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Idaho’s dance has people do-si-do-ing around the state


Did you know that Idaho has an official dance? In 1989, the Idaho legislature designated the square dance as the American Folk Dance of Idaho. 

“Two of the most commonly cited ancestors to modern square dance are the English Morris dance and the French Quadrille,” the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office notes. “It is the Quadrille that most point to as the granddaddy of our modern square dance.” The word quadrille means square dancing in French.

[Inside Idaho: The story of how the state song won its way to fame]

During the dance, a caller directs dancers as they do a series of footwork and dance in figures – switching partners with different cues. 

Idaho isn’t the only state with the square dance as its official dance – 22 other states have adopted it as well. 

The Idaho State Federation of Square & Round Dance Clubs Inc. was formed by various clubs across the state that work to promote square dancing. From June 10-12, the federation will host the Idaho State Square and Round Dance Festival in Sandpoint at the Bonner County Fairground. 

Click here for more information on the event. And to see what square dancing looks like, watch here.

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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