Square dance class begins April 27

1
Photo courtesy Joan Schmitt Wild West Squares dancers Wanita Martin and Scott Goodman dance at the recent Wild West Jubilee. The Wild West Squares are now offering an eight-week square dance class for beginners.
Photo courtesy Joan Schmitt
Wild West Squares dancers Wanita Martin and Scott Goodman dance at the recent Wild West Jubilee. The Wild West Squares are now offering an eight-week square dance class for beginners.

By Carla Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW

The Wild West Squares of Pagosa Springs offers a free eight-week introduction to square dance with classes continuing to accept new students on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m.

The next class is on April 27 at the PLPOA Clubhouse in Pagosa Springs.

Enroll now for this free class by calling Carla Roberts at 903-6478.

Square dancing could add 10 years to your life, a surprising new study shows.

Dr. Arron Blackburn of the Mayo Clinic stated, “It’s clear that square dancing is the perfect exercise. It combines all positive aspects of intense physical exercise with none of the negative elements.”

Blackburn said square dancing is a low-impact activity requiring constant movement and quick directional changes that help keep the body in shape. The study was based on physical examination, which indicated that both female and male square dancers could expect to live well into their 80s.

Square dance movements raise heart rates like many good aerobic exercises should. All the quick changes of direction loosen and tone up the muscles — but not so severely as to cause injury.

In square dancing, when you’re not moving, you’re clapping hands and tapping your feet, which all contributes to long-term fitness.

“You don’t see a lot of 55-year-old basketball players, but that’s just the age when square dancers are hitting their peak,” Dr. Blackburn said.

In this introduction to square dance, Roberts will teach at the basic level, so new dancers can quickly master enough calls (or dance steps) to experience the exhilaration of dancing in a group setting. The class focus is for everyone to have an enjoyable dance session while learning the building blocks of square dance.

This is a fun, easygoing and free class open to families, couples and singles. Suggested age for children is at least 8 years old.

Stay healthy this spring with square dancing every Wednesday night from 7 to 8 p.m., continuing through June 8 at the PLPOA Clubhouse in Pagosa Springs located at 230 Port Ave. To best enjoy dancing, wear comfortable clothes and clean shoes.

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and performing arts specialist Roberts has taught and performed concerts in schools and fine arts venues in the western states for the last 35 years.

Her Four Corners-based Wild West Squares program is designed to bring the joy of modern western square dance to people of all ages with free classes available in Pagosa Springs, Durango and Aztec, N.M.