Croakers Square

Whether you are thinking about attending a square dancing lesson or you are a seasoned dancer, knowing a few common etiquette tips will help you understand and enjoy your square dancing experience much more than you would otherwise. Read on for our top recommendations to keep in mind when you enter square dancing culture.

1. Cleanliness is key.

Square dancers value personal hygiene, so please make an effort to bathe prior to attending a lesson or dance and be sure to apply deodorant, perfume, or cologne. You may also consider taking a breath freshener because you will be in close proximity with several other people and halitosis is frowned upon.

2. Know your capabilities and stick to them.

Do not try to dance above your level because your lack of ability will ruin the dance for the rest of the dancers in the square. Be courteous to everyone and sit out if you are not yet at the same level. However, you may join a dance that is above your level if you are explicitly invited by the square to do so.

3. Do not abandon a square early.

Never should you leave a dance before the song is over. Square dances depend on having eight people to dance correctly and if you leave the square you are also leaving your partner high and dry. Your skill level or the level of other dancers in the square is not an excuse to leave early. If you must leave mid-song to tend to an emergency, it is common courtesy to find a replacement.

4. Follow the dress code.

Square dancing dress code is covered elsewhere in this blog. However, it is important to note that men should wear long sleeves because grabbing a sweaty arm during a dance is unappealing. Women should refrain from wearing excessive amounts of jewelry because the jewelry has the potential to injure other dancers. Name tags are a must for both genders.

5. Remember to applaud the caller and thank fellow dancers.

Calling is hard work, so the caller deserve a round of applause at the end of each tip and a personal thanking at the end of the dance. Also remember to thank your fellow dancers for participating. If you are at a square dancing club, it is polite to thank the club officer as well.

6. Fill in the square nearest to you.

It is bad manners to pass by a square in need of another dancer in favor of another square unless you have prior arrangements to dance in the other square. Be courteous and fill in the square nearest to you as soon as the music starts. It is rude to force callers to “beg” people to join the square. At times it is permissible to arrange a square in advance, though to do so too often is considered impolite.

Square dancing has plenty of unwritten rules that make the dances go smoothly, so taking a moment to familiarize yourself with these rules is a surefire way to make sure that you and your fellow dancers have a great evening.

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