Linda and Wayne Townsend have been square dancing for over 40 years and haven’t regretted it for a moment.
“Literally, it’s therapy,” Linda said. “Your worries just disappear.”
A square dance involves eight dancers – four couples – arranged in a square with one couple on each side and everyone facing the middle. A caller cues the dancers through a sequence of steps to the beat of the music.
There are about 12 western square and round dance clubs on lower Vancouver Island.
The Townsends are part of the Frontier Twirlers Square Dance Club and frequent the Colwood Community Hall, where dances and lessons take place. The Frontier Twirlers just celebrated 60 years and is a mainstream club that hosts weekly classes as well as dances on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
The Townsends say there’s nothing better than enjoying an evening of “good, clean fun” filled with dancing, socializing and refreshments.
“It’s good exercise, it’s good for your health, there are so many positive things about square dancing,” Linda said. “Where else can you go for $6 and have a night of fun?”
Square dancing awareness week in B.C. runs from Sept. 15 to 21 and in Colwood, will be finishing off with an open house on the Sept. 21.
The event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will be a way to bring new individuals into the dance season. It will feature a beginner class with basic instruction to give participants a taste of what square dancing is like. The first two lessons after the open house will also be offered for free to individuals who want to try the classes without making a commitment.
Penny Kristiansen will be starting her third square dance season this year. About 12 years ago, her husband died of cancer and Kristiansen said as time passed, she began to look for something that could help keep her active.
“We had talked about dancing but we never had a chance to follow up,” Kristiansen said. “And then I saw the banner on the Colwood Community Hall saying square dancing was starting … and that was it for me.”
Kristiansen said it has been a great way to meet other people, exercise and keep her brain stimulated.
“I go once a week now,” Kristiansen said. “You just choose to make it part of your life.”
For more information about the open house, clubs or classes, visit frontiertwirlers.weebly.com.