Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

Scatter Square Dancing

Preparation: Use blue grass, pop, rock or country & western music - anything with a quick, steady beat. Teacher is the caller.

Background: The square dance is an American institution. It began in New England as the first settlers and the immigrant groups that followed, brought various national dances. We call them folk dances now, but at the time they were just the popular dances of the day in the countries of their origins. The schottische, the quadrille, the jigs and reels and the minuet are some examples. After a week of toil carving space out of virgin forest and building new homes, the settlers would gather in the community center on Saturday evening and enjoy dancing their old-world favorites. As the communities grew and people of different backgrounds intermingled, so did their dances. As the repertoire increased, it became increasingly difficult for the average person to remember the various movements.

  1. Share background information, and explain the calls:
    • "Right arm swing" - Lock right arms at elbow, and dance in a circle.
    • "Left arm swing" - Lock left arms at elbow, and dance in a circle.
    • "Do-Si-Do" - Cross arms in front, and dance around your partner.
    • "Right Hand Star" - "High five" right hands, and dance in a circle.
    • "Left Hand Star" - "High five" left hands, and dance in a circle.
    • "Honor Your Partner" - Curtsy or bow, and say a kind greeting.
    • "Hit the Trail" - Keeping the beat to the music, move about the dance area. Partner up and walk through the calls.
  2. Start the music, and give the calls, There is no "right" order.

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education


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