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Square dancing still swinging in Roscommon

ROSCOMMON – The heyday of square dancing in America may have come and gone; but the couples from the Circle Squares square and round dance club are still swinging their partners in Roscommon.

The club was started in the early 1990′ by Ed Preczewski of Houghton Lake, who met his late wife at a square dance event on New Year’ Eve in 1949. The club meets on the first and third Thursday of the month, at the CRAF Center in Roscommon at 7 p.m. for round dancing, followed by square at 7:30.

‘When I was young, square dancing was the thing to do,’ said Preczewski. ‘Everyone knew how to do it.’

Nowadays, the Circle Squares, like square dancing communities all over the world, face the challenge of finding ways to keep square dancing opportunities available and introduce the art to new members. They routinely travel to events held by the other clubs in Northern Michigan, the Northern Squares of Gaylord, and the Sunrise Squares of Hale. Combined, the three clubs offer an opportunity to square dance every week.

‘It’ great exercise, and a great time!’ Preczewski insists.

Members from Circle Squares also participate in the annual Michigan Square and Round Dance Convention, which this year will be held in Dearborn, August 19-20, as well as national and international conventions.

‘No matter where it is practiced, square dancing is called in English all over the world, so it’ incredible to be able to dance alongside with people of all nationalities and languages,’ said Marjorie Tudor, 15-year member and former Vice President of Circle Squares.

Of all the travelling that occurs in order to participate in square dance events, the most relaxing outings may be the camping trips.

‘Once a month, during the summer,’ says Tudor, ‘we meet up with other square dancers at a Michigan state park and enjoy a weekend of camping and square dancing.

While public square dancing exhibitions may help generate new interest, the best way in which the circle squares can grow their club is for people to join them for their bi-weekly get-togethers or to schedule a square dancing presentation for their group or school.

Circle Squares caller George Edwards has given demonstrations at local elementary schools, teaching youth how to participate in square dances. If you have a school, youth, family, or work group that is looking for some fun and interactive entertainment, please give Circle Squares a call and let them know you would like to learn to square dance.

Anyone interested in attending a dancing event can call Bill or Marjorie Tudor at 989-348-6197. The cost is $10 per couple. People are always welcome to come and watch and enjoy refreshments, even if they do not plan to dance.

‘The best way to learn is to come out and watch.’ Says Preczewski.

If necessary, Circle Squares members will provide lessons to newcomers as requested.

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