Modern Square Dancing. This video refers to “Modern Pattern Dancing”, but keep in mind 99% of it is still Square Dancing. Also, what is not shown, is Round Dancing (Queued Ballroom Dancing). At festivals, Round Dancing is usually in a separate hall. At your local club Square Dance club, there is often Round Dancing between Tips of Square Dancing. Click Here for Round Dance videos
I would like to make note that this video represents the transition of the original square dancing (before amplification) to the now modern Square Dancing. As a result of no modern technology, calls were more prompted, and involved 16, 32 and 64 beat routines simply because the prompter (now caller) had to yell at the top of his lungs to be heard over the crowd noise.
As a result of amplification, the caller could be heard without the yelling aspect of it, and the calls became shorter and quicker and more numerous. In the late 70’s, there were thousands of calls that were developed. As a result of this, Callerlab.org was organized and narrowed the list down to a max of around 120 calls through “Plus level”. Most clubs are Mainstream in the US. One does not need to learn all 120 calls to be Mainstream dancer.
Also not apparent in the Video, as is with most videos of Square Dancing on YouTube, is the social aspect of the activity. Friendships are developed and we look forward to gathering at the local Square Dance just to be with friends. This is the real draw to Square Dancing! A side benefit of course, is the exercise of body, mind and spirit. (and partake in the treat/food table in the back of the room)
It is human nature to view something like this and convince yourself that you can’t Square Dance. Take note, that most people Square Dancing now once thought the same thing. Are you really any different than someone who dances now? (Old metaphor) How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (Oh come on… we eat cows, don’t we?)
We enjoy traveling to other clubs in various towns locally. On a broader basis, there are Festivals to attend to around the World depending on your resources. An RV is a favorite for those so inclined. be sure to youtube “Square Dancing” and you may see the difference.
If you are interested in this activity, you might visit my web site, CallerDave dot com.
First let’s address the three letter concept.
I come from the DOS days where file names were of the eight.three format (12345678.123) or (filename.ext)
I was hard pressed to name files with only 8 letters and be able to recall or search my computer for any particular file. For this reason, I came up with three letter ID’s. Two letters (AB) just weren’t quite enough to ID the intent of the file. Also, 26×26 is only 676 letter combinations available. With three letters (ABC), 26x26x26, there are 17,576 combinations available to me. I try to use consonants, no vowels if I can help it. This way the 3 letter combination is less likely to be in a lot of words when I go to do a search. Example: “TSP” (Turlock Step n Pards). There are not to many words that would use those 3 letters in them, making the search for “TSP” more relevant and efficient. If you add in numbers, that ups the number to 36x36x36 which equals 46,656 combinations. If you can’t find 3 letter combo that sounds like it would apply, I would wonder.
The reason for three letters, is that our brains can recognize much more easily what the three letters might be representing than 2 or 1 letter. Also, because 4 letters, just make the file longer for not much more in recognition, I chose a consistent three letters, and works very well for me. (Just look at the media network or business names ie: CBS or IBM for a clue to this concept.)
Who, When, Where, What & Why
In Windows 10, we now have the ability to scan for any variation of file names and search orders throughout the computer. This is the reason I use the Windows operating system of alpha-numeric prioritizing in searches.
I use “Who” first. For instance, we have been using TSP (Turlock Step n Pards) as their 3 letter ID. I then use the next “W” of “When“. This is the Date. Most dates show up in a human user friendly format. ie: September 7th 2018”. To the computer, and to be more concise, a more logical search and view format would be “2018” as the first element of “When“. Since using numbers would be a shorter way to say when, we will use 2018-0907. (which is a chronological year… to the day order) I always use a – (dash) between the year and Month/Day. Also notice I left out the dash between the month and day that is often found with cameras. Simply, it helps makes the file name as short as possible.
We now have the event of “Who and When” for the beginning of the filename.
“THT-2018-0907”. At this point, one could go back into the archives of the Promenader and figure out what it was all about without adding any more to the filename and still find it efficiently on the computer. but… we’re not done yet.
Using “THT-2018-0907”, we can now add “That 70s Dance” to this. It would now read “THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance” to give a more useful “human” info, for the filename to most people. With a filename that satisfies three of the five W’s of “Who, When and What“, the last two W’s, Where, and Why are much easier to find after you locate the event you’re looking for. The reason for not adding them, is more for human convenience, and keeping the filename as short as possible.
Download = Camera –> to Your Computer
This is the critical point for me to be sure the files get named, otherwise, it never gets done. Here is what I do:
I make a folder in my Pictures area, on my computer and name it using the above convention. (“THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance”)
- Flickr note: “Folder” in your computer is the same as “Album” in Flickr and, Album is = to a sub folder under “Collection” in Flickr.
I then download/empty the camera card into that folder. I use the Windows “Move” command which empty’s the card.
- Be sure to delete any blurry or undesirable pictures, before you proceed to the next instruction. Blurry is totally unusable for anyone and wastes bandwidth uploading it, as well as server space since no one will use the picture.
To Name or Rename:
- I then copy the folder name: [R Click] on folder name and [Rename]
- Make sure the name is highlighted then: [Ctrl][C] to copy.
- Then click into the folder and click on any picture once, then highlight all of that events pictures [Ctrl][A].
- Right click on the first picture filename and choose “Rename” and paste the folder name into the filename area, then hit enter. This will name and numerate all of the highlighted files. (“THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance (34)”, 34 being the 34th picture of the set.)
Of course, when I upload to Flickr, the filenames now go up with it. The filenames are instantly searchable in Flickr. This probably holds true in Facebook.
I may expand in the future with this page if need be.
Below is a table of 3 Letter ID’s that I have developed over time. See the above link for explanation of how to use it. If you wish to add a 3 letter ID to the list below, Contact me, Dave Brown, and I can add it to the list ibelow. You can contact me:
|BNS||Boots And Slippers Search||Club|
|BJS||BootJack Stompers, Mariposa Search||Club|
|CTR||Calaveras Twirlers Search||Club|
|OKS||Oakdale Squares Search||Club|
|PST||Pear Steppers Search||Club|
|RWR||Rockin' W Rounders Search||Club|
|RBN||Round Robins Club Search||Club|
|SEQ||Sequoia Squares, Tulare Search||Club|
|SSF||Single Skirts and Flirts||Club|
|TSP||Turlock Step N Pards Search||Club|
|THT||Twain Harte Twirlers||Club|
|BDN||Barn Dance (See ONS)||SQD|
|SQB||Beginner SQD Prospects||SQD|
|DMO||Demo square dances||SQD|
|NON||No Dance Activity, but in support of Square Dancing.||SQD|
|ONS||One Night Stand (See Barn Dance)||SQD|
|SQP||Square dance patter||SQD|
|SQS||Square dance sing calls||SQD|
|STT||State Square Dance||FST|
|WNG||Wing Ding - CCSDA||FST|
|DNP||Dave and Pam (Dave took pics)||ZTR|
|DTB||David T Brown||ZTR|
|LGR||LeGrand DMO-Teach Grade Sch SQD||ZTR|
|PND||Pam and Dave (Pam took pics)||ZTR|
|SLV||Silva - Ralph & Nancy||ZTR|
|PIQ||Slated for pictures||ZTR|
|VDO||I include this in the description of the filename to indicate a Video File||ZTR|
Types of Dance Explained!
by Dave Brown
When you attend a Modern Square Dance, there are three types of dancing that is possibly offered depending on the club format. Please note that the Term “Square Dance” is often used, even when Round and Line dancing is offered. “Square Dancing” is often the main dance attraction at one of these events. Round Dancing is the number two event as a rule. Line Dancing is not as common overall in the activity across America (and the World) known as Modern Square Dancing.
Of course, if you think about it, Square Dancing requires four Male/Female couples, or eight people. Each couple completing one side of a square. Hence, 4 sides of a square. I’m not sure where Line Dancers, Western dancers and the public get the notion that Line and Western Dancing is Square Dancing. There is simply a lack of 4 sides to make a square in the two mentioned here.
Please don’t confuse “Folk Dancing” with “Modern Square Dancing”, which is a whole other format that often uses less than 50 Dance “Calls”, whereas Modern Square Dancing extends beyond that. Folk Dancers often declare their type of dancing as “Square Dance” but it does fall in line with the term that all of us know as American Folk Dance. Folk Dancing is often prompted, rather than Called as in Modern Square Dancing, as most routines are set choreography.
The difference between the Square Dance of old and Modern Square Dancing is simply the introduction of electronic amplifiers. The “Old” way of Square Dance was prompted, as there was no way for the prompter to yell the full time the dance was in progress. It invariably made the voice box sore and inoperable (hoarse). As a result, the “Calls” or routines were more extended in time and calls were more of a “memorized by the dancers routine” lasting up to 64 beats or counts. Then the next call was “barked” or “prompted” over the band playing and noise of an excited crowd .
As a result of Electronic technology, the prompter is now known as a “Caller”. The caller can now make more noise that the crowd as a result of voice amplification. This means the dancers can how hear all of the words that the caller might call out, but now the callers voice can last most of the night without becoming hoarse. The end result, human nature as it is, the dancers want more. More of what? Since the dancers can now hear everything, the calls have become shorter in duration, and now there are more calls to challenge the dancer.
Modern Square Dancing, which breaks down to 2 types, with several levels within each, “Patter” and “Sing Calls”. The Person Directing a Square Dance is known as a “Caller”
The second most popular form of dancing found at a Modern Square Dance, is Round Dancing.
Round Dancing is performed by couples in a large circle consuming most of the hall traveling counter clockwise in that circle. The Person Directing a Round Dance is known as a “Cuer”, prompting the next pre-choreographed call to any number of popular songs or music.
Line Dancing. Performed by individuals in lines stacked to face the front of the hall. The Person Directing a Line Dance is known as a “Prompter”, prompting the next choreographed call to any number of popular songs or music. Often Line Dancing choreography is simple enough that only the first or second time through is enough to get the idea to continue being prompting.
What needs to be pointed out, is that there is a progression of participation with people involved with each other for personal satisfaction. from line dancing of individuals (1ea) to Pairs (2ea) and then 8 (or 4 couples) performing together.
The “Allemande Left” Reward
By Dave Brown
As humans beings, we take great satisfaction in ﾓReaping the Rewardﾔ. Rewards are not necessarily monetary as rewards come in many forms. As an example, a child having done a good job tying his/her shoe, gets a hug as a reward for a job well done.
Many people seek to be better than they currently are. There are always a few people who are trying to achieve a perfection that simply is not p
ossible ie: perfect execution of all square dance calls. But… for
most, the perfection is more in the sociability of the process we call Square Dancing.
Perfection really needs to be defined by each individual to satisfy their own personal needs. I would call these personal goals. Personal goals are what set the tone and level of perfection for each person. Goals by each individual determines at what level one is satisfied to achieve.
We are human… At least, the last time I checked, therefore we are not perfect. Some people may aspire above the Plus program level and even achieve a personal proficiency in their given level, whatever that might be.
What I find interesting, is the ﾓcurrencyﾔ we use for a “job well done”. This is found at all levels of Square Dancing from beginner to the C levels of advanced.
As a beginner, we learn quickly, that by getting to the “Allemande left”, we have accomplished what we set out to do. At least for that brief minute or two from ﾓSquared upﾔ to the ﾓPromenade Homeﾔ call.
The “allemande left” means, that no matter the level you dance at, you had a “success” when you arrive at the ﾓAllemande Leftﾔ with few mistakes, with the teamwork of 7 other people. With many small success’s during the entire session, you can leave for home knowing the entire afternoon/evening was a great personal success. [with a sense of success by sharing Square Dance synergy with 7 other people]
On a shared ride home with some friends, (even the carpool is a social gathering) a good friend of mine related that she was proud of herself for getting through the entire dance by not personally contributing to any mistakes for the afternoon Sunday dance. (ﾓwell maybe a little one, or twoﾔ She admitted) I noticed in her smile a sense of pride and satisfaction. I had to smile, thinking to myself, that she probably achieved all of her ﾓAllemande Leftsﾔ or ﾓRewardsﾔ even though there might have been some mistakes by her or others during each tip of the afternoon. What a great feeling of pride and accomplishment… for all of us!
Sooo… as you approach what appears to be the corner and the eminent “Allemande Left” at your next square dance, reflect on the above thoughts and collect your just ﾓRewardﾔ. ﾓFeel itﾔ, as you head into a right and left grand with that sense, of a job well done!
Touch, Experience It!
By Dave Brown
I am always fascinated by people when I ask for them to try Square Dancing. Different reactions can be expected, but rarely, when given a date and time, do I hear, ﾓI’ll be there for class!ﾔ It really seems to be a difficult process to bring new people into our activity.
Without, what I call the ﾓtouch componentﾔ or physical experience, recruitment needs to be a gradual exposure over time. The concept is known as ﾓGet to know, Like and Trust.ﾔ It is human nature to resist change. To only do what was always done before. When exposed to the idea enough, only then will the prospect move forward with action. This can be acted upon through social media or wearing your Square Dance clothes into any establishment, or after party at your local restaurant. People need to see (many times) that there are ﾓa lot of peopleﾔ involved in the activity to the point of being common. Many times I hear comments as to our Square Dance outfits or ﾓwhere’s the dance?ﾔ Maybe we should just throw on some Square Dance clothes and go out for dinner… just thinking out-loud.
The nature of most people is to ﾓSit on the fenceﾔ, wait and see if someone else does something, and if enough people do it without repercussions, then it must be ﾓOKﾔ. ﾓLet Mikey take the first bite.ﾔ If we are out in public enough with Square Dance attire, people might assume that there is a Square Dance somewhere and that they might be feeling left out. Think about it guys and gals.
Now the touch component.
I learned a long time ago, that if I didn’t “experience it by touching or acting on the activity”, I would never know what was reality verses what my mind was thinking it might be. I base this statement on past life experiences. The phrase “Don’t judge another man until you walk in his shoes.” begins to take on new meaning when you actually ﾓdoﾔ or ﾓtouchﾔ the activity as the other man did.
Let’s take the previous statement and reflect on it.
Up until the point of actually experiencing the activity, you have only information that is stored away in your memories of the possibilities of what you are about to experience. You might even be a little apprehensive because touch will be involved. It will be a brand new touch experience. The “real deal” as it were. (I followed that, did you?)
The touch component is missing until you actually, “Do It!” That component is the “real feel experience”. “Tactile or Touch”. You could read, watch someone else in their experience, or hear about an experience from a friend. Until you actually involve your mind and body simultaneously with the physical “Touch” component, the only conclusion that you could have had was from the previous “Non Touch” information.
Now let’s apply it to Square Dancing.
Many people grow up with other dance experiences. That’s ok. It seems that Square Dancing is one of those activities that people actually like to watch, in wonder, as the demo square completes their moves, synchronously one move after another, caller with dancers. ﾓIt looks so hard!ﾔ is a normal comment as the activity is stored away in their subconscious as ﾓTo Hard for me, but coolﾔ.
Ok, now how do we recruit that person?
I have found that the best place to recruit is at a demo as we show our stuff in front of an audience of potential Square Dance prospects! The trick is to bring in bystanders and teach just enough to let them know that they can actually do it. The caller should agree with the demo group, a secret key phrase, like, ﾓExplode the Square!ﾔ This tells the dancers to go out into the audience and bring in one new person as a partner. One square begets two. Two squares turns into Four. Etc. Each newbie has an experienced dancer to help make positive results and success as a rule for the newbie. In almost every case after the set, that I have done this, there are several new people with their eyes opened up to the possibilities of learning the hobby even asking where they can learn.
I have found that from the audience of watchers, we never seem to recruit anyone. But… if we can get people to experience even just a little, touch sells the activity.
Put together some demos.
This gives new meaning to ﾓReach out and Touch Someone!ﾔ