Granby: Take your partner ’round to dance lessons |

Granby: Take your partner ’round to dance lessons

Grand County’s square dance club invites everyone to see why square dancing is called “friendship set to music.” If you have ever wanted to learn to square dance or just want to brush up on your dosado, the Never Summer Squares are offering a free introductory lesson and chili supper next Thursday.

This introductory event kicks off regular lessons for beginners 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 17 at the Granby Community Center. During the classes, single patrons and couples learn more than 70 mainstream “calls,” giving them the “opportunity to dance anywhere in the world.”

Beginning dancers start at the foundation of square dancing – called the mainstream level. After dancers learn the basics, they work their way up to the “plus” levels of a great number of skilled steps, and after just a few weeks of lessons, dancers should have enough skills to attend the club’s regular Saturday night dance, which is tailored to the class level at that point in the lessons.

Many of the members also get together and dance outside of the county for fun, to places in Summit County, Wyoming and Montana – to sharpen their skills and hear other callers.

Those interested need not be smooth operators on the dance floor and male dancers no longer need to worry about being able to lead their partner, because everyone has the caller leading them along to the music. Past students and members of the club are on site to help students along the way.

That’s part of why it’s called “friendship set to music,” because there is no judgment made, only the support you need.

“You spend so much time laughing and helping each other out,” explained Vernie Tupa, president of the club with her husband Ed, “you become close friends through that. ” She said the classes “become a close social group in addition to the dancing itself. It’s something you have to experience to understand.”

The Tupas were the first students to learn under the club’s original caller and founding member, Barry Wright, who passed on to the big dance floor in the sky this past November. Wright helped start the group six years ago and with the aid of friends who square danced.

The Never Summer Squares is hiring guest callers for this season.

For these first few new lessons another of Wright’s students, Matt Raynak, will serve as the caller for the club.

“It’s quite a challenge for him, I’m sure,” Tupa said, “but we’re delighted and he’s a great dancer so he’ll do great.”

In their first year as president couple, the Tupas, who finish their “term” in March said it’s been a wonderful class. Vernie said their goal has been to double membership numbers. They have with around 50 members now.

Lessons are available for a 20-week window, which costs $100 total, and payment plans are available. That’s only $5 per lesson, “and it is something you can do for the rest of your life.”

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