on western square dance, and the links should mirror the scope of the article. If you want to promote your guide to dances in this area, the website is probably a good place to list your site. Sfdan 08:52, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Category for square dancers[edit]

I have set up a new category called Category:Wikipedian square dancers for those who wish to identify themselves on their user pages as square dancers. I think this would be a nice way to form a little subcommunity for ourselves in Wikipedialand. Hope to see others of you "square up" in this virtual set. Sfdan 08:07, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Square dance calling[edit]

I added some information about square dance calling; it would be nice if someone who knows more about this than I do would fill the section out with some basic information about sight calling techniques, etc. C. Scott Ananian 16:19, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I think this would be more appropriate in the Caller (dance) article. It however misses a lot of information, especially about good training to be a good caller. --SFDan 05:36, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Patter calls / Singing calls[edit]

I have removed the long discussion of this and added a link to the existing in the Caller (dance) article. If there was something additional or relevant here that it missing in the existing discussion, perhaps it can be moved there. --SFDan 05:36, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


I'm unhappy with the section title "deviations from the standard". It seems to place an undue condemnation on these activities. I believe the article should *describe* what commonly happens at square dances (and, although they are not proscribed by Callerlab, just about every square dance includes at least some sound effect and/or flourish), not *proscribe* what should or should not occur. I rephrased 'deviations' to 'variations' and changed the section title to simply enumerate its contents, not characterize them. Hopefully this information will be of interest to a non-dancer who wants an explanation of the various things they might see at a square dance. C. Scott Ananian 17:29, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

"Deviations from the standard" is not judgemental! Actually it's extremely straightforward. I put it as a subhead under "Good dancing" because I, and many others, believe that the two must be seen in relationship to each other. I thought that I was being extremely non-judgemental in the way I phrased the text. To say "variations from the standard" (which by the way is wrong, it would be "variation to the standard" and a "deviation from the standard") is total nonsense. A standard is a standard. That is why it is called a standard. One deviates from the standard or one changes a standard, so it is a changed standard. I think that first off, this section is getting terribly long and out of proportion to its relative importance. Next, by focusing on what you mean "commonly happens at square dances" you are missing all the stuff that I see "commonly happens at square dances", the very information you have removed. Please expect to see two sides of the issue, and not just your own. I have tried to represent the crux of the information you presented, and you have removed the crux of what I present. I intend on having another view of deviations return into the text. I hope that you are open to hear other views. --SFDan 21:26, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Citing sources[edit]

Cananian, you cite a source in your Edit summary box for edit "21:14, October 26, 2005 Cananian (→The managed program lists - Corrected some information; source:". This really belongs in a reference section at the bottom of the article, not in the history. With a citation in the reference box others can verify your information and qualify your source. Please see Wiki guide Wikipedia:Cite sources. --SFDan 05:07, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Latest revisions[edit]

Notes about my latest revision, and rationale

  • Changed throughout “modern western square dance” to “western square dance”, as it is the most common name according to a Google search 1,490 to 518., the largest square dance portal, calls it “western square dance”. Callerlab uses only the term “square dance”.
  • Removed dance program stuff, except the least needed, and created a new article— Square dance list
  • Removed square dance concept stuff, except the least needed, and created a new article— Square dance concept
  • Created some new subheads to give the article some cohesive form, and point out some needed areas
  • Flourishes, sound effects, and games subhead: No capitalisation per Wiki style guides
  • In the above section: Returned most of the text you deleted, and tried to integrate it so it gives a balanced non-judgemental picture. I hope you feel the same way.
  • In the sound effects section I removed the specific examples as being unneccessary, and plain old esoteric! C'mon now! I dance, and I use sound effects, and it took me a while to figure out why you would write-- "A rhyming or punning word-play on the name of the call is common, such as responding "Pink Lemonade" to the call "Triple Trade", or "Moob!" to the call "Reverse Explode"."-- when "Moob" does not rhyme with "Reverse Explode". MoobAk! That's just way too much information (and unclear information at that).

Oops, I forgot to sign --SFDan 11:58, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


  • Square dance list should be Square dance program, I think. It is the Callerlab term, and I think it is more descriptive---"square dance list" seems to describe lists of square dances, which is not at all what is meant. There were lots of references to this section of this article; these should all be updated.
Then move the article to the new name, its very simple. There is a move button at the top of the page. I won't have any disagreements there. The text might have to be adjusted a bit in the article. But basically all the existing text should be able to stand as it is. As for references to this information, I think that the text within the article can stand very well on its own without having to read the Square dance list article. I summarized the crux of the matter where it was called for. If I missed something, please be specific, and show where more information is needed. Otherwise someone who is interested in going into more details on the Square dance list topic can do so easily. But, please, don't overlink to that article. Generally, one link at the first mention of the term is enough, unless there is really, really good reason to do second links. --SFDan 17:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, if you don't mind, I'll move it. The link problem I was referring to was that I remembering seeing a number of links of the form Western square dance#Dance programs for words like 'Plus', 'Mainstream', etc. If you have no objection, I'll try to track these down as I rename the new article. C. Scott Ananian 18:13, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, my worries seemed unjustified: when I went through to update the links, it seems you'd already tracked down most of these links to Western square dance#Dance programs already. =) C. Scott Ananian 18:31, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • You seem to be very worried about this article growing long. It is still very short, relatively speaking. Splitting the information among many tiny articles just makes it harder to find, in my opinion.
I am not worried about the length of the article. I am concerned about the focus of the article. To me this has to do with a basic article about MWSD, it should be readable within a short amount of time, by an unknowledgeable person, and that person should come out with an understanding of what this subject is about. A knowledgeable person should be able to come out and say, "Wow! They got it right!" And a knowledgeable person should be able to go into depth where ever they want to. I would have split off "square dance call" into a separate article except for a couple of things: 1) there wasn't really that much information here that warranted a separate article, and 2) it would open up a can of worms I didn't want to deal with, because "square dance call" has several meanings-- and while I think it would actually be a good idea to have a separate article called "square dance call", I think it needs to be carefully worked out.--SFDan 17:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, after carefully considering the latest versions, I have to say you've done an excellent job focusing the articles. C. Scott Ananian 18:13, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • See my comments in the discussion of the Caller article regarding "western square dance" versus "modern square dance". Briefly, I don't find "Western" to be a distinguishing descriptor.
I have, and I've responded. --SFDan 17:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. =) C. Scott Ananian 18:13, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Specific examples make things easier to understand. I fail to see how deleting relevant examples makes the article better. Pick other examples, if you do not like the ones I chose.
My point is that no example is needed here. We've explained well enough what this is about-- voice responses, claps, stomps. What help would it be to say that we clap two times when doing a "Ping Pong Circulate", or say "Meow" during a Mix. I might as well say we stand on our heads when the caller says "right", and we twirl around when he say, "Now!" What's the point?! It doesn't add clarity. It's clear enough. --SFDan 17:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Are you still unhappy with the current text? I'd rather discuss it more here than engage in an edit war. =) C. Scott Ananian 18:13, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
No, I'm not unhappy with the text now. I think its well written, and gives a good well-rounded view on the subject, that's in perspective. As for the examples, now they are written in a way that even an unknowledgeable person would understand what you are describing. The sentence fragment, "although they may surprise and/or amuse newcomers to a club" bothers me a bit-- 1) I don't think its really necessary to say, and 2) if you want to say it, then I don't think it should say "newcomers to a club", as it can also be at a dance. Rather something along the lines of "although they might surprise and/or amuse dancers unaccustomed to them." (Yes, I lifted that wording from the previous paragraph, but it is descriptive. Perhaps you can think of a different phrasing). --SFDan 05:28, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
The text was added to convey that all of these "deviations from the standard" may surprise people -- in some gay clubs the sound effects may even shock people. =) It was mostly just parallelism of presentation. I have no problem with using "those unaccustomed" or some variation. C. Scott Ananian 17:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I've replaced some of your definitive statements with ones including the word "some"---this isn't the first time: please be careful about making absolute statements.
  • I apologize if it seemed I deleted any information: in fact, I took special care to reorganize without removing information. Please afford me the same courtesy.
  • I think (hope) that we are nearing consensus on this text; I hope that you will find that there is less objectionable in this revision!

C. Scott Ananian 17:03, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I think we've reached a good piece of text now that works for both of us (and for the reader, if I may add that). I hope that we can produce equally, if not better, text for some of the stubs and section stubs that have been generated out of this fruitful collaboration. --SFDan 05:28, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

History of modern Western square dance[edit]

I went ahead and fleshed out some subheads and keywords with links to the new History of modern Western square dance section. I won't have time for a couple of days to work on it, so feel free. I thought these were appropriate, and it helped me to visualize a structure for the information. Hope it works for you (more or less). --SFDan 08:23, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the proposed ideas look very good. It may be tricky to present the "greying of square dance" and the transition to more "modern" music and playback in a way that doesn't offend older dancers. I think we'll have to watch ourselves carefully there. C. Scott Ananian 17:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

First paragraph tweaks[edit]

I tweaked the first paragraph in order to emphasize the "modern" vs. "traditional" dichotomy. There is a little method in my madness. I do it partially to begin unravelling the concept that MWSD is a folk dance, something that I personally believe it is not, although I know that some of the calls are identical to folk dance moves or were developed out of traditional folk dance moves, and in a general sense then, all the calls grew out of a folk dance tradition. If one looks at the criteria listed at the folk dance article, it fits fine for traditional SqD, but not really for MWSD.

Works for me. I personally like the idea that MWSD is a "living" folk dance, in that there's a connection to the historical dance, but that new forms are also continuously being invented for it. In reality, what happens are that "historical" dances get moved higher and higher up the levels as the calls they use disappear from the modern dancer's vocabulary. Incidentally, that's how Stan Winchester's dances all ended up at C2-C4. C. Scott Ananian 17:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

It's mostly a question of where does MWSD fit into the "dance hierarchy" as seen, for instance, at the Wikipedia:WikiProject Dance and in the whole categorisation scheme. There's an unresolved issue that was just raised on the project page around how Country/western dance fits into the hierarchy. Square dance is listed as a C/W dance (and it is in my book also).

And even though the project appears to be in hibernation, it reflects current "consensus" around dance issues. And with a new issue, it might revive itself. Comments, opinions? --SFDan 11:24, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I saw on a television documentary (cannot remember name) that Henry Ford was interested in promoting square dancing and folk music in general because he was concerned by the growing popularity of jazz among young (white) Americans at the time as he considered that art-form to be "decadent". Any information on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Challlenge Sublevels[edit]

My understanding of the challenge programs is there are three seperate levels recognized by callerlab then a second part added to C3 basicly C3b and then everything else falls under C4 so how can there be a C5 can anyone clarify this for me I don't want to just revert things around without comming to an understanding as to how people are explaining things I don't know what people nessasarily are trying to say hereShimonnyman 08:24, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Delete or merge Callerlab?[edit]

This is a tag on the Callerlab page that i may be deleted. I think the problem is that the page needs some sources that help establish its notability. Or do people think it should just be merged into a section on this page? Seems to me that it would do better on its own. --Jake (talk) 18:56, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Actual Steps rather than Modern Square Dance as a conceptual enitity/movement????/[edit]

I'm amazed more than anything else that there is no discussion of the dance steps in this article other than to mention names and then link out to external resources.

If this is meant to be about the movement of Modern Western Square Dance, then re-title the article to reflect that. In the interim I will be adding sections to this discussing the steps to individual dance forms within the broader church of Modern Square Dance as time permits over the coming weeks.

In reviewing the page I have come to the conclusion that it is little more than a fan page for CallerLab. This may not be in the best interests of being encyclopedic. CallerLab may be the arbiter of what Callers can and can't do, but they do not control the steps of the dances themself, do they??? I'm curious more than anything about that last part.....

Bandcoach (talk) 11:27, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

MWSD isn't my specialty, but I know enough about it to say that any objective article on MWSD is going to look somewhat like "a fan page for Callerlab". Callerlab is extremely influential, more so than ACA (the only other national group of MWSD callers). The members of Callerlab have agreed on and published lists of calls (= basic movements or building blocks from which dances are created) with names such as Mainstream and Plus; dance organizers are encouraged to advertise their events as adhering to one of these "programs", and callers are very strongly urged not to use calls beyond the advertised program. So in that sense, I'd have to say that, like it or not, Callerlab does "control the steps [sic] of the dances", and an article on MWSD as practiced today will reflect that. Tparkes (talk) 14:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Where should "History" go?[edit]

Although the outline under "History of modern Western square dance" has yet to be fleshed out, it's clear (to me, anyway) that some of what's proposed to be covered there pre-dates MWSD by a good bit and properly belongs in either the "Traditional square dance" article or the general "Square dance" article. The latter, so far, has been limited (for the most part) to describing the differences between trad and MWSD, referring the reader to the specific articles for any aspects unique to either type.

So I have a question: Where should the history of square dancing be treated? What I'd like to avoid is having the pre-MWSD period (up to, say, the 1940s) covered in two articles from different viewpoints, especially as biased viewpoints are a no-no in Wikipedia. The only options that make sense to me are (1) to put all the history in the "Square dance" article; (2) to start a new "History of square dance" article and keep all the history there; or (3) to put pre-MWSD history under "Traditional square dance" and MWSD history under "Modern Western square dance". I don't favor #3 because there's a lot of timeline overlap between trad and MWSD; in fact, trad history continues to the present alongside MWSD. I'd like to keep all SD history in one place, whether it's "Square dance" or a new "History" article. Thoughts? Tparkes (talk) 14:41, 1 August 2012 (UTC)