If you are a one-dimensional square dancer and don’t know how to round dance, you’re missing out on half the fun.
The Mooresville Spinners, a local square dancing club, can help expand your geometry. The club’s schedule includes alternating sets of square dancing and round dancing.
Meetings of the Dancing Shadows held at Mooresville’s War Memorial Center on Monday evenings are well-attended. About a dozen couples show up for the weekly round dancing lessons provided by Peggy Broadway, a Harrisburg resident who teaches at five clubs throughout the Piedmont.
As described by Broadway, “round dancing is ballroom dancing with cues (directions)” just as square dancing has “tips” announced by a caller. Round dance couples follow a cuer’s cues as they glide around the dance floor to various rhythms including the waltz, mambo, cha-cha and tango.
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Most of the Dancing Shadows are members of at least one square dance club. The Mooresville Spinners, which has about 28 members, is one of those clubs. It holds dances at the War Memorial Center, every second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
“(Having round dancing) is a bonus for any square dancing club,” said Jack Untener who travels with his wife Brenda from China Grove. “The women just eat it up. It takes in all the romantic dances going on. … Some of the dances are just lovely. I like all forms of dance and it’s a lot of fun. And what does it cost, ten dollars, for the wife and me.”
Don’t let an attempt at understanding the geometry of dance paint you into a corner. Round dancing and square dancing are true to their names. However, the dimensions of the long, rectangular Blue Room (named for the color of its walls) inside the War Memorial Center, 220 N. Maple St., Mooresville, forces the round dancers to parade around the room in an oval pattern.
Still, it appears that everyone has a ball (or sphere). And the dancers are very proud of how their progress takes shape.
They have a good teacher in Broadway, who has been cueing for more than 35 years. Her husband, Al Broadway, an experienced square dance caller, serves as her assistant. Just like round dancing is less popular than square dancing, round dancing cuers are much harder to find than square dancing callers.
Peggy Broadway teaches the dancers, with breaks, for up to three hours. She plays music via a laptop computer and an amplifier and cues with the help of a microphone and a headset.
Reading from half-sheets of paper, Broadway cues the dancers, giving specific instructions to the man and the lady. Broadway writes most of her own cues.
Round dancing has degrees of difficulty, just as square dancing does. More advanced dancers tackle more advanced steps.
Mike and Linda Olscamp of east Charlotte have been square dancing for nine years and have attended conventions over half the country. They’ve been round dancing for less than a year, which makes them beginners, but love its romanticism.
“In the course of a square dance tip, you dance with all l4 women in the square,” said Mike. “In round dancing, you’re with your own partner. My wife and I have been married for over 35 years and (dancing) it’s one of the most pleasurable things I do in life.”
Joan Schuermeyer travels 50 miles from Fort Mill, S.C., every week because Mooresville is the shortest drive for her to attend round dancing lessons. Plus, her partner is Mooresville resident Walter Pawlowski.
“Round dancing is like ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” says Schuermeyer, a spry 74 years old. “Watching the (dancers) feel the music, the waltzes, feeling that waltz, the cha-chas, the rumbas, the fox trots. When the music starts, your feet just have to start moving.”
Joe Habina is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
For information, call the Mooresville War Memorial Center at 704-663-2670 or Peggy and Al Broadway at 704-455-2347 or email email@example.com.