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  185.     

dare to be square

“Swing that lady round and round, ”
in the square-dance is the sound
that you will hear, and helps you go
around while you both do-si-do,
Although square-dancing can be hip
when you’re dancing lip to lip,
this isn’t mostly how it’s done,
but still creates a lot of fun
when promenading you can all-
emande with partners. Every gal
who loves to square-dance till she’s dizzy
can get her partner in a tizzy
by lifting up her prairie skirt
to find out if he is inert,
and every guy who loves to square-
dance can find gals prepared to share
their loving skills once they have danced,
by dancing skills of guys entranced.

Square-dancing that’s traditional
is for the inhibitional,
but those who are more highly sexed
can twist and twirl and even text,
and follow callers till they fall
in love with dancers who are tall
and dark and handsome, or are short
and fair and plain––it doesn’t matter
when you’re square-dancing. You can flatter
partners when you’re Appalachian,
proving that you are the Mädchen
whom they desire, or the lad
if your dancing isn’t bad,
and even if it is, so what?
Square-dancing is such fun, it’s not
important how you do it. Just
enjoy it while in God you trust,
and if you don’t, come, take a chance:
be square for one night, and square-dance.

Mary Pilon, who writes an article on square dancing in the WSJ on December 16,2009 (“Square Dancing Tries to Get Hip to Lure Young Folks”) writes in a blog:
But where did square dancing come from? Square dance caller and historian Phil Jamison may have found out. It’s taken the teacher of math and Appalachian studies at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., over 10 years to unearth pieces of the puzzle that have been missing for centuries. He and other square dance historians say the story starts in France. There, dances like quadrilles were all the rage in the late 18th century and like today’s square dances, featured four couples in a square. After the American Revolution, former colonials rejected all things British, including the country’s dances. More en vogue French instructors crossed the pond to teach their trendy moves. French terms like “do-si-do, ” “allemande” and “promenade” still remain part of the modern square dancing lexicon. The dances done in early America then didn’t have a “caller, ” or someone who yells out the moves to dancers, like square dancing today. Rather, the expectation, Jamison says, was that dancers went to school, memorized the moves, then went to the ball.
Square dancing then was done mostly to live music, almost always played by African-American musicians. It’s believed that many of these musicians became callers due to the gap in literacy and formal training among slaves of the time. Jamison says he found evidence of an African-American caller dating back as early as 1819 in New Orleans. Other African-American dance moves, instruments like the banjo and fiddle, and call and response traditions were also incorporated, he says. “Even though we don’t currently see the banjo, fiddles and square dancing as a part of African American culture, ” Jamison says, “they once were.” Calling gained popularity up and down the Appalachian range throughout the 1800s, Richard Severance, archive director of the Square Dance Foundation of New England, says. Dancing numbers dwindled in the 19th century and opposition among religious groups of the time didn’t help recruiting, either. “There was a puritanical belief that you shouldn’t touch a young lady, ” Severance says. Later in the century, square dancing was replaced by couples dances like waltzes and polkas in city ballrooms. But square dancing still thrived in rural areas….
Around the 1950s modern square dancing was standardized. Lessons, which are still taught today, comprise of 69 standard moves. When the Western attire of slacks and petticoats became the norm, it was considered casual compared to the formal tuxedoes and ballroom gowns of the time, Len Houle, president of the United Square Dancers of America says. There are also “traditional” square dancers who base their moves more in the Appalachian style before the 1950s standardization. Today, traditionalists typically don’t require lessons and dance to live music rather than recordings. For many traditional dances, no lessons are required to enter. Partially due to dwindling numbers, modern square dancing groups made pushes in the 1980s and 1990s to be considered the official dance or folk dance of the U.S. President Ronald Reagan made square dancing briefly the national folk dance from 1982-1983. The USDA has put its national campaign on hold for now, until the group finds a legislator to support the bill, Houle says. However, there are currently 31 states that have officially recognized square dancing. And as reported today, the numbers of square dancers are dwindling again, from an estimated 1 million dancers in the late 1970s to around 300,000 according to the USDA. Recruitment efforts continue. “The doors are open to anybody and everybody, ” Houle says.


12/16/09
 
gershon hepner

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  186.     

The Dancing Queen The Famous Dancer

She's almost sixty years and she's still dancing and she is still known as the dancing queen
And she was a champion dancer in her twenties one of the finest dancers ever seen
And still she is a marvel on the dance floor and with dancers half her age she can compete
The passing years may have slowed her a little but there's still years of dancing in her dancing feet.

She has always been a dancer she will tell you, I've been dancing since I was two I've heard her say,
I have such a great love for dancing music and dancing I could never give away,
South American, African and Celtic and I can rock and roll and twist and jive
Music always makes me feel like dancing and makes the soul in me feel so alive.

Almost sixty years but she doesn't look it through her blond hair hardly any gray
She doesn't feel she's getting old and slowing 'I feel old' you never hear her say,
She will still be dancing when she's eighty doing what she thoroughly enjoy
And if per chance there is a life hereafter she will dance in heaven in the sky.

She's the Dancing Queen the famous dancer and she doesn't feel that she's beyond her prime
And she will still be dancing when she's eighty for she is one who won't lay down to time
Dancing is the thing that keeps her happy and she dances with a big smile on her face
And she doesn't feel she's getting old and weary for age in her life doesn't have a place.
 
Francis Duggan

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  187.     

Pool

Drip and Drip into the ocean
Water fills and overflows - drown in
your own blood.
Puddles sing and tidal waves dance...
Dance through the streets
Sing to the children (Dance)
Let us Dance. Our own time - to our own hearts
that beat out of sync. Our rhythm
A Tango in Foxtrot tempo...
We break - we fall
into the water... (Dancing)


talk - speak - shout


We stand looking at each other
(silence) interrupting us
- I look into your eyes
Pools of blue (Dancing)
I can't see the stream - fall from your eyes
(plunge) into the deep


discuss - express - explain


Make us
Break us
structure us
construct us
(Dancing)
Eyes


analyze - compare - contrast


I don't float, lungs fill with
water, gasping for breath - (swim)
further and further - an Abyss
I watch you Dance
Swirls of violet and red - (Dance)
the darkness - my eyes explode (colour)
Watch as the pus of the ocean
seeps (Dance)


venture - wander - Dance


Back staring - I realise
You have not cried
Yet puddles surround us (Dancing)
Why?


dive - dive - dive


Dissect your eyes - find (reflection)
watching me - cry
Adding water to the ocean
Rising - drip by drip
Flooding
Like tidal waves
We will dance through the streets
Dance through it all
(Dance)
 
Kieran Daniel Evans

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  188.     

Dance In The Rain

Dance in the rain
With clouds at your heels
Rosebuds refreshed
The calming one feels

Life is the present
There's no need to wait
Throw back the shutters
And unlock the gate

Dance in the rain
As it cleanses the sky
No tears on sun's cheeks
And no need to cry

Life is what's happening
Through clouds or gray
Sunshine or snowflakes
They're all nature's way

Dance in the rain
It's all part of life
Let hope, your umbrella
Guide you through strife

Dance in the rain
And when clouds tend to loom
Welcome their darkness
Into the room

Life is for living
Through storms, joy and pain
Always remember to
DANCE IN THE RAIN

(7-2-2011)
©2012 All Rights Reserved
 
Holly Jamestone

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