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St. Charles, IL
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St. Charles, IL
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St. Charles Park District

Intermediate Round Dance Lessons

Fox Valley Mixers is sponsoring intermediate level (Phase 3 and continuing) Round Dance Lessons taught by Howard and Anna Hoffman at the Baker Community Center, 101 South Second Street (Rt. 31), St. Charles, IL, on Sunday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. beginning September 22, 2019.

The cost is just $60 per person per 10-week session.  If you know basic Phase 2 round dances and would like to see if you can join our group, contact Chuck at 847-841-1006 or by email at  For more information please contact Bobbi or Chuck at 847-841-1006 or by email at

Round dancing is a type of social ballroom dancing in which the steps for each dance have been choreographed precisely to the music.

Each figure and movement has a name, and a good cuer announces the steps just in time for the couples to dance them.  The couples dance in a large circle around the room, sometimes with a second circle inside the outer one if the dance floor is crowded.  The forward movement of each circle is counter-clockwise.  Every couple is doing the exact same figure at the same time, dancing in unison. 

  Round Dancing at Baker

The choreography of most dances repeats itself usually two or three times.  If you make a mistake the first time, you just keep going and can generally do it right the next time.

These two dances are examples of intermediate level round dancing. "Any Dream Foxtrot" and "I Just Called Rumba" are both Phase III+1 level dances.  This means that there is one Phase IV figure in each dance but the rest are Phase III.  Click on the names to view the videos.

Any Dream Foxtrot
Any Dream Foxtrot
I Just Called Rumba
I Just Called Rumba
Howard and Anna Hoffman
Howard and Anna Hoffman

Round dancing is a social activity that is for fun rather than competition.  Many people find it much easier to learn and to do than ballroom dancing, although the music, rhythms, and most of the steps are often the same. 

The man is not required to think of the next movement while dancing.  He is also not required to be a strong leader, nor is the woman required to be excellent at following.  Both of them hear the cues just before the beat of the music when they need to dance the steps. 

This fact, along with the fact that all the other dancers are doing the same steps at the same time, makes it much easier to dance to the beat of the music than in ballroom dancing.  It is also much easier to avoid bumping into other dancers since everyone is dancing the same steps in the same direction.

Hooked on Swing
Hooked on Swing
There are many YouTube videos of round dancing online.  "Hooked on Swing" is a fast single swing Phase IV dance that is a lot of fun to do. "White Sport Coat," cued by John Toll, is a Phase IV +1 foxtrot that many find easier to learn because of its slower smooth rhythm.  Click on the names to view the videos.
White Sport Coat
White Sport Coat

Round dancing classes normally begin with the waltz and two step, the two rhythms that have many of the easiest steps to learn.  Students then move on to more advanced waltzes and other rhythms, including the foxtrot, cha cha, rumba, jive, quick step, tango, slow two step, and others.

Most square dances begin with half an hour of round dances, followed by a tip of square dancing.  A tip is two dances, usually one a patter call, where the caller does a sequence of spoken calls that lead the dancers through intricate and unpredictable patterns with background music to provide a basic beat.  The second call of the tip is usually a singing call, where the caller sings a popular song with the calls interspersed between the phrases and the emphasis is on dancing to the music.  Usually two round dances are cued between each tip, typically one at an easier level and the other at a more difficult level.  Once beginning round dancers have learned to do at least one dance, they have the opportunity to practice it at most of the square dances in the area.  Most cuers have a request list for attendees at the dance to list the round dances they would like to do.

Square dances and round dances, including lessons and new dancer dances, are great places to meet people and make new friends.

Round dancers can choose the levels at which they most enjoy dancing.  Many are also square dancers who enjoy also being able to do the easier level round dances between some of the tips at square dances.  Others prefer to continue or return to round dance classes, learning the intermediate level of round dancing as well.  Still others enjoy advanced classes to learn increasingly difficult dances and movements.  As they become more experienced, most dancers work on improving their styling.  The photos below were taken at round dance parties held at St. Andrews Country Club, West Chicago, IL.  Most dancers prefer to dress up for these parties.  Watching the best round dancers in the area dance some of the beautiful more difficult round dances is almost like watching "Dancing with the Stars."

Heimann Party 06-11-2006   Heimann Party 05-16-2004

Heimann Party 06-11-2006   Heimann Party 06-11-2006

Heimann Party 06-11-2006   Heimann Party 06-11-2006

Heimann Party - 05-16-2004   Heimann Party - 06-11-2006

For information contact Bobbi or Chuck at 847-841-1006 or by email at

We look forward to seeing you soon!


The Fox Valley Mixers Square Dance Club Is an
Associate Group of the St. Charles Park District
  Square dancing has been called friendship set to music.
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This page last updated August 14, 2019.

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