Alabama State American Folk Dance

Square Dance

Alabama State Folk Dance: Square Dance

Adopted in 1981

The Square Dance was designated the American Folk Dance of Alabama in 1981 by Act no. 81-48. The square dance is known widely throughout the United States. It is a traditional dance that has been historically recorded since 1651. At least thirty-one states have passed legislation to declare the square dance as the state folk dance and more than thirty bills have been introduced at the federal level proposing the square dance as the national (folk) dance of the United States.

Alabama State American Folk Dance: Square Dance

State Folk Dance of Alabama

Alabama State Folk Dance: Square Dance

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.

Alabama Law

The law designating the square dance as the official Alabama state dance is found in the Alabama General Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-2-18.

SECTION 1-2-18. State dance.

Section 1-2-18
State dance.
The dance known as the square dance is designated the American folk dance of the State of Alabama.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-48, p. 60.)

State Dances
State Dances
At least there are currently 31 states that have designated square dancing as their State Folk Dance.