By Carla Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Learn to square dance every Wednesday evening from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. April 22 through June 3 at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse in Pagosa Springs.
Local caller and musician Carla Roberts will teach simple calls that are quick to learn in a fun, easygoing and free class open to families, couples and singles. Suggested age for children is at least 8 years old. Call Roberts to enroll at 903-6478.
The basics of square dancing are easy to learn for beginners because a caller helps you through the steps. The steps are simple and you will quickly catch on even if you enter the dance not knowing the difference between a do and a si-do. If you mess up, you’ll quickly catch up by watching your group of four couples, or “square.”
People who are embarrassed by free-style dancing often find the steps much more comfortable. Every one is doing the same thing you are doing, so there’s no reason to be shy. This provides a lot of benefits: It reduces the stress people sometimes feel socially or at activities and it encourages full movement participation.
The non-strenuous movements to the music and the fun can make you forget you are getting a workout that includes cardio, strength-building and great exercise for your brain, memory and coordination. Studies have shown that activities that involve both physical and mental activity at the same time help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you can walk, you can learn to square dance. With most dance forms, you have to learn to place your feet in specific arrangements. This is not so with square dancing. Square dancing is based on walking in defined directions for defined distances, which is exactly what walking is. And as walking is one of the most natural things we do, square dancing becomes easy to learn.
Square dancing bolsters enthusiasm and optimism and contains a rewarding social component that solitary fitness endeavors do not. It gives you an opportunity to develop strong ties, which contribute to self-esteem and a positive outlook. Besides the actual square dancing, dancers learn teamwork (yet there are no teams), cooperation, tolerance and patience.
Come join Roberts and friends to learn the basics and experience the exhilaration of dancing in a group setting. Classes are open for the full eight weeks, so if you have just discovered this opportunity, please join us when you can. To best enjoy dancing, wear comfortable clothes and clean shoes. The PLPOA Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.
For more information, call Roberts at 903-6478.