Swing your Partner

Online Lesson Plan
Swing your Partner! It’s a Virtual Square Dance

lrMelissaLesson Plan by , Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Berke received both her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Drake University, and her PhD from The University of Arizona. She taught elementary and middle school vocal/general music in Iowa, Arizona, and Nebraska. In addition to teaching in public schools, she has been teaching music at the preschool level for six years in various settings. She has been a clinician at numerous national and regional conferences. Her current research interests include early childhood music education, music education for students with special needs, the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education, and the integration of music and the arts within the general curriculum.

 

 

Subject Area:
Music & Social Studies
Suggested Grade Level:
Grades 3-5
Learning Modality:
Auditory & Kinesthetic
Multiple Intelligence:
Musical
Bloom’s Taxonomy:
Application
What are these educational concepts?What are these educational concepts?

 

Objectives

In this lesson, using a listening map as a guide, students will:

  • demonstrate square dance steps to Bob Wills’ “San Antonio Rose.”

 

Introduction

As we visited the Wessels Living History Farm website we found that “jazz was the most popular form of music during the war, but there were audiences for country music, western swing, blues and R&B, rhythm and blues.”

In this lesson we will learn how to do a square dance.

The origin of square dancing is found in the folk dances of Europe. As people immigrated to the United States, their dances were part of what they brought to the New World. As the various cultures met and mixed, the dance traditions spread westward and took on different forms becoming what is known today as square dancing. The uniquely American contribution to square dancing is the caller. This person “calls out” the various dance steps as the music plays.

The Resources

Carla Due Interview Links from within the Wessels Living History Farm site. [Note that clicking on these links will open a new browser window. Just close it and you’ll be back to this page.] Direct the students to these pages.

Have students read the Barns – Functions & Forms story, particularly the section about barn dances,  Then have them listen to Carla Due explain how barn dances worked (left). Finally, play the song “San Antonio Rose” (right) to the class with adequate sound production so that students can hear it.

Bob Wills
You’ll also need adequate space for movement.
Finally, two different colors of yarn necklaces to designate partners.

 

The Process

NOTE: I have written out the steps, but it would be great to have video demonstrating each move. I have specified which part of the song goes with each part of the dance to help the caller know how to instruct the dancers.

  1. Find a partner.
    1. a. Decide who is partner #1 and who is partner #2.
    2. b. Partner #1 should wear a red necklace; Partner #2 should wear a blue necklace.
  2. Four sets of partners should join together to form a square. One couple has its home on the north; One couple has its home on the south; One couple has its home to the east; One couple has its home to the west.
  3. To begin most dances, you acknowledge your partner and your corner.
    1. Bow to your partner
    2. Bow to your corner (the person beside you who is not your partner)
  4. There are 4 different steps for this dance. The promenade, the right/left-hand swing, the do-si-do, and the right/left-hand star.
  5. The Promenade
    1. Cross your right hand over your left hand
    2. Hold hands with your partner and both people face to their right
    3. Walk around counter-clockwise until you get back to your home
    4. You will have 16 beats to get all the way around.
  6. The Right/Left- Hand Swing
    1. Hold right hands with your corner
    2. While holding hands, trade places with your corner, and then trade back to your home.
    3. You will have 4 beats to do this
    4. Immediately join left hands with your partner
    5. While holding hands, trade places with your corner, and then trade back to your home.
    6. You will have 4 beats to do this
    7. This move basically makes a tiny figure eight with your corner and partner
  7. Do-Si-Do
    1. Partners walk around each other passing right and then left shoulders back to own position.
    2. You will have 4 beats to do this
  8. The Right/Left-Hand Star
    1. All 4, Partner #1’s will walk to the middle and join right hands in a star formation and walk in the direction they are facing (clockwise) for 16 beats.
    2. Switch directions, joining left hands in a star formation and walk in the direction they are facing (counter clockwise) for 16 beats.
    3. Repeat this with the all 4,Partner #2’s

Dance Steps for San Antonio Rose

Intro Clap (16 beats)
Intro Bow to your partner (4 beats)
Intro Bow to your corner (4 beats)
Intro Wave to your neighbors around the square (8 beats)
Intro Take hands with partner and get ready to go (4 beats)
Verse 1 Promenade (counter clockwise) around circle until you reach home (16 beats)
Verse 1 Right hand swing your corner (4 beats)
Verse 1 Left hand swing your partner (4 beats)
Verse 1 Do-si-do your corner (4 beats)
Verse 1 Take hands with partner and get ready to go (4 beats)
Verse 2 Promenade (counter clockwise) around circle until you reach home (16 beats)
Verse 2 Right hand swing (4 beats)
Verse 2 Left hand swing (4 beats)
Verse 2 Do-si-do your corner (4 beats)
Verse 2 Clap 4 times (4 beats)
Bridge Partner #1 Right hand Star; Partner #2 stays in place and claps (16 beats)
Bridge Partner #1 Left-hand Star Partner #2 stays in place and claps (16 beats)
Verse 3 Promenade (counter clockwise) around circle until you reach home (16 beats)
Verse 3 Right hand swing (4 beats)
Verse 3 Left hand swing (4 beats)
Verse 3 Do-si-do your corner (4 beats)
Verse 3 Take hands with partner and get ready to go
Interlude Promenade (counter clockwise) around circle until you reach home (16 beats)
Interlude Right hand swing (4 beats)
Interlude Left hand swing (4 beats)
Interlude Do-si-do your corner (4 beats)
Interlude Clap 4 times (4 beats)
Bridge Partner #2 Right hand Star; Partner #1 stays in place and claps (16 beats)
Bridge Partner #2 Left-hand Star; Partner #1 stays in place and claps (16 beats)
Repeat of 3 Promenade (counter clockwise) around circle until you reach home (16 beats)
Repeat of 3 Right hand swing (4 beats)
Repeat of 3 Left hand swing (4 beats)
Repeat of 3 Do-si-do your corner (4 beats)
Repeat of 3 Clap 4 times (4 beats)

 

Learning Advice

While square dancing is usually done with male-female partners, it is not necessary for this dance. The yarn necklaces will help designate partners.

The teacher will want to establish some parameters for partners and group interaction.

This square dance is very simple to accommodate upper elementary students. You could incorporate more advanced moves such as the grand right and left.

 

Conclusion of the Lesson

Square dancing is still a popular even today for people of all ages!

 

Assessment Activity

Each couple can complete a self-evaluation rating themselves on the following:

  • Ability to perform the promenade
  • Ability to perform the swing
  • Ability to perform the do-si-do

Each square can self-evaluate their ability to do the dance or have each square perform the dance and have the rest of the group evaluate.

General Notes

PE and Music Teachers may have other great resources for square dancing!

There is a square dance association out of York, NE. The URL for the organization is http://squaredancene.org/clubs/yorkshirts/

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