A folk dance with 4 couples, following the positioning for some Set Dances. Orientation is usually taken from the band with one couple backing the band, one facing and one on either side. The couple backing the band is usually 'Number 1' and those opposite 'Number 2' while those on the band's right and left are 3 and 4 respectively. Note that some callers number in a circle anticlockwise from Number 1 couple instead.
A Square Dance is now synonymous with Barn Dance, especially if there is an American flavour. The Western Square Dance has become the de rigeur social folk dance in the United States and is a particular type of American square dance with sequences and sometimes live innovative and improvised Calling.
Original square dances would have been eightsome reels such as Dull Sir John (See Playford). After travelling to France and returning to England, they had evolved into Quadrilles (Contredanse Anglais) and now form the basis of most square dances even though elements of many other dance forms are incorporated.