Types of Dance

Types of Dance at the Mid-Winter Festival

Square Dance

There are two major types of square dancing; traditional & modern, both are a dance for four couples (eight dancers) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. A caller will lead the dancers through a variety of dance patterns to the beat of music. Square dances were first documented in 17th-century England but were also quite common in France and throughout Europe. Square Dance came to North America with the European settlers and has undergone considerable development. In some countries and regions, through preservation and repetition, square dances have attained the status of a folk dance (traditional). The Western American square dance (modern), which we dance at the Mid-Winter Festival, may be the most widely known form worldwide, possibly due to its association in the 20th century with the romanticized image of the American cowboy. Square dancing is strongly associated with the United States of America. Nineteen US states have designated it as their official state dance. For a history of square dance, visit: http://squaredancehistory.org

Round Dance

Round dancing is best described as choreographed, cued ballroom dancing. Round dancing most closely resembles Ballroom Dancing in that it is a couple’s dance danced to a variety of rhythms including Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, and many other rhythms. Round dancing differs from free-style ballroom dancing in that each round dance has been fully choreographed ahead of time, and a “cuer” or leader at the front of the ballroom tells the dancers, as they dance, what steps to do as the music plays, and just ahead of the beat, so the dancers have time to respond, the cuer names each dance figure in the choreography. As a consequence, all the dancers on the floor are dancing the same steps at the same time. For more information about round dancing, visit: http://www.rounddancing.net/dance


Clogging is a truly American dance form that began in the Appalachian Mountains and now enjoys widespread popularity throughout the United States and around the world. Clogging is a dance that is done in time with the music – to the downbeat usually with the heel keeping rhythm to a sequence of steps to accompany phrases of a popular tune. These steps are performed to a particular song, with step cues prompting the dancers through each section. The cloggers wear shoes that have metal taps or occasionally wooden soles; to enhance the sound of the rhythm. For more information about Clogging, visit: http://websites.iclog.us/What_is_Clogging.html For a brief history of Clogging, visit http://midwinterfestival.com/info-clogging-history.htm