At the most recent ECTA Convention the topic of Dress Code for Square Dance activities was discussed. Many of the points which have been brought up recently were included in the discussion. Even though the majority of the callers present felt that the traditional Square Dance attire should not be lost it was felt that other options should be available in cases where it is desired or more appropriate.
In the United States and other parts of the world a possibility for a somewhat more relaxed Dress Code was accepted in December 2000. That code is described below. It is recommended by ECTA that a new code be adopted, accepted and used in the future for dances here in Europe. The type of dress required at various dances and clubs should be made known on flyers and advertisements for the dance.
It should be noted that regardless what the advertised code is, that “Traditional Attire” is always appropriate. We must remember that the most important part of Square Dancing is the fun and friendship and that the Dress Code may at times deter from this.
The Dress Code should also be made known for the various club dances, which vary from club to club and at various times during the year. It is recommended that EAASDC look at the possibility of listing this information on the club listings which is issued to all EAASDC member clubs and dancers periodically. This will make the information available to dancers who are travelling and visiting neighbouring clubs.
Kenny Reese & Angelika Reinheimer
The Dress Code recommended for consideration and adoption is:
Traditional Square Dance Attire:
“Traditional” square dance attire provides a connection to the history of our activity, adds to the visual enjoyment of participants and spectators, enhances individual dancer styling included in individual calls, and provides for the protection and mutual comfort of dancers i.e. shoes, long sleeved shirts, petticoats, etc.. The “Prairie Skirt” is also included in the category of “Traditional Attire”.
Proper Square Dance Attire:
Traditional attire can at times be an inconvenience to dancers, and even deter people from joining and/or participating altogether. At these times a code of “Proper” could be used. This includes slacks and dress jeans for men and women and short sleeved dress or polo shirts for men. T-shirts for men do not fall into this category. It should be noted that even if an event is advertised as “proper” attire, “traditional” attire is always appropriate.
Casual Square Dance Attire:
Although proper attire may allow for a wide variety of choices, there may be times when travelling, weather and other conditions would discourage dancers from following either traditional or proper Dress Codes. In that event, leaders are encouraged to advertise those dances/sessions/festivals, etc. as “casual” attire. It should be noted that if an event is advertised as “casual” attire, “traditional” and “proper” attire are always appropriate. Regardless of the code that is desired for a particular dance, the attire should always be in good taste.
Clubs and leaders who run dances and weekend festivals are encouraged to specify “traditional attire”, “proper attire”, or “casual attire” for their individual dances, sessions and events. A policy of tolerance and encouraged by all square dance leaders and participants should be supported.
The opportunity of fun and friendship should not be lost irregardless of the code that is selected.