Entertaining With The Colour Of Music

Music naturally affects people in a certain way. It paints a tapestry in life comprised of certain colours. And all songs can evoke strong emotions in different people. As square dance callers we can be the musical agent in allowing others in joining particular types of music with particular colours.

As colours, songs are a device to evoke a strong emotional response or inspire many in lots of different ways. Do you have a favorite song that captures the essence of, say, 2018? As simple as it sounds, scientists have found that listening to particularly uplifting or conversely, sad music, changes the way we perceive the world.

Music and mood are intrinsically linked. Modern studies continue to manifest how these influences work at a neural level. Science has proven that the music we listen to engages a wide range of internal systems that reflect our inner thoughts, perception and emotions.

I would go so far as to say that all people use music to change their mood in a day, project a mood to others that might be within earshot of a piece of music, or even connect a crowd of people like, well, square dancers.

Dark and dull to bright and vivid, music has the power to paint many colours because of the emotional capabilities of a set of notes. And the instruments that convey the melody can be in a mix of emotions from sad to happy. And sad songs do not always translate as unhappy to all listeners. Parts of many sad songs will have a bright and positive melody line that offsets the minor-tinged lines and often the lyrics in songs can be both sad and happy at the same time.

Dancing to Music Holds the Power to Treat Depression!

Dancing offers a therapeutic opportunity to emotionally boost mood in a cathartic way which affects all who participate. I witness this all the time at square dances. Why does it happen? Because music carries emotional content that touches our mix of emotions. Memories often are tied with songs like we are replaying a soundtrack of our lives.

Everyone everywhere uses music to boost their mood and manage their overall feelings at the moment and in life on a larger scale.

Under the right circumstances, music and dance is healthy to all ages simply because of the emotional content and how the act of dancing improves their mood. Because music is effective for treating depression and it helps to deal with the stress and anxiety related to treating coronary heart disease. Add to that element dancing and you have an outstanding combination in improving your life!

As square dance callers we are the agent to provide these benefits and entertain at the same time. To me, I feel that makes this a great responsibility and honored place to be-calling for fun and allowing others to benefit in many different ways.

Square dancing is a social network that offers so much. If you are interested in best finding out, look to contact someone locally. There are many clubs throughout and nationally there are organizations that can help you if you need help getting information on groups and opportunities to partake in this great and wholesome activity.

Best Regards,

Shaun Werkele

303-250-4735

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The coaching information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller training, education, and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.

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Modern Western Square Dance: What Really is Traditional?

In the midst of the proliferation of modern western square dancing starting in the late 1940’s there became a point at which everything changed dramatically. Many call this change the Chicken Plucker revolution and the growth in the activity was phenomenally huge. At one point there were at least 6 million square dancers in the activity and many countless persons who were exposed to square dance at parties or viewing square dance on television or in the media back in the heyday.

Square dance callers realized nationally that choreographic sequences which were used at square dance parties (one-night stands) could and should be expanded to include variations and creative and different approaches. Over time, it became apparent that major changes in choreography, musical content, and calling styles were progressing with new groups that bred a more sophisticated way of enjoying this popular dance form.

Even the need for square dance caller training became quite apparent by this time. Square dancing needed to become more stabilized and standardized, and so it did. Dancing levels were established and variations in formations and traffic patterns and methods of calling a square dance came to light.

Because of this period of extreme growth, callers began to exchange ideas and improvise new figures and spontaneity was intermingled with memorized sets of commands that ultimately led to more intermingling. Sophistication. Dancers moved more simultaneously. Square dance had made tremendous strides in less than 30 year’s time!

Musically, all of the songs evolved right along with all other forms of music as everything in our society progressed and grew. This was a much simpler time when the days seemed to be much more carefree and endless. Square dancing was a great fit for this period in the American culture, where people, honestly, just got together to enjoy one another in company in a friendly social setting without discussing political viewpoints.

At the end of the day, more than anything else, square dancing has always been about people dancing and socializing in an atmosphere of music and experiencing fun together. Within America developed a unique social dance from the root of centuries-old European folk and formal dance and evolved into an international activity that is enjoyed in many parts of the world. Square Dance has grown and developed over time in order to fit the needs of the dancers. The changes within this changing dance art form tell a fascinating story with a rich heritage which also directs the light to a bright future.

All based upon people enjoying the company of others.

To learn about the advantages that the square dance activity has to offer, check into attending a square dance class in your area. There are traditional square dance and modern western square dance groups in your neck of the woods and you can indulge into something that is socially gratifying and musically delightful!

Best Regards,

Shaun Werkele 

303-250-4735

 

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The coaching information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller education and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.

Modern Western Square Dancing is Hot and Ferris Wheels are Sizzling!

View of Ferris WheelI think most individuals within our modern society can see how our world has  changed so very much in the past fifty years or so. We have went from HEE HAW to the Kardashians reality drama series (yes, drama, drama, drama!) and the changes that occur over time truly are a mish mosh of everything in our world manifesting through media, celebrities, politicians, technology, social activities, and this all combines and morphs into a new and very different, always evolving culture.

There have been many changes in the square dance activity, just like many other areas of interest in our lives. Square dance attire has become more casual and varied in appearance. I think back to when I was a teenager in the 1970’s wearing silk shirts, bell bottom pants, and patent leather shoes. Or in the eighties wearing exotic leather boots and Jordache jeans. The women wore dresses with lush petticoats underneath their colorfully ornate skirts. It was quite beautiful and unique.

Anyway, getting to the title of this post, modern western square dance is hot for lots of reasons. It allows for people to gather in their community and meet at square dance locales that they can get together and dance at. This allows for something that is an integral part of our society, the very word that comes from society, “social.”

The word social actually has three meanings. The first is the use of social as an adjective, “of or relating to a society or organization.” Square dancing is a social activity. The second definition also uses the word social as an adjective, “relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.” Anyone who square dances has a social life. And the third definition of the word social when it is used as a noun is, “an informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group.” A social can be an event that has dance, food and fellowship. In other words, a square dance!

So if you think about it, traditional and modern western square dance both are activities that need to be a consideration for anyone clamoring for social interacting activities that help fulfill a basic human need. And that is the need for fellowship. Friendship. Laughter. Music. Food. Exercise. By participating in square dancing, you will be blessed with the reward of self satisfaction in being involved and dancing with others and you can return this fantastic feeling you get from that to others. And they can do the same. Feel rewarded and reward others. It’s an infectious behavior that really is rooted deep within every one of us.

You can participate on several different levels within the activity. You can join a square dance club. You can join a state or regional organization to help support the square dance activity. You can attend big festivals such as state dances sponsored by local associations in support of the square dance activity and this can be great fun. On the highest level, dancing, or if you are a caller, calling at the National Square Dance Convention is a great experience to add to your accomplishments in life that allows you to contribute to the activity on a very grand scale.

If you do not square dance, I hope that reading this article will inspire you to check into the rewards that square dancing offers and you can partake a little “social” into your life. Who knows what you will be rewarded for doing this. And the Ferris Wheels (for those who do not know Feerris Wheel is a call) all sizzle, ask the dancers!

Best Wishes!

Shaun Werkele

303-250-4735

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller education training and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.

National Chain Down the Line Week!

Modern Western Square Dancing at the National Square Dance ConventionSeptember is National Square Dance Month so if you know of anyone that would be interested in the fun and social aspects of the square dance activity please invite them to partake in some square dance lessons and let the fun begin!

 

I am personally declaring Chain Down the Line as the national square dance call of the week! Chain Down the Line is a great call at the Mainstream Level to use in singing calls, particularly the slower paced ones. The men courtesy turning the ladies adds an elegant style move that falls in line with romantic love song based singing calls.

Here are a couple of original Chain Down the Line singing call choreography figures that I put together for anyone who is a square dance caller.

CALLING TIP!
Always call in your patter beforehand any unusual choreographic sequences that you would like to use in your singing calls. This will definitely allow for higher success and less stress for the dance floor!

Enjoy!

Heads (Sides) Square Thru 4 Hands
Swing Thru
Girls Turn Around
As Couples Trade
Tag the Line Face Right
Chain Down The Line
Slide Thru
Swing Corner & Promenade

Heads (Sides) Square Thru 4
DoSaDo
Swing Thru
Boys Trade
Boys Run Right
Chain Down the Line
Pass the Ocean
Recycle
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

I recommend that you call the first sequence in your patter call and cue the dancers to pass right shoulders on the Tag the Line Face Right. If they pass left shoulders, not only have they completed the call incorrectly, the Ladies will not line up to complete the Chain Down the Line.

There will be no difficulties on the second figure, it is very straight ahead and normal in the choreography.

Have a Great Day!

Shaun Werkele

303-250-4735

 

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller education and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.