GOOD CALL: Why not try square dancing: a fun and friendly form of exercise appealing to all ages. Suncoasters Square Dance Club has introductory sessions starting.
GOOD CALL: Why not try square dancing: a fun and friendly form of exercise appealing to all ages. Suncoasters Square Dance Club has introductory sessions starting. Contributed

Square dancing offers a new circle of friends

SUNCOASTERS Square Dance Club members are eager to kick up their heels in 2019 and are on the lookout for anyone willing to try something different.

Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre director Nev McLachlan said they were looking for people who had no experience at square dancing to show them how much fun it could be.

"It is unique because you don't need to be able to dance,” he said.

"It is really just walking to music, and whether you are actually in time with that music really doesn't matter.”

Nev said individual steps were taught and then those steps were put together in a sequence that became a dance.

"You don't learn a dance off by heart, you just learn the movements,” he said.

Nev McLachlan calling at a recent convention.
Nev McLachlan calling at a recent convention. Contributed

Nev said the caller's job was to call those movements for the dancers in a set routine, but the sequence was never the same.

"The caller has to put those steps together in a do-able order to make a dance smooth-flowing so that people can progress from one movement to the next,” he said.

A recent dance.
A recent dance. Contributed

Square dancers use a world-wide common list of movements.

"Once someone has learnt the steps, they can travel anywhere and participate in a dance,” Nev said.

Many moves come originally from European folk dancing and were brought to America with the first settlers.

A square-dancing display.
A square-dancing display. Contributed

"Because they were from many different countries, (the dancers) often incorporated steps from the diverse cultures together into their dancing,” Nev said.

"Australian bush dancing started the same, but it had more of a Scottish and Irish influence.”

Secretary Bev McLachlan said beginners' nights were held every Tuesday.

"We are having introductory sessions over the next six weeks,” she said.

The sessions give newcomers an idea of what square dancing is about.

"Overall, we need people to commit,” Bev said.

"It is not something you can turn up to one week then miss the next two.

"You are learning in a sequence so if you miss multiple weeks, it is very hard to catch up.”

Bev said the club had about 150 members, but they did not all come together at the same time.

"Saturday night is basic Mainstream which is practised world-wide, but on other nights there are different levels of dancing,” she said.

Dances attract 30-40 people per session.

"It is easy exercise as it only walking to music and you are walking at least 5km night,” Bev said.

"You don't have to have any fancy clothes or do any fancy hopping, skipping or jumping.

"Our motto is: dance in a square, make a circle of friends.”

Introductory sessions start tomorrow at 7pm at the Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre.

The centre is at 260 Dixon Rd, Buderim.

Contact the club on 0417 729 263 or 0427 135 442.



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