It is a wonderful activity that provides light aerobic exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction in a safe environment. Using your mind to remember all the calls may helps to keep the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss. Socially, having a large circle of friends may lower depression and provide a social support structure. And lastly, IT'S LOTS OF FUN.
Square dancing is not the same as it was in elementary or middle school. Sure, some of the calls are the same, do-si-do, promenade, circle left, square through. Many of today’s callers use modern music. Have you square danced to a Lady Gaga or Adele song? Not all of square dancing is twangy country music. There are singing calls and patter to all types of music.
Besides that, you are not in junior high any longer. It may have been a bad experience with a bad teacher, or worse yet, as preteens many of us thought members of the opposite sex had “cooties.” Wipe out those junior high memories and create some new square dancing memories. Its fun and some of the friendliest people around. There are several levels of square dancing: Mainstream, Plus, Advanced and Challenge. Calls get more complicated as you move up and more challenging. It keeps you sharp and alert and mentally focused on what’s coming next.
Some clubs do have a dress code that requests that ladies wear skirts (either prairie skirts or traditional square dance skirts) and gentlemen wear long sleeve shirts. However, there are many clubs that do not have a dress code and you can wear what you want. No investment in attire is required to learn to square dance. The most important thing is comfortable shoes. Many people prefer leather soled shoes to make twirling and swinging easier, but it’s entirely optional. Brazos Bottom Belles & Beaus suggests that ladies wear skirts and gentlemen wear long sleeves, but it is not required. Once or twice a year, Houston area clubs give you the opportunity to purchase gently used square dance apparel at greatly reduced rates.
Think of square dancing as walking set to music. The caller lets you know what move you are to make next. Square dancers are very forgiving and everyone makes mistakes. Most people just laugh it off and wait until they can get back with the call. When a square breaks down, the best thing to do is to form two lines. The caller will notice you and set up the call so you can join back in the dance.
There are square dance clubs in all areas of Houston and the surrounding towns. You can square dance every night of the week except Sunday. On Sunday, you can round dance. For information about other clubs in the Houston area check out the Houston Square and Round Dance Council website at www.squarethru.com.