June 2011

Happy Summer!

If it is not in your neighborhood yet, I hope you have had at least a day or two of hints of summer. Here in the Puget Sound area, we don’t usually count on summer being here until July 5.

The square dance year is drawing to a close. Many clubs have had their last dance of the season. Others are planning for their last dance. Many of those feature strawberry desserts or ice cream. Just because the dance season is over or your particular club has stopped dancing for the summer does not mean that there is no dancing.

Summer is the perfect time to dance to other callers or with other clubs that you aren’t able to dance with during the square dance season. It is also the perfect time to plan some dancing as you vacation in other parts of the state or country.

One of the first special dances of summer is the 60th Washington State Square & Folk Dance Festival, June 17 and 18. This year it is in Enumclaw, right at the foot of Mt. Rainier. The square and round dancing will feature our state’s callers and cuers. Come support your own caller and cuer. Come dance to callers and cuers from across the state. You should find information elsewhere in this magazine.

Circle 8 Ranch is one of our state’s great dance resources. There are dances every weekend all summer long, either Mainstream, Plus, Rounds, or Clogging. Occasionally there is a whole week of dancing. If you are a camper, either with an RV or a tent, there are plenty of spaces in the fresh mountain air. If you are not a camper, there are a few cabins or it is just a short drive to Cle Elum and a comfy motel room. For those of you in the Seattle area, it is just a short drive east on I-90 to the Ranch. Larry and I sometimes drive up for a Saturday night dance and then home to our own bed. It is a great opportunity to dance to callers that you might not have a chance to dance to otherwise. And you get to meet and dance with new friends from around the state. Check out the Circle 8 Ranch ad in this magazine or their website for this summer’s schedule.

One of the weekends at Circle 8 this summer is the 42nd Annual Leadership Seminar, July 8-10. This weekend is for any square dancer. You don’t have to be a club officer or even interested in being a club officer. I (Susan) will be the emcee for the Friday night dance, which features all the callers in attendance. Saturday night features Steve Edlund from Canada, a caller you don’t want to miss. He will also be giving a keynote address on Sunday morning. In addition to dancing in the evening, there are dance workshops, informative buzz sessions, and golf games, after parties, and of course, eating. There is more information in each Footnotes magazine along with a registration form. Come dance and have some fun!

There are many other special square dance events in the summer. Look for the ones in your council or the council next door. You can also find dances on the State Federation web site,
http://www.squaredance-wa.org/, on the Events tab. Lots of special dances are listed there. I would be sure to call the contact number to verify dates and times. Sometimes the ads get copied from year to year so they don’t always reflect the current dates and times. While you are out dancing, don’t forget your new dancers. Invite them to go with you.

If there are not many dances in your area in the summer ask if your local callers association will host a dance or two. Or even your own caller. For example, in our own backyard, the Mt. Baker Teachers, Callers, & Cuers Association (MBTCCA) host Summertime Dances all summer. Dances start the first week in June and continue through the last week in August. These dances provide an opportunity for the new dancers in our council to keep dancing all summer. It gives them more floor time and builds their confidence and competence. When your new dancers are more confident they are more likely to show up at fall dances and become active members of your club. These dances are also a great opportunity for your inactive club members to come back and brush up before the fall dance season starts. The MBTCCA Summertime Dances are on a weekday night so that weekends free for other summer activities or special festival dances. The dress is casual.

Mt. Baker Council is lucky to have two summer dances during the week. The MBTCCA dances are in the south end of the council. In the north end the Mt. Baker Singles and Skagit Squares dance all summer too. There is something for everybody.

Don’t just share the information about the summer dances with your new dancers and club members. Invite your new dancers and other club members to come to the dances with you. It is important to set the example to keep dancing. Also when you go to a dance with someone else you become better acquainted. The saying is that “Square dancing is friendship set to music.” What better way to get to know each other than to go dancing together?

The bottom line is that even though your club might not be dancing in the summer there are still plenty of clubs who are dancing or there are plenty of special dances to go to. Just get out there and do it. Invite someone to go with you. Have fun! Keep dancing!

Also don’t forget to start talking to your non-square dancing friends, family, baristas, clerks, neighbors, and casual acquaintances about coming to lessons in the fall. The start of lessons is only a few short weeks away. Plan a get-acquainted dinner and party dance a couple of weeks before your lessons start. Have all you club members bring interested friends and family. Ask your caller to call a fun party dance to introduce your guests to square dancing. Start planning now!

It has been our pleasure to write this column this dance season. We look forward to seeing you in a square this summer or somewhere along the way.

“For one moment our lives met, our souls touched.”
– Oscar Wilde

Happy dancing,
Susan and Larry