South Western Ontario Round Dancing

We are a not-for-profit association representing square and round dancing clubs across South Western Ontario. Round dancing is considered not only fun and good exercise but also a social event.  We like to call it “friendship set to music.”

What is Round Dancing?

Brian Elmer of the Dance Connection ( refers to round dancing as “choreographed ballroom dancing for couples.” Dancers progress as couples counter-clockwise in large circles across the dance floor, with the dancers being directed by a round dance cuer. This enables the couples on the floor to perform the same dance moves simultaneously.

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Round Dancing Calendar

25 May

SWOSDA Round Dance Party

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Details to follow

Round Dance Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I start round dancing?

First of all, the dancing aspect is great fun, no matter what your skill level. Unlike most athletic activities, there’s no pressure to win. There’s no points and you’re not judged. Meanwhile, studies have shown that round dancing allows you to become healthier while having fun. There’s also a great social aspect to round dancing since you’ll meet new people, and make new friends.

Do I have to memorize a long list of dance sequences?
No. Instead, dancers need only to learn the individual movements. The cuer then cues the movements that are put together to form the overall dance choreography allowing the dancers to enjoy many different dances. This easy to learn process also lets the dancer enjoy the talents of many different cuers around the world if they choose.
Is Round Dancing only for Seniors?
No. While many seniors are involved in dancing, it is because they began many years ago and are still enjoying it today as a fun and healthy activity. There are clubs for young adults and even teenagers.
Do I need to buy the fancy country and western clothes that is often associated with round dancing?
No. While many people who round dance often will buy that style of clothes, all you really need are clothes and (especially) shoes that are comfortable.
I don’t really like country music. Is that all I’ll hear?
No. Round dancing can be performed to any type of music which has a good beat. Songs from artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, George Strait, the Eagles, the Beatles and Beethoven can be used. Many clubs use “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” for Christmas-time round dancing.
What if I mess up?
Don’t worry. Even the most experienced dancers make mistakes sometimes. Everyone just laughs it off and continues on. Remember: there’s no points or judging. We’re just here to have a good time.
How can I learn more about the History of Square and Round Dancing and SWOSDA

As part of a 45th Anniversary project, the history of SWOSDA, from 1959-2009, was published in eight separate parts in the Bugle, SWOSDA’s official newsletter. You can read our history below.

Part 1 - The Beginning of Square Dancing in North America
Part 2 - Time to Organize
Part 3 - The First Full Year of Operation
Part 4 -Milestones and Memories 
Part 5 - More Milestones and Memories
Part 6 - Trillium Award Recipients
Part 7 - SWOSDA: Trillium Award Recipients 1996-2003
Part 8 - SWOSDA - Celebrating 45 Years 1959 - 2004

Five years later, the history was updated and can be read in one complete PDF here. We owe a debt of gratitude to Geoff and Rosemarie Edwards for their work on these histories. Our history continues to be written and we certainly accept articles, stories and photos of special events, for future generations to enjoy. Please send articles and photos to our current historians, Dorothy Dahm at the following address:

38 Kamps Cresc,
Tillsonburg, ON N4G 4Z3
(519) 842-9212

How can I recognize someone who is making significant contributions to our club?

The Executive is pleased to announce the SWOSDA Recognition Merit Award, a new award dedicated to recognizing any deserving SWOSDA club member(s) who significantly contribute to their dance Club. The nominees’ contributions shall be reflective of a continuing dedication to the normal activities of the Club.

The participation in the Club shall be a minimum of 15 years and one or more periods of time may be added to meet the requirement for the Recognition Merit Award.

The Award is limited to one couple or one individual per club per year and is presented at the April Annual General Meeting of Square and Round Dancers of South Western Ontario.

The deadline for submitting an application to SWOSDA is March 15.

You can read the complete criteria package here and then download and fill out the nomination form here.

Are there any other awards for SWOSDA members?

The Ontario Square and Round Dance Federation also offers the Trillium Merit or Long Service Awards. You can read the guidelines and application form here.

Our club is looking to recruit new members. Do you have any tips or hints?

Absolutely. SWOSDA has compiled a guide that will teach you how to approach recruiting new members and strategies to employ for successful recruitment. You can learn more here.

There is also a recruitment bursary. Information can be downloaded in PDF form and the application can be found here.

I’d love to become a cuer. Anything you can do to help?

You can take courses to become a round dance cuer. You can also apply for a bursary which will help offset the cost of attending a course. You can find out more about the bursaries, what is involved with applying and download the bursary application form here.

Are there round dance conventions?

Absolutely! Upcoming National Conventions can be found on the Canadian Square & Round Dance Society Website.

See the Events Menu tab.

NOTE - NO Dec. BUGLE - Next BUGLE published on Jan 5