80 seniors don Western wear, square dance


September 13, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ROLL HER AWAY," "recycle that girl," "pass the ocean" and "dive thru" probably sound like an oddball collection of nonsense phrases to you and me. But say them at the Mount Airy Senior Center on a Wednesday afternoon, and it's likely you'll see a roomful of seniors grab themselves a partner and start "do-si-do-ing" to country square dance music.

On Wednesday, 80 seniors turned out for the center's annual Sizzler Square Dance. The men were outfitted in string ties and Western shirts, and the ladies took the floor in their full skirts and dancing shoes.

Seniors from Westminster and Catonsville joined Mount Airy seniors for an afternoon of square dancing, line dancing and round dancing. A few brave participants even tried their hand at the latest dance craze, the Macarena.

Professional caller Pete Diven, who has been square dancing since he was 7 years old, danced the seniors around the squares. Whether they were "swinging thru" or "allemande-ing left" or "promenading home," the dancers had to keep alert as Diven delivered the quick calls.

Diven, an Air Force retiree from Aberdeen, has turned square dance calling into a full-time career. By day, he teaches square dancing at senior centers in Baltimore and Carroll counties. Many evenings, you'll find him calling square dances as far away as New York and Pennsylvania.

Modern Western square dancing has replaced the traditional, choreographed square dances that most of us remember from our school days.

Singing calls or "hash" are two styles that Diven uses. Putting familiar music together with square dance moves is singing the calls, he explains. "Hash," he says, is calling whatever comes to mind, regardless of the music.

Dot Brabam, a Woodbine resident who square dances at least twice a week, finds that it "keeps my mind working and alert." She also enjoys the added benefits of exercise and fellowship.

Brabam had never done square dancing before taking up the hobby three years ago. She enjoys it so much that she has joined the 4-County Squares, a local square dance group, and is working on learning even more advanced moves.

Beginner square dancing classes will be held from 12: 30 p.m. to 1: 30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning in October, at the Mount Airy Senior Center. The cost is $10 for eight weeks. Advanced classes will be held from 1: 30 p.m. to 2: 30 p.m. Wednesdays. Registration is required.

Information: 829-2407

Students hear stories

With her carpet bag stuffed full of props and costumes, and a collection of original stories and folk tales ready for eager listeners, Crystal Brown demonstrated the art of storytelling to students at Mount Airy Elementary School on Tuesday.

Relying on audience participation, Brown encouraged kindergarten students to dress in costumes and play the part of a dragon, knight and princess while she told the story of how a dragon turned into a dragonfly.

Brown turned simple props into a vehicle for telling her stories. Using a length of string, Brown told the story of an old woman who weaved all day despite a pesky mosquito.

A member of the Maryland State Arts Council, Brown has traveled the state for eight years presenting her storytelling and poetry workshops for schools, churches and special events.

Flower show a winner

Judging by community response and feedback from area flower clubs, the Mount Airy Garden Club's Aug. 22 flower show, "A Novel Idea," was an unqualified success.

Flower show winners in the design categories were Joyce Stone, floral design interpretation; Donna Seelye, educational exhibit; Lynn Burdette, Oriental design; Josh Bladen, junior achievement; Debbi Zuna, novice class; and her daughter, Lauren Zuna, junior design.

The horticulture divisions were won by Marilyn Potter, green beans and zinnias; Jesse Meyers, pole Lima beans; Deloris Miltenberger, green peppers and tomatoes; Gail Crum, coneflowers and black-eyed Susan; Helen Simpson, American marigolds, salvia and various vegetables; Rita Nikirk, small zinnias; Doris Murray, cosmos; Carole VanGosen, French marigolds and bronze fennel; and Ruth Myers, collection of annuals and herbs.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 9/13/96

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