My Thoughts

Live Lively, Square Dance!

HAN 2018 Committee
Hot August Nights Committee

Hot August Nights in Albuquerque, NM is a square and round dance festival that I have chaired for 12 years. We just finished it, and I am exhausted–but a good exhausted. My feet hurt, I laughed so much I’m hoarse, and I can hardly wait until next year!

Square dancing is my passion–my Mom danced one tip (about 10-15 minutes) the night before I was born, so I was born dancing. I danced as through my twenties then took a twenty year break and have been back dancing now for about twenty-five years.

Why square dance in 2018–isn’t it ole fashion? Look at our dresses–are you kidding! Today’s square dancing is different than what you did in junior high many years ago. Modern Western Square Dancing

is one of two American types of square dancing, along with traditional square dance.  As a dance form, modern western square dance grew out of traditional square dance in the American West. The term western square dance, for some, is synonymous with “cowboy dance” or traditional western square dance

We dance to all types of music and we have many more calls than the Traditional square dancing did that you’re familiar with from junior high school.

What are the benefits of square dancing?

  • For me, the social element is key–I now have friends all over the USA and the world who I have met in a square. It’s fun exercise for the body and mind–I don’t even know I’m dancing!
  • I love to square dance–I’m challenged to be a good listener to the caller, I work with seven others to complete the calls and I do all this to music. Our callers use a variety of music genres–in fact, this weekend our caller, Mike Hogan, used 80’s and 90’s rock songs, and it was fabulous.
  • You may ask if square dancing is good exercise. My husband and I usually dance Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights each week.

This week we dance Wednesday and Thursday night at our weekly club before the festival. At this festival, we danced Friday afternoon and evening, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening and Sunday morning. I wear a FitBit, so I can tell you my steps for these days:

  • Wednesday – 13, 158
  • Thursday – 13,836
  • Friday – 22,869
  • Saturday – 26,800
  • Sunday – 10,114

So you can see from these numbers that I get a lot of exercise out while dancing.

Square dancing has been around for around 200 years and is honored all over the United States and the world. It is the state dance for twenty-three states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

One last thing I love about square dancing–I get to be rowdy, shout and holler and have a great time. At this event on Saturday after our potluck, several on the committee were wearing our stylish new aprons, and impromptu we did a Congo Line around the squares and the caller joined in, and soon many of the dancers were snaking around the squares–often a caller puts on great music when the squares are forming, so away we went.

Congo Line
The Congo Line Happened!

We had planned a chorus line in front of the caller but we got sidetracked with the Congo Line. Then we did an all girl Chorus Line in front of the caller during the afternoon. Crazy fun that we do at this festival!

Chorus Line
The Chorus Line in our aprons!

We scatter promenade throughout the weekend, mixing up the people more–just for fun!

HAN 2018 Committee Crazy
Hot August Nights Committee A Little Crazy!

Have you ever square danced? When? Where? Do you think square dancing is boring?Do you need to exercise and just don’t want to because it’s no fun?

Visit our Hot August Nights web site:

For square dance lessons in the Albuquerque area, go to our web site:  Duke City Singles and Doubles Square Dance Club

Check out my web site and take a look at all my books and cookbooks:

Check out my Etsy Shop for August Sales: Larada’s Reading Loft

Hey, there! I would love to hear from you!

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