Shelby Shuffler’s Square Dance Club

BASICs Square Dance

  During 2016, several events in our area of central Alabama caused concern about the existence of square dancing. The gap between nondancers and callers appears to be widening by new hurtles of digital music and sound systems, diminishing clubs and callers, plus nonexistent local, state and federal support.

After much brainstorming with international caller Nasser Shukayr, the frame work of the new training project was created. The Traveling Hoedowners contributed a commercial grade video of calls that is ideal for teaching. A curriculum was created for clubs/schools to teach only the existing 51 Basic calls. The curriculum is totally digital so it is very portable, but dependent on workshop music. The goal is to use one or two songs for the entire learning session. As teachers/facilitators/callers master the training package, they can easily rearrange the calls with their preferred workshop music. Jerry Handley of Berry, Alabama, is the sole source for the initial workshop music that was delivered before our first 2017 class.

Basic training package objectives:

• Club dancers teach all Basic square dance calls.
• Relieve the demand on diminishing callers.
• Create a new transition for dancers interested in becoming callers.
• Reduce limited club resource requirements for classes.

For years, square dancing has existed with caller only taught lessons. With callers aging and diminishing, dancers with the right training package are becoming the last effort to keeping square dancing an active hobby. At the end of 2017, one of those tools was our BASICs training program; currently (2020) 95% complete. This package has successfully graduated dancers on to the dance floor for the past two years.

2020 lessons are scheduled to start Monday, March 23rd.