Tis the season of Thankfulness, Giving, Family, increased stress and fitting everything in. Some people greet the Holiday Season with JOY, and to some it brings a sense of loss and sadness. Take comfort in the happy memories, forgive those who might have caused sad memories and go forth and spread friendship and caring to others. Nothing beats the blues better than giving to those truly in need. Do you know a family who is in crisis in some way?Does someone need help with rent, cooking or a critical bill? Or, try mixing up the holidays by making your gifts by baking or using your hobby, such as jewelry-making, woodworking, etc. Or, agree to exchange only useful, practical gifts and put a money limit on it. Donate to a charity in someone's memory or honor. If you want to completely skip the traditional, try going camping, hiking or volunteering. Are you going out to dinner? Tip extra well. People depend on the increased pay for Holiday, Overtime and Tips to pay their bills. Make New Friends! This is very important for your physical and emotional health. Try something new, like Square Dancing with your local club. Our club also offers Line Dancing and Ballroom Dancing. You will meet a terrific group of kind and caring people who love to laugh and get exercise by dancing. See you on Tuesday nights!
Every Fall, all the Square Dance Clubs start New Dancer classes. Our club also line dances, so there are both Square and Line Dancing opportunities. September has 3 lessons for FREE, then students are charged only $3/week. Our last free lesson is September 28th, 2015. Our club supplements the cost of the lessons to keep the price affordable for anyone in the community. Our square dance Caller, Rachel Phillips, has many years of experience both as a square and round dancer AND as a caller. She keeps us laughing as we learn AND she secretly likes it when we get our Square in a mess because it gives her the mental challenge of fixing it without calling "Olly Olly Oxen Free!" She is always respectful to the dancers and has a nice way of teasing us until we are laughing at ourselves and we enjoy teasing her back. Rachel is endlessly patient, which we all appreciate. If you don't have a partner; we provide one. In fact, several of our female dancer can dance in the male role also!
Cheri Ridenhour, our Line Dance Instructor, is becoming famous for her expert teaching ability. AND, Cheri is a Plus Level Square Dancer, too! Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, you will enjoy your time line dancing. Believe it or not, we encourage beginners or those new to that particular line dance TO DANCE IN THE MIDDLE of the group. That way, no matter which "wall" you face or how you turn, there will be a person who does know the dance within your view. We recently published a video of a line dance with the person who had never done that dance in the middle, thus making errors. I think this video had record viewings because it was REAL! This is how line dancers REALLY look when they are not doing a perfectly choreographed demonstration dance. We do make mistakes, but we prefer to think of it as "styling our moves", and we laugh loudly, stomp our boots and just continue on.
We encourage you to try BOTH Square and Line dancing. We even throw in some Armenian, Contra, Couples and other types of folk dancing to keep things spiced up. Advanced Dancers, have you ever done a 6-sided square? It is a blast!
COME JOIN US! Last FREE class this year is on September 28, 2015 at 6 for Lines and 7 for Squares. See you there!
Our Line Dancers went to San Andreas, CA for a Workshop & Dance. One of our members, Dana, had moved to that area and invited us to their Line Dancing workshop. There were many different groups there. Cheri Ridenhour, our Line Dance Instructor, drove us all in her Suburban, which made for fun on the way to and from the event. We learned several new dances and Cheri was even requested to do an impromptu instruction of one of ours after we did a demo dance. We also demonstrated Bootie Shakin'; I was definitely a bit rusty on that one. It was decided that we would host an area workshop at our hall, tentative date in October 2015. After 5 hours of dancing and a 1 hour break, we were impressed at how much fun it was, the wonderful venue and we were proud of our fitness level that enabled us to dance for 5 hours. We shared a few memories of our first nights at the Bootjack Stompers when 20" felt like about all we could muster before we took a rest break.
Come to the Bootjack Stompers Hall on Tuesday Nights. Advanced Line Dancing starts about 5:15. Beginning and Intermediate at 6PM. Square Dancing (advanced beginners) at 7PM and Mainstream/Plus at 8:15PM with intermediate/advanced line dancing between square dancing tips. A new class of Beginning Dancers will start in the Fall. But, feel free to drop on by and see the fun, find out why we laugh so much . Check us out on Facebook and "like" us.
I have been Square Dancing for 4 years now. This year, I decided to learn to dance the "Boy" part. When we started a new Beginning Dancer class for our Square Dancers, I grabbed a "Boy" badge and jumped into a square. While we were at first a little worried that the New Dancers would get confused, it turns out it wasn't such a problem. The new dancers don't really know I am in a "wrong" spot and the Caller, Rache Phillips, got used to saying "The person opposite you". Anyone who has been in Square Dancing for awhile knows that being a mentor, or Angel, to new dancers can get a little predictable. Learning All Position Dancing (APD) is a great way to mix-it-up and have some new fun. If you are a solo dancer who usually dances in the ladies spot, it is a great way to gain more dance time if there is a shortage of people who dance the men's position.
We have added a YouTube account (Bootjack Stompers) and a Google + account to our social media efforts which include Facebook and a Weebly Website. If you haven't worked with social media a lot, it is a challenge to learn how to use each social media account, optimize the "Google Juice", embedding words and links to help folks find you. If Windows 8.1 operating system is thrown into the soup, it becomes a brain twister. And yes, there are a few Glitches in this learning curve. But, just as in learning Square, Line or Big Band dancing, the learning is a lot of fun.
And we now have Bootjack Stomper clothing! Our savvy youth has advised us to add our town, website and other ideas to the screen printing. Members can pick the clothing item of their choice. Square Dancer tops also being ordered. If you want to order Bootjack Stomper items, click the button to go to Ladybug Embroidery & use the 'Contact Us' feature to ask for more information.
Whether you have lived in your town for a long time or are new to town, square dancing is a GREAT way to make friends and make connections. Square Dance clubs are all over the world and the Square Dance World is a very welcoming bunch of people.
Square Dancing provides more than exercise and fun. Square Dancing and Line Dancing in the Bootjack Stompers builds Friendships. In fact, there are many couples in our club who met via square dancing. We have dancers who are or are retired from being nurses, therapists, carpenters, chauffeur, administrative, students, hospitality, business owners, contractors, engineers, students and the list goes on. We dance to all types of music that appeal to many age groups. No partner to dance with? No problem! We provide opportunities to dance.
Whether you are on vacation in nearby Yosemite National Park, a local resident of Mariposa County or just passing through the town of Mariposa, come on by during a workshop night (Tuesdays at 6pm - 9:30pm) or dance night (see the flyers on the Home page.) We can even help you find a square dance club near you!
After advertising at the Labor Day Parade, The Mariposa County Fair, the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce, Flyers in Town, Coupons for FREE instruction at Pioneer Market, articles in the Mariposa Gazette and lots of other efforts, our new Line and Square Dancing classes have begun. We have lots of new dancers. As an incentive to try both types of dancing, we offered 3 free weeks of instruction and now we are charging $3 if you square dance (includes line-dancing too) and $4 for Line Dancing only.
Admittedly, some folks just came for the line dancing, but after some coaxing, they did try the Square Dancing and they loved it! As one person said, "Sign me up!". Each new dancer is paired with an experienced dancer and each "square" (4 pairs, or 8 people, in a square) is balanced with new and experienced dancers. This way, if someone is "lost" in what to do next, they just hold their hands up and an experienced dancer guides them through. Husbands/wives/couples/solos . . . they were ALL laughing as they learned the beginning moves. Our Caller, Rachel Phillips, makes learning the first moves easy and fun. We reassure our new dancers that "You have to do a call 100 times to cement it in your brain." This is why it is important to come to workshop every Tuesday. You can miss occasionally, because we do reinforce learning each week, but if you miss two weeks in a row, you will need a couple "angels" (experienced dancers) to help you catch up or you might want to re-join next time we start a new class. Like any new skill, it takes some practice.
Many of the new dancers stayed to see one "tip" (15" of square dancing) of the "experienced folks". Guess what?! We were might impressive to watch. . . until we imploded a square, too. Yup, it happens to all levels of dancers. That is when the belly laughs happen and team work gets us back on track. I swear Rachel (our caller) likes this part best . . . the puzzle of calls to get us back where we belong.
The Line Dancers are learning 3 new dances and there is definitely laughter happening here, too. Cheri Ridenhour is a patient and excellent instructor. She not only teaches the "beginners", but is constantly learning new dances to challenge the more experienced folks. She and her husband, Randy, sometimes have "field trips" to Sacramento for line dancing at clubs.
We were all new dancers once! Come out and give Square and Line Dancing a try. Ballroom dancing instruction is available with advanced notice, John Harris can be contacted via the phone number on our Workshop page.
After hearing from a Nurse friend of mine for TWO YEARS how much fun she and her teenaged daughter were having square dancing with the Bootjack Stompers, I finally went to a class. Unfortunately, my friend had just moved to Merced so I went that first night all by myself! But, I didn't need to worry. I was made very welcome and then the music Line Dance started up. I was told to "stand in the middle". Yikes! I want the BACK OF THE ROOM. Well, it turns out, that in Line Dancing, you change directions a lot. If I was in the middle of the room, I would always have someone who knew what they were doing in front of me. Was I a little clumsy, awkward and clueless? Absolutely! But I had plenty of company. I was sure I would NEVER get as good as those 'Stompers folks'. I seemed to be unable to balance more than a split second on one leg and couldn't remember which was my left leg. Sure enough, with patient teaching, by the end of that first 1/2 hour, most of us "got it" and others "almost got it". Later that night, I watched the more advanced line dancers dance. They were amazing!
After the line dancing, I stayed for the beginning Square Dancing. This part had me very nervous. I didn't have a partner (more on my reluctant husband another time), I didn't have a clue about square dancing beyond "Do Si Doh". Sure enough, a Bootjack Stomper member took me under their wing, listened to my nervous babble and assured me everything would be OK. The Stompers ensures all new dancers have a partner ("Angels" help new dancers learn). I sure wish I could remember who my first "Angel" was, because he deserves a gold medal. I'm sure I stepped on his toes more than once, crashed into him a time or two and the caller had to tell me often "Your other left". Before I knew it, I had learned the first basic calls and had danced for an hour. And, I hadn't laughed that hard in a long while. I knew I wanted to come back and learn more.
Another outstanding memory of Day One: Square Dancing and Line Dancing is Great Exercise! I was pretty tired! My whole body had definitely had a workout. However, we can easily show anyone how to adapt the either type of dancing to accommodate sore joints or legs/arms. Square Dancing wins hands down for the most overall body exercise and scores extra points for the type of activity that helps keep bones strong and the mind sharp. Oh, and don't forget the laughing!
We are the Bootjack Stompers Square Dance Club! As a relatively new dancer of "Lines" and "Squares", I hunted for information on both. This blog is reminiscing and real time experiences during this adventure.