How to Square Dance for Kids

By Sarah Lipoff
Have the kids dress up in costume when teaching them to square dance.

Dance is an exciting way to express your self, even square dancing. Square dancing is a popular dance that involves listening and working together as a group and with a partner. Most squares, when square dancing, are created with a couple at each side of the square, meaning you need 8 people to dance. A caller announces moves while the music is playing, and the dancers listen and respond accordingly.

Position the group of dancers in a starting square formation with a couple, or 2 dancers, in a square formation. Each couple gets a number, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Couples will respond to dance calls as their couple number is called. Within each couple, there is one “boy” and one “girl” dancer.

Play a recording of square dancing music with square dancing calls. Dancers listen to the music and directions.

Start by honoring your partner, which means bowing to your partner if you are a boy, and curtseying to your partner if you are a girl. Once you have honored your partner, you honor the person at your other side.

Circle to the left and circle to the right are the next common calls when square dancing. Circle to the left means to join hands with your partner and the person on your other side and walk, dance, or skip together to the left or right.

Walk forward and back couple 1, 2, 3, or 4. Listen for the caller’s directions for which couples are to walk to greet each other at the center of the square, and then walk backwards to their starting position.

Promenade with your partner. Each couple links arms with their partners and walk or skip together in a circle and end at their starting location.

Stand facing your partner to perform a do-si-do movement, which means to circle your partner. Walk forward toward your partner’s right shoulder and then around their back. Walk backwards returning to face your partner.

Listen for other directions from the caller and follow directions to perform other square dancing moves to finish the dance.

Bow to your partner when the square dance is over.

About the Author

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Education.com. Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.