Square Dance and Potluck in Galesville on Saturday
Work off that Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing with a little Square Dancing on Nov. 24 at Galesville Memorial Hall. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for those who want to come for a community sit-down dinner—bring a covered dish to share. At 6 p.m., there will be long tables and chairs set up to share conversation while you eat. This is an event for singles, couples or families.
At 7 p.m., the tables and chairs will be cleared so that the hall’s beautiful wooden floors can be properly danced upon. Square dances, circle dances and contra dances are called dances, so you don’t need any experience or dance lessons.
A square dance is when eight dancers (four couples) arrange themselves in a square, with all dancers facing the center of the square. A caller tells the dancers what to do, for example: swing through, promenade, circle left, circle right, Do Sa Do, Ladies In, Men Sashay, partner trade, wheel and deal, grand swing thru. The list goes on.
At these dances, the caller breaks the steps down by having everyone walk through the music and learn the steps. Once the music starts to play, dancers execute the steps at tempo.
What’s really fun about this square dance is that the music is live with Leah Weiss on fiddle, Gary Wright on guitar, and friends joining in. Sit-ins are welcome on fiddle, guitar, and clawhammer banjo. Weiss and Wright have an affinity for traditional music, some of which was passed down through the generations without ever being written down.
Along with square dances, there are also circle dances, which are partner-less dances where the dancers start off by being in a circle (“Ring Around the Rosie” is a circle dance). Circle dances are popular at Greek and Russian weddings. As a called dance, dancers may execute a variety of steps, breaking out of the circle, joining a different circle and so on. A contra dance is a partnered dance where the dancers start off in pairs forming two straight lines. From there, the caller tells the dancers what to do. Often, you may start a contra dance off with one partner, dance with other partners and end up back with your own partner.
From 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., the band and caller will move on to more challenging dancing. (Don’t worry, after an hour and a half of
family dancing, your kids will be tired). These dances also get the walk through, but the music may move a little faster.
At these dances, the youngest participants are babies in arms while the oldest are in their 90s. When they say fun for all ages—they mean it.
The cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children 5 to 17; under 5 are free. If you come for dinner, bring a covered dish. If you come just for the dance, you may want to bring a bottle of water with your name on it.
The potluck goes 6 to 7 p.m. The dance will take place 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Galesville Memorial Hall, 952 Main Street in Galesville.
The dance is made possible with support from the West River Improvement Association.