Square dance

A square dance is a dance for four couples, or eight dancers in total, arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. Square dances contain elements from numerous traditional dances and were first documented in 16th-century England, but they were also quite common in France and throughout Europe. Early square dances, particularly English country dances and French quadrilles, traveled to North America with the European settlers and developed significantly there.

 

In some countries and regions, through preservation and repetition, square dances have attained the status of a folk dance. Square dancing is strongly associated with the United States, in part due to its association with the romanticized image of the American cowboy in the 20th century,and 31 states have designated it as their official state dance. The main North American types of square dances include traditional square dance and modern western square dance, which is widely known and danced worldwide. Other main types popular in England, Ireland, and Scotland include Playford dances, regional folk dances, ceili, Irish set dances, and Scottish country dances.

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