What Are Some Basic Square Dancing Moves?

Basic square dancing moves include steps such as the circle, swing, do-si-do and courtesy turns, and configurations such as the allemande left, the grand right or left, the right-left through, the two ladies chain and the four ladies chain. Other basic square dancing moves are the square through, the partner trade, the come down the middle, the promenade and the weave the ring.

All square dancing moves begin from the basic configuration of four couples standing in a square, facing into the middle of the square. A caller then calls out moves and instructions to the square dancers. If the caller calls the move “circle right,” all dancers join hands and walk in a circle in the indicated direction. Some moves involve all of the dancers in the square, while others involve each couple performing a move independently from the others, sometimes on their own and sometimes in unison, such as the swing, which involves partners joining right elbows and moving around one another in a clockwise direction.

To perform the basic square dancing move the courtesy turn, a male dancer takes a female dancer’s left hand with his left hand, and twirls her in a clockwise direction. To perform the basic square dancing move the grand right or grand left, all partners face one another and join right hands. The partners each walk past their partner’s right shoulder and give their hands to the oncoming dancer. To perform this move, the men move counter-clockwise, and the women move clockwise.