The Houston Square and Round Dance Council, Inc. [HSRDC] serves as an umbrella organization for the Square, Round, and Clogging Dance clubs in the Greater Houston, Texas area. HSRDC’s purpose is to promote, educate and encourage the art of American folk dancing within its membership and the public.
The HSRDC serves as a liaison between the Texas State Federation of Square and Round Dancers and Houston area clubs. The TSFSRD provides educational material to HSRDC and can be obtained by any member club dancer desiring same. TSFSRD also provides liability insurance and portal-to-portal coverage for accident or death for all square dancers when participating in square dancing activities.
Most dance facilities require a COI. Our COI is valid for one year and renews each year on October 1st. HSRDC member clubs can request a COI from the HSRDC for their regular dances as well as for new location for special dances.
The HSRDC needs officers in order to function. Without a steady stream of folks stepping up and taking these leadership roles, the HSRDC could dissolve. That would be a shame. At the very least, it would be disruptive to insurance. I’m sure there are lots of other things that would be impacted. The Hoedown comes to mind. While the Hoedown is not essential, it serves as a yearly celebration that we all enjoy.
Have you considered taking a leadership role in the HSRDC?
Modern Western square dance (also called Western square dance, contemporary Western square dance, modern American square dance or modern square dance) is one of two American types of square dancing, along with traditional square dance. As a dance form, modern Western square dance grew out of traditional Western dance. The term “Western square dance”, for some, is synonymous with “cowboy dance” or traditional Western square dance. Therefore this article uses the term “modern Western square dance” to describe the contemporary non-historical dance which grew out of the traditional dance.
Modern Western square dance, like traditional square dance, is directed by a square dance caller. In modern Western square dance the caller strings together a sequence of individual square dance calls to make a figure or sequence. These calls are the building blocks of the choreography that is danced by the individuals, square dancers, in the squares. There are eight people (four couples) in each square; at a dance there may be many squares. Generally speaking, each of these squares dances independently of each other, with the exception of specialty or “gimmick” dances, where there might be some crossover of dancers from one square to another.
Modern Western square dancing is danced to a variety of music types, everything from pop to traditional country to Broadway musical to contemporary country music—even rock, Motown, techno and hip-hop. The music is usually played from recordings; the tempo is also more uniform than in traditional dancing, as the “perfect” modern Western square dance tempo is 120–128 bpm. At this speed dancers take one step per beat of the music.
Modern Western square dance is an international movement that has moved into the 21st century, welcoming new generations of dancers, and accepting international influences more clubs and associations are encouraging a variety of dress, from casual jeans and T-shirt, to “square dance attire,” to prairie skirts, and all styles of dressy and casual clothes. It is very common, particularly at event dances, for dancers to wear a club badge showing their club and personal name.
The square functions as a “dance team” for the duration of a square dance tip, a group of dances usually separated from the next tip by a pause during which the dancers regroup into new squares. A square dance tip is usually composed of a combination of patter calls and singing calls, the two types of square dance calls. The logos shown on the right are the international square dance logo and the modern Alliance of Round, Traditional and Square-Dance logo.
Modern Western square dancing is non-competitive activity. There are no dance competitions, and apart from fun events, no prizes are ever offered or sought for best dancer or best square. Particularly at the challenge levels there is large degree of personal satisfaction to be gained from the problem solving element of completing a dance. At all levels the main elements are to enjoy the dance, and to exercise.
Modern Western Square Dancing is found in many countries across the world. The main centres are where United States servicemen spread the dance during the 1950s until the 1980s. Modern Square Dancing is found in such diverse cultures as Japan, Denmark, The United Kingdom, Taiwan, Spain, Germany and Australia. While all calling is in English, local traditions are beginning to develop, as the influence of the American home of Modern Square Dance becomes more distant. It is common to meet many international dancers at large gatherings of dancers. Once a person learns the Callerlab defined calls, the dancer can generally dance internationally. However, as may be expected, there are style and call title variations throughout the world. For example, the calls “Yellow Rock” and “Stack the Wood” both instruct a dancer to hug the next person; in Australia, a tip is called a bracket; at the start of a tip in Northern Europe it is common for each dancer to greet every other dancer in the square with a handshake – a practice that is uncommon elsewhere.
Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer
The Birdie Dance – Garland Smith Caller
Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer