Square and Round Dance Federation
of Nova Scotia


Information for Dancers

Beginners Visitors Major
Health Benefits History Overview We Remember
Dancer Information (pdf) Banner Stealing Dangles
and Pins
Attire and Sewing Etiquette Dancing Hints
Dance Forms Squares Rounds Contras Community Dancing Dancing in Schools
Organizations Overview Provincial Federation Metro

(Approved 1985, Revised 1998)

1.    Four couples, or more, of club members must attend a regular dance night of another club to steal its banner. Similarly, four couples, or more, from the owner club on a regular dance night, are required to retrieve a banner. Eight couples, or more, are required to retrieve a banner and steal the host club's banner at the same time. Dances not considered regular dances include those celebrating a special milestone of the club or its Caller, (eg. 10 years, 20 years, 25 years, etc.),Graduation Celebrations, and the club's major fund-raiser dance (bold print in Calendar of Events). All other dances are considered to be regular dances.

2.    A caller attending as a dancer is eligible to participate in banner stealing.

3.    A person or couple shall not be counted as guests if they are regular members of the host club.

4.    If two or more clubs attend the same dance to steal the host club banner, the first club with a complete square (four couples) present shall receive the banner. If both have a square at the beginning of the dance, then the club from the farthest away receives the banner.

5.    Clubs may call ahead of dance time to inquire if the banner is available, but may not have the banner reserved. Calling ahead is not mandatory, however.

6.    No other banner shall be stolen except that of the host club.

7.    In both stealing and retrieving banners, all guests must pay the regular admission fees, and the required number of dancers must be present at the dance within one hour of the regularly scheduled starting time.

8.    The banner shall be presented to the eligible club just before the last tip of the dance.

9.    A stolen banner may be held until retrieved by the owner club. If it is not retrieved within three months, however, it must be returned to the owner club.

10.  For a special event sponsored by the owner club while its banner is in captivity, the banner must be returned, temporarily, at the request of the owner club. In this event, the stealing club may, if it desires, provide "ball & chain", "jailbars", or other indication of the banner being in captivity.

11.  A banner shall not be stolen more than twice in any one season by the same club.

12.  Banners shall not travel outside the Maritime provinces.

Remember that Square Dancing is done for fun and that banner stealing is to encourage us to meet and dance with both new and old friends.   BACK


To earn the 'Club Booster Dangle' a dancer must attend ten dances outside his/her Club including at least one in each recreational region of Nova Scotia. Obtain a record card for the purpose from your club or Federation representative. Please ask the caller or club president of the club your are visiting to sign this card during the dance. Return the card to the Federation Executive when completed with your name and address.     ( See Map of Regions )  BACK


The Canadian Square & Round Dance Society has developed a Society Pin to offer for sale to advertise and promote our activity.
These pins are also useful as gift mementos to guests from out of the country.
The Federation has purchased a supply to sell to individuals and clubs at the bargain price of 3 Canadian Dollars.
Anyone wishing to acquire these pins should contact:

Bob & Inge Ruohoniemi, RR # 1, Ellershouse, NS, B0N 1L0
(902) 757-3884    or   BACK


Dancers are expected to wear Traditional square dance attire at nearly all Special evening dances in Nova Scotia. Most summer dances, many afternoon workshops and campout dances and a few clubs are casual but you should confirm the dress with the leader ahead of time. As currently recognized by the Association of Nova Scotia Square and Round Dance Teachers, Traditional square dance attire consists of the following:

LADIES should wear a full-skirted dress or skirt and blouse. Knee length full circle skirts should be worn with a crinoline and pettipants. Mid-calf length prairie skirts should be full enough to use in skirt work but need only a petticoat beneath unless very full (test by twirling in front of a mirror).

GENTLEMEN should wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt accompanied by a neck decoration. Western Style is preferred but blue jeans are sometimes frowned upon. Towels are useful in hot halls but are not required.

SHOES should be comfortable and offer reasonable support. Consider the dance surface and choose shoes that will be slippery enough to shuffle and swing but not slick enough to cause a fall. Also avoid dark soles that cause black marks on polished gym floors.

JEWELLERY should be able to withstand the rigours of close body contact and vigorous swings. Avoid charm bracelets,fancy rings, delicate necklaces and belt buckles that might catch on or stab another dancer.

For the information of Federation members, they should be aware that the international organization CALLERLAB, based in the United States, have approved three classes of dress:

"Traditional" - as described above.

"Proper" - Traditional with the addition of short-sleeved shirts and dress slacks and jeans for men and women.

"Casual" - undefined but generally understood as tasteful and comfortable.

CALLERLAB has left the designation of attire to be worn at dances in the hands of the organizers of the dance and asked for a policy of tolerance.



You can find instructions for making a few basic patterns here.   BACK

1. Do have fun, relax and smile. Remember that enjoyment is contagious. 1. Don't be so exuberant as to offend others or destroy the timing of the square.
2. Do form squares as soon as you hear the music. 2. Don't walk by an unfilled square.
3. Do make sure you know the announced list for the current tip before squaring up. 3. Don't walk through a square, but rather walk around the outside.
4. Do bath diligently before dancing.
4. Don't eat odoriferous foods before dancing.
5. Do dress appropriately and wear your badge. 5. Don't drink alcoholic beverages before dancing.
6. Do try to arrive on time to participate in the warm-up tip. 6. Don't leave early unless absolutely necessary.
7. Do try to increase your knowledge and correct your mistakes by asking for help from the caller or a dancer after the tip. 7. Don't worry about your mistakes during the tip, fill the hole or square up quickly so that all can dance as much as possible.
8. Do thank your partner and corner after every tip and the caller or cuer at the end of the evening. 8. Don't criticize without offering an alternative solution.
9. Do dance in time to the music. 9. Don't talk while dancing.
10. Do be happy and smile. 10. Don't be frustrated.



1.    Thou shalt square dance for the fun which thee will find in it.

2.    Thou shalt not be a snob, considering thyself too good to dance with any and all, sitting out mixers, or leaving a square lest thou be requested to dance with those whom thou deemest unworthy of thy talent, for the gods of retribution are zealous gods, and will visit their mischief upon thee. And thou will be the one to goof the square.

3.    Thou shalt be exuberant but shalt act thy age. Do not offend others with out-flung legs and high-flung skirts.

4.    Thou shalt go abroad and dance with other callers so that thy opinions expressed as to the merit of this one and that one are based on fact.

5.    Thou shalt not let the strangers in thy midst sit on the side-lines, and cool their heels, nor fail to speak to them.

6.    Thou shalt bathe diligently that the sweet aroma of soap and shaving cream assails the nostrils of thy associates.

7.    Thou shalt take care that the words of thy mouth are not scented with, garlic, beer or obnoxious beverages.

8.    Thou shalt honour thy club and give thy loyalty, for if thou canst not do this, it were better to separate thyself from it and join thyself to another whose methods, members and callers are more to thy liking.

9.    Thou shalt not kill thy club with bickering and fault finding.

10.  Thou shalt not forget that thou wert once a beginner.   BACK