WHAT IS ROUND DANCING
Another distinguishing characteristic of Round Dancing is the use of a "cuer". Since there are far too many routines to memorize, a cuer calls out the name of each figure in the routine just before it is to be executed. If you have a memory lapse or are unfamiliar with a figure, you can continue progressing with the dance flow & get a hint as to how the figure is done by watching the couple in front of you as they execute the figure. Round Dancers learn from day 1 to associate each foot pattern with the figure name. This makes it easier to teach future routines since the dancer has a repertoire of figures at their fingertips.
This is not to say that Round Dancing is better than conventional ballroom. Rather, the two complement each other. Round Dancing helps you strengthen your basic repertoire of ballroom figures and permits you to do some figures that you would not dare to try at a conventional ballroom dance. We find that each type of dancing reinforces the other, and leads to greater enjoyment of dancing in general.
There are 6 levels of round dancing called phases. Phase 1 & 2 are "easy level" and include 2-step (similar to country western dancing) and waltz (bronze figures - enough to dance at your daughter's wedding & everywhere else). Phase 3 & 4 (bronze & silver figures) are intermediate levels and include additional waltz figures in addition to introductions to other rhythms in the International & American formats. Rhythms include: foxtrot, quickstep, tango, cha, rumba, bolero, mambo, jive, swing, west coast swing, samba, paso doble, slow two step, & others. Phase 5 & 6 (gold, star & above figures) take dancers into the upper levels of dancing, including figures you see at ballroom competitions. At the upper levels many Round Dance instructors are trained by some of the best International & American ballroom teachers/competitors in the world. Several technique books & video tapes have been created by Round Dance organizations around the world (ICBDA & ROUNDALAB).
Round dancing is good exercise and provides a relatively inexpensive evenings entertainment: the price for a typical club dance is about $7-$10 per couple for 1½-3 hours. In addition, the social camaraderie should not be overlooked. Round Dancers tend to be extremely friendly, sociable, and very helpful people.