Modern Square Dancing: NOT your same
old song and dance routine!


When you hear the term “Modern Square Dancing”, what do you picture? Most people block out the word “Modern” and picture what we refer to as “Traditional” or “Old Tyme” square dancing: cowboy boots, hay bales, and country music (mostly fiddles and banjos). Well, that is NOT what MSD is all about.


In Modern – or Contemporary – Square Dancing, yes, some of the calls are the same, but only a few. In MSD, we like to have all the dancers dancing at the same time. We do not use set dances, as in the old style (remember “Birdie in a Cage” or “Dip and Dive”?); rather, dancers are taught steps and it is up to the Caller to put the steps together in whatever sequence he/she wants. A good Caller will make sure the steps run together very smoothly. But nothing is memorized, so dancers don’t know what’s coming up next. Keeps you on your toes!


Also in MSD, we use a much bigger variety of music.  We may not have the latest and greatest music from the Top 40 Hits, but we have music that is much more than fiddles and banjos!  For example, some of my music selections:  Gangnam Style (Psy), Edge of Glory (Lady Gaga), You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone (Anna Kendrick, ”The Cup Song”), It’s the Way You Make Me Feel (Steps), among many more.  We can dance to just about anything, as long as it has a good, steady beat: current hit, alternative music, hip hop, Classic Rock, gospel, jazz, Classical – and, yes, we do still use country music, old or new!  And we don’t just use it for background music.  A friend that has known for years that I am a Caller was surprised to hear that I sing at dances!  That’s another difference between Old Tyme and Modern.  Yes, we sing!  Some of my personal favourites are:  Edge of Glory, I Will Survive, All That Jazz, (Pride) in the Name of Love, and Hey Soul Sister, to name a few.  Really!


You really do need to see it in order to understand what it’s about. And don’t just assume you won't enjoy it.  Until you try it, you really won’t know and chances are, you WILL enjoy it!


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