What’s this dancing all about?

Square Dancing, Round Dancing, Contra Dancing and Clogging have several things in common:

  • People of all ages and fitness levels can participate.
  • They effectively maintain and promote good health.
  • They are a fun way to socialize and meet new people.

And they have a few significant differences, too:

  • Square and Contra are group dances. Square Dancing involves eight dancers who interact through a series of movements ‘called’ by the caller. Although modern square dancing still includes elements of old square dancing, it has evolved into a flexible form with more variety. Download our pdf about Square Dancing. Contra Dancing is a folk dance made up of long lines of couples, who follow a sequence of figures led by a caller. Download our pdf about Contra Dancing.
  • Round Dancing is choreographed ballroom dancing for couples, who follow the instructions of a ‘cuer’ to progress in a circular, counter-clockwise pattern around the dance floor. Download our pdf about Round Dancing.
  • Clogging is a form of step dancing, where each person dances as an individual. Clog Dancing is a dance in which clogs, or heavy shoes, are worn to create an audible rhythm. Download our pdf about Clog Dancing.
  • Square and round dancing have been adapted for wheelchair dancers.

If you don’t know how to dance, don’t worry! Instruction for new dancers usually begins in September or October, with some clubs beginning in January or February. Clubs tend to dance one evening each week, with periodic breaks throughout the year, so if you’re a beginner you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Square and round dancing are affordable, healthy, lifestyle-enhancing activities and costs vary by region. There’s a small dance fee plus a yearly membership/association fee, which includes third-party liability insurance. To find an association/federation in your province, go here.

Coffee and light refreshments are usually available to encourage members to get to know each other.

What to Wear?

All you really need are soft-soled shoes and clothes you can move in, although many dancers enjoy the opportunity to dress up in their Country and Western gear.

For square and round dancing, ladies are encouraged to wear a comfortable skirt they can easily move in. Some women prefer to wear a shorter, fuller skirt with a crinoline, especially for square dancing, and prairie skirts are also popular.

Gentlemen should wear a long-sleeved shirt and comfortable pants.

And everyone should wear a smile!

Make Square and Round Dancing part of your healthy lifestyle!

You probably already know that square and round dancing is a great way to meet people and have fun. But did you know that it is also good for your health? According to Dr. Arron Blackburn of the Mayo Clinic, “Square Dancing will add ten years to your life.”

Studies have shown that 30 minutes of dancing burns between 200 and 400 calories, the same as walking, swimming or riding a bike. As a regular cardiovascular exercise, square and round dancing can also help you manage your weight, decrease your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol profile. And because it’s a weight bearing activity, dancing helps maintain bone health, increases muscle tone and enhances agility.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also identified dance as an effective protection against dementia. Who knew that lifting your spirits and improving your health could be so much fun?

Square Dancing

Contra Dancing

Round Dancing


We're on Facebook!

Did you know that CSRDS has its own Facebook page where Clubs are invited to post links to their own club FB pages?

This way, we can connect and stay in touch with members of the Canadian Square Dancing community from coast to coast, and promote dancing to the public at large.

Stay in the Loop!

We’re on Pinterest!

Our Pinterest page features more than 25 boards covering the range of dance forms supported by the CSRDS.

With more than 1,500 links, you’ll find Pins on everything from promotional ideas, dance videos, square dance history to nostalgia, youth square dancing, and quirky square dance videos.