Square Dancing Group Builds Frienships At Bedford Hills Community House In Bedford Hills, Ny

If square dancing seems a distant memory from grade school time then you haven't been to the Bedford Hills Community House on a Monday Night for quite some time. That would be about 40 years, according to Elios Swartz, founder of the Friendly Squares, Square Dancing Club in Bedford Hills, New York. An easy going chance to mix and get out of the house, Square Dancing builds bonds with a beat. "Square Dancing is friendship set to music," she says.
Square Dancing Group Builds Frienships at Bedford Hills Community House in Bedford Hills, NY
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/dancers-square-dance-people-couple-312642/

If square dancing seems a distant memory from grade school time then you haven't been to the Bedford Hills Community House on a Monday Night for quite some time. That would be about 40 years, according to Elios Swartz, founder of the Friendly Squares, Square Dancing Club in Bedford Hills, New York.

An easy going chance to mix and get out of the house, Square Dancing builds bonds with a beat. "Square Dancing is friendship set to music," she says.

Having acquired a good deal of age since 1970, she and her husband no longer dance as the balance required now mostly

eludes them but their weekly appearance means more to them than just friendship. With family dispersed throughout the country, she says, "We consider members as part of the family," and relying on each other is not contained to the calls of the dance or the walls of the community house.

And it's something that Square Dancers routinely take on the road. "It's a western style dance with a universal language - all done in English," she says. Meaning the friendship translates across country and the world - regardless of regional accent or even foreign language.

Coming back with tales from Asia, Europe and South America, members note that calls are done in English - and usually at the same speed as the tempo found in Bedford Hills. "They couldn't dance that fast," says Ms. Swartz of one couple's experience dancing with a younger group of dancers in Germany.

Still, for the beginner, the action seems to move fast enough. More than just a doe-c-doe to know, there are hundreds of calls or instructions to learn and dancers accumulate and execute them in a manner that is similar to learning to speak or do algebra.

You put a vocabulary together and the caller improvises the action as he or she goes along, says Ms. Shwartz.


So as the club is set up, enrollments are accepted towards the beginning of the two four month sessions that begin in October and February.

Currently, though, the Friendly Squares suffers from a shortage of men, as evidenced by numerous girls signified with a boy marker. "This means the women learn to be switch hitters," says club treasurer Debra Moore, but they'd gladly give up the chance to achieve square dance proficiency at both positions for a little more gender equality.

Of course, if the chance for a little more social interaction appeals, but you are slowed by an excess of left feet, she says, don't worry, just bring them both. "That's my husband - he's rhythmically impaired," says Ms. Moore, but this he can do and he just loves it, she adds.

It's also akin to walking three to five miles and almost impossible to deviate from its wholesome core. In order to follow the calls and keep hands ready for exchange, Ms. Moore says, you certainly can't drink or smoke.

Therefore, it goes without saying that it would be well suited for another demographic that is also lacking on each Monday night. "I wish more young people would find this because it's fun and keeps your brain sharp," concludes long time member Carolyn Butera.

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