The “cuer” guides the dancers through the figures in each routine, thereby eliminating the need to memorize, and making it challenging for the mind as well as the body. There is no prize for being perfect – dance for the fun of it! If you make a mistake the round dance police will not get you. In fact, if you make a mistake, you might just start laughing with your partner.
The music used is pretty much the same as that used in “regular” ballroom dancing. The Oaky Doaks dances feature Waltzes and Twostep, but other rhythms include Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, West Coast Swing, Tango, and more. While ballroom dancing is “freestyle”, in round dancing each piece of music has a specific routine written for it! Over the last 50 years or so there have been tens of thousands of dances written.
Round Dancers learn from day 1 to associate each foot pattern with a figure name. This makes it easier to teach future routines since the dancer has a repertoire of figures at their fingertips (okay, at their ‘foot-tips’).
The dancer learns the routines as well as the names of all the dance steps in each rhythm so that when the music is played the couple can follow the cues that are spoken by the Cuer, just in time to prompt the next step to be danced. It is this aspect that makes Round Dancing especially unique. It is also challenging for the mind as well as the body and a joy to behold as every couple on the floor dances each routine in unison.
Round Dancing is no more complicated than many other activities. New dancers include those who have never danced before in their lives, dancers who have done other dancing and people of all ages. Round dances and round dance clubs have a well-defined system of identifying the skill level needed for particular dances, so each dancer can find their own “comfort zone”.
Round dancing is good exercise and provides an inexpensive evening's entertainment: the price for our club dances is $5 per person for 3 to 4 hours. In addition, the social camaraderie should not be overlooked. Round Dancers tend to be extremely friendly, sociable, and very helpful people.
So why not try something new. It’s fun, healthy, and inexpensive.
Want to see an example? CLICK HERE.