A square dance is a dance for four couples. Each of the couples stand on one side of an imaginary square. The female always stands to the right side of the male. Square-dancing is very synergetic, such that an error by an individual can cause the entire group to fail. However, a single clueless individual can usually be pulled along by the group. A caller, who is not part of the square, directs the square. The caller calls out movements, which the square dancers perform.
The origins of the square dance are uncertain. There are English, French, Scandinavian, and Spanish elements in square-dancing. Some believe that square-dancing originated when man imitated the courtship dances of some animals.
Square dancers usually meet at square-dancing clubs to square dance. Each square-dancing club has a special banner called a "flag." Sometimes, square dancers from one club go to a square-dancing competition at another club. If they win the competition, they receive the club's flag. They keep the flag until the rival club is able to recapture it by winning another competition.
In a square-dancing competition, there are two or more squares. The caller calls out the movements as usual. Eventually, one of the squares breaks down, meaning that not enough of the dancers know the movement well enough to continue. The last square standing wins the competition.
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