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Jerry Helt Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Style in Square Dancing
By Jerry Helt


The term "style" as applied to square dancing is construed to mean "the execution of various steps and movements with the maximum amount of smoothness, comfort, and grace." There are several other elements contained in square dancing style, such as: poise, bearing, rhythm, and timing; also, in many sections of the country, we have locality differences in style, which, in the writer's humble opinion, adds to the fun and interest in the art of square dancing.

In dancing a square dance, we have eight people dancing together as a team, striving to follow a given call, and execute a certain pattern of figures. If the dancer has learned to dance well and is considerate of the other dancers, the little individual trimmings that add to the fun of square dancing usually won't "mess up" the other dancers – too much. It is said, "that a smile is very important in your style," because if you're smiling you are having a good time. If someone is jerking your arm off, or stepping all over you, it is really hard to smile and enjoy yourself.

Sometimes people whisper to each other and say, "have you noticed how rough a certain dancer is?" This statement disturbs me greatly and I often wonder if the person that dances roughly really realizes the impression he leaves with other dancers.

To sum up this talk about "Style in Square Dancing," here's hoping that you will accompany your "STYLE WITH A SMILE" and enjoy every minute of this wonderful square dance activity.


Used with permission of the author. Reprinted from the 1959 College of the Pacific (Stockton) Folk Dance Camp syllabus.