Last Tuesday I attended a Square Dance at the Pocahontas County Opera House, sponsored by Allegheny Echoes, a non-profit group of musicians, writers, and artists dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture and sweet, sweet sounds of Appalachia.
I fell in love.
I fell in love with square dancing, bluegrass music, and the opera house itself, with it’s rich smell of wood, perhaps a result of the Chestnut balustrades that wrap around the balcony.
This was my first time square dancing (though I’d been traumatized by middle school gym classes where I was forced to line dance) and I was bit nervous about being able to follow along. Fortunately the caller went through all of the moves step by step before adding the music, making it easy to understand.
We learned how to do-si-do (above)…
Make a star (or the more technical term I’ve forgotten)…
Believe it or not, the guy I’m dancing with is from Berkeley Springs, where my family lives. He was attending the Allegheny Echoes music classes. The girl with the wonderfully crazy red hair is Emily, another VISTA in Pocahontas County, and she’s dancing with Matt, who lives in a mill and is an all-around great guy. I’m telling you, the square dance was the place to be- everyone was there!
And now to see it all in action! I’m in the group closes to the stage at the top left, along with my friends and fellow VISTAs, Renee and Kelly
And of course one of the highlights of the evening was the music! How often do you get the chance to hear world-class bluegrass musicians? Well, actually, pretty often if you live in West Virginia, but it’s magical every time.