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Inside the Square

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by Joan Conrad, Ocean Waves Square Dance Club


Allemande left your corner; Do Si Do your partner…


A little over a year ago, I met a gal who invited me to square dance lessons. When we were much younger, my husband had expressed a desire to learn to square dance, so I told her we would be there for the first lesson.


That afternoon, when I told my husband that I had signed us up for lessons, his (rather heated) response was, “You did WHAT??? I don’t want to do that. Square dancing is for old people!” I have no idea what happened to that man’s memory, but since I gave my word, I kept my word, and Willy grudgingly came with me.


Square dancers are special people. As we entered the “classroom”, we were warmly greeted - and then we were separated. Some woman brought me her husband and she took my husband away. I was escorted to the dance floor as the music began to play, and quickly learned that these wife-swapping strangers are Angels, experienced square dancers who guide us newbies through each movement.


After 15 to 20 minutes of scooting around the dance floor, I met up with Willy on our ‘break’. We were out of breath, but smiling and laughing as we shared our thoughts about this delightful encounter with square dancing. We were hooked!


Square dancing is Fun set to music!  Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

We can teach you to square dance. 


The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.


Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com



  

Hold Hands, Circle to the Left, Allemande Left your corner, and Weave the Ring…by Joan Conrad, Ocean Waves Square Dance Club


Calling all couch potatoes, gamers, and other motionless iOS and android gazers! There is another dimension out here where people actually talk to each other and are actively working our bodies and minds. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you are able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.


As we were learning to square dance, we also learned a new vocabulary. For example, a Square consists of four couples, positioned north, south, east, and west.  Each couple faces a couple across the square from them. This is the Home position and it’s a good place to go when confused.


The Caller is a person who ‘calls’ verbal instructions on what to do and where to go next.  However, the caller is also singing with the music so he may rapidly call multiple instructions. 


Dancers must be prepared to listen, understand what to do, and do it quickly. It takes practice - lots of practice. This is how you start exercising your brain.


It’s a challenge, but the rewards are huge - not only on the dance floor, but in many aspects of your daily living. 


During our lessons, the caller taught a few poses with each class. He made it fun to learn and early on, I was getting a little cocky. I smugly thought to myself, “I’ve got this! And I’m good!” 


However, with each class, the caller not only adds new moves, he also incorporates moves from the previous lessons. Around the fifth or sixth lesson, I was silently thinking that I might have early onset dementia and by the tenth lesson, I was sure that I had full-blown Alzheimer’s! I couldn’t remember the definition of each call so I couldn’t move fast enough to get into position. 


The other dancers within our square tried to gently push me in the right direction, but sometimes I was headed the wrong way and there was no way to get me back on track. 


I felt like my floundering strongly resembled an I Love Lucy episode where she attempts to perform with professional dancers and can’t keep up with the tempo or the steps. 


I was worried. In fact, I was so worried that I called the woman who had introduced me to square dancing and asked her if I should gracefully drop out of the group. She’s one of those “shoot from the hip” kind of gals so I knew I could count on a candid response.


 To my surprise, she encouraged me to continue learning and working toward graduating to become a full-fledged square dancer. I had my doubts, but I trusted her judgment.


I hope this doesn’t disappoint you, but I still mess up. I’m getting better each week, but I don’t see perfection in my future. 


What I do see is fun! I’m having fun and I’m among friends who care about me. I consider myself pretty lucky with those accomplishments and figure that the rest will come with more practice.


Square dancing is Fun set to music! You can learn to square dance and we can help you learn to square dance. 


The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.


Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132;

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com



 

Ladies, Flutterwheel; Reverse Flutterwheel.  by Joan Conrad, Ocean Waves Square Dance Club


When you’re learning to square dance, clothing is casual, but as I started thinking about the future, it occurred to me that I should probably find out about those silly costumes that women wear.  I thought to myself, “If I have to wear petticoats and granny print dresses, with that 1980’s stretch belt cinching me in, I’m Out! Those women have no idea how ridiculous they look and I’m not going to humiliate myself by prancing around in something like that”.


Well, guess what, folks. Although I have more than ample hips, my waistline (or what should be my waistline) hasn’t seen a belt since the late 90’s, and my legs haven’t been exposed to anything shorter than Capris, 


BUT - I did it! I bought the fullest petticoat made and wore it under a (respectfully) short skirt and finished it off with a solid colored puffed sleeve blouse, belt, and pettipants. (You have to wear frilly pettipants because they’re exposed when you twirl.)


I’m certain that I closely resemble a baby hippo in a tutu, but it’s so much fun, I don’t care! And as silly as it sounds, I believe it helps me dance a little better. 


Square Dance attire is optional and some square dancers choose not to dress up, especially during the hot days of summer. The Winter Texans, who join us during the fall, are usually living in RVs and have no room for such bulky clothing; however, our arms are open wide to everyone who walks through that door. We just want you to come dance with us!


Oh! And did I mention that the guys’ ‘costume’ is usually jeans or slacks and a solid shirt that matches his partner’s dress? Hmmmm…Not much expense there and no humiliation, either!


Square dancing is Fun set to music! Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

We can teach you to square dance. The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com


  

  Do something you enjoy and you might find a life partner

                    by J. Howe


I had been square dancing for a number of years but no longer had a partner. 


Lately,  I had been dancing with the caller’s wife as he called the square dance movements to dance by.


One day, a shapely lady appeared to take square dance lessons at the behest of one of her church members, who also was a member of our square dance group.


The experienced dancers helped the ones taking lessons by picking a person of the opposite gender and becoming their partner for that lesson. I noticed how nice and polite the shapely lady was and that she had the ability to learn from the lessons. There were some other fellow dancers that did not have partners and they were taking a shine to the shapely lady too!


As she made progress in lessons, we began to dance together often. One day at a break in the lessons, she sat at a table across from me and I smiled at her and she smiled back. Then I winked at her and her smile grew larger.


We have been married for nearly ten years now and that shapely lady can really square dance and round dance.



Square dancing is Fun set to music! Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

You can learn to square dance. The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com



And then there was an explosion!

    by G. Merchant


So back in the day before Vickie and I were married, she asked me to stop by and watch a square dance. Because we were dating, I decided to check it out - just for her.  


The caller was saying words that I knew- in English, but I couldn't understand how they related to the dancers.  It looked like a big puzzle.


Everybody was in a specific area and then the caller said something and  it looked like an explosion! People were going in every direction and then they came back together.  I had never seen anything like it, but it looked like fun!  


After we married, we took square dance lessons.  I could tell how much Vickie loved it and I loved her - so I gladly took the lessons.  We still have a wonderful time at the dances and can find a dance where ever we go.


Square dancing is Fun set to music! Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

You can learn to square dance. The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com



  

A Winter Texan asked, “You want me to do WHAT?”

By Bill Baker


I have to admit that I have noticed that my lovely wife has started lots of conversations with the words; “You haven’t heard a word I have been saying!” 


But this one comment was even more special than the regular ones. She said something about the RV Park having Square Dance lessons. I can admit that I missed some of the beginning of that sentence. So, of course, she repeated it. They were going to be giving square dance lessons by one of the local groups for anyone wanting to learn something that I did back in grade school.


“Are they still doing that?” was my first response, with visions of gym floors and all the boys on one side and all the girls on the other. My second response was, “You know I have two left feet and I really don’t pay attention to anything, but ESPN.” Her response was, “If you’ll try, I’ll cook that fried chicken dinner and kick in a pecan pie.” SOLD!


So, we showed up for the lessons and I was amazed. Some of the nicest people that I have ever met, not just in Texas, but anywhere, greeted us. And in spite of two left feet, I had a ball! 


The caller (or the person giving instructions) has a spoken story (or series of calls) which tells you what to do and where to go. Then they add some nifty music to get your feet wiggling before you even dance as well as include lots of smiles and laughs to go around. 


The lessons are like building a house. The lessons give you a firm foundation and then each lesson adds more calls to learn at a pace that makes it fun. It really is about fun!  I was surprised to learn that it is more fun when someone, not always me (really, sometimes, well, maybe occasionally not me) slips up and turns the wrong way. Then it is like the old saying, “This will be fun till someone gets hurt, THEN it will be HILARIOUS!” This is true of square dancing.  It is truly "Friendship set to music!"


I don’t miss ESPN much, (the DVR takes care of that) and I feel better.  My honey is sweeter to me since I am taking her dancing every week, and we have met a group of nice people from all walks of life. AND I’m not sure. but my pants seem to be getting looser, which is also a change from blaming the washing machine for shrinking them. 


The other night at a dance, an old timer told me, “This is the most fun you can have with a group of people with your clothes on!” And I totally agree. 


So get off the couch, grab your lady and come have fun! The more the merrier!


Square dancing is Fun set to music! Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

You can learn to square dance. The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com


  

By Lee Anna Chappell, Ocean Waves Square Dance Club


“Pass the ocean, Relay the Duecy….”


Our neighbor, Mala, had been invited to square dance lessons, but when she told her husband, Wayne, that she wanted to go, that ‘ole Louisiana Boy had no intention of participating.  So (oh so clever) Wayne told Mala he would go to square dance lessons if she could convince my husband, Bryan, and me to join them. We’re a little younger than they are and Bryan is a towering, manly-man, so Wayne was counting on Bryan to decline the offer. 


Ha! Not only was Bryan receptive to the idea, he recruited our best friends, Jeff and Melody to join us. Thus, the Wrecking Crew was formed!


The six of us weren’t just awful at square dancing; we were so bad that we kept “breaking down” our square and everyone had to continually return to the Home position to start over. One afternoon, after multiple times of “breaking down” our square, our caller stopped the music and, shaking his head at our group, said, “You six are a Wrecking Crew!” Everyone laughed, but the moniker stuck! We even have t-shirts declaring it that we wear on occasion!


Probably, few wanted to dance with us, but they did because they wanted us to get better. We wanted to be better, too, so we began to practice outside of class. We watched square dance lesson videos and practiced with an experienced fourth couple. We also volunteered as Angels the following January when new lessons began.  


Our diligence and dedication has paid off and we’re able to dance to with just about anyone anywhere these days. We travel throughout Texas and the U.S. dancing with other square dance clubs and have a blast dancing and meeting new people, but we’re still known as The Wrecking Crew and are proud of it!



Square dancing is Fun set to music! Please consider joining in on the Fun. There is no age limit; we welcome young and old as long as you able to walk briskly without assistance, are mentally alert and able to follow verbal instructions, and are willing to commit to two hours one evening each week.

We can teach you to square dance. The benefits are endless: You’ll meet friendly people, you’ll become more active physically and mentally, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Interested? We hope so! For more information, please call or email:

Ocean Waves Square Dance Club

Willy, President: 512/826-4132

Gary, VP: 361/230-5709

Vickie, Secretary: Vickie.MoonMerchant@gmail.com






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