South Windsor square dancers kick up their heels

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
South Windsor/Enfield - posted Fri., Oct. 4, 2013
Betty Catelli, Dorothy Robitaille, Mary Hubak and Angie Lindsey enjoy getting together to dance. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Betty Catelli, Dorothy Robitaille, Mary Hubak and Angie Lindsey enjoy getting together to dance. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Members and guests of the South Windsor Square Dance Club united for a festive evening of dance and music at the Powder Hollow Barn on South Maple Street in Enfield on Sept. 27. Dancers came from several towns to twirl the night away.

Brian Pabst, vice president of the SWSDC, said, “We do theme dances from time to time. Tonight was to be an Elvis night [but] I was the only one that came with any Elvis paraphernalia. I wore an Elvis wig, but when I saw that no one else did anything for the theme of the evening, I took the wig off,” laughed Pabst.

The dancers were in typical Western square-dancing attire. The women wore puffy skirts and men donned Western shirts and ties. The country music played, and the dancers took to the floor.

“There are several things about the whole square-dancing experience that are universal,” said Rita Wood, who is president of the East District Square and Round Dancing Club. “I have been to an event that was being called by a Japanese woman and cued by an English-speaking woman. The two could not communicate well due to a language barrier, but they could manage due to the fact that square-dancing is always called and cued in English. It was amazing.”

There are many benefits to square-dancing, one of them being that it is a form of exercise that usually doesn't cause either stress or pain. Dancing is a great way to stay social and not let the walls close in on you and it helps people relax and unwind at the end of the day. The square dance clubs often become like family. 

“Many people come each week to catch up on the latest news and reconnect with each other,” said Pabst.  “A lot of these people have been friends through the club for years.  It’s like an extended family here.”

Joan Davis was back to dancing after a bit of a break. “My husband recently passed away,” said Davis. “My husband and I have been members of this club for about five years. We had been dancing for 43 years and had been a part of different clubs, but five years ago we joined the South Windsor club. The people here are really nice, and I feel like they are a part of my family. My husband has been gone for a bit, so I thought maybe it was time to go back to dancing.”

The members wear name tags. Some tags have red dots on them. This means they are single and one should feel free to ask them for a dance. If the tag has a gold star on it, it means that the dancer is capable of dancing the male and female role.

The dance club, they say, is an excellent way to reconnect with your spouse after the children move out on their own. “Many couples join to do something together during the empty nest years,” said Wood. “Suddenly your children are all grown and you look at your spouse and think, I remember you.  What do we do with each other now that the soccer and baseball games are done? Square and round dancing is an excellent way to get to know each other all over again.”

Angie Lindsey, of Enfield, has been a part of the SWSDC for several years. “I know many people here,” said Lindsey. “This is a great way to get out of the house and just have fun.”

Mary Hubak comes all the way from Thomaston, Conn., to join in the dancing. “These people are my friends,” said Hubak. “I feel like I belong here. We always have a great deal of fun. It is worth the drive.”

Dorothy Robitaille, of Enfield, has been dancing since she was a girl. “I am 91 years old,” said Robitaille. “I survived my dear husband as well as a fiancé.  I have to keep going on with my life, so I meet up with my friends to dance, laugh and have fun.  I am really happy to be a part of the SWSDC.”

For more information on the South Windsor Square Dance Club, go online to http://fhrick.net/SWSDC/SWSDC.htm.


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