by: PHOTO BY VERN CALDWELL  - Skirts swirl and toes tap as dancers work their way around the square during the 2012 Shamrock Dance with the Oaky Doaks.“Dancing is a great skill to learn as well as a fun activity for anyone at any age,” said Angie Clark, the first vice president of the Oaky Doaks Square Dance Club, based in Oak Grove.

The group dances at the Oak Grove Community Center every first and third Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m., with a mixture of round, or ballroom, and square dancing.

“Our club welcomes dancers at all levels of skill in round and square dancing. Single dancers are welcome as well as couples and families including children, when attending with an adults. We have club members from age 12 to 75,” Clark said, adding that she has been dancing for about six years. 

She initially took lessons with Oaky Doaks, joined after the lessons and has been a member ever since. 

“I think dancing is a lot of fun; it makes me happy. Getting out on the dance floor with friends every couple of weeks is like going to a party,” she said. 

In addition to the physical exercise of dancing, the activity keeps the brain active.

“Square dancing incorporates listening to called dance commands and working with seven others in the square to figure out a puzzle,” Clark added.

To get people started, the Oaky Doaks will begin teaching square dancing classes on Thursday, Jan. 3. They will continue weekly on Thursdays into May, and take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the community center, 14496 Cedar Ave., in Oak Grove.

The first week is free for everyone; those who bring a friend the second week will have a free class and the friend will also have a free class.

Classes are open to join until the third week; the class fee each week is $5 per student.

No prior dance experience is required. Classes take at least two short breaks during the evening. Wear comfortable clothing with dance or tennis shoes.

For more information, call Bonnie Ivy, president, 503-289-0889; or Mike Halley, teacher, 503-665-3530.

Contract Publishing

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