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How To Square Dance

Square dancing was brought to America by New England’s Scottish settlers. Now firmly rooted in Americana, square dancing still enjoys great popularity.


  • Step 1: Hold your partner's hand and walk around the circle counterclockwise. You may go a shorter distance if directed by the caller.
  • Step 2: Move past your partner’s right shoulder without turning, passing in back of the other dancer; then move backwards, passing left shoulders, and return to the starting position. Then swing your partner, round and round.
  • FACT: Square dancing has been adopted as the official state dance of at least 17 U.S. states.
  • Step 3: Allemande left or right depending on the call. In this move, corners face each other and hold hands. Then they walk around each other, returning to their own original position, and then drop hands.
  • Step 4: Bow to your partner and your corner as directed. Then join hands with your partner.
  • TIP: Consider wearing a traditional costume when dancing. Men wear jeans and a Western-themed shirt with bolo tie. Women wear short gingham dresses with full petticoats underneath.
  • Step 5: Form a square with three other couples. Dancers face the center, next to their partners. The female standing to a man’s left is his "corner," and the man on a woman’s right is her "corner."
  • Step 6: Heed the directions of the caller. Each call has an exact timing. Move to the rhythm and take one step on each downbeat of the music.

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