GREATER PITTSBURGH SQUARE AND

MODERN PATTERN DANCE PROJECT

Copyright Gold Rush Square Dance Productions 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Below Provided For The Experienced Dancer

What can a new person expect?

A Great time! If you have never danced before you can expect to have a lot of fun. You can expect to start dancing whenever you get here and move at a pace that is right for you. You will meet new people, from all lifestyles, and will learn and experience all sorts of things you never knew existed. Just give it a try.


What is different from Contra?

First of all the music, it is danced to modern forms of music in 4/4ths time and allows dancers the opportunity to dance to their favorite musical styles.

Second is the dynamic of not knowing what comes next. Dancers react to a set of calls that are arranged spontaneously by the caller to avoid repetition, and in most cases, no walk through is necessary.

Third the dance form is not as physically demanding as Contra. It allows the individual dancer to control the level of impact of the exercise experience, with the option to increase the exertion level using flourishes as they get used to it.

Finally, it offers multiple difficulty levels by employing advanced concepts such as Mirror Image, Archy, Tandem. and Progressive options to dancers who want a greater challenge without learning more calls.


What can Contra dancers expect?

Experienced Contra dancers are familiar with about half of the calls and concepts we dance. Contra dancers can expect to learn a few more calls. The calls associated with Mainstream dancing are just an extension of the ones you already know, and can be easily mastered by a Contra dancer in just a few weeks. The compound calls most often associated with Western Style Squares are danced at the Plus level not the Mainstream level.

A brand new beat. The introduction of 4/4 time means that some moves are danced a little differently. An example of this is that Swinging is done in 4 beats rather than 8 or a balance being done in 2 beats rather than 4.


What is different from Western Style Squares?

It starts with less calls to learn. Most Western Style square dancers dance at what is known as the plus level, which requires them to dance about 100 calls proficiently. Pattern Dancing is done at the Mainstream level which consists of only about half of these calls and proficiency can be reached in as little as 6 weeks.

Another difference is that many Western Style Clubs still have a dress code requiring their dancers to wear traditional attire. Pattern dancing encourages dancers to dress comfortably within the boundaries of good taste.

Finally, the induction process. Western Style dancing requires dancers to commit to a series of lessons that can last for up to 9 months, concluding with a formal graduation ceremony at which time they may join the square dance community. You will be dancing with us the moment you walk in the door, even if you’ve never danced before. You will begin learning immediately and be dancing with us in the first 10 minutes, and in a just a few weeks you will have become proficient at all of the calls in our program.


What can Western Style Square dancers expect?

A  challenging Mainstream level dance with a few concepts that you may have never seen before such as Mirror Image, Archy, True Hexagon, Kaleidoscope, and Progressives. You will also find a younger crowed, and a more relaxed and informal atmosphere with a greater emphasis on dancing rather than dance level, club politics, or dress code.

Most important you will find yourself Welcome to dance with us and be a part of our family of dancers. You are free to dance within your comfort zone and progress at your own pace.