I've been square dancing for about 5 months now, & our class (inc several teens) just 'graduated' in January. (Here I am with my certificate & our teacher /caller, Leonard)
I'm still getting the mind-body connection, making the leap between what's called & what I'm supposed to DO - after several years excelling at ballroom, I am humbled by my many 'oops!' moments - when I'm headed left & should be going right, or I'm facing out & should be facing in, . . . or not moving when I should be . . .
Our club dances the 1st & 3rd Saturdays, & I was working on talking myself out of going Saturday (classes ended several weeks ago, 'everyone' else got to attend Mid-Winter the weekend before - with lots of clubs, classes, demonstations & dancing - while I was hanging out with my grandkids . . . I was rather tired) when my college roommate Charlotte phoned, telling me she & her husband were coming to our dance!! YEA!
Now I need to go back a few (mumbldy mumble) years:
Feb 1968, college 'priview' weekend at OCE (now WOU) in Monmouth. I came over the mtns with my dad, & Char was there from the next town, to check out the school. Two shy, bookish & musically inclined gals, we decided to be 'alone together' & went to the orientation meetings, walked around campus, checked out the library & the dorms, . . .
We both opted to attend OCE (not a hard choice for me, since I wanted to be a teacher, & both an aunt & Great Aunt attended in the 20s, when it was 'Oregon Normal School' (teacher's colleges were 'normal' schools - setting the norm)
Char put me as her roommate choice (we wanted to live in one of the older dorms, not a modern one! & my mom wasn't sure I 'knew her well enough' to list her for a roomie choice - but I didn't know anyone else, either! I think she was nervous 'cause Char was one of 10 kids, & I was an only - we got along fine!!)
She was a music major, with Secondary Ed minor, I was El Ed with Music Minor . . . & that first year we jumped out of bed ~ a quarter till 8 FOUR mornings a week, for our music Theory class! I was in Honors Western Civ, we took creative writing together, & worked on getting those 'basic' classes out of the way. She took flute lessons, while I studied voice, we sang in her church choir, & I only locked her out once! ('No, you can't lock me out, I don't have anywhere else to go!!')
A friend of Char's introduced me to my boyfriend, she began dating as well, & a few years later, both Charlotte & I were married & raising kids (her daughter just turned 39 on Feb 3rd, mine on the 7th) . . . Char went back to school (while working) & finished several degrees over the last 40+ years, most recently a Doctorate in Psychology! I became an LMT in the early 80s, & though I have lots of education, mostly in the healing arts & music, I don't have a degree.
We have one of those psychic connections, & would often 'think of each other' just before one or the other called. She went on to adopt several children from two of her sisters, & we visited back & forth. Our kids looked like they were siblings or at least cousins! We ate a lot of popcorn, slathered in butter, had giggly slumber parties, & drank white russians (our kids liked it when we did that, then we were sure to stay overnight!)
In the 80s, Charlotte began Square dancing, & I was taking Ballet. With her beautiful voice, she decided to become a 'caller.'
Now women don't often 'call' - it's pretty much a men's world - tho women often 'cue' the round dances. (One of my best friends from Grade & High School was square dancing as well, & BOTH those gals met their husbands @ sq. dances!!)
Back to the present: I'd been regretting that when I began taking Sq. Dance lessons, Char had taken a break from calling - boo~!~!~! OK, So she was finishing that degree program, her husband had knee & hip replacements, & her music is all in 'vinal' form!!
So a few weeks ago, she was at that Midwinter Festival, & talking to our Caller Leonard, & mentioned that her friend took the fall lessons at his club ~ but I going by a nick-name, hard for old friends to adjust to - so she used my 'old' name!! It took awhile for just who I was to register :)
When it did, Leonard urged them to visit our club, & invited her to 'call a few tips!' She & Leonard began calling at the same time, & would often run into each other at used book/music stores, & 'fight' over the records, & often called at each other's dances. I appreciate the graceful way he includes other callers at our dance. Our Cuer, Jackie, is great about that, too; down to coordinating outfits with a gal she frequently shares cuing dances with!
That weekend Char ran into another old buddy caller, who told her he could transfer her music to disk (or computer?? They have some pretty fancy systems these days!) So she's decided to begin calling again!!
I told her she was just picking up my mental 'prodding' to do just that!! Well - it just didn't seem fair that she was such a fantastic caller, & I'd begun dancing after she stopped! I was 'on the ceiling' the whole evening!! That whole 'only child' bit - I get to 'choose' my siblings, & those oldest & bestest friends are so precious.
Char & Bill invited me to visit their club (in Milwaukie) next weekend - &, as the other dancers say, I need the 'floor time' to really integrate the dance!! &, when she rejoined Leonard to sing harmony on his last call, he told her she doesn't need to ask if she wants to jump in on a call - just - jump in!!!
He reminds me, just a bit, of my dad or one of mine uncles - this is a good thing . . . .