We may have lost the days of the community barn dances or the grand ballroom evenings at the Viennese Court when the waltz reigned supreme, but Lewisburg is not without its opportunities for dance. Here is what’s shaking and dancing for the New Year! Most of these classes welcome beginners. Come by one’s or two’s. Wear comfortable shoes. Inviting a few friends is a great blessing for the dance muse.
Carnegie Hall has sponsored an old time square dance with various string bands and callers every couple of months for over a year. The next square dance will be held Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Hall Auditorium on Church Street in Lewisburg. Cost is $5 at the door for a great evening. Music will be provided by Sassafras with caller Mike Costello. Come singles or couples. Beginners welcome! There is no more information but you can still call Carnegie Hall at 304-645-7917.
Salsa Dancing (3 week course)
Salsa dancing was featured at Carnegie Hall in December. Over 40 people attended the two classes taught by Ken Baldwin, a professional dancer and choreographer. Salsa is a form of couple dancing whose movements originated in Cuba and surrounding islands and made popular in New York in the mid ‘70s.
A new three week course is planned for Wednesday evenings, Feb. 5, 12 and 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Hall Auditorium. The cost for the course will be $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Come singles or couples. The course will be geared for beginners. To register for the course, call Carnegie Hall at 304-645-7917.
Ball Room Dancing
Shirley Griffith and Julian Meadows teach our local ballroom dancing, sometimes with help from Beckley instructors. The Fall beginner’s class will start their second semester in January. At this time the class is full. However, a new six week beginner’s class will be starting up in mid-March. The first class is scheduled for Mar. 17 unless unforeseen circumstances (weather) intervene to cause a delay. The cost for the six week course will be $30. The plan is to teach the Rumba and Swing dancing. (In September, a class on the Foxtrot will be offered.) Classes will meet at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church on Court Street in Lewisburg.
Monthly social dances are held at the Lewisburg United Methodist church on Washington Street. You can go on-line at ballroomdancers.com to see examples of ballroom dance steps. To express interest and get more information, contact Shirley at 304-536-1337.
Country Western Two-Step, Couple and Line Dancing
James and Rosanne Shupe are former Country Western dancers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When they moved here to the country there was no country western dancing. In self defense they started ballroom dancing. What danced around, came around and as a spinoff from ballroom dancing, they began teaching country western dancing here in Lewisburg. Country Western is primarily couple dancing but line dancing is also part of the mix. The Shupes teach a limited number in their repertoire.
For the past 6 months the Shupes have held a monthly Country Western dancing evening at the Lewisburg United Methodist Church for the experienced couples that were part of their group. The upcoming monthly dance will be held on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 7-9 p.m. The cost is $2.50 per person or $5 per couple. (Do the math and come dancing!)
The majority of the evening will be for intermediate/advanced dancers. Beginners are encouraged to come and observe. A couple of beginner dances will be taught at the start of the evening. James and Rosanne would welcome teaching a new beginning group if there is a solid group of interested students. If this could be you, come to the dance or call to express interest at 304-497-0868.
A Little Dancing (The Lesser Ballroom)
Couple dancing at a simplified level appropriate for weddings. Ross Weisiger will offer an evening of light hearted couple dancing Thursday, Jan. 9 at St. James Episcopal Church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Some of the possibilities for the evening include Line dancing, Square dancing, Waltz, Polka, Two-Step, Swing and Folk dancing. There could be a little teaching depending on the mood and temper of the group. Additional evenings could be planned that would focus on each of the above dances in turn with just enough teaching to help a beginner feel comfortable dancing at your cousin’s wedding next weekend!
The Greenbrier Manor would also love to have us come dance for them… with some good punch to go around. But first a little waltzing. Would anyone like to learn the Austrian Landler from the Sound of Music? Cost for the evening will be $5 per person. For more information, contact Ross at 304-646-8555.
Dinner and Dancing in Ronceverte
For dinner and country dancing couples go to the American Heritage Music Hall in Ronceverte. The Hall is located at 315 Monroe Avenue, in the former Island Park Roller Rink. The Hall features Tuesday night jam and dance sessions starting at 7 p.m. with a cover charge of $7.
Every fourth Saturday of the month, the Hall hosts a concert also at 7 p.m. with a $10 cover charge. The Old-time mountain, Bluegrass, Folk and Country music will set you to dancing. Everyone is encouraged to bring pot luck dinner, snacks and/or drinks to share. The Hall is family oriented and maintains a drug, alcohol and smoke free environment. Musician Charlie Massie, an original founder of the Hall along with Jeannie Crane, now runs the Hall. For bookings or information, Charlie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-645-3982 or contact Randy Goodson at email@example.com, 304-445-3220.
The following bands will be featured for December and January: Tuesday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Party with Bill Evans’ Night Raiders; Saturday, Jan. 25, will feature The Country Proud Band.
The Interpretive Dance
Trillium has been offering interpretive dance for youth and adults for 20 years. A new round of classes is being offered beginning the week of Jan. 6. Two classes tailored for adult dancers are: Improv Dancing, taught by Samara Michaelson starts Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 5:15-6:45 p.m. on the Lewis Theatre stage, and Contemporary Dance Technique (intermediate and advanced) which will include the Trillium Performing Youth, starts Thursday, Jan. 9 from 5:15-7 p.m., also on the Trillium stage.
Up to eight weeks of classes will be offered. One may attend on a drop-in basis for $12 or register for the full eight weeks at a discount. For more information contact Samara at 304-645-5150.
Ceili Dances of Ireland
Ceili dances are a popular form of group folk dancing in Ireland. The Caladh Nua band will teach the basics of Ceili dancing on Thursday, Mar. 6 from 6-7 p.m. at the Carnegie Hall Auditorium. Dances taught will include popular 2-, 3- and 4-person dances such as The Walls of Limerick, The Siege of Efzrzis, The Stack of Barley, and the Irish two-step. Caladh Nua will give a brief history of the dances when they are taught. The at door cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children. Beginners (as most of us will be) are welcome.