REACH OUT AND TOUCH YOUR NEIGHBOR
Jerry and Del Reed (Rockledge, FL.)
We wrote this article a couple of years ago and have had several favorable
comments concerning it. So we thought we would share these thoughts with
you again. We believe that touching hands is ONE of the major
benefits of dancing and a big plus in bringing us together.
One of the most important aspects of square dancing is touching
hands. It brings us together and creates a physical bond within the
square. This bonding helps enhance the feeling of togetherness and
teamwork each time we form a square and to share the joy of "making
it" through the choreography. It also helps us get ready for
the next sequence if we don't make it. Touching hands is what brings
us together as square dancers and is a major reason for the unique nature
of this wonderful activity. There are very few moves, which do not
require touching hands or arms.
Many callers and styling guidelines stress touching hands immediately
upon completion of any move. Unfortunately, this smoothness
technique is not practiced as often as it could be, primarily because many
dancers do not know about it. The primary reason for touching hands is to
keep the square small. This will reduce the amount of walking
we need to do and give us more time to do the moves, thus improving
smoothness. Improving smoothness will increase our enjoyment of the
dancing. Another important reason to touch is to quickly identify
the formation we are in. Common formations include lines, ocean
Most dancers take their partner's hand, but do not always take the hand
of the dancer on the other side. One place where the lack of
touching hands is most obvious is when we are in Facing Lines of Four. If
the center two dancers in both lines will take hands, the lines will be
more compact and our dancing will be smoother. The same is true for
Ocean Waves, Two-Faced Lines, and any other formation. Touching
hands by the centers will make moves such as "Centers Trade"
much smoother and will improve our execution. Next
time you are dancing, try touching hands on both sides, especially if you
are in the center of Lines of Four. It may seem strange at first,
especially when lines go forward and back, but when we get used to
touching the improvement in smoothness will be tremendous.
During the time when classes are getting started we have a good
opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the many benefits of touching
hands on both sides while we are dancing.
Touching hands, TRY IT, YOU WILL LIKE IT!
Keep smil'n and we will see you in a square!
By Jerry and Del Reed