News! We now have the technology to assist those dancer who may
have difficulty in hearing. This will enable them to hear all the
calls and cues while square or round dancing with complete freedom of
movement and no background noise.
subject and the equipment may be referred to using a variety of
terms. These include:
• sound enhancement;
• hearing enhancement; or
• assistive listening/hearing devices (ALD's).
is Sound Enhancement / Hearing Enhancement?
is the use of existing technology to provide pure sound from the
caller/cuer's PA system to the dancer without any outside noise or
distortion. This can enable dancers to hear better than others in
the hall. One can dance at the back of the hall and hear as well
as those directly in front of a speaker. It is similar to wearing
glasses, when it becomes hard to see!
is made difficult as a result of a number of factors:
• large halls, major dances and conventions
• hall acoustics
• PA system settings (volume, tone settings)
• speaker placement
• distance between the speaker and the dancer
• ambient background noises i.e. shuffling feet, clapping hands,
talking, fans, etc.
• dancers own hearing ability
system consists of a transmitter and receivers. The transmitter
is connected to the caller/leader's turntable/amplifier and sends out a
radio signal. The second part is a small receiver (2"x3") that is
worn by the dancer clipped on a belt or placed in a pocket. Sound
is routed from the receiver to the dancer's ear by a cord. The
sound is delivered to the ear through an earplug, personal earpiece,
headphones, etc. The receiver has its own individual volume
control that can be set to suit the dancer. Dancers have complete
freedom of movement and can "Wheel and Deal" without a hitch.
There are NO limits to the number of receivers that can be used to
receive the sound signal from one transmitter. The dancer wears
the associated hearing equipment that enables them to listen to the
pure sound. This can be by using:
• single ear bud (in good ear)
• double ear bud (one in each ear)
• headphone (walkman-like headphones, but for mono sound)
• neckloop (used for those with hearing aids with a telephone or
system enables the dancer to hear the sound of the calls/cues and
associated music directly, as if they were standing beside the
caller/cuer and with no background noise. Imagine, no more
excuses for not hearing the call/cue! Dancers having difficulty
in performing movements may not be able to hear the instructions - they
may benefit from the use of sound enhancement equipment.
of this equipment can enable people:
• with hearing difficulties to dance longer;
• to continue and not drop out when they are unable to hear the
• who think they would be unable to hear to start to dance;
• who are older and reluctant to return the activity; and
• who do not attend large dance because they won't be able to hear in a
Aids may not be the solution
aids amplify all the background room sounds in addition to music and
the voice of the caller/cuer.
teaching seniors may find the acquisition and availability of this S.E.
in attracting both new and former dancers.
- Over 50 % of people over the age of 50 have a significant
enhancement equipment can use a variety of different types of equipment
• Hard-wired - not applicable to our activity;
• Audio induction loop - permanently installed wires around a room -
not complimentary to our activity;
• Infra red - a line of sight signal and not applicable to our
dancing activity; and
• FM radio signal - excellent sound quality, not easily obstructed by
walls, posts, sunlight, dancer
movement or fluorescent lights and has a range of 300-400 feet.
- wideband - the frequencies adopted for use in the
square/round dance activity
- narrowband - used for public hearing signal and not
compatible with the square dance
frequency Manufacturers include Phonic Ear,
are several manufacturers of wideband sound/hearing enhancement
equipment used by the square/round
dance activity. These include:
Sennheiser and others.
are urged to obtain a trial use of the equipment and seek the input
from other users of these
receivers have a single channel and other have 4 or 6 channels.
Some single channel receivers
can be tuned easily to other frequencies used by the activity as well
as the public narrow band
frequency (see below). In addition, check to ensure the receivers
will hold their frequencyand are readily serviced.
assess your individual needs, obtain a copy of a listing of the
facilities offering public hearing
enhancement in your area.
You may be able to use this receiver at many other public facilities
out the sound enhancement equipment available in your area!
Contact local suppliers.
frequency for hearing enhancement/assistive listening devices in Canada
and the US is
MHz or Channel 26. This is the frequency used in some public
buildings, churches,theaters, movies, municipal buildings, etc.
receivers have the ability to be adjusted by dancers to receive the
narrowband public sound enhancement
frequency. This ability may be a consideration by dancers in
determining the receiver
they may wish to acquire.
/ Round Dance Frequencies
Canadian and US governments have designated frequencies 72-76MHZ for
use for Hearing Assistance
The International Association of Square Dance Callers has designated
frequencies for use as part of the square dance activity. These
have been readilyaccepted and used in Canada.
primary frequency - 72.9 MHz; and
secondary frequency - 72.1 MHz.