By CHERIL VERNON
If getting more exercise, trying new things and meeting more people are on your list of New Year’s resolutions, a local group may have something for you to learn in 2013.
The Dogwood Squares Square Dance Club will be offering square dancing lessons starting Monday, Jan. 7 in Palestine.
“Give it a try. The people who try it and stick with it, really enjoy it,” Dogwood Squares President Diane Walker said. “It’s good fellowship, you meet a lot of people and it’s excellent exercise. A body in motion stays in motion.”
Lessons will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays at the Palestine Senior Activity Center, 200 N. Church St. A total of 24 lessons will be given, with the first two lessons offered free. Cost for the lessons depends on the number of students but generally ranges from $25 to $30 for all the lessons together. Caller will be Ron Mineau.
Those planning to take square dance lessons are encouraged to dress comfortably and light and to wear comfortable shoes.
“Families who want their children to take lessons can either stay with the child or take lessons with the child,” Walker said.
The Dogwood Squares will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as an organization on April 4. Regular dances are held on the first (dressy) and third (casual) Thursday of each month at the senior center.
“We have different callers from Tyler, Dallas, Louisiana and Oklahoma,” Walker said.
Currently, there are about 28 members in the club.
“On a good dance, we have up to five squares — with eight people to a square. Some come from as far away as Jacksonville, Athens, Fairfield, Lufkin, Longview and Kilgore,” Walker said. “We travel there to dance too.”
The East Texas Square Dance Association, which also will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, has square dancers that range in age from 10 years old to 92 years old.
“Square dancing keeps you in good health,” Walker said.
The club is currently made up of half couples and half singles.
“We have about six or seven couples and the rest are singles,” Walker said.
There’s even a square dance association just for singles.
The Dogwood Squares have danced recently at the Hot Pepper Festival and at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s festival held on the same day as the Hot Pepper Festival.
“We also just did a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels,” Walker said.
Walker joined the square dance club about three years — ready to try something new.
“I didn’t think I knew anyone at first, but the more people started coming in, the more I recognized their faces,” Walker said.
Walker encouraged those worried about making mistakes while learning to dance to not worry.
“We all make mistakes and we laugh at our mistakes,’” Walker said. “Its fun and that’s what it’s all about.”
For more information about the square dancing lessons, call Walker at 903-948-1223 and leave a message.