Ever get the winter blahs? You know you need to get out and do something to stimulate your mind and body, but going to the fitness club can be boring and it’s too cold to do anything outside.
Well, cheer up – modern square dancing is an easy, fun and inexpensive boost out of the winter blahs.
With square dancing you get the mild physical exercise the doctor recommends, your mind is exercised as you follow the caller’s instructions, and you get to do these things in a fun social setting – the trifecta of healthy activity.
Square dancing – or friendship set to music – is a social activity, something people do just for fun.
It is worth noting that square dances are typically held in alcohol-free areas like schools and churches, and the people who get involved are active fun-loving people willing to try something different. In other words, they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and meet new people just like you.
It takes eight people to form a square, and each time the floor squares up you will probably end up with a different group of people. So if you mess up once (and everybody messes up once in a while) you get a fresh start the next time.
You don’t even have to have a dance partner. In fact, with eight people in the square you will be interacting with at least six of the other people just as much as you do with your partner.
The typical square dance involves briskly walking about five miles in two and a half hours. Since square dances are called in “tips” (groupings of two songs) with a break in between, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Plus if you want to take a break, you don’t have to square up for the next tip.
More importantly, this is a low impact exercise. Yes, you will get your heart rate up, but you won’t be panting – just what the doctor ordered. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends square dancing and studies have shown it to be beneficial for the heart, mind, and psyche – the trifecta.
The Hotfoot Stompers is one of the largest square dance clubs in the state incorporating dancers of all ages.
This winter the Stompers will be offering square dance lessons every Monday 7-9 p.m. at Northdale Middle School (11301 Dogwood St. NW, Coon Rapids). Lessons begin Jan. 6 and the first lesson is free. Lessons for all students under 18 years old are free. (For students who are homeschooled, this is a great way to complete the physical education requirement and meet and make new friends.)
Note: The only requirement is that you know your right from your left, can walk at a brisk pace, and have transportation. It is not necessary to come with a dance partner.
For more information about the Hotfoot Stompers call Jim or Marie Anderson at 763-571-3087 or visit www.HotfootStompers.org.
Editor’s note: Roger and Carol Dahl are long-time members of the Hotfoot Stompers and passionate promoters of the dance as members of Hotfoot Stompers’ marketing committee.