For the enjoyment of our seniors and betterment of our community

Square Dancing 101

Howdy Pardner!

Mira Mesa Senior Center (MMSC) has a square dancing class and it is fun!

Square dancing is a wholesome social activity people can enjoy into their 90’s. It is called “square dancing” because four couples (eight dancers) start arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. Dancers react moment to moment to instructions from the “caller” while moving in time to the music. Today’s callers often take popular songs you might never think of as a square-dance song and weave the square dance calls into the lyrics.

Part of the fun and challenge of square dancing is the mixture of physical movement and mental agility as dancers properly react to the changing calls. Recovering from occasional mistakes by dancers is also part of the fun.

Square dancing lessons are Tuesday afternoons.

  • No charge to join in.
  • 1:15 – 2:00 pm: Newcomer/Beginner’s (basic) class. Check-in begins 10 minutes prior.
  • If you don’t have a partner, that’s ok. We pair up partner-less dancers and form as many complete squares as possible. Not sure? Come and watch.
  • 2:00 – 3:30 pm: “Red Dot” class for folks that began learning to square dance with our inaugural class in early July. (Beginners are welcome to stay and watch.)
  • “Angels” are always welcome.

Our instructor is Ken Shelby. Ken has square danced for 50 years and has been calling dances for 5 years for San Diego’s Ruffle ‘n Beaus Square Dance Club. He is a member in good standing with CALLERLAB, the International Association of Square Dance Callers. Contact Ken at

Stop by on Tuesday afternoon and see what the smiles and laughter are all about. MMSC is at 8460 Mira Mesa Blvd. in the one-story building behind the Veteran Memorial flag pole, directly across the street from Mira Mesa Senior High School.



To Learn More About Square Dancing, We Suggest:

CALLERLAB, the International Association of Square Dance Callers, (


Web sites for the three San Diego County Square Dance Associations:


San Diego’s Ruffle ‘n Beaus Square Dance Club,

(Ken Shelby’s club.)


Video Square Dance Lessons – Mainstream Introduction This link leads to a series of 15 instructional videos with dancers performing basic calls. (MMSC classes are not sequenced to these videos.)


Square Dance Caller: The Legend of Larry Ward

A documentary on a legendary square dance caller with historical information.


Howard Richman, Square Dance Caller

This guy is fun to listen to and to watch.


Musical and Mathematical Design of Square Dance Singing Calls Part 1 – Guy L. Steele Jr.

An interesting lecture with square dance demonstrations.


Full pdf available here