Dancing, Squared

Flamenco will always be my number one, but this week I’ve added a new act to my repertoire: square dancing.

How did this happen, you ask? It was Mom’s idea. She saw an ad in the Daily Breeze for the Boots & Bows Square Dance Club’s new dancer program. “An evening of fast-paced modern western square dancing is guaranteed to reduce stress, banish boredom, introduce you to a circle of new friends, and provide lots of low-impact, heart-friendly aerobic exercise,” the ad said. That got Mom’s attention. She’d been looking for some kind of activity to get involved in — something fun but less strenuous than, say, flamenco. I agree to go with her, at least once, to check it out.

So we went for our first meeting Wednesday night, and my aunt and cousin came, too. It was fun! Now, there were definitely many comedic moments over the two-hour class, like when I’d “allemande left” instead of “right and left grand.” There were a few collisions and a few awkward moments of being turned the wrong way, and if you’re with a feller who’s new to the dance also, that makes it even tougher. But the seasoned dancers were very welcoming and helpful to us new folks, and eventually I found a little groove and began to recognize the calls a bit better.

Which got me thinking: I can totally apply my square dance learnin’ to flamenco. Much like flamenco dancers must take cues from the singer, square dancers must pay attention to the caller, who calls out the next step. If you zone out, you’re screwed. It’s absolutely imperative you first know the calls and listen to the caller or you’ll muck things up for the rest of the dancers in your square. See how I can practice flamenco without even practicing flamenco?

Will I be going back for more next week? You bet! In fact, I think I’m a committed member of the Boots & Bows family. This is a new challenge and now I’m hellbent on getting good at this dance, too. And the people were so gosh darn nice, I don’t think I could bear to ditch them.

Throughout the evening, I kept thinking about the episode of “I Love Lucy” in which the Ricardos and Mertzes have to square dance their way out of a jam. (If you know my family, you know we’re huge Lucy fans and quote the show daily). Made it all more fun being able to make a connection with this…


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