One of the things about living in the Ozarks that I love is investigating and learning about the many crafts, trades and skills that people in the Ozarks have kept alive. One of those skills is square dancing. Now, I know what you're thinking - oh my goodness, a Yankee square dancing - but let me tell you, it was the best workout and the most fun I've had in ages. And it just goes to prove that anyone can learn how to square dance.
I met up with the Alton Flutter Wheels at their Thursday night dance, held at the Alton Schools Multi-Purpose building from 7pm - 9pm. President's Larry and Daisy Simmons were on hand to greet me and introduce me to the dancers and the callers.
I got to watch several dances from the sidelines, marveling at the intricate steps and smiling faces as they went round the square, promenading, alemand-ing and even do-si-do-ing. And then, it was my turn....
As you can see from the photo, the smiling is contagious when you're square dancing - in my case, it was from having goofed a few steps along the way - but messing up is sort of half the fun, as everyone is supportive and laughs with you (not at you) and all help you get back into step and moving along.
There are several square dancing clubs in the area aside from Alton, including one in Horseshoe Bend, in Mountain Home and in Mountain View, Mo. If you're looking for a fun weekly activity that the whole family can do together that won't break the bank, I highly recommend coming out and trying it. You will get a lot of exercise (more than you would expect) and you'll share plenty of laughter and fun with your fellow Ozarkians. So don't be square - Dance!