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The Chicago Social Dance Meetup Group Message Board › information on an alternative to ballroom dancing

information on an alternative to ballroom dancing

Carey Tyler S.
user 11079586
Des Plaines, IL
This email is to give you information on another kind of dancing. Myself, I do many kinds of dancing, from many variations of ballroom or social dancing, to international folk, and set dances tracing to English origins.

There are two kinds of American square dances, the kind many are familiar with, that you may have done in school, which are quite easy, and "Western square Dancing", where the caller calls an unanticipated, and non repeating, sequence of calls, the dancers must react and dance what he directed.

This email is for anybody that thinks that kind of dancing might be interesting, and also for those who have a spouse or significant other that is resisting dancing. In many cases, people who think the typical ballroom dancing is silly (usually men) find square dancing very appealing and really take to it. Or people who are awkward and uncomfortable attempting graceful foot work prefer square dancing because it can be done with just walking steps.

Also, at nearly all square dances, they alternate the square dancing with what is called round dancing. Round dancing is traditional ballroom figures, but (like the square dance), also "called" (actually the term is "cued") so that everybody is doing the same thing and it is much easier for men because they do not have to lead the woman. Many men and a few women who are not able to ballroom dance are successful at round dancing.

Since one needs to have instant recall of 120 or so different calls, it is generally necessary to take a series of lessons to become a western square dancer. Most of the square dance clubs in the Chicago area begin their lessons in September, and anybody can attend the first night for free (except the "fun dance" in Homewood) to see if they would like to continue. There is an organization that coordinates all the club and publishes the list of lessons starting this month. There are clubs and dances in all suburban areas, and one on the far south side of Chicago. I have some explanations of the list below the URL:


The ones that include "Advanced", "A2" or "DBD in column 2 are continuing lessons for people that have been dancing and wish to do more complicated calls.

The ones that include "BnB", "B N B" or "Spare Squares" in column 3 are sponsored, or jointly sponsored, by singles clubs. Others are couples clubs, who mostly invite singles to their lessons, but may not support them at the regular dances. The evergreen park use to be singles and couples, I do not know if they still do.

Except for the last entry in the table, you can probably start on the first date listed, or the week following, and possibly the 2nd week following (but ask first).

If you would like my recommendations based upon the teachers or groups, feel free to ask me. I will get emails faster if you substitute "" for "" in my email.
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