You Don’t Have to Get Dressed Up to Square Dance with Country Cuzzins of Marble Falls
MARBLE FALLS — Robert Miller balked at the idea of going to a square dancing class offered by Country Cuzzins about 18 months ago. He didn’t want to wear the traditional clothes he’d seen on some of the men: red-and-white checkered shirt, bolo tie, and formal Western pants.
“I couldn’t see myself doing that,” Miller admitted.
Then why is he still square dancing more than a year later, serving as the Country Cuzzins president and promoting the activity, including an upcoming open house?
“I found out I could wear shorts and a golf shirt and still go square dancing,” he said with a laugh.
While people can and do wear the traditional square dancing outfits, it’s not required while learning, and enjoying, this American folk dance. In fact, people who attend the open house and even follow up with the 12-week square dancing lessons might encounter only a few Country Cuzzins regulars dressed up.
Square dancing, Miller said, isn’t about the clothes; it’s about having fun.
“I really enjoy it,” he added.
Square dancing can probably trace its footwork back to Europe, even dating to the 1600s. The dance isn’t a “pure” form in the sense someone created it from scratch. It has pulled in different moves, footwork, and other things over the years from several influences.
Europeans settling the country in colonial times likely brought some of their folk dances with them. Then, as people gathered and moved around the country, the dances got mashed up a bit.
Somewhere over the years, the American square dance evolved. A key part of the dance is the caller, who calls out the moves. Though interest may have waned at some points, square dancing remains strong, even making its way into other countries.
Square dancing offers participants a number of benefits from the social aspect to the physical one, but Miller said one of the surprising “side effects” of the activity is the mental part.
“It helps with your memory and your mind because you have to learn to listen,” Miller said. “You have to listen for the calls then remember them and then do them. It’s really a good exercise for your brain and mind.”
And it’s just fun.
People can learn more about square dancing and the Country Cuzzins by attending the open house at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at First United Methodist Church, 1100 Bluebonnet Drive. The 12-week lessons start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at the church.
Go to countrycuzzins.com or call Miller at (580) 678-4110 for more information.
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