Lift Off & Float on Down to Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Mary Klootwyk

That was the theme for the 20th USA West Square Dance Convention held in Albuquerque, N.M., July 26 through 29, known as simply the best square dance in the West! The USA West Square Dance Convention had its beginning in 1997 and is held in the United States when the National Square Dance Convention is not being held in one of the 13 Western states.

More than 470 dancers attended the convention, including eight from SaddleBrooke Squares, 37 from Arizona, 423 from 17 surrounding states, three from British Columbia, and one from Hawaii, and the callers came from nine different states! The convention included all levels of square dancing, line dancing, contra dancing, round dancing, dance workshops, dance exhibitions, educational seminars, and a variety of vendors—everything under one roof!

In a relaxed yet upbeat setting with popular music, people are linking arms, sashaying, and dancing their way to longer, healthier, and happier times! Dancers also had the opportunity to meet new people and develop strong social ties, which contributes to self-esteem and a positive outlook. The energy put into square dancing has an effect on the heart rate, blood pressure, rate of calorie burn, and cholesterol profile.

Square dancing today is far from the grade school PE class kids remember mostly for the trauma of having to learn an old-fashioned dance and touch hands with the opposite sex. This kind of square dancing is organized and fast-paced, and everyone on the dance floor blends naturally together. It’s more than just dancing, as the caller is responsible for “calling” out the square dance moves. The callers do not just stand on the stage yelling at dancers. They deliver rhythmic and upbeat instructions resembling more of a singer than an announcer. The dancers don’t know what the next call will be, making every dance a new challenge for each group of eight dancers. This is what makes square dancing so full of fun and variety that stimulates your concentration and reactions. Never a dull moment!

Dancers left the convention with newfound friends and plans to attend the 2025 USA West Square Dance Convention in Spokane, Wash., July 31 through Aug. 2, 2025.

For more information on how you can join in this great activity, visit

Live Lively—Square Dance!