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    May 11
    Dark. No dance.

    May 25
    Terry Halley, caller
    Ken Prattt, cuer

    The Checkerboard Squares dance at the Rockwood Grange, located at 183rd and Southeast Stark Street between the Taco Time restaurant and the Motel 6 in Gresham, Ore. Admission: $5 for non-members.

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May I Have This Dance?

My biggest fear as a solo dancer is to sit through a square dance, longingly tapping my feet to the music as I watch others spin and twirl. That didn’t happen at the Checkerboards’ visitation with the R Square D’s  in Longview, Wash., on May 21, 2010, my first visit to this club.

This club dances at the Longview Square Dance Center, located in an industrial area off of Interstate-5. Friendly people greeted us at the door. So far, so good.

As I sat down to watch the pre-rounds, the Checkerboard’s former club president, whose wife’s sore toe has limited her square dancing lately, teasingly asked me if my dance card was full. If not, could he have a [square]  dance with me? Why, sure. So far, so good.

But when folks started squaring up for the first tip of the evening, someone I didn’t know invited me to dance. I’ve only been square dancing for 2.5 years, but this was the first time I’ve ever been on a visitation and someone from the visited club asked me to dance.

Later that evening, the club president also invited me to join him in a square. “We usually have more men than women,” he said. Tonight was an exception, he explained. He went on to say that his club watches out for visitors and makes sure they have an opportunity to participate. Nice. Thanks, R Square D’s.

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