After the living history museum closes and I’m finished my work for the day as an interpreter in St. Peter’s Church, I’m changing out of my corset and bustle and into modern day country dancing togs! There’s a barn dance tonight in the octagonal barn. Square dancing is something that I’ve enjoyed since grade school when Mr. Maghita, the gym teacher, would call out the squares and teach us to promenade, doe-see-doe, and allemande leftwith our classmates. I didn’t even mind the boy cooties. Even better, though, was the Girl Scout square dances when I got to dance with my father. Which reminds me of a funny story….
On my 15th birthday, my older sister Sarah and I were staying with my father at the historic Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. We had just delivered my sister Alice to the University of Colorado, Fort Collins and were heading back to California. As we checked in, I noticed a sign in the lobby advertising that there would be square dancing on the patio that evening. It sounded like a perfect way to celebrate my birthday, so after dinner, we made our way out to the terrace. I noticed that there were a lot of people dressed in square dancing outfits – ladies in ruffled skirts that stuck straight out, gents with string ties and cowboy boots. I lamented the fact that I hadn’t really packed for this occasion. I also wondered why all these people had pinned on name tags with the same logo. As the music started, people started squaring up, and my father promised me the first dance and asked my sister to wait her turn (since it was MY birthday). When all the squares were completed, I spotted a rather disgruntled couple in costume sitting on the sidelines. The caller and the dance started up, and the other couples in our square, in professional regalia, started ushering and dragging my father and I around to the dance steps being announced. Finally, I started putting all these clues together and realized, to my complete teenaged humiliation and embarrassment, that my father and I had just crashed a Square Dancing Performance!! I had always thought of square dancing as a teach-as-you-go, anyone-can-play kind of thing. It never occurred to me that the hotel guests were supposed to be simply spectators! My sister was so happy that it wasn’t her birthday, allowing her to be spared this special treatment. Ah well, Daddy. It makes up for there not being enough room for us to dance together at my wedding reception in the parish hall of the church 6 years later.
So tonight, Steve & I are dancing. I’m pre-posting this because I intend to get home from Old World Wisconsin all hot and tired and in need of a shower and sleep. Enjoy your Friday night, friends! I hope you DANCE!!!