For many years several dance organizations have been working to find ways to moderinze the image of Square Dancing. In 2015 The Alliance for Round, Traditional, and Square - Dance (ARTS) selected a new slogan and logo. The work by the ARTS Re-Image Committee also creatred a "SloGo'" which is a combination of the logo and slogan.
National dance organizations have joined together to form an "alliance" of related dance groups with the goal of improving our activity and increasing participation. The "alliance" has been named: "Alliance of Round, Traditional, and Square (ARTS) dance.
This alliance is a gathering of different independent organizations for the purpose of achieving common golas. The independent organizations retain their individual identity, character, mission, and goals while supporting the common goals of the Alliance.
The alliance is a non-profit organization registered in North Carolina. It is also a tax exempt, non-profit IRS501(c)(3) coporation.
Major projects include
- Demographic surveys of our current dancers; copies on ARTS web site
- E-mail "Tree" to help "Spread the Word" throughout the dance community
Modern Western Square Dancing is NOT the activity many people think it is. It is a sophisticated fun filled activity with many physical and social benefits. It is the only activity which provides a low impact aerobic physical and mental exercise where you can gather with other people in a spirit of cooperation, togetherness, and trust. A Modern Western Square Dance is the one place where people can share in a degree of trust which has not been felt since long before 9/11/2001.
In squares of eight across the country, Americans from "Baby-Boomers" and "Empty Nesters" to teenagers, and young adults are linking arms, sashaying, and "do-si-doing" themselves to longer, healthier, and happier lives. They're having a blast and also lowering their risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, age-related memory loss, osteoporosis, and depression.
Good for Body and Mind With all its moving, twisting, and turning, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering all the calls -- from "do-si-do" to 'allemande' keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. And the companionship that regular square dancing offers is an antidote to depression and loneliness, a statement confirmed by square-dancing advocates everywhere.
Many of today’s square dancers say "The listening -- and executing the commands -- takes deep concentration. The twisting and turning are not too hard on you, but give your body the exercise that it needs."
There are four levels of square dancing. There's Mainstream, which is the most popular program worldwide; then there's Plus, followed by the Advanced and Challenge programs.
Many dancers say it is easy to learn to dance. The calls are taught one at a time and then the instructor (caller) will provide practice with the calls until the new dancers are twirling around the square just like the more experienced dancers. The learning, friendship, peppy music, and social contact with others involved with this wholesome activity have many many people through some rough personal hardship times.
Our moto is "If You Can Walk, You Can Square Dance." Square dancing contributes to a more healthy and independent lifestyle, says Lewis Maharam, MD, a sports medicine specialist in New York City and president of the Greater New York Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.
"Anything that keeps you active will keep you healthier and feeling younger. In most cases if you can walk, you can square dance, but it's good advice to talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen," says Maharam, also medical director of the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon(r) in San Diego, the Country Music Marathon(tm), and the New York City Marathon.
"Any weight-bearing exercise, including square dancing, is a major benefit as one ages," he says. Weight-bearing exercise improves bone health and thus may help stave off the brittle-bone disease osteoporosis.
"Square dancing also helps you with the feeling of where you are in space and with coordination, and this may reduce falls and chances for fractures," says Maharam. "Regular square dancing may boost endurance, and being able to tolerate longer bouts of moving faster may result in improved cardiac function as the heart, a muscle, can become more efficient if trained. Square dancing can be considered a type of cross training, which helps to offset the muscle loss and strength loss typically associated with normal aging."
A Social Form of Exercise The physical benefits of square dancing are impressive, to be sure, but don't discount the social payoff, says Jerry Reed of Rockledge, Fla.
"The primary benefit [of square dancing] is the social interaction between people," says Reed, Executive Director of CALLERLAB, The International Association of Square Dance Callers, with 2,000 members worldwide.
"Most of the activities that people do these days are individual, such as golfing, tennis, and bowling," he says. "Square dancing is kind of unique in that it involves touching hands -- we turn, we swing, and that seems to bring us closer together."
And the touching in itself can be beneficial to health, according to studies conducted at the Touch Research Institute in Miami, which showed that regular touching can reduce stress and depression and enhance immune
What to Expect "A typical evening is about two hours long and in that time we dance six 'tips,' " Reed says.
A tip includes a "hash calling" -- where the caller calls out some moves, which the dancers execute in smooth, choreographed routines -- and a "singing call," which can include all types of square-dance moves timed to fit popular songs. On any given evening, dancers will twirl across the floor to the music of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Road," the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive," Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money," as well as songs by the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Reed calls about four dances a week. Today's square dancing is hipper than what most people see in movies, he says, and more therapeutic than you might think.
"It takes your mind off of the day-to-day problems," he says. "All those other worries and thoughts disappear when you are dancing."
Ready to Sashay Your Way to Fitness?
You say you're tempted, but not sure if you've got what it takes? Don't underestimate yourself, says Reed.
"Square dancing is not as complex as it looks, he says. "We just learn one move at a time and go from there."
So what's stopping you from joining in all the fun? Square dance clubs are popping up all across the world, and they want you. Please contact us for more information about square dancing in your area.
Some of the information above is from an excellent article:
By Denise Mann WebMD Medical News
Reviewed By Dominique Walton Brooks MD, MBA July 9, 2001 --
"Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, circle left, allemande left ...swing and promenade home."