If you were to peek into our home one evening, there’s a good chance that you’d find my sister and I dancing around our living room. After turning the lights down, the music up, and making sure the subwoofer is on, we might swing to 16 Tons or waltz to When You Taught Me How To Dance. But most of the time we end up trying to figure out a new dance to teach at our monthly English Country dances.
When I tell someone that we host English Country dances, I usually get the Spock eyebrow. My default explanation used to be: “It’s Regency dance. Like what you see in the Jane Austen movies — except a lot more fun.” This didn’t always meet with an enthusiastic response — especially among the guys. 😉 Maybe it’s because the words “regency” and “Jane Austen” tend to conjure up images of stiff, formal, and awkward evenings. But I think I finally figured out how to describe our monthly dances.
It’s the atmosphere of a square dance — very casual, lots of fun, tons of laughter, and a mix of ages. We dress like we’re going to a contra dance — jeans, casual skirts, bare feet, and converse sneakers. Although occasionally we have a “ball” for those who like to dress up. And we dance (mostly) English Country dances — which are not stiff and formal. (Or if they are supposed to be, we can’t manage to keep them that way.) 😉
It’s a family event, so there’s a wide range of ages, but most of our dancers are high school & college age students. There’s been several guys who initially came as skeptics, but we’ve won them over and now they won’t miss a dance.
We inherited these monthly dances from some dear friends after they decided to up and move 600 miles away. 😦 We had been attending their dances for a year and a half and could not let these incredible evenings end. So our family teamed up with some close friends to keep the dances going. It has taken a lot of learning, research, practice, late nights, and laughter, but it has been worth it. In many ways, it has become a ministry for our families. As the group has grown tremendously, we’ve realized that these evenings are filling a niche in the community. It’s been incredible to see how the Lord has taken our efforts and blessed them beyond our wildest imaginations.
Our next dance is in a week, and we’re super excited because the family who originally began these dances will be in town. We can’t wait to see them again and dance the night away.
Well my heart is about to burst. My head is about to pop. And now that I’m dancing who cares if I ever stop!