What do you think is the oldest kind of arts form? Do you think it is painting or music? Well, we researched and found it is dance. Yes, dance has also been called the mother of all other arts because dancing inspired musicians, painters, sculptors and dramatists in the past. If you study the history of square dancing you will learn that there was a development from Circle Dance to Church Choral Dance which inspired Social Dancing which is the initial point of square dancing.
There are some characteristics you should know when you talk about square dancing:
- There are a limited number of basic movements you have to learn to be a square dancer.
- People dance different figures (sequences of basic movements) which are called (someone is the ‘caller’ who announces the next figures to be done) in a set order and repeated.
- The use of live music.
Square dancers have almost always danced to live music and acoustic instruments are used. The fiddle is one of the most common leading instruments. Other instruments which carry the rhythm vary by region.
Square dancing is influenced by many different countries. The big circle figures come from English Country Dancing. The square formation comes from the Quadrilles danced in France. This style of dancing has been exchanged across the borders of Canada and the United States over the last fifty years. Now it is also popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The reasons are probably that square dancing builds bridges between old and young, between different cultures and brings a smile to their faces!
Follow this link to see a short video of students at EC Toronto doing traditional Canadian square dancing: Square Dancing at EC Toronto.
Your EC Toronto Team