YMCA of Central Ohio

Anything but square: Dancers hope club grows

ThisWeek Community News
Friday August 10, 2012 5:00 PM

The Little Brown Jug Square Dancers are celebrating their 25th year of do-si-dos and promenades.

Last year, the group celebrated its 25th anniversary by dancing on a horse-drawn wagon, which has been a tradition. This year, they skipped the wagon and danced in Delaware's Fourth of July parade.

Nancy Swanberg, president of the club, said this year the club will merge with the Delaware Community Center YMCA in order to provide more square-dancing lessons for the public.

In order to promote the new partnership, the dancers entertained onlookers in front of Barley Hopsters during the Aug. 3 Fourth Friday event in downtown Delaware. They also passed out cards good for two free square-dancing lessons at the YMCA.

The YMCA, 1121 S. Houk Road, will offer 10-week sessions for beginners and intermediate dancers.

The 24-member club also is seeking membership, especially younger folks, Swanberg said. The club has male and female members, ranging in age from 13 to late 80s.

"We are one of 12 dance groups in central Ohio and will be having a statewide convention in Columbus in 2013," Swanberg said.

She said many couples have joined the club, but singles are welcome as well.

"My husband passed away in 2007 and that's when I learned how to dance the male part," she said. "There are plenty of single ladies in my group and I am able to dance with them."

Swanberg said anyone who knows how to walk and wants to learn how to square dance can come to the meetings, even if they don't know their "right foot from their left foot."

She said she has traveled all over the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, in the name of square dancing. She said it's a great way to meet people, because every state has square-dancing clubs.

"Once you start dancing, you go wild and you're hooked on it," she said. "If you are on vacation and go dancing, you make instant friends. It's a nice social activity."

Square dancing is a social activity that involves a lot of laughing, cheering and "yellow rocks" -- square-dancer jargon for hugs, she said. Square dancing also can be a good cardio workout, Swanberg said.

"My doctor told me that whatever I am doing, keep it up," she said. "He said that it's the healthiest thing for me to do and I have never stopped and I have never regretted it."

But is square dancing fun?

"I've been doing this for over 30 years," she said. "I obviously think it's fun."

For more information about the club or the classes offered, visit the website cocdc.org or call Swanberg at 740-417-4258.

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