Sara Swanson

Dance, Manchester! Valentine Dance to Feature Local Band

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Dance, Manchester! has been holding monthly contra dances right here in Manchester since September. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

Dance, Manchester! has been holding monthly contra dances right here in Manchester since September. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

Have you heard about Dance, Manchester! but haven’t gotten up enough courage to go? Are you curious what you’re missing?

Dance, Manchester! is a monthly dance held here in Manchester with the goal of spreading the joy of dancing as well as its music, its camaraderie, and its invigorating effect on the individual and the community. With sponsorship and support of the Manchester Wellness Coalition they have been able to schedule nine dances beginning in September 2015  and running through May 2016 on the second Saturday of every month in the Emanuel Church gym located at 324 W Main St . The next dance will be held the day before Valentines Day, Feb. 13 from 7:30pm to 10pm.

The style of dance is called contra. Click HERE to watch a video of contra dancing. It’s a wonderfully social, lively style of dance. The best part is no experience is needed – they teach you at the beginning of the dance, and no partner is necessary! What a marvelous way to spend an evening near home.

Jim McKinney calling a dance. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

Jim McKinney calling a dance. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

The callers for the February 13 dance will be Jim and Loretta McKinney. They specialize in teaching a variety of easy square dances, circle dances and longways set dances to people who have little or no dance experience and with gentle guidance to bring them up to intermediate moves. All figures of every dance are explained with directions in plain English and a minimum of “dance lingo.” Their friendly, easy-going style and clear explanations get everybody moving quickly and ensure everyone has a lot of fun.

Manchester’s own, Mark Palms’ band The Old Time Millers will be providing the music. “Old time music” is a genre of North American folk music with roots in the music of various cultures of the British Isles, Africa and continental Europe. Some could say they play “southern style” old time which means they have a prevalent driving rhythm to the fiddle tunes that is heard is the Appalachian regions. Dance, Manchester! encourages non-dancers to come on Feb. 13 as well, just to enjoy the live music.

Mark Palms and the Old Time Millers String Band. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

Mark Palms and the Old Time Millers String Band. Photo courtesy of Dance, Manchester!

Although they have a grant from the Manchester Wellness Coalition, organizers ask for a donation of $5 to help cover what the grant does not and to work towards becoming self-sustaining, a goal of long term goal of the group.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, you can contact organizers Patty Swaney, Eileen Packer and Jeannie Armstrong by emailing Eileen at etparker@comcast.net. Keep up with the group by liking them on Facebook HERE.

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