Information for New Dancers
If you are wondering whether you would 'fit in,' please feel at ease. We are a very diverse group. Members represent a wide range of ages and types, male and female, LGBT+ and straight alike. No partner is required; you will dance with many different partners during your classes. All are welcome.
Physically speaking, a dancer should be able to walk at a brisk pace for 3 minutes. You may be surprised at how much aerobic exercise one can get from square dancing. It's a great way to rack up those steps on your pedometer or fitness tracker!
Modern Square Dancing is nothing like you remember from grade school. It is upbeat and energetic without a single banjo or haybale in sight. Square dancing is fun for all ages and is a great alternative to the bars for the LGBT+ community. It is a highly social activity, one of the few where everyone in the community can literally all join hands to dance, and the first night of lessons is often the first time we meet people who are about to become life long friends.
Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions (with answers) and some Testimonials from current members about what makes Suncoast Squares special. For those who want to Dig Deeper, you'll also find explanation about how we fit in with the larger LGBT+ square dancing community below.
Beginning classes are normally held twice per year, typically starting in the late Summer/early Fall and then again sometime after the New Year. Please check our Class Schedule for updates about exact start dates and times.
For additional information on classes and dances, please contact Dan Mutschler 678-656-2523.
FAQ -- Frequently Asked
Questions and Answers
Do I have to wear square dance clothes?
No. This is Florida; we mostly dance in t-shirts and shorts. It is most important that you wear something comfortable to dance in. Square dancing takes a lot of energy! Also, good shoes, preferably with soles that will slide, are a must.
What if I don’t like country music?
Modern Square Dancing is danced to all sorts of music, and especially at an LGBTQ+ club, you will be dancing to Disco, world music, house, Salsa, old show tunes, and top 40 hits.
Do I have to bring a dance partner?
Not at all. Singles are always welcome! There is always someone to dance with at Suncoast Squares!
But I’m not gay!
That’s okay! Everyone is welcome! We have lots of members, both singles and couples, who are not LGBT.
Would I fit in age-wise?
Everyone 18 and over is welcome. We have recently had members from the ages of 19 to 90 dancing at the same time on the dance floor. Dancing keeps you young at any age. We have had people bring their older teenagers to take the class with them and it was a great family activity for them.
What if I don’t have time to take lessons?
Well, Modern Square Dancing takes about 20 weeks to learn. It is not hard, it just takes a lot of repetition to make responding to the calls automatic. Because we want everyone to be able to dance with us at least some of the time, you can learn a few moves and dance with us during one of our annual Open Houses to see if you like it. More than a hundred of us decided we had the time, maybe you will too!
Testimonials from Club Members
Suncoast Squares has been an amazing find for me to expand my social circle since I moved to St. Petersburg three years ago without knowing anyone. The weekly gatherings have been a wonderful outlet to dance, laugh and get some exercise. I always walk out after dancing with a smile on my face.
I love the dancing -- it is much more active and fun, with lots of whooping, hollering and flourishes, than at traditional clubs. However, it is the group itself that brings me back week after week and year after year. They are the most kind group I have ever met, and everyone is always welcomed with open arms and bright smiles.
The dancing is super fun, and the people are very much like a big family. I moved here from San Francisco, and now many Club members are my best friends. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about how you will take to dancing. People are very helpful, and the purpose of the group is to enjoy each other and the camaraderie as well as to have fun dancing.
Want to Dig Deeper?
Learn What the Organization is About
A Global Community of
LGBTQ+ Square Dance Friends
Isn't square dancing, well, "square?" Thousands of LGBTQ+ people
have changed that!
We are one of more than 50 LGBTQ+ square dance clubs around North America and overseas that make up the IAGSDC. After just one season at Suncoast Squares, you will be able to travel to any of these clubs and jump right in, have fun and make new friends.
One of the most exciting aspects of LGBTQ+ square dancing is our annual IAGSDC Convention. Each year more than 1000 dancers from multiple countries get together in a different city for a long Fourth of July (or sometimes Memorial Day) weekend of fun, dancing and hijinks. Many of our Club members travel to Convention together and often vacation in the vicinity of such cities as Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago and Palm Springs where recent Conventions have been held.
Many clubs like ours host annual dance Fly-ins. These are usually three-day weekends of dancing that provide the opportunity to travel a little further for a relatively inexpensive mini-vacation. We are distinguished in the IAGSDC community for our renowned four-day long Fly-In that concludes with a day dancing at the beach!
When you think of square dancing, you might think of hillbillies stomping around in a barn shouting "Do-si-do," starched shirts and stiff dresses, and mandatory hours spent in junior high school. Well, it ain't like that any more! We don't dance in a barn, we don't wear silly clothes (well, only those we think are fun!), and the less said about junior high school in any respect, the better!
LGBTQ+ square dancing is one of the hottest new social activities in our community. From its beginning with a few dozen people and a handful of square dance clubs in the early 1980s, LGBTQ+ square dance has grown into a phenomenon with thousands of dancers in clubs throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and even Japan!
Square dancing has come a long way since its origin as the American traditional folk dance. We have made it our own, bringing a level of excitement and energy to the dance floor that is almost unheard of in the square dance community at large. Square dancing is a great way to get away from the pressures of the day, get some exercise, and just relax and unwind. We dance to a wide variety of music, from pop hits to disco to soul to country (don't even try to tell us there's anything wrong with a Dolly Parton tune) to show tunes and more.
We are at the vanguard of introducing new trends that consistently keep modernizing Modern Square Dance. Square dance calls are governed by the international body known as Callerlab, and members of our IAGSDC sit on the international Callerlab leadership board.
Suncoasters visiting our sister IAGSDC Club in Atlanta for a rollicking dance.