Why Did They Teach Square Dancing In Washington Schools Back In The Day?
As a kid growing up in the 80s in Washington State, one of the weirder things we did in school was to learn square dancing – yep – square dancing!
Do You Recall Learning To Square Dance In Middle School?
I learned to square dance in 5th grade at Whitman Elementary in Lewiston Idaho and I remember even doing a special presentation for our parents.
Do you recall learning to square dance in school, especially in Washington State?
It may surprise you to learn that old-fashioned square dancing was once taught in schools.
This traditional form of folk dance, which has been around since the 1600s, was a staple of physical education classes for generations of students.
But why was square dancing so popular in schools?
Let’s take a step back in time to explore the reasons behind this unique tradition.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, square dancing was seen as an excellent way to teach children of all ages important life skills such as cooperation, coordination, and communication.
The benefits of square dancing go beyond just physical movement; it also helps students develop social and emotional skills.
By working together as a group, students learn how to collaborate effectively to achieve common goals. They also learn how to work through disagreements while still maintaining respect for one another’s opinions and ideas.
These are valuable life lessons that can be applied both inside and outside of the classroom setting.
Although it has largely been forgotten by today’s generation, there are still some who are keeping the tradition alive by teaching classes at local community centers or even hosting special events dedicated solely to square dancing.
Square dancing may seem like an odd choice for today’s school curriculum—but those of us that grew up in Washington State remember this unusual part of our schooling and will never forget those times.
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