Corinium Squares American Square Dance Club
Corinium Squares American Square Dance Club was founded in 1989 and in 2016 will celebrate its 27th anniversary! From the original eight or so founder members, the club has grown ten-fold and is at present one of the largest clubs in the area.
The square dance motto is "Fun and friendship through dancing" and we meet on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm at St Peters Hall, St Peters Road, Cirencester. Other clubs in the region are in Cheltenham, Thornbury, Bristol and Melksham, and between us we generally hold about 5 or 6 Saturday night dances with a pot-luck supper.
American Square Dance has its roots in old English folk dance and is a mixture of line dance, barn dance and folk dance. Unlike these dance types where you learn a set of moves by rote and then proceed to repeat them for the duration of the dance, square dancing involves learning all the individual steps or moves over a period of some weeks and then the dance controller (the caller) reels out the moves and the dancers follow the instructions.
There are two styles of square dance; the first is known as 'hash calling' and is where the caller calls the moves free-style to shuffle the dancers up and then has to get them back with their partners and back to their original starting place. This is similar to the Rubik's cube, easy to mix up and shuffle but difficult to get back as you started!
This style is seen as a light-hearted competition between the caller and the dancers and, depending on how experienced the dancers are, can be made fiendishly difficult by a good caller.
The second and more formal style of dancing is where the caller calls a regular pattern of calls mixed in with the words of a song.
The songs range from traditional country and western through to modern pop songs and usually consist of seven verses or figures.