Croakers Square

We make no secret here that we are square dance aficionados. We love the comradery, the challenge, and the health benefits. We also think of square dancing as a lost American art form.

But venture too far down that road, and you might just reach another conclusion: that structured dance of ANY kind is a dying art. That’s tragic to the point of being criminal.

In direct contrast the entrepreneurship motto (“Own a monopoly”), we don’t believe have a “Square dance or nothing” mentality here. Dancing—of many types—is part of America’s DNA. Most people would be lying if they said there wasn’t at least one song—usually considerably more—that made them shake and shimmy just a little. But we also believe that there is a time, a place, and an occasion for structured dancing, as well.

With that in mind, we compiled our list of five specific dances we feel every American should know, just in case the situation arises:

  1. Square Dance. Well, of course this one is first! We’re still diehards on the subject. This dance—an Americanized version of dances imported from Europe, Africa, and other places—is ingrained in our culture, probably due to millions of us learning it in elementary physical education classes. Trust us, it’s much more fun as an adult. There are multiple styles, but even if you only learn the Appalachian and Modern Western versions, you’ll be ready for any Square Dancing situation presents itself.
  2. A slightly less-structured cousin of Square Dancing, this style of folk dancing has its origins in European communities. Contra dances are organized across the country, but seem to be especially popular in the southern US. This is a couples’ dance that involves long lines of people dancing across (“contra”) to each other. There’s a caller involved, but instead of a series of steps where you end up back with your original partner, the traditional goal is to change partners at the end of every dance.
  3. Line Dance. Line Dancing is exactly what it sounds like: a group dance where the dancers stand side-by-side in line and perform dance moves in unison. If Contra Dance is a cousin of Square Dancing, then Line Dancing is the illegitimate child of the two. No caller is involved, but there are still repeated moves that follow an established pattern. Many people enjoy Line Dancing because the steps are easy to learn … and they don’t need to be coordinated with a partner. Folks just stand in a line and move in unison with their fellow dancers.
  4. Two-Step. The Two-Step has many different incarnations, but when most people mention it, they’re talking about the Texas Two-Step. This style of dance can depending on the venue, but it’s typically a partner dance with three central steps that utilize the popular “quick, quick, slow” rhythm. As with most dances, it’s hard to say exactly when the Two-Step was created. What we do know is that it’s basically a mixture of the Foxtrot and the One-Step, two other dances that were quite popular in the past.
  5. There’s a reason the Waltz is considered a classic: it’s the one dance that’s liable to show up on any occasion, from weddings to sock-hops. The ability to smoothly and confidently twirl your partner through the steps of a Waltz is rare these days, and it shouldn’t be. Kids may think of the Waltz as a stodgy ballroom dance, but time was, the dance was considered racy and indecent! Designed for large dance floors, the long, flowing movements and perpetual turns give dancers the appearance of gliding effortlessly through the space.

The world has gotten too impersonal. Dancing is the perfect cure. Make plans today to get back in the “swing” of things … we’ll see you out on the floor!

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