1. Be on time for the dance or class whenever possible. In square dance, one late couple may mean that three couples must sit out. In planning an evening's program, the caller leans heavily on the first and last tips to pace his dance. If you're late, or if you leave early, you are not taking full advantage of the evening the caller has prepared.
2. Get into squares quickly when the caller announces the next tip. Join the square nearest to you that needs a couple. If you need a couple to fill out a square, raise your hand with one finger to indicate one couple, two fingers for two couples.
3. Be a courteous dancer. In square dancing, it is considered bad manners to pass a square needing dancers in order to fill another square. NEVER leave a square once you have joined it until the tip is over. If you must leave in an emergency, find a substitute to fill your spot. After a tip is over, thank the caller and then thank the other dancers in your square.
4. Be a good listener. Listen closely for walk-throughs, instructions and calls. Leave the instruction to the caller and do not attempt to instruct your own square. Not only does talking during a dance distract you, but it also makes it difficult for others in the square to "catch" the instructions. You can help others best by being in the correct place at the correct time.
5. Be a cooperative dancer. Square dancing is an activity where everyone is responsible for everyone else's happiness. A square is one unit with no individual "star". The real pleasure comes when each person does his share in making the square run smoothly. Refrain from showing off, strive for smoothness in your dancing.
6. Be a friendly dancer. "Friendship is square dancing's greatest reward." Everyone is the host in square dancing. Take the opportunity to get acquainted with others in the square before the caller begins calling. Make it a point each evening to dance with as many different dancers as possible. Between tips, introduce yourself to folks you may not know. You don't need a third party to make introductions.
7. You're never through learning. You'll find there's always something new that you can learn or some part of your dancing which can be improved upon. Mistakes are a normal part of dancing. The important thing is to find out what you did that was wrong and then try to get it straight in your mind before the movement is called again. When the opportunity presents itself, don't hesitate to ask your caller questions if there's something you don't understand.
8. Enjoy yourself - have fun. Good dancing ability is nice, but the greatest contribution you can make toward the enjoyment of the dance is friendliness, good humor, cooperation and a real desire to have fun. Come to a square dance expecting a good time and you'll have it.
When you are on lunch committee, you need to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the dance begins to set up. A smaller table needs to be set up at the end of the floor for the caller's use. Two larger lunch tables are set up, one for the club officers use and one for snacks. The club banners are set up near the caller's table. The coffee pot and lunch supplies are in the large metal cupboard at the back of the stage. The lunch committee makes coffee to serve during the dance and puts out snacks.
At the end of the dance, the committee sets up tables for the lunch and puts out the lunch. After the lunch, the committee cleans the kitchen and puts away the supplies, banners and tables, and, if needed, sweeps the floor.
The lunch committee furnishes the desserts. Members should bring whatever foods are planned for the dance. The lunch schedule lists what to bring. IF YOU CANNOT SERVE ON YOUR SCHEDULED DATE, PLEASE ARRANGE FOR A SUBSTITUTE.
Sometimes during the dance, no matter what level you dance at, your square will break down. If all eight dancers in the square recognize the current formation and can get there quickly, then the square really isn't broken and you can just keep dancing. However, if two or more of the dancers have no clue what the formation is, then the square needs repair. Caller Lab introduced the following procedures for fixing "Lost Squares."
During the PATTER /HASH part of the program, head ladies say, "Form lines," take their partners right hand and their corners left hand and the couples back out to form facing lines. The caller recognizes that a number of the sets have broken down and formed lines and gives the command, "Everybody go forward and back;" which is the command for the broken squares to enter into the dance pattern.
During the SINGING CALLS, it is best to go back to the home position with your partner and wait for the "Swing and Promenade" or "Allemande Left" call. You won't have to wait long, 99% of all singing calls have these commands seven times through the song!
For men, square dance attire is a long sleeved, western style shirt (even in summer) and slacks or dress jeans. For women, square dance attire is a square dance dress or a blouse and full skirt (either short with pettipants and a petticoat or prairie style long skirts.) However, many clubs now wear casual attire for some of their dances; and even at conventions casual attire is acceptable during the day. Comfortable shoes are a necessity and always wear your name badge.