A Square Dance festival

Everybody circle left!

Everybody circle left!

Bob White

Over 1220 square dancers gathered in Indio, California, November 10 through 13. That is more than 150 squares of fun. Twelve couples from SaddleBrooke Squares attended. We were all having so much fun that it was impossible to get everybody together for a complete group photo.

Indio hosts one of the biggest square dance festivals anywhere. The venue is at the Riverside County Fair Grounds. A special floor is put down in the halls so dancers’ legs and feet do not begin to complain in the middle of the dance. Many dancers come from all over the country. This may be one of the only times they get to see each other all year. There is always time between tips to refresh friendships and rest or one can even just sit out a dance, but dancing is so much fun that this is often not their choice. The festival organizers realize this and provide pizza the first night, ice cream the next night and a combination of these treats on the third evening. On this last evening the food is accompanied by skits and music provided by the callers and cuers. The next morning donuts and other goodies show up. Square dancers are known to enjoy good comfort food.

There were seven international square dance callers and two round dance cuers. These folks call in two separate halls with several levels of difficulty to choose from. Attending this festival is also wonderful for the ears. All of these callers have fantastic singing voices and just listening is a real treat. Many different types of music are used in modern square dancing. One of the callers is also noted for his dance moves making it sometimes hard to maintain concentration because he is so entertaining to watch.

Square dancing is really an international activity and is very popular in Europe as well as Asia. Several of these callers have called dances overseas. All dances, wherever they are held, are called in English so it is possible to travel the world and dance. At this time square dancing is especially popular in Germany and Scandinavia.

Spectators are always welcome at any dance and the dances are fun to watch – but it is a lot more fun to participate. Come visit SaddleBrooke Squares any Thursday between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. at the MountainView Ballroom in HOA 2. We would love to meet you!