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High Country Squares planning special event

Every Monday in Pagosa Springs the High Country Squares have a lesson for beginning square dancers and later a dance for more experienced dancers.

Usually our club meets at the PLPOA Clubhouse on Port Avenue, but during the fleeting summer months when it is warm enough to dance outside in the evening, we have a big dance party or two or three at a private residence in the area.

Lorna and Gene Fox, who have been instrumental in organizing and growing the High Country Squares, hosted the Aug. 1 potluck and dance at their spectacular log home in Pagosa. Dancers were treated to a variety of tasty dishes and desserts, lovely views of mountains, passing clouds and multiple rainbows and finally an evening of fun dancing to caller Jim Park. Lorna Fox counted 60 guests, including visitors from Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona who had never danced with the club in Pagosa before.

It never ceases to amaze me that we can “square up” with four couples who have never set eyes on each other and proceed to dance away the next 20 minutes of a “tip” and have an uncommon bonding through the non-verbal communication of dance. There were lots of laughs.

We are so proud of our large beginning class and their dedication to learning the intricacies of square dancing . Thanks to the patient weekly teaching sessions with Jim Park, our caller of 36 years experience, our beginners are learning well and amazingly fast. We look forward to their graduation in November.

Coming up on Sept. 10 is an extra special event for area square dancers. High Country Squares will Prairie Dance with caller Gary Shoemake from Tennessee. The mainstream/plus level dance starts at 7 p.m. at the PLPOA Clubhouse located at 230 Port Ave. We welcome experienced dancers to come celebrate the end of the summer with great square dancing and delicious munchies. The dance will end at 9.

Gary Shoemake was born in Oklahoma, spent many years in Texas and now makes his home in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  In 1987 Gary became director and part owner of English Mountain Retreat, in Sevierville, Tenn., where he makes his home.

Gary started dancing and calling in Tulsa, Okla., in 1964.  He made it his full-time vocation in 1968.  Gary’s travels have taken him to all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark and Central America.

The High Country Squares offers weekly dances, regional dances and a wonderful sense of community for local and visiting dancers. Beginner lessons are 6:30-8 p.m. on Mondays, followed by Mainstream and Plus dancing from 8 to 9:30. Contact Lorna at 731-5525 for more information.

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