Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Yesterday, we went to Greenfield Village in Mesa to watch Jim's pal, Aaron Canvasser, dance. This is considered round dancing and ball room dancing, waltz, in fact. But, its nothing like the waltz our parents used to do. The moves are graceful and intricate and the dancers use a caller to call out the moves, as in round dancing. I guess one would have to say its a combination of ball room and round dancing. The levels begin at one and end at six. This is round dancing at the highest level.
The instructor demonstrates the new steps for this particular waltz from the floor. Then the dancers get up and learn the steps.
The moves are open and close, twirls, and weight shifts. Hand positions are also taught. The dancers concentrate fully on the technicality of the moves, first without the music and then with the music.
Aaron's partner is Judy Priest whose husband is recovering from surgery. Aaron's wife is unable to attend this season and has had to stay at home. It kind of reminds me of old square dancing days. It was always said, you drag your husband to the dance, then, when he realizes how much fun it is, he will attend even if you stay home.
And like square dancers everywhere, this group was friendly and open. Many came by to ask us if we wanted to dance, where we were from and so on. Made me wish I was still in a square dance club.
Many people in this group have danced together for 15-20 years, I was told. Longevity is a hallmark of this type of communal dancing. They help each other, change partners when one is tired or temporarily or permanently incapacitated, they share, they learn with and from each other. A wholesome activity for all ages, though this is a senior group of retirees. Several women danced solo along with the couples to keep their skills up to date.
The music plays, the dancers practice their new skills so they can flow gracefully about the floor at the next dance, on Friday night.

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