China’s ban on square dancing
Greetings from the Ridge.
Chicken in the breadpan pickin’ out dough,
One more girl and on you go.
Don’t be fast and don’t be slow,
Chicken in the breadpan pickin’ out dough.
And so went the old square dance as I’d watch my folks parade around the old Legion Hall on Saturday nights, petticoats flying and laughter fending off the chill of a Midwest winter. There was hardly a small or large town that didn’t host at least one group of square dancers in the mid-twentieth century, and the shouts of the caller would blend with the whine of the fiddle and guitar as communities would gather for this delightfully American pastime.
Nineteen states have designated the square dance as their official state dance and its roots can be traced back to 17th century England. The basics are... well... pretty basic: four couples face each other in a square, the music begins, and someone designated as the “caller” shouts out the dance moves, usually in rhyme, and consisting of several predetermined moves. Heck, you probably did it in your school’s PE class. There are hundreds of varieties around the world but in the U.S. square dancing generally falls into two categories, hoedown and Western Style.