Promenaders show dancing isn't just for squares NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro


January 13, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Sunday night, while North Carroll High School was getting covered with snow, the Carroll Promenaders were inside square dancing.

"We had about five squares who turned up to dance by flashlight" even after snow and ice kept away expected guests from Dillsburg, Pa., said Molly Lou Foor, the Promenaders' spokeswoman. A "square" consists of eight people.

"Square dancing is for everyone," says Mrs. Foor. "Beginning with kids in elementary and high schools, where frequently it's taught in phys-ed classes. . . . This is great exercise and great fun. They [kids] usually stick with it until it gets 'too square.'

"People just about middle age, when the nest is getting a little empty, join and stay until their 80s."

Mrs. Foor, who lives in Millers, began square dancing because her health depended upon activity.

"I'm rheumatoidal arthritic," she says. "The disease is a wearing-out, weakening type of thing. . . . "My doctors told me I'd have to find something to do or I'd be wheelchair-bound in two years."

Mrs. Foor chose square dancing. When she told her doctor, "He absolutely roared. It was the funniest [solution] he'd heard. But he told me to go ahead. That was nine years ago.

"Today I sit down only when I have to," she said. "I'm not going to beat it, but I'll give it a knock-down drag-out!"

The Promenaders club "rolls up and down the East Coast and Canada," she said.

"The great part is that you meet so many thoroughly nice people. It's a lift to the spirit," Mrs. Foor said.

Club members always bring refreshments and plenty of finger foods, she said, noting that smoking and drinking and dancing don't mix.

The Carroll Promenaders and the Gingham Squares of Westminster both belong to the Mason-Dixon Federation of square dancing. Although people can join any time, the federation is commencing mid-year square dance classes starting this month. That gives newcomers a jump on the usual September classes.

The Promenaders meet twice monthly, and will dance from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 24 at North Carroll High in Hampstead. The dance will include a half-hour workshop of calls and steps.

To join, call 374-6353.

North Carroll seniors enjoy shopping, enough to take 45 people a spree.

"Once a year we go up to Thurmont," says Martha Stenger of the North Carroll Senior Center. "It's a treat for the ladies that don't get out to go shopping."

Mr. Stenger is organizing another trip with lunch for 45 seniors on Jan. 18. They leave at 9 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m. The trip will cost $6.

"We have a couple places in mind," but the tour will stop at outlets or stores that strike their fancy, she said.

Lunch at the Mountain Gate Restaurant "is a buffet -- big, like a smorgasbord," Ms. Stenger said.

Information: 239-6400.

The kids are in school. The parents go to work. It sounds like a perfect match.

But an employer's schedule and the school schedule often aren't the same. And when both parents are employed, their children need a safe place to fill in the gaps.

Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead and Manchester elementary schools house privately owned programs of before- and after-school child care. They open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. The program stays in place when school is dismissed early.

If a child uses before- and after-school care Monday through Friday, the cost is $40. Children are accepted any time.

At Spring Garden, about 30 children, in first through fifth grades, meet in the cafeteria. There's plenty of room to spread out, read, have a snack and do homework. There's also plenty of fun.

"We have games, Legos, crayons and coloring books," said Michelle McLain, who recently joined the staff to develop a sports program.

"Right now, we're developing basic skills," she said. "Because of the different age groups, we play team games like kickball, T-ball and soccer."

Said Donna Laatsch, director at Spring Garden: "We try crafty things. We've painted T-shirts and sweat shirts. We also show G-rated movies to calm them down."

Information: 374-1889 or 876-4464.

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