Fun for all ages — square, line dancing course a good way to stay active

Published 12:03 am Sunday, March 5, 2023

SALISBURY — Square dancing might seem like an old fashioned thing to do, but if you give it an honest try, you might realize how easy and fun it really can be.

NorthGate Church in Salisbury is hosting a two-week square dancing and line dancing course that allows anyone to come in and join the activity.

Square dancing involves each person being paired with a partner and the caller shouts out different commands and steps. All the moves are simple, and it just takes a bit to get the hang of it. Repetition is key to learning the technique, with steps being repeated over and over.

Line dancing doesn’t involve partners, but it does let everyone synchronize their movements and be part of a group.

Marty Northrup has been calling square dances for 46 years. He has traveled all over the country to be a part of lessons and conventions. He is president of the North Carolina Callers Association. The reasons he’s been doing it for so long is for the people that show up and seeing them learn his favorite dances.

“I love to bring joy to people, I love to see people smile,” Northrup said. “I love to see people cut up, I love to see them have a good time.”

Music is important when it comes to keeping the beat with the dances. Sometimes a live band is on site to perform, but Northrup prefers recorded music because of the convenience.

“It’s top musicians out of Nashville and it’s good music. It keeps the cost down and people can afford to have us come in,” Northrup said.

Gabriele Goodnight is president of the Cardinal Squares, the sponsor of the lessons and a western square dancing club. She loves that square and line dancing has kept her active as she gets older.

“It’s exercise and especially for us older folks, it keeps you on your toes. It keeps your brain active,” Goodnight said. “It is so much fun!”

For anyone interested in square and line dancing, Northrup recommends it. It doesn’t matter if you have no dancing experience, anyone can be entertained while moving their feet and meeting new people.

“I don’t care of you’re a doctor, I don’t care if you’re a lawyer, I don’t care if you’re unemployed, I don’t care if you’ve never had a job in your life, when you walk through that door you’re equal to everybody in the hall,” Northrup said.

NorthGate Church will be having another dance lesson on March 11 from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.