European Association
of American Square Dancing Clubs e.V.

Friendship is Square Dancing's greatest reward



Ten Ground Rules of Square Dancing

The following material comes from several sources.

1. BE ON TIME FOR CLUB AND CLASS: In square dancing, one late couple or person may mean that three other couples or seven people must sit out.

2. DON'T LEAVE EARLY: By leaving early, you are telling the other dancers and caller that you did not have a good time at the dance. The “winddown” tip is just as important as the first or middle tips.

3. BE A THOUGHTFUL DANCER: Personal cleanliness is important in Square dancing. Use your DEODORANT. Don’t forget to use something to sweeten your breath. Don't drink. Your coordination must be at its very best.

4. GET INTO SQUARES QUICKLY: When the caller announces to square your sets, join the square nearest to you that needs a couple. If your square is not full, raise your hand with as many fingers extended as couples are needed. If couples are squared up and do not have a hand up, it indicates that they are waiting for someone who has promised to dance with them. Do not arrange squares more than once in an evening. It is best not arrange a square at all. Do not get on the floor and expect the caller to find you a partner.

5. BE A GOOD LISTENER: Talking during the course of square dancing is distracting to you and others. Remember there is room for only one teacher at a time. You can help others best by being in the correct place at the correct time. Pointing or a hand motion is always the better way to direct someone that is going in the wrong direction.


  • Always introduce yourself and your partner to others in the square if you don't know them.
  • Thank them for dancing with you after the tip.
  • Don't use extra twirls and kicks that interfere with others in our square.
  • It is considered "bad manners" to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another.
  •  Beware of the unpardonable sin: never leave a square once you have joined it until the tip is over. If youmust leave in an emergency, try to fill your spot with a substitute. By all means, tell the others why you must leave.

7. BE A COOPERATIVE DANCER: Square dancing is an activity where everyone is responsible for everyone else’s happiness. A square is not made up of eight individuals working independently, but rather in one unit with no individual person attempting to show off or be a star. The real pleasure comes when each person does his share making the square run smoothly.

8. TAKE IT EASY: Don't overdo. Square dancing can be strenuous exercise. If you are too tired to dance, sit out. It is usually best to remove yourself from the hall -- not the coffee room. Sometimes you can learn a great deal just by watching and listening. Be considerate. If another dancer is watching and listening, don't insist upon talking. Square dancing is a social event but not a place to socialize during tips or rounds even if you are not dancing.

9. BE A FRIENDLY DANCER: "Friendship is square dancing's greatest re ward." Take the opportunity to get acquainted with others in the square. Make it a point to dance with as many different dancers as possible each evening. It has been said that "Square dancing is friendship set to music."

10. ENJOY YOURSELF - HAVE FUN: Come to the dance expecting to have a good time and you'll have it. Come to the dance with the attitude that it is the caller's job or someone else's job to show you a good time and chances are you will have a poor evening. When you applaud at the end of a tip, you are thanking the caller and the other dancers in your square, but you are applauding yourself also for a good job well done.

(Translation: Hansjoerg Pade)

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