Square Dancing Market Research
by John Brant
American and Australian attitudes about
Square Dancing may be similar.
relations and research company in Sydney, Australia conducted a survey of
Australians in New South Wales. The purpose was to find out what the current
perspective of the general public is of Square Dancing and how to improve it.
The results of that survey may be relevant to the attitudes of Americans. The
rise and decline of Square Dancing in both countries has been similar. It became
popular at the same time and now has primarily older people participating in
both countries. The survey results might be helpful in determining how to market
Square Dancing to the public.
The original survey found the following:
Only 11% of people had not heard of square dancing. However, their
understanding of what square dancing really is was poor. Most thought of it as a
"red neck" hillbilly activity.
41% had done something they thought was square dancing at school. Only 2%
saw it as good exercise.
67% of the population have a negative image of square dancing.
What they disliked (even if never tried it) Music 25%, too rigid traditional
24%, need a partner 15%
Of those surveyed, 45% said they would give it a go if at a suitable time
and near to them. In country areas this increased to 56%, and for 20 year old
University student 46% would try, general public 35%, and older people only
Preferred time for classes and social dancing: 70% early evening soon after
work (7-9PM). Only 15% of prospects are prepared to take it up between
Preferred venue: 70% prefer air-conditioned clubs that serve low cost food
(sports clubs and the like) Only 10% of prospects are happy with church halls,
and a further 20% are happy with school halls.
Of the 45% of the population prepared to Square Dance, by running the dances
from 8-11PM the percentage dropped to 7%, and by using church halls the part of
the population attracted to square dancing dropped down to 0.7%.
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