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On April 1, 1999, House Concurrent Resolution No. 89 was introduced by Representative Michael A. Walsworth, that proposed that the square dance be designated as the "American Folk Dance of Louisiana".
House Concurrent Resolution No. 89 was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives on June 20th, signed by the President of the Senate on June 21st and delivered to the Louisiana Secretary of state for filing on June 22, 1999.
Square dancing is the American folk dance which is derived from folk and courtship dances brought to the United States by European immigrants and traces its ancestry to the English country dance and the French ballroom dance. It is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers. It includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, the Virginia reel, and heritage dances. When the pioneers came west, they brought with them a dance called the quadrille, which means square in French. The pioneers liked the simpler term and so the square dance was born. The dance is known for its series of figures and footwork. Dancers are directed by a caller. It is easy to learn, a good form of exercise and fun.
Modern western square dance clubs across the country have collaborated to have the Square Dance declared the state folk dance in all fifty states. They have also been active in efforts to make the Square Dance the national folk dance. There is some controversy over their efforts.
Regular Session, 1999
Louisiana HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 89
BY REPRESENTATIVE WALSWORTH
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
To designate the square dance as the American Folk Dance of the state of Louisiana.
WHEREAS, love of state and country is enhanced by traditions that have become a part of the American way of life and the citizens of Louisiana have a variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state; and
WHEREAS, the magnolia, the eastern brown pelican, the bald cypress, and the Catahoula leopard dog are examples of some of the natural specimens that serve to symbolize the great diversity of the Louisiana landscape, while the state songs "Give Me Louisiana" and "You Are My Sunshine" fittingly represent other aspects of our shared culture as Louisianians; and
WHEREAS, in keeping with this custom, the designation of the square dance as an official state folk dance will provide suitable recognition for this popular American dance form; and
WHEREAS, the square dance, which was first associated with the American people and recorded into history in 1651, has consistently been the one dance traditionally recognized by Louisiana and all people of the United States as a dignified and enjoyable expression of American folk dancing; and
WHEREAS, the original square dances can be described as choreographic melting pots, containing elements of the Morris and Maypole dances of England, as well as the French ballroom dances and church dances of Spain, and as later immigrant arrived on our shores, square dancing evolved to include the folk dance traditions of nations such as Ireland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Russia, and Mexico; and
WHEREAS, square dancing is a traditional form of family recreation which symbolizes a basic strength of this country, namely the unity of the family, and it is an activity that crosses the boundaries of age, ability, social status, and national origin; and
WHEREAS, square dancing is the American folk dance which is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, and heritage dances; and
WHEREAS, national and international prestige is in the best interest of all Americans, including Louisianians, and official recognition of the square dance will enhance the cultural stature of Louisiana both nationally and internationally; and
WHEREAS, the square dance, an integral part of our state's cultural legacy, unites participants in a shared experience, and the enduring beauty of this indigenous American dance form makes it an ideal choice for our official state folk dance and will serve as a fitting emblem for the rich diversity of our state's cultural heritage.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the square dance is hereby designated and adopted as the American Folk Dance of the state of Louisiana.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
The square dance does not appear in the Louisiana Revised Statutes as it was adopted by Concurrent Resolution rather than an Act of the Legislature.