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Article 031706 - Lets Get The Teens Back


  Lets talk the issue of Preteens and Teen square dancers, or should I say the lack of them.

  I know there are some very great people out there working with kids, but are frustrated with the small turn outs.  This article is for new ideas.  Please remember I have the greatest respect for the folks out there now working to get Teen in square dancing.

Here we go:

 Lets get rid our old beliefs and ideas of how square dancing is suppose to be, and think about what it could be,

Lets start with the name "Square Dancing".  For the kids sake, let call it "Western Team Dancing".  Much cooler name for the kids to tell their friends.  Western dancing is popular, the word "Team" is used in the work environment and the parents will relate to that.  Remember, teen dancers have parents, you must sell to them too.  The term "Dancing" is on a big comeback due to the popularity of Ball Room Dancing on TV.

So now the name is fixed, what's next?

  Let the kids wear what they want.  Just be glad they came in the first place.  Over time, they will want to change to the proper shirts, Dresses and shoes.  But do not even talk about it for months.

  Next Solution:

  No Round Dancing, set up line dance lessons during the breaks.  Get the Country Rock and Roll running, keep the atmosphere active all the time.  You can introduce round dance at some later date.  This is a must.

 The Caller:

  Do not even think about those cute old songs we know.  If it has not been on the Radio in the last 5 years, then keep it in the box.  You must be more that just a good caller.  You need to be a entertainer, not just for the Teens, but for the ones on the side line also.  Dress hip, sing wild and move around on the stage like a rock star.  Tell jokes, make fun of the silly names we have for the moves and feel free to make up your own stuff.

  Teach the moves your way, in any order.  Do not follow tradition.  Follow your heart.  If the kid are not smiling on the first day, then they are gone.  They need to go home that day all hipper and gitty and counting the days to the next lesson.

  The Floor:

  Do not have the advisor wear Square dance cloths.  That will not help anything.  Over time, that can change.  Do not teach any moves like Swing.  Do only moves that do not make the kids get to close to each other.  Over time that will change.  Also, do not rotate the partners.  Let them keep there partner the whole time.  They can get a new one after the next Break (Western Line Dance Lesson}.  If they keep going to the same person all night, please leave them alone.  They are not ready to dance with strangers.

 Where to dance?

  I understand it is getting hard to find places to dance for Teens and Adults, due to the cost.  My answer to that is - Charge more.  In fact, I think all Callers should turn it into a business and actually make a profit.  Then you would see some real customer service. Read About Income.

 How do we get the kid through the door?

  Well here we go, sounds like marketing to me.  Just like a real business, you need to plan and work very hard.  That's why a Caller ran club will always do better.  They have drive and a wallet to watch out on.  They may even want to make a nice Caller fee.  And that's a good thing.  Volunteers will never have the drive it will take to do good marketing.  They have nothing to lose. 

  I will stay focused on Teen on this article and address what needs to take place.

  There should only be one representative for your first mission.  He or she should look like business, act like business and understand the community and it's problems and concern with today's kids.

  What ever city the club is in, then that is the school district you need to work with 6 months in advance.  Not one or two schools, I mean the administration office.



  Article still in work !!


By Rob Scribner

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