Square Dance                 

Forms or types of Square dance (or "What are these MWSD & Trad. tags?")

North to South - Islands

Upper Vancouver Island - Region 8 or UVANIS (of BC Square and Round Dance Federation) (MWSD) Many community activities all along the Island. Lots of club nights, Squares & Rounds. Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Lantzville, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River, Qualicum Beach.

Southern Vancouver Island - Region 1 (of BC Square and Round Dance Federation) (MWSD) - Square, Round, Clog & Contra Dancing

Cowichan Valley / Duncan area

Mini-poster for Be There and Be Square 

The Shady Grove Folk Arts Society offers a monthly series of Traditional Square Dances the first Friday of every month (Trad.)

"Be There and Be Square" at "The Hub", Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Rd, Duncan, BC, Doors 7, dance 7:30pm to the final waltz 9:30 p.m. $5

With the Shady Grove Dance Band, a seven piece Old Timey group with caller Peter Sussman

Victoria area events

YOMADA hosts Old Time Tidal Wave Music & Dance festival. Multiple bands, workshops. Multiple venues including St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney St, Victoria BC - see Old Time page for more (Trad.)

The Victoria Experimental Contry Dance Party & Urban Barn Dance of summer 2011 and 2014 (last with the DIY Barn Dance) includes occasional squares (Trad.)  See it's page for more info.

Regional / National Square Dance Groups

BC Square & Round Dance Federation (MWSD) with Round dances of the month index, biennial BC festivals and more. See their site for their Twitter feed

Canadian Squares and Round Dance Society (MWSD) offers Canada Wide Support to dancers of Squares, Round, Line, Contra, and Clog Dancing

Events, Camps, Weekends

Many are listed in the above group listings. Others will be added here as you submit them

Square & Round Dance Resources

History of Square Dance @ CDSS.org the Country Dance and Song Society

Square Dance Caller Resources @ CDSS.org the Country Dance and Song Society

SquareDancing.com™ - "The most useful Square Dance site on the Internet"

Folk Dance Association - appears to be a privately operated endeavour, much like this, with a wider and broader remit

Dare To Be Square - Traditional Square Dance Caller’s Workshop (Trad.) (D2BS is a term used by a number of groups for events, i.e. not unique to one event)

Vic and Debbie Ceder's - Square Dance Resource Net (MWSD)

Western Square Dancing - DOSADO.com and their Canadian listings (MWSD)

Types of Square Dance, or "what is this MWSD or Trad. tag?"

(I wrote the following several paragraphs and for it's purpose it will serve, so I'll leave it here. I then discovered the CDSS History of Square Dance entry)

There are, broadly speaking, a couple of forms of Square Dance

MWSD - Modern Western Square Dance, MWSD, or Western Square Dance is reasonably visible. Also known as Club (Square) dancing, this grew from the surge in organisation of the dance form around the period of WWII and since. Much, indeed most of it, is conducted through clubs, dancers having acquired a knowledge of dance figures numbering in the tens (i.e. 60, 70 "calls") before going to a dance.

This requires study, currency of skills, placing of dancers and dance events in categories or levels. Clubs and Classes - classes for teaching/learning and a class (level) of dancer knowledge. Callers for MWSD also need to know many figures to "hash" call in varying sequences which gives the dancers what they expect. Something quick, non-predictable, etc. My mathematician friends love this. Proponents of MWSD may make the point that Calling is making up a dance while "Cueing" is reminding dancers of a dance. Much use is made of recorded music, however a lot of the dance doesn't occur on the beat as with other forms of country dance. More clearly stated, it's a bout a beat not a musical phrase, which is why almost any music will do. Socially it is mostly couple based.

Trad./Traditional Square Dancing - The "root" form of the dance is sometimes called traditional square dancing (I once heard "Historical Square dance.")

If one encounters square dances or dancing related to Contra or other Contry / Country dance it is likely of this form. If you see a community based dance open to any and all, where one may walk in and dance by following the assistance of the caller most would think of that as  Traditional Square dancing. If it's in the name, . . . well there you go.

Much of it is danced to live, phrased, music and there is little to no emphasis on "having a partner" to bring and dance with. The norm is to dance with anyone who is there. This form has never died out. Over the years it's been a bit more hidden away or pushed aside by MUC (Modern Urban Contra dance), and MWSD however it is enjoying a resurgence with such events as Dare To Be Square.

Fundamentally, to get into what was or was not contry or country dance was to overly define it. Most folks simply danced. In part, it would seem to be that the growth of what became Contra dance has also defined the Traditional Square dancing that both grew out of. The names grew from separation of them into discrete activities.

One may see how a common term such as square dance may mean different things. Entries on this site will include a tag of MWSD or Trad. to make it a bit easier to differentiate between the nature of an event or group. Ultimately it's all fun, just a tad different.

This piece, titled "Explaining Traditional Squares and Contras to MWSD folks" may also help dancers of Contra or other Contry/Country dance understand MWSD