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Ag Happenings: Square Dancing
There are many activities that encompass the heart and soul of Tioga County, but one in particular stands out in this chilly season. With few things to do outside in the cold weather, it’s time to get moving at Tioga County square dances!
“In this area it started as people having dances in their houses,” says McNett Country Band member, Carl Schlappi, who plays music for the square dances. “And then…they started having bands play…and they would go to grange halls, mostly. That’s pretty much where it started in this area.”
Tioga County square dances are enjoyed by locals of all ages. “I have been dancing ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper,” says dance attendee, Bob Treat. “I love it! It’s good, clean fun.”
In common American forms of square dancing, dancers are prompted through a series of steps by a caller to the beat (and, in some traditions, the phrasing) of music.
The steps and method of dancing is easy to learn, but active enough to be a wonderful method of exercise. “I would say it is not just an elderly couples’ sport,” says Tioga County FFA member, Jake Vandergrift. “I think it’s enjoyable for all age groups. Being that it is so vigorous and demanding of your entire body – everybody can enjoy it.”
You can enjoy Tioga County square dancing for yourself on the first Saturday of each month at Tioga County Fairgrounds. Admission is $8.00 per person, or $14.00 for a couple. It is open to the public, from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.