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Introduction to Square Dancing in North Raleigh and Everywhere

Square Dancers Western square dancing today isn't what you may think. It is not as elementary as what you learned in school or as fast and intricate as professional routines you may have seen on the Grand Ole Opry. The steps are standardized and the calls are the same all over the world. What you learn at the local club will prepare you to square dance anywhere you go.

Square Dancing provides:
  • entertainment
  • interesting mental challenges
  • moderate exercise
  • socialization
  • Square dancing is a great activity for couples … but most of all, it is FUN.
Western Square Dancing has a heritage in the old West, but it has evolved to be relevant to today's pace and taste and music. In addition to other changes, square dancer's attire has evolved. At special dances, you will see many dancers wearing traditional square dancing attire (western). However, at typical weekly club dance, casual attire is the norm.

An evening of square dancing is composed of a number of dance tips. Each tip is two dances totaling 10-15 minutes of following the instructions and choreography of a caller. These instructions may be free-flow or substituted into the words of well-known songs. Although four couples make up each dancing square, it is not strictly a couples dance. Each dancer interacts with all the dancers in the square - performing square dance movements, beginning as simply as dosado, promenade and swing your partner, and advancing to more complex calls that involve a sequence of movements.

While some square dance tips are quite lively and invigorating, the main idea is not competition but the enjoyment of the dancers. The challenge of mastering the movements is a great physical and mental exercise as well.

Many thousands of people square dance to the very same calls throughout the US and internationally. We recently had dancers from Japan visit Triangle clubs. There are several hundred dancers and approximately 11 clubs in the Triangle including several in Raleigh. Groups have formed into clubs that usually dance weekly or twice monthly. If you want to dance often, you will find groups dancing every evening of the week. The clubs vary in size, probably averaging 30 - 40 dancers. Most employ a professional caller to lead the dances, keeping the dances entertaining, and often including high quality singing and patter.

Modern western square dance is standardized and structured into at least eight levels, from the gentle Basic level to several Challenge levels. Dancers learn 50 movements in the Basic level, and 17 more at the Mainstream level, and learn an additional 35 moderately complex steps at the Plus level. Beyond those levels are two Advanced and three Challenge levels. Most square dance groups in the Triangle dance at the Mainstream or Plus level.

In the Triangle, square dancing is an inexpensive activity, usually costing between $15-$20 per person per month, mainly to cover the cost of renting the facility and paying the caller.

Periodically a club or caller organizes a Saturday evening dance party and invites all dancers in the area. These dances often draw 100 - 150 or more dancers and cost about $8 - $10 per person. Dancers often dress up for these special dances, but it is by no means required. Western wear for the guys and dress or full skirts, perhaps with crinolines, for the gals are worn to these dances. Also, in and around NC, there are larger dances and full weekend events that often attract 500-1,000 dancers and feature nationally-known callers. The NC Folk, Round, Square Dance annual convention is held each year at the North Raleigh Hilton. Participation in these larger dances is optional and many dancers attend only the weekly dances.

Classes for new dancers are begun each year. Each club has its own schedules for these classes, and they last between 2 and 3 months. Classes provide instruction and practice up to the Mainstream level. During classes experienced dancers provide lots of hand holding assistance. Student dancers normally pay the same per month as club dues but are not required to commit to joining the club. Commitment to regular attendance is a good idea since new steps are taught each session. Frequently doing these new steps builds on what has been learned previously. Following classes Capital Squares provides additional instruction for a short interval every regular evening dance. Lots of dancing tutorial information can be found from our web site:

Capital Squares in North Raleigh

  • Capital Squares is a Plus-level square dance club. We dance at both the Mainstream and Plus levels on Tuesdays nights four times a month.
  • We have 30 to 35 club members attend each week to socialize and concentrate on square and line dancing.
  • Capital Square club has danced at several locations in North Raleigh. We are currently dancing in the Southern Star Ballroom in the Falls village Shopping Center.
  • Greg Jones, who has many years of experience as a caller, calls for our club and for several other clubs in the area. He has recorded on Platinum Records and calls for a number of square dance events in and around North Carolina. Greg is a great instructor who calls fun, entertaining dances and who really excels at singing calls.
  • In addition to square dancing, we offer line dancing during some of the breaks between Square Dancing tips.
  • Visiting experienced square dancers are welcome to visit us for a $5 guest fee. Club members each pay $20 monthly dues to cover costs.
  • In 2019 Capital Squares will be hosting Introduction to Square Dancing Classes starting Feb. 5 for 4 weeks at 7pm for $20 per person.

We invite you to check into square dancing with Capital Squares
Or visit

Enjoy square dancing with the dancers of Capital Squares Square Dance Club

Throughout The Year Weekly Dances
First 4 Tuesdays of Each Month
7:00 to 9:30 pm
$20 per Month per Person

Southern Star Ballroom
Falls Village Shopping Ctr.
6625-015 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615
Click here, or on map below, for directions.
How to Find Southern Star
Southern Star Ballroom Southern Star Ballroom
Turn into the Falls Village Shopping Plaza between the BB&T and Wells Fargo banks. Follow that drive straight back toward the furthest building (the building contains TJ Maxx). At the end of that drive, you should be looking at Hand & Stone - the last business on the left side of the main building. Turn left and then right to go around behind that building. Just past the exterior staircase is a black awning and double doors with street number 6625-015 over the double doors.

For more information, contact:
Nancy and Geoff Benson, Pres. 919-954-8323
Katy and Dennis Phillips, V. P. 919-876-6761
Sherri and Greg Jones, Caller 919-266-0845