Talk:Square dance

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Comparison wanted[edit]

... If however you feel that a comparison is necessary I would encourage the comparison to be made to a currently used, widespread call (i.e. that appears on today's Callerlab list).

... I think a comparison of steps that are performed differently in the two types of square dancing would be useful. Allemande was the only one I could recall clearly from both that differed for a sensible reason. Perhaps you are more knowledgable than me and can suggest another step. I can think of "star right", which is performed in Western sd like the English step "hands four", but English dance is not really square dancing. David 11:37 Aug 16, 2002 (PDT)

... Otherwise, my best suggestion would be to find someone who dances both programs. Dan 11:34 Aug 30, 2002

Comment to KrisJensen:

I want to point out that not all MWSDers do Dosado with the "Highland Fling" styling. Many do it according to the "rule book". Many frown upon the widespread use of this styling. And of course there are also many who use the styling, especially within certain "communities", geographical and otherwise. Here in Denmark it is a rare thing to see people use it. Dan 13:34, 9. januar 2003

Comment about petticoats and square dance attire:

I had at one point moved the text dealing with square dance clothing from this article over to the Western square dance article. The reason for this was that the discussion of clothing did not focus on a comparison between that used in Western square dance and that used in traditional square dance. I have added a link to a "future" petticoat article in the Western square dance article.Dan 13:34, 9. januar 2003

That does seem like a better place to address attire. -- Jeff

I removed external link to western square dance events in the Pacific Northwest (primarily Washington, as best I can see). This is a general article on square dance (both western and traditional), 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 08:49, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

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 08:05, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Article streamlining[edit]

I've tried to streamline the article so that it focuses solely on the comparison of the two types of square dancing, and added a note at the top of the article to clarify this. Otherwise, newcomers to the article (such as myself, originally) will be tempted to add lots of particular information about one or the other form of square dancing, instead of looking for that information in the appropriate specific article. Also, readers should be directed to the specific article, if detailed information is what they are looking for. C. Scott Ananian 21:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for your efforts to streamline the article. The header is very helpful, among all the other changes. It has been a struggle to find the right balance in this article between too much information, and not enough, and to keep it from getting too traditional or too modern Western. Thanks for moving the article in the right direction. As for Lloyd Shaw, I have amended the statement about him again. According to all I've read he did not research and document square dance directions "in order to create a uniform, standardized type of dance", but rather "to preserve traditional American folk dance". His efforts— publishing, teaching, showcasing with his youth group— brought square dancing to the attention of a lot of people. Standardisation came with Callerlab. --SFDan 05:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Looks good to me. According to the Wikipedia article on Lloyd Shaw, he did "create a universal list" and "the lists were later adopted by callers all across the country", but I'm perfectly happy with the current wording you've come up with. I can't say I'm an expert on Lloyd Shaw. =) Thanks for all your work on these square dance articles! C. Scott Ananian 12:38, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Then the problem lay in the Lloyd Shaw article. I have now fixed the text there, and clarified his role with dance documentation and the creation of a universal list. I hope it is clearer than previously. --SFDan 14:36, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Promenade Act information[edit]

I'm very happy with the page currently, however I feel that the section on the 'Promenade Act' doesn't quite fit with the rest of the content (which is now comparisons of square dances). I don't have any good ideas for how to fix this, though. C. Scott Ananian 15:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Promenade Act removed[edit]

I removed this text from the article:

The Promenade Act (H. R. 645) is a bill before the United States Congress that proposes that Square Dance be designated as the national folk dance, and that defines certain other dances (i.e. round dance, the contra dance, the line dance, the heritage dance, and clogging) as square dance.

I removed it because the bill did not pass, and didn't even make it to the debate stage, let alone a vote, so I don't think it's notable. - furrykef (Talk at me) 07:34, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Comparing square dance calls[edit]

In the "Comparing square dance calls" section, this article refers the reader to contra dancing's description of "some traditional square dance steps". Since the contra dancing article doesn't refer to any of them as square dance steps, the reader can only infer that all of them are common to both contra and square dancing. I don't know whether or not that inference is true, or if any discrepancy therein is significant, so I mention this for the consideration of others who do know and can decide if it's worth a revision of this section. --rich<Rich Janis 20:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)>

The inference is not true; not all of them are common to squares and contras. "Cloverleaf" as defined in the "Contra dance choreography" article is completely different from "Cloverleaf" in squares. "Turn contra corners" is never done in squares, and I don't think "Mad Robin" (which was borrowed by urban contra callers from English country dancing) has made it into squares -- yet. On the other hand, "California twirl," "Star through," and "Swat the flea" (all subentries under "Twirl to swap") were borrowed into contras from modern Western squares, as was "Dixie twirl." None of those four can be called a traditional square dance step, at least not by its present name. Eventually the articles on contra dance, square dance, traditional square dance, and modern Western square dance should probably be revised to reflect an accurate picture of those dance forms' similarities and differences. Tparkes 18:29, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I've made a stopgap revision to the paragraph in question, so readers won't think all square and contra calls are identical. While I was at it, I cut the average number of calls used at a trad dance from 40-50 to 10-30, which is more in line with my experience. Although I dance mainly in the modern urban contra (MUC) environment, and MUC callers do draw from a wide vocabulary of calls, MUC can't be taken as representative of trad *square* dancing, particularly as very few squares are currently done at MUC events. Tparkes (talk) 19:44, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

French origins[edit]

I'm surprised to see no mention of the overwhelming French influence on square dancing. Take a second look at some of the main calls: dosado comes from the French "dos-a-dos" (back-to-back), allemande comes from the French "á la main" (to the hand), promenade comes from the French "promenade" (walk - noun form). Can anyone provide more insight into this? Steve (talk) 16:35, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

There was a lot of exchange of ideas between France and the British Isles during the 1700s and 1800s, when the cotillion and the quadrille (the immediate predecessors of the square dance) were popular. English dancing masters used a lot of French terms; French was (and is) the language of dance (entrechat, jeté) the way Italian is the language of music (andante, allegro). But determination of the amount of French influence on square dancing will have to wait until someone writes the History section of this page.
Incidentally, allemande doesn't come from "à la main"; it comes from "allemande", the French word for "German." Tparkes (talk) 15:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Where should "History" go?[edit]

I just added a section to the Talk page of the "Modern western square dance" article. The gist of it is that I think all of SD history belongs together, to avoid conflicting viewpoints in different articles. But should it be under "Square dance", which until now has been limited to pointing out the differences between traditional and MWSD? Or should we create a new "History of square dance" or "Square dance history" article? Thoughts? Tparkes (talk) 15:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)