Photo Copyright © Jo Ann Schneider Farris
One of my favorite memories from elementary school was square dancing. About a month of my 5th grade year was devoted to learning how to do-si-do and how to swing a partner. I remember I was matched up with a boy named John. Every day, we would meet in the playground and dance and dance. We put on a final square dance show so our parents could see what we learned. I loved wearing a square dancing dress and my cowgirl boots. It was just plain fun to “circle round” a square and laugh together.
Square dancing can be great fun for children. Not only does it combine learning, listening, and exercise, but it also is a great way for kids to socialize. Planning your own square dance may be a great idea for a birthday party or youth group function. Kids can put on their kids cowboy boots and girls roper boots and say “Hee Haw!”
How to Teach Square Dancing to Kids:
Eight people are needed to form a square. It is best if four boys and four girls form each square, but if two little girls have to dance together they probably won’t mind since they’ll just love dancing together and enjoying their girls cowboy boots.
Ask an adult to do the teaching and announcing. It is best that the announcer be someone familiar with square dancing.
There is a variety of music available for square dancing that includes an announcer calling the steps.
Teach the children very easy to learn and simple square dances.
Suggest that the kids wear western clothing, kids cowboy boots, and cowboys hats. Make sure the hats are strapped on tightly so they don’t fall off while the kids are dancing.
Food can be simple at your square dancing party. Hot dogs, popcorn, and punch will do.
Some moves children enjoy doing are do-si-do steps where dancers approach each other and circle back to back and then return to their original positions, and swinging partners while facing opposite directions and linking arms.
Little girls and boys will enjoy doing bows and curtseys when each dance ends.
Patience is important. Do not expect children to do square dances perfectly.
Laugh together and have fun!
Square Dance Steps for Kids
Square Dancing Music for Kids
The author of this article is Jo Ann Schneider Farris, About.com’s Guide to Figure Skating and the mother of three children.
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