Friday, January 15, 2010

Square through four

New Moon yesterday - how the year is flying! Molly offers some great tips on Clearing while you're cleaning - great to combine with New Moon (Would be easier if I could find my floor, lol!! But I am making progress & want to implement some of these ideas!)

I've been doing Lots of dancing - ballet, ecstatic, & I finished the 'basic' Square dance lessons on Monday! Our class 'graduates' this Saturday - & I feel much more 'at home' with the calls! One of my best friends through grade & High School & my college roommate both took up Square dancing in the late 70s, when I began studying Ballet. My roommate became one of the few female callers, & called for several clubs over the years. She's now 'retired' from calling, but still dances.
For about 15 years I took ballet classes several times a week, did some point work (beginning that when I was in my mid 30s!), was in performances with our local studio, & enjoyed it immensely. For awhile, the whole family took ballet, & this last winter, all my grandkids (& my son & dau-in law) performed in the Nutcracker.
Over the years, I added other dance forms - belly dance, Ecstatic (free form), Dances of Universal Peace, studied & teach Tai Chi/Qigong, & love them all.

I began taking ballroom classes about 10 years ago, & learned more about 'partner' dance, as much of what I'd done had been more core or individual work. With the ballet background, I was often chosen to help the teacher demonstrate, & that was fun too!
Though we have a lovely ballroom, dances haven't been well attended, & are rarely offered, & dances in other locations are often fundraisers & quite expensive, so there's not much opportunity to practice what we're learning! And while the teachers recommend 'rotating' partners during lessons, which gives the beginning dancers opportunities to practice with more experienced dancers; at actual dances, it's much rarer to dance with more than a few folks, as most couples dance with each other.

Then a couple of years ago, my Ballroom buddy Steven invited me to try Round Dance, basically, ballroom done with a 'cuer' who gives direction, so everyone does the same moves. Fascinating! It takes the pressure off the 'lead' to think of patterns. Our cuer teaches two step, waltz & cha-cha, & we took each series. Having grown up in the Grange, it was fun to go out to the hall for the Round dance lessons, & I went to a dance or two, but with only a sketchy memory of grade school Square dance, I sat out half the dances, which alternate square 'tips' & round sets.

Steven wasn't interested in Square Dancing, & is busy with the ballroom (which he manages), so last fall, I decided to join the Square Dance lessons on my own. (& invited a gal friend who used to dance to join the lessons mid-stream)
Our club hosts dances twice a month, & area clubs offer 'New Dancer Dances' (& our members car-pool to attend) around graduation (they offer classes around the same time); so I've gone to a couple of dances already - & rarely sat out!! One of the 'rules' is that NEW DANCERS NEED TO DANCE! So the more experienced dancers dance with us!! There were enough dancers at our last dance for 6 squares (48 dancers on the floor, with another 8-10 sitting out!) & I only sat out a few dances! I was asked by THREE different guys (inc. a teen who took the lessons with us) to dance when I did sit down!!
The club also has 'experienced' clothes sales, so I've picked up several skirts (remember tie skirts?? They make a great square dance skirt, with a bit of eyelet sewed to the bottom) & one outfit; usually $5-10 per piece, & several soft petticoats. A number of the gals dance in 'prairie' skirts - about calf length, & not as full as the shorter skirts. My galfriend also got a skirt & top - pink Seminole style patchwork - lovely!!

Yikes!! It's almost 11, time to join my Red Hat sisters for lunch (& get all dolled up!!)
My most recent project is starting some socks - bamboo & superwash wool!! Several of my friends have been knitting socks, so I got a book from the library with a likely sock pattern, some of my mom's kneedles, & (sigh) another trip to the yarn stash store, to choose something yummy to knit with - I'm calling the colour 'nutmeg' (BBQ sauce doesn't roll off the tongue quite right, . . . ) cheers, babuskas!


blueviolet said...

You've been busy with all of that dancing! I used to rally love square dancing!

Ruth said...

oo - I would like to find some bamboo wool!

Genie Sea said...

I love you energy, Dia! You capture with such zest and enthusiasm. It's infectious! :)