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Square dancing: Uniquely American

Square dancing: Uniquely American
Modified: June 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm •  Published: June 19, 2013

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Square dancing details

The square dance is uniquely American.

The format, many of the dance movements and the terminology incorporated into the square dance were brought from other countries. Borrowed bits from French quadrilles, Irish jigs, English reels and Spanish fandangos blended with American folkways and customs into the square dance, which has been exported to many European and Asian countries.

In square dancing, four couples form a square, and a caller provides the instructions, which are specific dance movements. The calls are set to music, and the dancers move with the beat of the music.

In other countries, all the calls are in English even though most of the dancers speak another language and might not know the literal translation of the words.

Square dancing was proclaimed the official folk dance of Oklahoma in 1988 by Gov. Henry Bellmon.