Training season

As you may or may not be aware, I am no good at sports. This ineptitude made itself known at a very young age. I showed no interest in common children’s sports like t-ball or soccer. I flunked out of the learn-to-skate program at the Novice 3 level because I couldn’t manage cross-cuts (or, cross-overs, if you’re a hockey player) and no matter how hard my brother tried, I wasn’t even any good at playing catch.

I certainly wasn’t an inactive child. I was a supreme capture-the-flag player (which was called ‘French and English’ in my neighbourhood) and I loved running around with my siblings and cousins.

As I grew older, I found my niche activity. I loved to dance. I started with jazz dance classes and worked my way up to being in the studio 4 or 5 nights a week taking a multitude of jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop classes. Ballet was my favourite but I was never all that good at hip hop (probably because ballet was my favourite).

This love of dance is still with me today. I can often be found twirling around the kitchen while making dinner, rocking some awesome seated moves on my drive home from work or enjoying dance-inspired classes at the gym (hello, Zumba!).

But other than a few nights out on the town and some rather hilarious attempts at choreographing some moves to the latest pop song with housemates in university, I never really did much ‘formal’ dance.

That is until I met some new friends in my last year of university.

These new friends needed some help. They needed a person to join their ‘team’ to compete in a competition at the annual college open house. At first, I was hesitant. Although I’m definitely a team-player in the broad sense of the word, my athletic ability is certainly has a lot to be desired.

But then I learned that this ‘team’ wasn’t going to be playing any sports. This competition involved no balls, no sticks and certainly no nets. What this competition did involve was poofy costumes and a fiddle.

This competition was a Square Dancing Competitions.

Yep, that’s right. I Square Dance. Laugh and guffaw all you want, it is tonnes of fun!

This is my set “The Fancy Dancers” from our first competition

My set came in last place that year. But we went back the next year and we managed to pull off a respectable ‘not-last-place’ placing (this may or may not have something to do with me being Head Lady) and we are heading back this year for another kick at the can. Luckily this is allowed because the competition is open to anyone, not just university students. Shockingly, lots of alumni come back to compete.

For those that don’t know, Square Dancing involves 4 couples. You start in a square facing one another (obviously) and you two-step the entire time. A caller tells you what moves to perform and what to do. It’s pretty fast and you have to know what all the calls mean so you can keep up. It’s very country, very old-fashioned and a lot of fun.

That’s me on the right, swishing my skirt like it’s nobody’s business

We had our first practice tonight and I’m proud to say I remembered most of the calls and my two-step was right on-time. I’ll keep you updated on our progress and maybe teach you a thing or two about this fabulous (and ridiculous!) dance style. But for now, ‘that’s it, that’s all, now find your own way out of this hall!’


5 Responses to “Training season”

  1. 1 mkirk84 February 16, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I too remember elementary school style square dancing. Do you guys have cooler music than what I remember? We had old school scratchy records with an old man shouting out the directions.

    • 2 clairesuzanne February 16, 2010 at 7:59 am

      It’s probably similar music. Square dancing is the epitome of tradition, so the music doesn’t change much. However, we now have these fancy things called stereos that have replaced the beloved record player and we have our own caller, so no recorded scratchy-voiced man.

  2. 3 Michelle February 13, 2010 at 3:33 am

    wish i could come see the end result! actually, just wish i could be on the same continent. that would be a start. miss you! keep up the dancing! p.s. your awesome seated moves rock.

  3. 4 Erin February 12, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I remember having to square dance in elementary school and hating it… but that could possibly be because it was done during gym class and I hated that class as a rule.

  4. 5 Amy --- Just A Titch February 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I worked at a summer camp that always had a staff square dance—makes me want to do it again!

Comments are currently closed.

Hi There!

I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

I love chocolate but don't think cheese and cake belong together.

I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

If you want to chat, email me at clairesuzanne1 at gmail dot com.


Legal Stuff

Creative Commons License
This work by Claire Suzanne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at

© Claire Cowan, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Claire Suzanne with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


%d bloggers like this: