San Diego Square Dance Callers Association

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San Diego Callers Association

Welcome to the San Diego Callers Association website!

Modern Western Square Dancing

The American Heart Association lists square dancing as a "moderate activity" in General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity. Energetic square dancing is shown as a "vigorous activity".

Square dancing keeps the mind sharp, the body exercised, and even offers health benefits such as the reduction of stress and an enhanced immune system.

In elementary schools, square dancing is a fun and memorable way to experience American history. In college, it has been used to study mathematic concepts in an engaging manner. The final exam for this college class is conducted by a guest caller of national prominence. There is also an active and popular student club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Modern Western Square Dancing is built on standard basic moves, known as "calls", that can be combined in many ways to create the dance. It's interactive because the caller can adjust the timing and sequence of the calls while the dance is under way to provide the greatest amount of fun.

No special skill or previous experience is necessary to become a square dancer. Enthusiasts can dance around the world since the various calls have been standardized by Callerlab, the International Association of Square Dance Callers. Dancers are able to join in with nearby clubs, attend regional festivals, and participate in national square dance conventions.

Square dancing is recognized as California's State Folk Dance.

Square Dance Party

Enthusiastic dancers

If you're considering or planning a square dance party for an interested group or organization, check out the information on the Square Dance Party page. No prior experience or skill is necessary, just the desire to move with the music! If you can move, turn, and shake hands you can square dance.

For companies, square dancing is great as a team-building exercise because it's a cooperative -- not competitive -- activity. It enhances people skills, which improves the overall work environment. It's an ideal break during an intensive brainstorming retreat.

Community celebrations are ideal for square dancing. No need for attendees to prepare ahead of time. They will be dancing in eight minutes (or less). Dances sponsored by community groups and organizations that are open to all are shown. Please contact the organizer directly for details.

Invitation to Square Dance

Most clubs offer one to three "give it a try" square dances every year. The cost of admission on your first night is generally free (call ahead to be certain). Dress for comfort, wear walking shoes or sneakers, and plan to have fun moving with the music!

Here's your chance to experience some famous calls such as "Allemande Left", "Do-sa-do", and "Promenade". A fun and friendly experience is waiting for you at a nearby square dance club.

Square Dance Clubs


There are a number of organized clubs throughout San Diego County offering square dancing at standardized levels of Mainstream, Plus, Advanced, and Challenge. Most clubs have their own detailed web sites that are easily found on the square dance association web sites.

Fun Level Dance

square dance circle

BASIC fun-level square dances, designed for new dancers who already know the basics or dancers no longer dancing at the Plus level, are sponsored monthly by the San Diego Callers Association at the College Center Covenant Church in San Diego, 4463 College Avenue while the Grossmont Work Training Center undergoes construction. A map to the entrance makes it easy to find! Dance time is 7:00-9:30 PM. Please check the calendar for possible blackout dates.

Community Support

Service Organizations

Association members support the community at a variety of dances benefitting organizations such as Father Joe's Villages, Rady Children's Hospital, Solutions For Change, Toys For Tots, and the Susan G. Komen Walk For The Cure. Upcoming events are shown on the Calendar.

Blood Bank

Square dancers in all three associations (Back Country, Palomar, and San Diego Square Dance Associations) support the San Diego Blood Bank with blood drives.

Association Activities


New Meeting Location!

Meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month at the VMA Memorial Hall, 136 Chambers Street, El Cajon; meeting time is 8:00 AM. Educational presentations are made following every meeting.

The annual Caller's Social, attracting callers throughout Southern California and beyond, is held in August September.

Presentations and workshops by Callerlab accredited Caller-Coaches appear on the calendar when scheduled.



The San Diego Callers Association is an affiliate member of the Square Dance Association of San Diego and CALLERLAB, the International Association of Square Dance Callers.

Membership is open to experienced and novice callers alike, throughout southern California.

Related Activities

Traditional Square Dancing

Modern Western Square Dancing has it's roots in early American country dancing. These early dances are well-known for the Virginia Reel, Birdie In The Cage, and the "visiting couples" concept.

The Virginia Reel -- a style known as contra dance -- is composed of two lines of facing dancers moving with the music. Instruction is quick and easy, allowing for a quick walk-through before each dance begins.

There are two clubs concentrating on traditional dancing featuring members of the San Diego Callers Association: the Reels and Squares contra dance club (contact Ron Nelson for additional information) and the Heritage Dancers exhibition group.

Additional details about the origin of square dancing are on the history page.

Round Dancing

If you can dance in a square, you should be able to dance in a circle, right? Round Dancing, which is very much like ballroom dancing, has been closely associated with square dancing since it began.

It is not necessary to be a square dancer to round dance and you don't have to have any previous ballroom dancing experience to become a round dancer. If you can do the Surfer's Two Step (left, then right, then left, then right, keep going), you can become a round dancer!

Most clubs feature rounds between tips at their square dances. There are also some groups that round dance exclusively. More information is available from the San Diego Round Dance Instructors and from the clubs themselves.

Disclaimer: Links to other websites are informational and do not necessarily constitute an endorsement by the San Diego Callers Association or any of its members.