State Folk Dance

Square Dance

California is not alone when it comes to its official folk dance. The square dance, performed by couples, has to be by far the most popular state dance form there is. Nearly half the states in the nation have some form of square dancing as their state dance.

This uniquely American folk dance has its origins in European dance traditions which were brought here by early settlers. What makes it a distinct dance style is that it is cued, where calls or prompts are given to the dancers on their moves. Square dancing probably came to California from the Appalachian region of the country during the Gold Rush. Today, hundreds of thousands of Californians take part in this fun and lively pastime. Square dancing was made the official State Folk Dance by the Legislature in 1988.

(Senate Bill 2460, Chapter 1645, 1988)

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