Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer
Square Dancing became the official folk dance on April 8, 1990 of the commonwealth.
A square dance is a dance for four couples (eight dancers) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. Square dances were first documented in 17th century England but were also quite common in France and throughout Europe. They came to North America with the European settlers and have undergone considerable development there. In some countries and regions, through preservation and repetition, square dances have attained the status of a folk dance.
Square dancing is the American folk dance which 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.
At least 22 states have passed legislation to declare the square dance as a state symbol, and more than 30 bills have been introduced at the federal level proposing the square dance as the national (folk) dance of the United States (beginning in 1965).
The law designating square dancing as the official Massachusetts state folk dance is found in the General Laws of Massachusetts, Part 1, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 32
PART 1. ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNMENT.
TITLE 1. JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH, THE GENERAL COURT, STATUTES AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
CHAPTER 2. ARMS, GREAT SEAL AND OTHER EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH.
Chapter 2: Section 32 Folk dance of commonwealth Section 32. Square Dancing shall be the official folk dance of the commonwealth.