What is Modern American Square Dancing?
Modern American square dance has no set dances to learn, is directed by a square dance caller who strings together a sequence of individual square dance calls to make a figure or sequence. These calls are the building blocks of the choreography that is danced by the individuals, in the squares.
There are eight people (four couples) in each square; the square functions as a "dance team" for the duration of a square dance tip, a group of dances usually separated from the next tip by a pause during which the dancers regroup into new squares.
The individual square dance calls are categorized as belonging to a particular dance programme, or level of difficulty. Each dance programme has a list of defined dance steps associated with it. These lists of dance steps are managed by an organisation called Callerlab, and universally recognized. Dancers learn the individual square dance calls required to square dance at classes, which are usually taught by square dance callers. There are also special social and dance events, as well as larger dances, which are usually open to the general square dance community.
When one learns modern American square dance one learns all the steps in a specific dance program over a period of time. It is universally agree that on completion of each level the students should be confident competent dancers that can handle themselves on a public dance floor with a variety of callers, unfamiliar choreography, and the challenge of dancing with strangers at the learned level.
Since Modern American Square Dancing can only be learned by actually dancing to a caller in a square of eight people, regular and frequent floor time is imperative to success.