Square Dancers Kick Up Their Heels And Dance!

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Square dancers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri poured into Warsaw on Friday, August 16, to begin a weekend of dinner, dancing, workshops and social get-togethers at the Community Building. Well over a hundred dancers took part that included 122 who were preregistered, 12 who had called ahead, and drop ins.
This was the 34th anniversary of the dancing weekend entitled Crady’s Country Capers, named for Larry Crady who is part of the leadership of the once-a-year square dancing get together. The event has taken place every year in Warsaw since 2000, and was previously held at Rockaway Beach, Missouri.
“All of the dancers belong to different square dancing clubs in the four states,” said Crady, who showed up at the Community Building early on Friday to help set up for the event and prepare to participate as one of three dance callers. “They pay a nominal fee to participate in this dancing weekend to help defray the costs of renting the building, paying dance callers and other incidentals. The public is also invited, but those individuals must be graduate dancers. We expect to have 15 or 16 squares of eight dancers each.”
The weekend schedule began with a casual dress pot luck supper and welcome dance on Friday evening. Coffee and donuts were served on Saturday morning prior to Round Dance and Square Dance workshops. Saturday night Pre-Rounds took place from 7:30 to 8 PM, when couples performed ball room style one-steps, two steps and other dances. Square dancing took place in full dress attire from 8 to 10 PM, and after party skits occurred afterwards. During the Saturday night dancing, all three callers were at the microphone, including national caller Lanny Weaklend. More coffee and donuts were available on Sunday morning and the weekend ended with a farewell dance from 9 to 11 AM.
Crady said that square dancing is open to all ages, basically about eight years to 90. He said that square dancing can be practiced accompanied by country/western, jazz and rock n’roll music. He stated that square dancing is the only dance that is unique to the United States. And, even when it is performed in other countries, the calls are always made in English.
Warsaw once had its own square dance club called the Damsite Dancers. It met twice a month at John Boise Middle School, and hosted other dance clubs on occasion. It closed down several years ago.
WebMD reports that square dancing can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, age-related memory loss, osteoporosis and depression. It gets participants moving, twisting, and turning and helps keep the mind sharp by remembering the “do-si-dos” to ‘alemands.’