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On The Square Dance Uniform–Petticoats and Pouf

A funny scene in the movie “Enchanted” shows a princess stuck in a doorway–her long petticoats are too full to squeeze through. Suddenly, though, they spring through the door, catapulting the princess into the next room. This movie, the story of a fairy-tale princess stranded  in downtown New York City, courtesy of an evil witch, includes many scenes of the princess in floor-length poufy gowns. (I recommend the movie–it’s hilarious and promotes traditional family values regarding marriage.)

The first time I wore a petticoat to a square dance, I felt ridiculous. Fortunately, I was able to walk through doorways. But when I sat down, the hem of my skirt popped up nearly to my chin, thanks to my petticoat. (Club members gave me the petticoat when my lessons were almost over. Was that really a favor?) Petticoats took some getting used to.

I’m glad that square dancing has embraced prairie skirts. When I went to nationals in Wichita, Kansas, a tightly twisted prairie skirt took up little space in the one suitcase I could affordably take on the airplane. The skirt expanded my wardrobe without adding a second suitcase. These longer skirts have nice lines and flow as a person dances.

On hot summer evenings in a non-air conditioned building, shorts or capri pants are practical for square dancing. I appreciate that option. And wearing jeans at lessons is non-threatening for new dancers.

A person can square dance in any kind of garb. But as was pointed out in a workshop at the 59th nationals on growing clubs, non-square dancers love to see our official outfits. I would hate to see square dancing abandon the poufy petticoats and frilly skirts and blouses that have become a sort of uniform for square-dancing women.

When I watch square dancers spin and twirl, the skirts and petticoats add beauty to the movements. They contribute grace, color and  texture. Today I enjoy wearing petticoats. No, I don’t quite feel like a princess, but maybe like something close.

Here are links to some of my favorite sites for square dance attire. Ladies, you will be amazed at some of the skirts and dresses!:
Carrie B’s in Portland, Ore.
Grand Square Dance Clothes
Brantley’s Western Supply
Mondiki
Petticoat Junction in Everett, Wash.
CaLyCo Crossing
Suzi’s Ruffles
Square Dance Clothes
Fun and Fancy Originals
Texas Rose LLC

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