Sunday, December 20, 2015

Winter Dance

The snow was falling silently, music wafted through the air and a gentle light softly shone through the community center windows, beckoning friends from near and far.  Finally, it was here, the night of our much anticipated Christmas dance.  Sir Knight, Miss Serenity, the Littles and I decorated the hall in winter plaid, prepared the food and made the punch while Maid Elizabeth readied the sound system.  Before any guests appeared, our family danced through the empty rooms, singing Christmas carols and anticipating a wonderful, fun-filled evening.

The Punch table (sans the punch bowl)

Very soon, the community center was filled with children and families, young adults and teenagers, every generation joining hands together, dancing steps that had been passed down through the ages.  Oh, what a joy to see faces filled with anticipation and flushed with excitement!

The dances that we do are old-fashioned - The Virginia Reel, Posties Jig, and The Grand March.  We dance Whip-the Willow and Hunt the Fox, the Pattie-Cake Polka and more.  These are not the awkward dances that you remember from school, these are dances that include everyone, in every age-group.  Some are mixers, other you dance with your partner for the entire dance, but every one of them are fast-paced and laughter filled.  No one is ever left out.  We have young people that are disabled, others that are socially insecure - none are shunned and all are included!  It's just plain fun!

Whip the Willow

Getting ready for the Willow (Miss Serenity is talking to a new-found friend)

Teaching the dance

Master Hand Grenade bowing to his partner

Princess Dragon Snack (the blur in blue) sacheting down the middle
One of my favorite things is seeing multiple generation dance together - delighting in each others company.  Last night, one cherished scene was seeing our tall and burly 60 year old neighbor holding the hand of his tiny 4 year old dancing partner and she looked up at him in complete adoration!  Oh how I wish I would have had my camera at the ready!  These are the things of memories.

Princess Dragon Snack and her partner

They really have to duck to make it under the little kids!

Master Calvin and his partner

The Pattie-Cake Polka

Sir Knight and I don't put these dances on because we need one more thing to do - we do it for our children.  We want to tuck a happy childhood under their jacket, and these dances help create memories for a lifetime. 

These truly are the good ole' days!


  1. Sounds like a lovely time - and something I would have loved. Haven't square danced for 30 years, but know I could still do it. Wish you had pictures to share! Natokadn

    1. Perhaps they did not show up on my phone....I can see them now! thanks!! Natokadn

  2. Looks like such fun! I think I can hear the squeals of laughter (they finally made it to the midwest). Well done. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Could you share what resources you use for the music and teaching the steps? My husband and I had a Contra dance for our wedding reception, and people were still telling my parents how much fun it had been years later. It's so wonderful that you are able to provide these opportunities for your community!

  4. I can remember dances just like yours, but those were sixty years ago before everyone was tied to their electronics and didn't know any of their neighbors.

  5. I'm also a square dancer from way back. I often describe square dancing as bumper cars on the dance floor - it is just silly and fun.
    Love the fact that everyone is included in your dance. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    1. Bumper cars - yes and no....If you got lost other couples can often "drag you" through it, until you get back to a call you know. If not - everyone just squares up - laughing - and starts again. If you don't think you can dance it doesn't matter. You just have to be able to hold hands, walk, know your right and left hands, who your partner and corner are and follow the caller's directions. You can add spins and fancier stuff to it if you want, and just because one couple wants to or doesn't is of no matter. Each can do what they want. It really is just fun. Natokadn

  6. The world needs a lot more Virgina Reel and a lot less Cable TV.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Merry Christmas from Florida.


  7. Wish I'd had the chance as a young person to go to a dance like that.

    I learned early that my clumsiness, slow reaction time with unfamiliar steps, and difficulty keeping rhythm got me laughed at unkindly, mocked, and soon unwanted. I'd have been sitting on the wall watching the dancers...

    ...but it still would have been nice to come.

    Makes me think that, if it weren't for the needless and avoidable death, The End of the World As We Know It might not be such a terrible thing. Other than abundant food, easy access to medical care, and the rule of (reasonable, for however long it stays that way) law, The World As We Know It out here in Normal America maybe isn't worth keeping.