Modern square dancing is a joyful, fun, healthy social activity, set to a wide variety of music. It provides both physical exercise and mental exercise in a smoke-, drug- and alcohol-free environment.
In most forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted through a sequence of steps (square dance choreography) by a "caller" to the beat (and, in some traditions, the phrasing) of music. The caller is on stage directing the dancers through the moves. Modern American square dances are not learned as complete routines; the dancers learn basic movements, each with its own distinctive call, but do not know in what order they will be called.
Just as the music is a blend of styles, so are the dancers. From different backgrounds and of different ages, people are brought together by their enjoyment of having a good time with friendly people.
Modern square dance brings the learned steps of traditional dance to dancers familiar with more recent music. Clubs use sophisticated sound systems and recorded music.
There are organized square dance clubs all over the world, some aimed at attracting specific groups: they include teen clubs, gender-neutral clubs, singles clubs, couples clubs, and family square dance clubs.
Oregon hosts a Summer Festival, a Mid-Winter Square Dance Festival, and the Seaside Sashay each year. Additionally, there are numerous square dance festivals across the country each year, and a National Square Dance Festival is held in a different US city each June.
Better health, a fun social outlet, and new friends – that’s square dancing!!
Our Square Dance Lessons:
We teach Modern American Square Dancing in a relaxed, smile-filled group atmosphere. Each week of class we add a few more moves. After about 14 sessions, students have a thorough foundation in all of Mainstream Square Dancing and are ready to attend regular dances.
Our next session of classes TBA at Oak Grove Community Club (14496 SE Cedar, Oak Grove). Come solo, as a couple, or as a family. (Children 8 and older are welcome with an adult.) Classes run approximately 12-14 weeks, one class per week. Contact us for more information about upcoming lessons, and see more details on Facebook.
Round dancing is best described as choreographed ballroom dancing for couples. It is a social, non-competitive activity. Like square dancing, round dancing consists of learned foot patterns, each with a figure name.
As in square dancing, on the dance floor, choreography is directed verbally by the round dance equivalent of a caller, known as a "cuer".
While ballroom dancing is “freestyle”, in round dancing each piece of music has a specific routine written for it. The cuer guides the dancers through the figures in each routine.
When the music is played, couples follow the steps announced by the cuer, which are timed to be heard just before that step is to be danced.
Moving in a large circle, all couples on the floor dance the same steps at the same time. Every couple on the floor dances each routine in unison with the others.
The styles of choreography are pretty much the same as regular ballroom dancing. Oaky Doaks dances generally feature waltzes and two-step, but other rhythms that are adapted to round dance cuing include foxtrot, cha cha, rumba, jive, West Coast swing and tango.
A dancer who has learned the steps for a style of dance can dance to any cued music in that style, without being familiar with the specific song.
Like square dancing, round dancing requires constant attention, so while it's fun, it's challenging for the mind as well as the body.
Round Dance Lessons:
We currently do not have an upcoming Round Dance class, but check back for more information in the future.