26 Years Of Square Dancing

Augusta Square Dancers performed their 23rd annual birthday dance last Friday and Saturday at the Margaret River Cultural Centre, attracting guests from 26 different square dancing clubs throughout Western Australia.

The news article “Dancing on the square” has full details on this story. It says the following: “For people who haven’t witnessed square dancing before, it was a sight to see. About 150 dancers were doing the ‘do say do’, circling left and right, and swinging their partners in time to the music and a singer on stage.”

Chris Karas, one of the performers, tried to explain how dance performances are organised and how instructions are given to dancers.

“They pick any song they can change and incorporate moves into it,” he said.

The different square dance moves are based on the figures and steps used in traditional social dances and folk dances from various countries. Calls are either sung or spoken in a more hoe-down style.

“You can go anywhere but the calls are always in English, even in Japan,” Chris said.

Janette Hartnett, one of the members of Augusta Square Dance, said that there were over 1500 dance moves to be learned, and five different competency levels from novice to advanced.

43-year old Hartnett is the youngest of around 26 dancers from Augusta.

“I’ve always loved dancing,” she said.

Hartnett further noted that the annual birthday dance was one of the only three events for square dancers in the state, and had been taking place in the Margaret River region for around 21 years.

“Most people rock up with trailers, caravans and buses,” she said, adding, “We feed them for three days, and then they help pack up and go home.”

The theme for the event changes every year. Some of the previous themes included Miss Augusta Dance and lifeguards.

“Everyone got into it.”

The event this year was also a send-off for caller Brendan Jordan who has decided to say goodbye to the club after being part of it for many years.

Hartnett encouraged people to try out square dancing.

“We need to find more dancers who want to learn,” she said.

Aspiring dancers can contact Hartnett at netty@westnet.com.au, 0458 364 367, or Lynn Jones at 9757 2256.

Square dancing is admired by people across the globe, and people across the globe are working for the continuous development of this type of dance.

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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