Squares really do fit in round pegs for a group that will dance up a storm this weekend in Myrtle Beach.
The S.C. Square & Round Dance Federation, with about 30 clubs, will have its 39th state convention Friday-Saturday at Springmaid Beach Resort & Conference Center.
Richard and Barbara Walker of Columbia, past chairpersons for the federation, said dancers and spectators are welcome to these festivities, a pastime for all ages.
“That’s the whole thing,” Richard Walker said, “to relax, have fun and make friends.”
The Walkers also have square danced on travels to Germany, making friends with a pair who include a caller – the role of which, sounding like “an auctioneer,” cues the steps dancers take, he said.
“We have friends in Germany, Colorado and California,” Walker said, “and we’re met these people through square dancing.”
Walker elaborated on the many elements and benefits of square dancing, and that he and his wife of 44 years got into this form of recreation as their children grew older, so the couple soothed her curiosity to check it out.
“It started as a date night,” he said. “The truth is we fell in love with it.”
A lot of people think we do it for competition. It’s kind of a fun hobby. It’s actually classified as a sport, which surprises people. We have an outfit, Western wear. There are competitions at the state level, and national competitions.
If you go to a national convention, there’s everything you can think of there. They have seminars, such as if you want to learn how to sew a Western shirt. There is a school for callers. Callers have to go to school and be licensed. ...
State conventions are somewhat like that, but on a more local, smaller scale.
It’s not really expensive. You could go to a square dance for less than a movie. ...
It’s good exercise, for your mind, body, and it keeps you in shape. People will say, “I’m too old,” but what’s too old? I’ll be 71 in May. On average, my wife and I dance six out of 14 nights, and sometimes more than that.