Beginning modern square dance lessons


By Daniel Rocca
Special to The PREVIEW
The Pagosa Springs square dance club (High Country Squares) will be starting a beginners class for anyone wishing to learn the art of modern square dance.
The classes will be held on Mondays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the PLPOA Clubhouse, located at 230 Port Ave. Classes start on July 15.
If you haven’t seen modern square dancing, you probably think of a few farm folks in an old barn doing some crazy dance to an old-time band playing “Turkey in the Straw.” Well, things have changed — and so has square dancing. It’s not what you learned in junior high. It’s dancing. It’s thinking. It’s teamwork. It’s fun.
If you’re looking for something different to do that involves exercise and you’d like to meet some new friendly people, come see what High Country Squares is all about. Learning modern square dance is fun and easy. You simply walk to music. Rhythm or dance experiences are not prerequisites (the only requirements are to bring your two feet, your enthusiasm and your sense of humor). Square dancing is not just a great alternative exercise, it’s an opportunity to create and meet new friends.
Square dancing is movement to music. It’s performed in couples, with teams of four couples called a “square.” Although it’s very entertaining to watch, it’s not a spectator sport — it’s for the active at heart and mind. The music varies including country, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, pop, alternative and other forms of modern and memorable classics. When you travel, there are dance clubs everywhere (on every continent, in every country, in every state). Square dancing is a great way for active, contemporary people (of all ages) to meet and build a circle of good friends.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to square dance, this is an opportunity to learn from one of the best callers in America, Jim Park. Park has been calling square dances and teaching new beginners for over 30 years (he is an amazing caller with an incredible approach to teaching). High Country Squares has benefited enormously from having such an experienced and professional caller — and all who choose to begin Square Dancing under Park will benefit greatly as well.
Couples and singles are encouraged and welcomed, to come and give this exhilarating form of dance a try (square dancing provides so many amazing opportunities and connections). Don’t worry, our club’s experienced dancers (called Angels) will lend a hand in helping you (the beginner) learn how to perform the maneuvers and become comfortable on the dance floor.
All ages are invited, and all levels of dancers are welcome. If you do have some experience in square dancing, dancing as Park calls is an inspiring experience in itself. Come and brush up on your square dancing skills — this is an excellent opportunity to do so.
All of us (all the members of High Country Squares in Pagosa Springs) invite anyone in the community to attend the introduction to modern square dancing with our club. Learning and dancing under Park (one of America’s most appreciated and sought-after square dance callers) is a very gifting experience; take advantage of it if you can. Come on down and give square dancing a try. Have some fun, get some exercise and make some new friends in Pagosa Springs.
Classes begin on Monday, July 15, and will run through September at the PLPOA Clubhouse. The first few classes are super important to attend; don’t miss them. For further information, please contact either Park at 731-9910 or Steve Keil at 731-0044, or send an email to