Last summer, I received an email invite to go square dancing at Art House North, a community in Saint Paul launched and led by my favorite singer/songwriter, Sara Groves. I didn’t go, but wished I did. All reports suggested it was a grand time!
So this summer when I got the notice that Art House North was doing another night of square dancing, I thought twice. I kept the email in my inbox for a week or two, but ultimately deleted it because an out-of-town event was going to make it nearly impossible for me to go.
Just 24 hours before square dancing event, I received a Facebook message from an out-of-state friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in 18 months. “Hey! In case you have the night free, we’re hanging out at this on Tuesday night.” Attached was the square dancing flyer.
Perhaps I was supposed to go square dancing after all?
The next day, just one hour AFTER I’d arrived back home from the out-of-town event, just 55 minutes BEFORE the square dancing event was scheduled to start, my husband was already on his way home so I could travel 53 minutes one way to square dance.
This was as crazy as crazy gets.
Honestly, it seemed stupid. Square dancing? By myself? On a Tuesday night? After I just got home from a BIG out-of-town event? Yes, please?
I had no idea WHY I was doing this. But for some reason, I KNEW I was supposed to go square dancing!
Let me tell you. Square dancing was AWESOME!
It was the breath of fresh air I so desperately needed.
Here are the advantages of square dancing with strangers!
- I don’t know WHY square dancing was invented, but it seems clear to me. Square dancing creates community!
- Where else do you get an opportunity to hold hands with strangers and skip in circles?
- People actually look you in the eye and smile for no reason.
- Square dancing brings young and old together.
- Promenade two by two? Who wouldn’t want to promenade?
- Do-si-do? Who wouldn’t want to do-si-do?
- Forget small talk! You’re dancing with people the whole time.
- Somebody’s searching for a dancing partner just like you.
- Square dancing types are easy to please. Forget Pinterest pretty. A plate of watermelon wedges, a tray of oatmeal chocolate chip bars, and a couple water jugs will do just fine.
- Where else do you get a chance to run to the center of the circle, hop on one foot, and yell “Woo!?!”
- People clap for you.
- The strumming of the stringers is super chill.
- You’ll find one old friend and a bunch of new friends among strangers.
- You feel kind of geeky, but you totally don’t care.
- At the end of the night, your hands will feel sticky and icky like they touched right about 10,000 hands. But you’ll wash with warm water and soap and count it all blessing.