Promenade (dance move)

This article is about the dance move. See also the promenade position in ballroom dance. For other uses see Promenade (disambiguation)

Promenade is a basic dance move in a number of dances such as English Country Dance, contra dance, and square dance. The name comes from the French word for “walk”, and is a good basic description of the dance action.

Dance position and handholds

When executing the move, partners stand side-by-side in a promenade position, and act as a single unit. Customarily the man (or gent) stands to the left of the lady, his right hip touching or almost touching her left hip. Note that this promenade position is not the same as that promenade position defined in ballroom dances.

They might take any of a number of different promenade handholds. These are generally determined by the specific dance or local dance traditions. Some of these different handholds are:

The Promenade in contra dance

In contra dancing, promenades are used to move a couple to the opposite side of the set. The gent may choose to spin the lady under his arm at the end as a flourish.

The Promenade in modern Western square dance

In square dancing, and in particular modern Western square dance, when Promenade is called it is understood to be a "Couples Promenade" involving all four couples. The couples assume a promenade position, each turn to the right as a unit, and walk counter-clockwise around the ring. If not specified how far to walk, they walk to the gent’s home position, and then each couples turn as a unit to face into the center of the set. If close to home (¼ of the way or less), couples promenade a complete tour of the ring.

The caller can also specifically say “Promenade Home” or “Promenade All the Way” (or other variations on the wording) with the same result.

The gent might twirl the lady under his arm at the end of the move as a flourish. If the partners are ¼ of the ring or less away from his home position, then they promenade a full circle around to get back to his home.

The caller may fractionalize the call by specifically requiring the dancers to promenade only ¼, ½, or ¾ of the way around the ring.

The caller may also designate a specific couple or specific couples to promenade.

The caller may also require the dancers to continue promenading without stopping at the home position, by calling something like “Promenade – Don’t stop or slow-down”. This will be a lead-in to a new call, whereas a “Promenade Home” is considered the end of a square dance sequence in most cases.

Other calls in the Promenade family of calls

There is one other call in the Promenade family as defined by Callerlab, the largest international association of square dance callers.

Variations on the Promenade

The caller may require the dancers to travel clockwise around the ring by calling a Wrong Way Promenade (as couples) or Single Wrong Way Promenade (as individuals).

A Scatter Promenade is a gimmick call where all the couples on the dance floor promenade randomly, until they are typically instructed to make either a group of four with another, usually closest, couple or a group of eight with three other nearby couples. This functions as a social mixer forcing dancers to form new squares.

A Star Promenade is an entirely different call but nevertheless part of the family. It consists of four dancers in the center of the set making a star configuration, with their centermost arms up like the spokes of a wheel, or the ribbons of a maypole. They walk forward counter-clockwise. Their outermost arms are wrapped around a partner’s waist who walks alongside of them.

See also

External links

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