Four reasons to try square dancing in 2020
WHITTIER — In a time when everyone is plugged into their electronic devices, it can be a challenge to connect with real people. Here are four reasons why learning to square dance could be an unexpected step to fun, fitness and friendship in the new year.
Brings people together – Learning to square dance is a fun way to spend time interacting with family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers, socializing, and working as a team. No partner is needed because a square is formed with a group of 8 people.
The group changes every two songs, so you meet a lot of new people in a short amount of time. It is a great way to build community, appreciate our diversity, and expand your circle of friends.
Improves your brain and mood – Square dancing is like solving a puzzle, it is a giant game of Simon Says, or a living Rubik’s Cube set to music. Listening and following directions with a team of other dancers keeps your mind sharp, improves memory, pattern recognition, and spatial awareness.
Making mistakes in square dancing is half the fun; it induces silliness and laughter which enhances your mood. There’s no stress of competition. Instead, you develop teamwork as you accomplish a goal, build confidence, gain a positive outlook, and dance your cares away.
Great exercise – Square dancing is a moderate, low-impact, aerobic exercise equal to walking about 3-5 miles. It is a great way to burn off those extra holiday calories, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, strengthen muscles and bones, improve coordination, balance and flexibility.
There is a natural break after a couple of songs, so you can socialize, have some refreshments, or sit out and watch for a bit if you need to catch your breath. It is so much fun you won’t even notice you are exercising.
Keep an American tradition alive – Square dancing is California’s official state folk-dance. It dates back to America’s earliest days when immigrants from many lands shared their traditional dances. Callers came along in the 1800s to teach the steps and mix them together with entertaining humor.
Square dancing became even more popular after World War II, with dancers numbering in the millions. By the 1970s, there were dozens of square dance clubs in the Whittier area. While there are still a few dozen clubs in Southern California, only one remains in Whittier.
Major Keys Square Dance Club invites you to give square dancing a whirl. The next beginner class starts on Feb. 6 from 7-9 pm, at 13225 Walnut St., in the Senior Center building, but all ages are welcome (10+).
For more information go to www.MajorKeys.org or call 562-567-3303.