Rancheros Help Graduate 15 Advanced Plus Dancers

Caller Dean Singleton puts the class learning plus calls through their paces.

Caller Dean Singleton puts the class learning plus calls through their paces.

Rebecca Williams

The Rancheros Square Dance Club helped to graduate 15 dancers who spent the last ten Sunday evenings learning the advanced calls involved in the plus level of square dancing. The class was a total of 24, but included were some members who were just brushing up on their skills. The 15 all started square dancing last January at the annual “Give Us a Whirl” event that allows those interested to try square dance for free. The club helped graduate 45 dancers to the basic/mainstream level last May.

Square dancing is great exercise, both mental and physical. A recent article in the AARP Bulletin stated that if you can do only one thing for brain health, you should be dancing. It combines physical, mental, and social skills. With square dancing, you are actually working with eight people in a square to execute the calls. It is a bit like doing a puzzle, and the caller works to achieve interesting patterns and ultimately get the dancers back to their home position in a way that is both intricate and fun. There are no routines to memorize—once you learn the basic moves, the caller will tell you the order he would like them executed to make the dance.

The music for modern square dancing is varied, using country, rock, even hip hop, classical, and Broadway music. These are used for both the spoken pattern and the singing calls where the caller sings the song in addition to giving cues to the moves needed.

The Rancheros will be offering beginning square dance lessons starting in January. On Sunday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. they will help to hold “Give Us a Whirl” with their sister club, SaddleBrooke Squares. The event will be in the MountainView Ballroom of SaddleBrooke TWO in SaddleBrooke. Anyone with an interest is welcome to come and try out square dancing for free. If you can walk, you can square dance. There are no long sequences to memorize as the caller is letting you know what calls or moves to do to the music.

On Sunday, Jan. 12, the beginning square dancing lessons will start at 7 p.m. in the MountainView Ballroom. The Rancheros and Saddlebrooke Squares work together with the caller to help the students learn the calls. There will be two additional opportunities for practice during the week, online videos for easy review, and experienced dancers to help new people learn more quickly. There is a lot of support from both clubs for anyone wanting to learn this fun activity.

If you would like to attend “Give Us a Whirl,” contact Rebecca Williams at [email protected] or look at the Rancheros Square Dance Club link on the HOA website under “Things to do,” “Clubs,” and then “Dance, Music, and Theater.”