, Salem, MA


March 13, 2014

Swinging their partners


A square dance begins with four couples arranged in a square, whom the caller sets in motion, eventually returning them to their original positions.

Kutz started square dancing when she was in college in the late 1960s and came back to it in 1999. She trained as a caller at a four-day course in Sturbridge and does the calling when the Riverside Squares put on demonstrations.

“You start in a certain place,” Kutz said. “The caller throws a couple pieces of jigsaw puzzle up in the air, and ultimately, he has to get them back in place.

“The dancers don’t know what they’re going to be asked to do. They know the calls, and the caller will just tell them what to do.”

This style is called modern Western, as opposed to traditional square dance, said Ingrid Barry of Danvers.

“It’s more structured than contra dance,” she said. “It is a listening skill, after you have learned the calls. And many things we do in Irish set dancing are things we’re doing from square dancing.

“Which came first? I don’t know.”

Each set of calls directing a square dance, from start to finish, is called a tip, said Peter Schwind of Andover, the club president. After two tips, there is a break, during which some members do round dances, which he describes as “choreographed ballroom dancing.”

“They’re called ‘round’ because you progress in a circle around the floor. The cuer will tell you what the figure is, and these things get quite complex,” he said.

“Some people prefer the round dancing, and that’s all they do. There are other people that only do the square dancing.”

Barry, a past president of Riverside Squares, started dancing with her husband after he retired in 1992.

“We probably have 40 active dancers,” she said. “Our oldest dancer is 91, and she’s quite active — Phyllis Manoogian from Peabody. Most dancers, I would say, are in their 50s and 60s, but we’ve got a number of new dancers in their 30s and 40s.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? Par

    July 29, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker