Home Page   To the Barn   History   Lessons   Officers   Callers & Cuers   e-mail


Exerts from Hicks and Chicks

Graduation 2000 Booklet

 Contents

Club Officers .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Club Callers   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Graduation Ceremony .  .  .  .  .  . .

New Dancers Bill of Rights .  .  . .

Thoughts to Ponder .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

   Ten Stages of a New Dancer  .  .  .  .  .   

     Suggestions for Dancers .  .  .  .  .  .  .     

     Ground Rules for Dancing .  .  .  .  .  .  .    

     Square Dance DO’s .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     

     Square Dance DONT’s   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   

Square Dance Angels .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

Quotable Quotes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Acknowledgments .   .   .   .   .   .  .  

 

 

 

Introduction

Dear New Dancers, 

We “Older” dancers welcome you to our favorite pastime. Our hobby cannot survive without you. Some of you, like some of us, will become one of that special breed of dancers dedicated "To the preservation and continuance of square and round dancing in its many forms."

We are also sure that among you there is an association president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, a leader and perhaps even a caller, or one who will ensure the future of square dancing in its modern or traditional form. Also, among you are many who will follow – for leadership and commitment are not for everyone.

 In whichever category you may find yourself, please remember to enjoy this activity. Take time -- plenty of time to find out where you can best fit in and can best serve. If you turn out to be one who is committed to square dancing as a way-of-life and become interested in preserving the activity beyond just your own pleasure, we shout Hurray!. We need you! If you are not made that way, or have a life full of commitments at work, home, church or lodge that will limit your participation, we understand. We want you to enjoy dancing as much as you can for as long as you can.

 As your square dancing takes you further afield in the dancing community, you'll find that friendliness, tolerance, and mutual respect are practiced in every club. But you will also find that individuals are people too. There may be some differences among people from varying backgrounds and interests that may influence the harmony of an event. However, square dancing will be the one thing that all will have in common, so always be prepared to participate, to enjoy and to have fun -- and the chances are you will have the time of your life!

 Support your club’s executives, they have your best interests at heart. Be quick to volunteer your time and expertise in one of the many ways that suit your talents and abilities. Support your callers and leaders -- from the stage they set the pace and the general tone of the evening. They do not take this responsibility lightly.

 Callers and leaders always try their utmost to keep the great majority of the dancers happy, challenged and interested. They are some of the dedicated ones, and they want you to stay and enjoy this activity for a long, long time to come.

 Welcome. Come and join with us and belong to one of our country's great pastimes.

Hicks and Chicks Club Members


 

Candlelight Graduation Ceremony 

FLAME OF FRIENDSHIP (FIRST CORNER)

SQUARE DANCING IS A COMMON BOND BETWEEN US AS FRIENDS. WHEREVER YOU SHALL VISIT, OR WHOMSOEVER SHALL VISIT YOU, NEVER LET IT BE SAID THAT YOU WERE NOT FRIENDLY. SQUARE DANCE IS "FRIENDSHIP SET TO MUSIC". GREET OTHERS, AND BE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM BE TO YOU. IN SQUARE DANCING, YOU CAN DEVELOP LIFETIME FRIENDSHIPS. 

FLAME OF DUTY (SECOND CORNER)

AS A CHILD NEEDS LOVE, AS A TREE NEEDS WATER, SO DOES A SQUARE DANCE CLUB NEED MEMBERS WITH A COMMITMENT TO DUTY. GLADLY TAKE YOUR TURN WHEN CALLED UPON TO SERVE YOUR CLUB IN ANY CAPACITY, WHETHER IT IS AS AN OFFICER OF THE CLUB OR CLEANING THE HALL AFTER A DANCE. A WILLINGNESS TO SHARE THE DUTIES HELPS KEEP OUR ACTIVITY HEALTHY. WHEN YOU ARE ON DUTY, NEVER LET IT BE SAID THAT YOU WISHED TO BE ELSEWHERE. MAY YOU AND THOSE WHO FOLLOW YOU, KEEP THE FLAME OF DUTY BURNING BRIGHTLY. 

FLAME OF DEMOCRACY (THIRD CORNER)

AS OUR FOREFATHERS HAVE DONE, SO DO WE FOR THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER. IT NOW BECOMES YOUR DUTY TO OFFER IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS. BUT IT IS ALSO BECOMES YOUR DUTY TO ABIDE BY THE GROUP'S DECISIONS. YOU MAY NOT GET YOUR WAY EVERY TIME, BUT THE DEMOCRATIC WAY IN SQUARE DANCING, AS IN ANY DEMOCRACY, THE MAJORITY RULES. ONCE A DECISION HAS BEEN REACHED, SUPPORT THAT DECISION." 

FLAME OF ENJOYMENT (FOURTH CORNER)

TO ACHIEVE YOUR PURPOSE OF UNITING WITH US, A HIGH LEVEL OF DANCING ENJOYMENT SHOULD BE YOUR GOAL. WHEN YOU COME TO A SQUARE DANCE, LEAVE YOUR WORRIES BEHIND. COME WITH THE ATTITUDE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO ENJOY THE EVENING, AND ADD TO THE ENJOYMENT OF OTHERS. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT SQUARE DANCING IS A RECREATION. THE PURPOSE IS TO HAVE FUN AND A NIGHT TO RELAX AND TO FORGET ABOUT THE WORRIES YOU FACED TODAY AND

MAY FACE TOMORROW. EACH DANCE NIGHT IS TO BE WITH FRIENDS, FOR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL RELAXATION, AND TO HAVE FUN. KEEP THESE GOALS IN MIND. YOUR SQUARE DANCE LIFE CAN BE VERY REWARDING." 

ETERNAL FLAME OF PRIDE

THE FOUR CORNERS YOU HAVE VISITED REPRESENT THE SQUARE. THIS POSITION REPRESENTS THE FINAL POSITION IN SQUARE DANCING, HOME. EACH TIME YOU REACH YOUR HOME POSITION, YOU CAN TAKE PRIDE IN YOURSELF AND THE OTHER DANCERS IN YOUR SQUARE.  YOU ARE THE SYMBOL OF THE ETERNAL FLAME OF PRIDE.

YOU SHOULD TAKE PRIDE IN YOURSELF, YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS, YOUR ATTIRE, YOUR FRIENDLINESS, YOUR ABILITIES, YOUR DESIRE TO HAVE FUN, AND YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SHARE THAT FUN WITH OTHERS. YOU SHOULD TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR FELLOW DANCERS, YOUR CLUB, AND YOUR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU ARE FRIENDLY, FUN LOVING, HAPPY, COOPERATIVE, AND ALL THE OTHER DESIROUS THINGS, SO WILL OUR CLUB BE KNOWN. 

   

New Dancer’s Bill Of Rights

A new square dancer has the right:

 TO a class experience that is both educationally and socially enjoyable.

 TO patient and dignified treatment by the class instructor and sponsors.

 TO gain experience dancing to other callers, and if possible, with dancers from other classes, prior to graduation.

 TO receive advice and assistance in acquiring appropriate clothing for square dancing.

 TO instruction and practice using the approved definitions, timing and styling for each listed call.  (Basic, Mainstream,  Plus, etc.)

 TO information about the history and heritage of our present square dance program.

  

Thoughts to Ponder – Ten Stages of a New Dancer

 

                                                      1.            Beginner or Student

                                                      2.            Square Dancer

                                                      3.            Too good to dance with Beginners

                                                      4.            Advance Square Dancer

                                                      5.            Too good to dance with Mainstreamers

                                                      6.            Challenge Square Dancer

                                                      7.            To good to dance at Advance level

                                                      8.            Too Good to dance with anybody

                                                      9.            Non dancer

                                                  10.            Back to dancing with beginners in order to have a good time.

   

Thoughts to Ponder - Suggestions

 

1.  CLOTHING

Men are expected to wear long sleeve shirts, comfortable trousers, tie boots or street shoes, and no hats. Ladies should wear dresses that are made to fit around full slips, petty pants, and flat heel shoes. They should avoid wearing excessive jewelry. All are expected to wear name badges.

 2.  NEATNESS AND CLEANLINESS

The use of deodorants will assure you of being invited back. Avoid eating garlic or other offenders before attending a dance.

 3.  MIX WITH ALL LEVEL OF DANCERS

Remember that square dancing enjoyment is being with others and moving to the flow of the music and calls, not how much more you know than the other dancers. You can have as good a time dancing Mainstream as you can Advance level, sometimes better.

 4.  ALCOHOLIC DRINK

Any type of alcoholic drink is neither necessary to your mastery of square dancing nor conducive to your grace or agility. Square dancing itself will soon relax you. Therefore, do not drink any type of alcoholic beverages before or during a dance.

5.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

When announcements are being made, extend the courtesy of your attention to the person that is speaking. After all, you may want others to pay attention to you sometime when you speak.

 6.  LEAVE ALL INSTRUCTING TO THE CALLER

As a dancer, you can best help the new learner by being in the position where you are suppose to be and let them learn to move as they should. Pointing or gently guiding the new dancer can help, but talking, shoving, or pulling will do more harm than good. Remember keep a happy, friendly face at all times.

 7.  STAY WITH THE SQUARE

Never leave your partner, your square, or the floor until the tip is complete. If illness or other circumstances make it necessary for you to leave, take the time to explain to the other dancers the reason, and try to find a replacement

 8.  SQUARING UP

When the music starts, get on the floor. Don't make other dancers wait or the caller "Beg" you to fill the square. If for some reason you want to skip a tip, leave the hall.

 9. BICKERING AND FAULT FINDING

Bickering and fault finding are not part of square dancing. This type of activity results in friction within a club as well as in neighboring clubs. If you have a legitimate complaint or constructive suggestion, go to the person that can do something about it.

 10. LOYALTY

Be loyal to your club and caller. Square dance clubs cannot exist unless there are those that will work at the various jobs. They cannot exist unless there are those that can be counted on. If you belong to more than one club, be ready and willing to devote time to each club for these jobs. And never, never solicit dancers from one club to join another. The fee or monthly dues are only a part of the cost to keep square dances inexpensive.

 Your caller and cuer deserve loyalty. If you enjoy dancing to him or her, encourage others to visit. Encourage other clubs to hire him or her to call their party dances. If you don't enjoy his or her type of calling, then find a club that is better suited to your taste. Support your club when they give a party dance or visit another club's activity and your caller or cuer when they are guest calling at another club.


 

Thoughts to Ponder - Ground Rules

1.  BE ON TIME FOR CLUB DANCES AND CLASSES

In square dancing, one late couple or person may mean that three other couples or seven people must sit out. In planning an evening's program, the caller leans heavily on the first and last tips to pace his dance.

 2. DON'T LEAVE EARLY

By leaving early, you are telling the other dancers and caller that you did not have a good time at the dance. The "Wind-down" tip is just as important as the first or middle tips. Plan to spend the complete evening when you come.

 3. BE A THOUGHTFUL DANCER

Personal cleanliness is important in square dancing. Use your deodorant. Don't forget to use something to sweeten your breath (mouthwash, chewing gum, etc.). Don't drink. Your coordination must be at its very best.

 4. GET INTO SQUARES QUICKLY

When the caller announces to square your sets, join the square nearest to you that needs a couple. If you are looking for a square, raise your hand as you move across the floor. If your square is not full, raise your hand with as many fingers extended as couples are needed. If two or three couples are squared up and do not have a hand up, it indicates that they are waiting for someone who has promised to dance with them. Do not try to square up with them without asking. Do not arrange squares more than once in an evening. It is best not arrange a square at all. Do not get on the floor and expect the caller to find you a partner.

 5.  BE A GOOD LISTENER

Talking during the course of square dancing is distracting to you and especially others. It makes it difficult for others in the square to "Catch" the instructions and hear the music. Remember there is room for only one teacher at a time. You can help others best by being in the correct place at the correct time. Pointing or a hand motion is always the better way to direct someone that is going in the wrong direction.

 6.  BE A COURTEOUS DANCER

Always introduce yourself and your partner to others in the square if you don't know them. Thank them for dancing with you after the tip.

 Don't use extra twirls and kicks that interfere with others in your square.

 It is considered "Bad manners" to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another.  Even more important, beware of the unpardonable sin: never leave a square once you have joined it until the tip is over. If you must leave in an emergency, try to fill your spot with a substitute. By all means, tell the others why you must leave.

 7.  BE A COOPERATIVE DANCER

It might be said that square dancing is an activity where everyone is responsible for everyone else's happiness. A square is not made up of eight individuals working independently, but rather in one unit with no individual person attempting to show off or be a star. The real pleasure comes when each person does his share in making the square run smoothly.

 8.  TAKE IT EASY

Don't overdo. Square dancing can be strenuous exercise. If you are too tired to dance, sit out. It is usually best to remove yourself from the hall or to the rest room. Sometimes you can learn a great deal just by watching and listening. Be considerate. If another dancer is watching and listening, don't insist upon talking. Square dancing is a social event but not a place to socialize during tips or rounds even if you are not dancing.

 9.  BE A FRIENDLY DANCER

"Friendship is square dancing's greatest reward." Take the opportunity to get acquainted with others in the square. Make it a point to dance with as many different dancers as possible each evening. It has been said, "Square dancing is friendship set to music."

 10. ENJOY YOURSELF--HAVE FUN

Come to the dance expecting to have a good time and you'll have it. If you come to the dance with the attitude that it is the caller's job or someone else's job to show you a good time; chances are you will have a poor evening.

 When you applaud at the end of a tip, you are thanking the caller and the other dancers in your square, but you are also applauding yourself for a good job well done.

Thoughts to Ponder – DO’s

DO be aware at all times that square dancing Is a "Courtesy" recreation rather than one of competition.

DO keep smiling even if you are angry with yourself for "Goofing". The other seven people in the square might think that you are frowning at them.

DO recognize your corner and remember who he or she is. Next to your partner this dancer is the most important to you of all in your square.

DO be quiet and attentive to the caller during instructions, even though you know what he is explaining. Perhaps someone else in your square needs to be briefed.

DO leave sharp jewelry at home. It can cut fingers or catch on clothes and inflict injury.

DO wear proper square dance attire as defined by your club or the club you are visiting.DO remember to treat all ladies as you would want other men to treat your wife or girl friend. 

DO wear name badges at all times.

DO admit it when you "Goof".  Next time it could be someone else's turn. so you needn't feel bad about it. When you "Goof", do it gracefully and recover as best you can in order to keep your square from breaking down.

DO remember your position when you square up - heads, sides, what couple number, and in some instances whether you are in a boy or girl position.

DO end each dance with a flourish, applause, and sincere THANKS to all in your square.

DO thank the caller and or cuer as you leave.  Be sure to tell him/her how much fun you had.


 

Thoughts to Ponder – DONT’s

DON'T be a "Competitive" dancer.  Instead cooperate with the other seven people in your set to make a good square.

DON'T be over-exuberant. Your yell might drown out the next call for everyone around you. Learn to be "noisy" at the right time – during  a right or left grand or allemande left but not at the change of a common point.

DON'T take that extra swing with your partner. It might make her late for the left allemande with her waiting corner.

DON'T forget. It is the lady who determines whether or not she wishes to twirl. If her hand is held high, she would like to twirl, if it is low, she does not wish to twirl.

DON'T forget to trade a dance, especially with the guests, and don't overlook the caller's wife. She might like to dance. ASK HER.

 DON'T complain about the caller, the hall, the sound, or the tacky floor. Seek to find the good things about the dance and express them. Your attitude will contribute to your enjoyment as well as to the enjoyment of others around you.

DON'T insist on dancing your way when visiting other clubs or areas. If these people dance palms up on the Alamo, go along with it. If they do or do not stir the bucket. DO AS THE ROMANS DO -EAT ROMAN CANDLES - but keep your opinions to yourself.

DON'T be "Breath offensive". Ask a friend for gum or mints if you forget yours.

DON'T be a ROUGH HANDLER. Use light, easy hand holds that is.

DON'T grab or squeeze tight on box-the-gnats, grand right and lefts, circling, etc. 

 

Square Dance Angels

  "They are the wonderful people who

Introduce square dancing to others,

Bring others to square dance classes,

 And the caller/teacher by filling the squares

so that all class members may dance."

  

When you become a class angel, there are some simple rules to remember:

1.  BE ON TIME

You may be the cause of three other couples having to sit out during a teaching tip.

 2.  BE OBSERVANT

Make sure that every student is in a square during the teaching tip. BUT don't wait for them to square up. Invite them into your square. 

3.  LET THE CALLER RUN THE CLASS

Don't take it upon yourself to start splitting couples. When it is time to break up a group or separate a couple, the caller will indicate this by his or her teaching methods.

4.  DO NOT TALK IN THE SQUARE when the caller is giving instructions.

Learning to listen to the caller's commands requires concentration. No person can listen to two persons at a time. All should be listening to the same caller.

 5.  DANCING STYLES

Some dancing styles that dancers have adopted are out of place in class. Basics should be kept in pure form. The proper Do Sa Do, hand and arm holds, a quick touch to acknowledge position, and no short cuts will ensure new dancers of the proper position for the next call.

6.  ANGELS ARE HELPERS, NOT PUSHERS

Students must learn to react to each command. To gently guide someone is fine, but we accomplish nothing for the student if he or she has been pushed through an action and doesn't know what was supposed to be done. Angels' action should be firm but gentle.

7. LET THE CALLER KNOW if a dancer has not grasped the concept of a call after a reasonable time. The caller can review the call during the next tip. It is not a good idea to "Teach" a call during a break. The student needs the time to relax and clear the mind. What if you teach it wrong?

8.  DRESS FOR STUDENTS

Do not encourage students to "go right out" and buy square dance clothing. As you know, women's clothing can be expensive. Their first hoe-down (dance) will be soon enough.

 9. DO NOT TAKE NEW DANCERS TO DANCES THAT ARE ABOVE THEIR DANCING EXPERIENCE. You will be surprised how many times club members tell students "Come on, we will pull you through." This will discourage many new dancers. Your caller will let them know when there is a dance at their experience level. Now is your chance to join them where both of you can have fun together.

10. FRIGHTENED

Square dancing is a frightening experience. Keep that in mind at all times with new students even after they "graduate". Every mistake made, they think they caused it.

11.  DANCE WITH THEM

Do you want to keep the new student in your club? Then you must dance with them, talk with them during breaks, and encourage them.

  

Quotable Quotes

  

DON'T FORGET "A SMILE ON YOUR FACE HELPS YOUR FEET WORK BETTER."

  

Square dancing is a RECREATION – something to be enjoyed.  Overlook and don’t participate in petty criticisms that do not benefit your activity.

  

A square dance club is like a bank –

 YOU CAN’T DRAW OUT MORE THAN YOU PUT IN!

 

Acknowledgments

  

We wish to acknowledge the following sources of information used in this Booklet:

     www.squaredanceworld.com, www.DOSADO.com, ASARDA NEWS, Alabama

 


To the Hicks and Chicks Square and Round Dancing Web Pages

Home Page   To the Barn   History   Lessons   Officers   Callers & Cuers   e-mail