A new season of Community Dances swings to life on November 2

VOORHEESVILLE — Two of the area’s leading proponents of traditional dance, Old Songs Inc. with underwriting support from Homespun Occasions, host a new season of Old Songs Community Dances, starting Saturday evening, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

Admission is $8 per person; children age 12 and under are admitted for free.

The first dance will feature caller Bob Nicholson and music by Fennig’s All-Stars at the Old Songs Community Center at 37 South Main Ave. in Voorheesville.

Come early with your own dish to share and join us for covered dish supper promptly at 6 p.m.

The season continues on the following first Saturdays of the month, through May.

The idea behind the dance series is to create a family-friendly community dance that was common from the 18th to mid-20th centuries throughout this country. Today these dances are more common in the United Kingdom, where they are known as “Barn Dances,” or “Ceilidhs,” and are geared to older children, teens, and adults who like a variety of dance, but prefer simple, easy-paced dances.

Rosenberg, the founder and organizer of the Flurry Festival, and second caller of the series, says, “It is a testament to the tradition that our contra-dance scene is vibrant and continuing to innovate and develop new, more complicated dances, as the square dance movement did in the middle of the 20th Century. On the other hand, there’s a long tradition of the old-time community square dance as a way to relax and socialize. We think there’s room for both.”

We may be just as busy today as we were in the 1800s, just not quite as physically active in many cases. We do have plenty of reasons to want to unwind, though.

“You see, back before ‘labor-saving’ devices, people worked pretty hard just to make it through the day,” says Rosenberg. “An evening of socializing with friends often included dances that were simple and fun as a way to relax. Things aren’t so different today. Many of us want to move and have fun, but don’t have lots of time to commit to learning complicated figures.”

The series will feature simple, fun, joyous, dances from the United States and around the world in circle, square, contra, and other configurations. It’s a long-standing tradition to bring people of all ages together in an evening of simple joyous dances that anyone of any age can do, whether you have ever danced or not.

Further information concerning the Community Dance may be found at Old Songs’ website, oldsongs.org, or by calling 765-2815.

Editor’s Note: Andy Spence is the founder of Old Songs Inc.

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