The (Carl’s) Square Dance Motto:
Square Dancing is Fun and Friendship Set to Music
The most widely accepted Square Dance Motto is: Square Dancing is Friendship Set to Music. Notice, I have added “FUN”, because, that is why most all of us square dance. We have been willing to take square dance lessons for weeks, because it is FUN to meet the challenge of learning something new, and master this activity. Almost, no one masters square dancing, therefore, the fun exists to keep trying. If you do master one level of square dancing, there is the next level of square dancing to conquer, and have fun doing it. The same holds true of round dancing.
While a person is taking lessons, and afterwards when they join a club, they will become friends with other local square dancers. I can assure you, this is true, because, I was a very quiet, withdrawn individual, and it happened to me.
This is where the “Friendship” part of the motto comes into play.
As we are square dancing at the H&C club dances, at The Tomorrow Center, other square dancers come from other square dance clubs, and dance with us, and they also become our friends. The idea of inter-club travels is: 1) To have fun square dancing with other square dancers, and 2) To build friendships with the other square dancers.
The question I have been contemplating is, what is:
“The Ultimate in Square Dancing”
In studying this question, maybe: “The Ultimate in Square Dancing is not Square Dancing”
Robin B offered this comment: “The Ultimate in Square Dancing is the Fellowship with the People, not only in your square but all those attending the dance. It's amazing how a set of four couples, complete strangers sometimes, can become one unit so quickly and have so much fun. It's a few hours in your life that you don't have to worry about the outside world and have a great time.”
She is right on. My experience came this way. Several years ago, the H&C had a planned travel to the Dudes and Dolls Square Dance Club, Columbus, Ohio, for the Dudes and Dolls Anniversary Dance, and upon arriving there, the dance hall was filled with a “Poker Night”, and we couldn’t dance. The Dudes and Dolls president invited us to their home for the evening. The visiting and friendships built that night are still held today, and we didn’t square dance that night, even once. I now believe:
The Ultimate in Square Dancing is the friendships that you build within the Square Dancing Community.
We, as the H&C banner chair, plan travels to other square dance clubs for the purpose of H&C members having fun square dancing with other clubs, and broadening our clubs friendships elsewhere.
The H&C is very lucky to have a facility, The Tomorrow Center, which is a choice square dance location of many area square dancers. We know we have dancers coming from near the Indiana border, and occasionally, some from out of state.
There are H&C square dancers that have their favorite places to dance, because that club will always have a fun dance, and they have become our very good friends, i.e. Dixie Squares. Also, our H&C dancers will have their favorite callers and cuers, because those callers and cuers will always have a fun and exciting dance.
We realize this, and, we want our H&C members to go dance where they want to, and to have fun. Also, there may be weekend square dance specials you want to dance at, good, go and have fun.
In planning for the H&C travels, we try to travel to every COCDC member club at least once every six months, and to every Ohio Corps federation/council once every two years. Also included in planned travels are the Ohio State Convention, and the National Convention if nearby. Weekend square dance specials or campouts, can be included, if sufficient H&C members wish to dance at these specials. We can also consider square dance cruises and trips, if sufficient H&C members wish to participate as a group, representing our club, for travel credits.
In an effort to provide the H&C members the opportunity to work on their COCDC and State Corps Friendship awards, and the Caller Century Award, we will schedule travels to the various square dance clubs, and include a mixture of our favorite callers and cuers, and callers and cuers that are not normally calling in this area.
In the event Nancy and I have not traveled to a scheduled dance, please advise Nancy or I, you had danced at the planned dance, so you can receive your travel credit applied to your travel account.
Two more noteworthy responses I received. 1) From a caller: It is seeing dancers smiling, having fun, and enjoying themselves. (Carl’s comment: This is very true, not only for callers, but for all entertainers, who want and need feedback from those they are entertaining. Us dancers can show our appreciation and enjoyment by waving our hands, singing along, whoop’n and holler’n, giving a big smile, and very important, a personal thank you at the end of the dance for calling the dance, and the enjoyment it has given you).
2) From a retired Occupational Therapist, I consider the Ultimate in Square and Round Dancing for me as sound and practical physical and mental health. (Carl’s comment: Truly, this is the first positive result we get from square and round dancing, keeping our bodies moving, and our minds active. A typical square dance is equivalent to a four to five mile walk, only you take smaller steps, and turn in many directions. Sometimes, you have to hurry; bringing your heartbeat up, this is good. No doubt, square dancing is a very excellent exercise).
A banner activity is a friendly exchange between two western square dance clubs, where members of one square dance club travel to, and dance at, the other club’s square dance. The two clubs exchange a “Traveling Banner” by “Raiding or Retrieving” the banner. This banner exchange generally requires four traveling couples (eight persons), but, can be an agreement between the two clubs.
I believe travels are for FUN, and builds FRIENDSHIPS along the way, but, I am reminded of another material reason for the H&C club members to travel to other square dance clubs we exchange banners with. Basically, if we travel and dance at another club and raid their banner, they then will come to a H&C dance to retrieve it, bringing more guests to our dances, making our H&C club more viable. Remember, our H&C club, like most other clubs, is having financial problems, and we must keep guests coming to our club dances.
I was very proud of the H&C, as one Friday at the Dixie Squares, we had 28 dancers travel to their dance. I am hoping that some members that are reluctant to travel, will help us out to retrieve or raid banners at other clubs, and travel to other clubs just for the fun of it.
P.S. The undocumented square dance call is an important part of this:
“A Yellow Rock is the first step to Friendship”
Carl and Nancy Mumford