Forms or types of Square dance (or "What are these MWSD & Trad. tags?")
North to South - Islands
Upper Vancouver Island - Region 8 or UVANIS (of BC Square and Round Dance Federation) (MWSD) Many community activities all along the Island. Lots of club nights, Squares & Rounds. Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Lantzville, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River, Qualicum Beach.
Southern Vancouver Island - Region 1 (of BC Square and Round Dance Federation) (MWSD) - Square, Round, Clog & Contra Dancing
The Shady Grove Folk Arts Society hosts a three month series of Traditional Square Dances
"Be There and Be Square" at
"The Hub", Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Rd, Duncan, BC 4 April 2014, Doors 7, dance 7:30pm, $2
With the Shady Grove Dance Band
Victoria area events
YOMADA hosts Old Time Tidal Wave Music & Dance festival. Multiple bands, workshops. Multiple venues including St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney St, Victoria BC - see Old Time page for more
Regional / National Square Dance Groups
BC Square & Round Dance Federation (MWSD) with Round dances of the month index, biennial BC festivals and more. See their site for their Twitter feed
Canadian Squares and Round Dance Society (MWSD) offers Canada Wide Support to dancers of Squares, Round, Line, Contra, and Clog Dancing
Events, Camps, Weekends
Many are listed in the above group listings. Others will be added here as you submit them
Square & Round Dance Resources
History of Square Dance @ CDSS.org the Country Dance and Song Society
Square Dance Caller Resources @ CDSS.org the Country Dance and Song Society
SquareDancing.com™ - "The most useful Square Dance site on the Internet"
Folk Dance Association - appears to be a privately operated endeavour, much like this, with a wider and broader remit
Dare To Be Square - Traditional Square Dance
Caller’s Workshop (Trad) (D2BS is a term used by a number of
groups for events, i.e. non-exclusive)
(I wrote the following several paragraphs and for it's purpose it will serve, so I'll leave it here. I then discovered the CDSS History of Square Dance entry)
There are, broadly speaking, a couple of forms of Square DanceMWSD - Modern Western Square Dance, MWSD, or Western Square Dance is reasonably visible. Also known as Club (Square) dancing, this grew from the surge in organisation of the dance form around the period of WWII and since. Much, indeed most of it, is conducted through clubs, dancers having acquired a knowledge of dance figures numbering in the tens (i.e. 60, 70 "calls") before going to a dance.
This requires study, currency of skills, placing of dancers and dance events in categories or levels. Clubs and Classes - classes for teaching/learning and a class (level) of dancer knowledge. Callers for MWSD also need to know many figures to "hash" call in varying sequences which gives the dancers what they expect. Something quick, non-predictable, etc. My mathematician friends love this. Proponents of MWSD may make the point that Calling is making up a dance while "Cueing" is reminding dancers of the dance. Much use is made of recorded music, however a lot of the dance doesn't occur on the beat as with other forms of country dance. Mostly couple based.
Trad. Square Dancing - The "root" form of the dance is sometimes called traditional square dancing. If one encounters square dances or dancing related to Contra or other Contry / Country dance it is likely of this form. If you see a community based dance open to any and all, that one may walk in and dance at following the assistance of the caller most would think of that as Traditional Square dancing. If it's in the name, . . . well there you go.
Much of it is danced to live, phrased, music and there is little to no emphasis on "having a partner" to bring and dance with. The norm is to dance with anyone who is there. This form has never died. Over the years it's been a bit more hidden away or pushed aside by MUC (Modern Urban Contra dance), and MWSD however it is enjoying a resurgence with such events as Dare To Be Square.
Fundamentally, to get into what was or was not contry or country dance was to overly define it. Most folks simply danced. It would seem to be in part, that the growth of what became Contra dance has also defined the Traditional Square dancing that both grew out of.
One may see how a common term such as square dance may mean different things. Entries on this site will include a tag of MWSD or Trad. to make it a bit easier to differentiate between the nature of an event or group. Ultimately it's all fun, just a tad different.
This piece, titled "Explaining Traditional Squares and Contras to MWSD folks" may also help dancers of Contra or other Contry/Country dance understand MWSD