Square Dancing Day

Dancing Boots by Charlie O'Shields

Get ready to grab a partner and do-si-do for Square Dancing Day! English, Irish, and Scottish settlers brought square dancing to the United States. Our contribution was adding a caller to tell people exactly what to do and when because apparently this new land also caused memory loss. It’s not something you’ll find in any of the hot dance clubs, as any sustained popularity is entirely due to senior citizens.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to doodlewash for this day, so I opted for a pair of boots. These were called dancer boots for some reason, so I figured they would work. The were actually trucker dancer boots, because I didn’t have time to search thoroughly for references. On the sole of each boot is a silhouette of a naked woman like one might find on mud flaps, but the description assured me these are definitely meant for dancing. I used only Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue for this one over a base of Quinacridone Gold, positioning them upright to hide the artful, yet thoroughly tacky motif lurking underneath.

There was a time, years ago, when I actually tried something close to square dancing. It was in my early teens and I was part of a group called the Missouri Town Dancers, which actually performed contra-dancing, the great grandparent of square dancing. I don’t remember a single thing I learned and honestly think I was just in it for the hot apple cider they served at the end. That stuff was amazing! I know it wasn’t to meet girls as I didn’t suffer from that predilection, and most of the girls were over six times my age.

Later, while I was in college, I worked as an assistant to a real estate agent who wanted to learn ballroom dancing. She couldn’t get her husband to join her and asked if I would be her partner for the classes. I, of course, said yes as it was better than filing papers. The fact that I was getting paid to be someone’s private dancer didn’t strike me as odd until much later. At the time, I was perfectly content fox trotting between art classes, which was actually quite fun, while hoping she never asked me to join her in public.

There’s something to be said for knowing exactly what the steps are when it comes to dancing. As I got older and people wanted to “go out dancing” I was terrified as I’ve never been good at the free form stuff. In my defense, very few white men are and, like me, end up looking like a drunk yeti consumed with involuntary muscle spasms. Add the prospect of a crowd of people and I’d rather stay home, safe from yetis, with a civilized glass of wine.

I think i would have liked dancing back in the days when people did it as a way to come together as a community. This seems more attractive to me than the wild mating dances found in clubs today. Just people of all ages joining hands, smiling, and having fun. A friendly group of folks, waiting to hear the next move to be called while actually connecting with each other… one perfectly synchronized step at a time.

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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40 Comments
  1. Teri C 2 years ago

    Great boots! Ready for a good dance but not on your feet. 😄

    • Author

      Lol…thanks Teri! Glad you liked these boots! 😃They’re waiting for someone to step into and kick up their heels! 😉

  2. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    Beyond FABULOUS Doodlewash! The whole white man yeti thing is HILARIOUS!!!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Nicole! Glad ya liked the boots! 💕😃I honestly have no idea what weird thing will pop out of my mouth. Maybe this is why I also avoid parties! 😊hehe

  3. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    I would love to buy a pair of red cowgirl boots. ❤️ I’m not exactly sure why but they look like fun. Lol! I briefly took square dance lesson when I was a teen but I was taller than all the boys so I didn’t stick with it. 😉 My husband and I took several years of ballroom dancing about 10 years ago. It was quite fun and good exercise. But for some reason or another, we did not keep it up. Now our poor memories would not help us much. Enjoyed your post today, Charlie! Your boots look FAB! 😄

    • Author

      Awww thanks Jill! 💕😃Wow! That’s so cool that you guys took ballroom dancing lessons! It’s really fun, isn’t it?! And several years? You guys must be awesome!! You should do it again! And when you do…GET the red cowgirl boots!! That’s just a no-brainer!! 😉👍🏻

  4. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Love your boots, Charlie! I too square danced, folk danced and contra danced for many years. These days I’m not, but who knows it could happen again! 💃

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon!! 💕😃Wow! It’s so cool to hear that other folks did these dances. I haven’t met any yet! Proof once again that doodlewashers are just a cool folk! 😉 And I say… get those dancing shoes out…it needs to happen again! 😃

  5. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    This: artful, yet thoroughly tacky motif — has to be THE best thing I’ve read on the internet today! 😀 And drunk Yeti…hahahaha! Love your doodlewash; love your story. But, damn, cowboy boots (I don’t care if you call them dancing boots) give me the creeps. Sorry to anyone who likes them…LOL!

    • Author

      Yeah…I was getting a little creeped out thinking about the person who would respond to the ad for these! Haha! 😳 But glad you liked the doodlewash anyway! Lol And thanks on the story! I never know what the heck to write for these some days so things just pop out. Super glad I made you smile! 😃

  6. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    I took country western dancing lessons in Texas. This post reminds me of that. Those boots were made for dancing! They have character the way they’re turned. Leather soles are best for boot scooting.

    • Author

      Haha! That’s awesome, Cynthia! 💕😃It’s fun to find out there are so many doodlewashing dancers out there! Hehe! I bet you were killer boot scooter! 😉👍🏻

  7. itsmyhusbandandme 2 years ago

    Not sure whether to do a hoedown or a highland fling ?
    JP

  8. Jacob 2 years ago

    I love those boots! They look quite characterful from this angle – awesome colours. I’ve always had a soft spot for cowboy boots, for some reason. I’ve a friend who owns a pair – bright pink, they are. *Definitely* dancing boots! 😉

    How I regret that Square Dance Day has passed here, and I’m now too late to celebrate. I’ll have to wait until next year, or hope that a Morris Dancing Day comes up soon! Indeed, I share your views on public dancing (at least since going teetotal). I feel so out of place on a dancefloor and get flustered trying to decide which type of seizure to mime next.

    • Author

      Hehe! Thanks Jacob! 😃Hmmm…these posts reveal so much in everyone! Bright pink cowboy boots sound like they are ONLY made for dancing! 😉 lol I don’t think it’s too late if you still want to try a few steps at home just to let your square dance flag fly a bit. I tried a few steps I remembered just to see if I could do it and Phineas growled at me …most likely because he no longer recognized me and thought I was a deranged intruder. This is why you’ll never find me dancing in public. 😊

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Wow… there’s judgment for you! 😮 I’m sure it wasn’t that bad – Phineas is clearly an expert (another revelation), and thus, a harsh critic. He’d probably yodel for help if I started lumbering about before him!

  9. Kari 2 years ago

    I hate to admit it, but I lived in Texas most of my life and I don’t own a pair of boots! I always meant to but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on something I would rarely wear. But dancing, I love! And because I lived in Texas, I learned lots of line dancing. I’ve even tried some square dancing but it’s just not my thing. But if you were my partner.. Hehe..

    Your boots are so good! I love that you got a bit of green out of the gold and ultramarine.. It is my favorite color.. 😊

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Kari! 💕😃 Green is my favorite color too! And what?! You were allowed to continue living in Texas without ever owning a pair of boots?! 😳 I thought they kicked you out for stuff like that! lol I’ve line danced as well, anything where I know what the steps are works for me! Philippe and I are actually heading to Texas on Friday to visit my family. Should be a fun time! (But doubt they’ll be dancing! Hehe)

  10. Nancy 2 years ago

    Your boots are super cool! The only square dancing I’ve done was back in high school-one semester a year the boys and girls gym class would learn them. The boys hated it, the girls loved it! Personally I wasn’t very good and I still can’t do any dances that have actual steps.

    • Author

      Thanks Nancy!! 😃 Now see?! That’s the kind of gym class I would have enjoyed. They were always making me do things I despised. Who knows, maybe you were a late bloomer. You should put on some dancing shoes and try again! 😉👍🏻

      • Nancy 2 years ago

        It was the only part of gym class I liked too, but that didn’t mean I was any good at it!

  11. Jodi 2 years ago

    What a sweet take on dancing. I never thought of it that way…. Such wisdom Charlie O – along with amazing talent! Awesome boots!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Jodi! ❤️😃😊😊 I really had no idea where this post would go. This was the only real option today as it’s also Aura Awareness Day and I had no close what to doodlewash for that. Hehe

  12. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Emmylou Harris regularly dances in shows in her cowboy boots…so I think it was a good choice of motif.
    Back in the dark ages, when I was in elementary school, we had dancing in our gym classes…square dancing included. Don’t remember a bit of it. They also taught us to foxtrot! Now who does that these days? (K)

    • Author

      Yay! Thanks Kerfe for supporting my choice❤️😃…hehe…I wasn’t sure what the heck to do for this one! It’s cool that you got some steps in back then. I bet you were awesome! And I really think we should go back to this form of dancing. It’s so much more fun!! 👍🏻😃

  13. jmnowak 2 years ago

    I had a pair of gorgeous camel-tan carved cowboy boots once, but I never danced in them. I wore them when specifically visiting dusty/muddy farms, with my jeans tucked in the top of them, my leather and solid cowboy buckled belt, checked shirt (what else…!) and a leather hat made by my late brother, a leathergoods maker. I was slim then! Did I look ‘good’…not sure…lol, but I had fun wearing these items. As for square dancing, I did some of that in primary school years, and enjoyed very much. I think I’d like line dancing. Love those boots, Charlie!

    • Author

      That’s sounds impressive, I’m sure you looked stunning in those boots! Too bad you never took them out dancing. They sound brilliant for that! 😉hehe And thanks!! I’m glad you liked the doodlewash! ❤️😃

  14. davisbrotherlylove 2 years ago

    Hi Charlie, Love the boots. I lived in Kansas City for a couple of years and played Irish fiddle at dances. There was a place called the Foolkiller, but I imagine that has been defunct for 30+ years. It was a great time. The boots really fit!
    thanks for the post!
    jack

    • Author

      Thanks!! 😃That’s so cool Jack!! I didn’t know you played fiddle! I used to do that as well. And yep, Foolkiller is indeed defunct which is sad because it sounded like a really fun venue!

  15. Cathy Tenzo 2 years ago

    Love the boots. Square dancing is not just for old people and it’s not always traditional. I belong to a gay square dance club (open to all) and we’re all ages and we mix it up with the music and have fun. Gay square dance is popular across the country–it’s usually faster, has more variety, and no dress code. Here’s a promo video my club put out for some modern examples https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PZyqyNudHY

    • Author

      Thanks Cathy! 💕😃And yay to know you’re a square dancer! That’s so cool! That video makes it look like tons of fun…and yep… definitely more of an update! 😉👍🏻Awesome!

  16. Cathe 2 years ago

    Charlie your boots are wonderful, brilliant color too. As for dancing, good to give it a try…plenty of dancing in my kitchen, just the way I like it!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! 💕😃Glad ya liked my boots! Well…they’re not mine actually and probably won’t be, but glad you liked the doodlewash. Yay to dancing in the privacy of your own kitchen…that’s far more my speed! Lol😊

  17. Tori 2 years ago

    Oh Charlie you never fail to make me smile 🙂 I went to my first barn dance last year and it was great fun (admittedly a great deal of alcohol had been consumed!). The best part was seeing my son and his teen friends giving it a go, very funny!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Tori! ❤️😃 And a barn dance sounds like a roaring good time! I bet that was equally fun to watch. Especially with all the alcohol… quite a show I’m sure! 😉Lol

  18. Carol King 2 years ago

    LOVE these cowboy boots. I used to have red ones a long, long time ago. But while I had them, I loved them.

    • Author

      Thanks Carol!! 💕😃I bet you looked great in those! Red boots sound cool…I’ve only ever owned brown ones a long, long time again when I owned them. I should have expanded my horizons s bit! 😉hehe

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