Introduction to Round Dancing
What is Round Dancing?
Round Dancing is a type of choreographed ballroom dancing in which the Cuer calls out figures, which are performed by all dancers simultaneously. Dancers generally progress anticlockwise around the hall: this is known as Line of Dance. Cues are given about one measure of music before the dancers execute the figures, and are directed to the Man.
There are dances to most of the common Latin and Modern rhythms, eg Waltz and Cha Cha (and some rhythms specific to round dancing) to many different styles of music. Basic figures are taught and practised in a variety of sequences, often selected on the spot by the Cuer (Hash Cueing): this ensures each figure is fully understood and prevents dancers from merely memorising pre-set patterns of figures. New figures are introduced gradually, building on familiar material.
Round dancing is non-competitive and the emphasis is on fun and friendship. Rounds are danced all over the world but the cues are always given in English.
Judi and Scarlet Ribbons RDC:
Scarlet Ribbons Round Dance Club was started in Oxford in 1991 by Judi with a nucleus of dancers recruited from local Square Dance clubs. Initially concentrating on basic figures in the core rhythms (TwoStep, Waltz, Rumba and Cha Cha) the dancers have extended their repertoire to include a further 6 rhythms and figures of greater complexity.
Judi was accredited as a Cuer and Teacher in 1995 by the then Cuers’ Section of SDCCGB. She has held a number of positions within Cuers’ Section and the Round Dance Council and is currently Treasurer of the RDC.
Round Dancing post lockdown:
During the pandemic no Round Dance clubs or classes met, so it was suggested we try to offer some “long distance” instruction to help less experienced and non-dancers to learn or revise some basic figures in the core rhythms. Over a period of time we set up a website containing written and “Talk & Walk Through” definitions, pictures and some videoclips and Practice modules cued to purpose-written music in TwoStep, Waltz, Rumba and Cha.
Now that we can again meet and dance, the purpose of the website has changed slightly. Sadly some clubs never re-opened and some dancers were left without a regular place to dance, others can only dance occasionally. However they can “brush up” on basic figures using the material on the website. Newer dancers can use the material in conjunction with their classes to reinforce the material they have learned.
Finding events & local club:
To find events and your local club check out the Round Dance council website. For further information contact Judi & Michael Read: firstname.lastname@example.org. Like our Facebook page to stay up to date with our news.
The instructional material offered free of charge on the website, together with higher quality supporting materials are offered on DVD at a nominal charge, but remains the intellectual property of Judi Read. It is intended for self guided learning by individuals and couples only. It may NOT be used to instruct a class or at any public event either free of charge or fee paying.
Acknowledgements: During the first year the website was sponsored by the British Association of American Square Dance Clubs (BAASDC). The second year was sponsored by the Square Dance Callers Club of Great Britain (SDCCGB). The third year was sponsored by Scarlet Ribbons Round Dance Club.
I would like to thank the following people for their generous contributions of time, expertise and encouragement in this project:
Koli & Ron Pluck - for the initial suggestion and acting as non RD guinea pigs.
SDCCGB and RDC - for their support and guidance through the licensing quagmire.
Lynn & Roger Winkworth - for music and video taping.
Michael Read – my Audio Tecchie, husband and dance partner.
Andrew Wakeley – my son and IT guru for website design.
Special thanks are due to Roger Winkworth, who wrote, performed and donated the music for the practice modules.