Square Dancing comes to Suffolk

January 7, 2019

People that want a little more step in Suffolk can now sign up for square dancing lessons that start this January. The 12-week program will be held at the Lake Prince Woods retirement community at 100 Anna Goode Way.

Classes will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Portsmouth room at Lake Prince Woods starting on Jan. 10 and each following Thursday. Suffolk resident Jean Carmean arranged the session with Lake Prince Woods after the positive response she and lead instructor Bob Worley received after their last Suffolk session, which ended in December.

Carmean said she wants to offer local square-dancing classes because there are few other options for square dancers in Hampton Roads. She has to drive an hour to go to classes in Newport News herself, she said.

“I’m trying to bring square dancing back to Suffolk so people can enjoy it,” she said, such as the 32 people who signed up for the last session.

The upcoming beginner’s program will be taught by seasoned “caller” Worley. A caller is the person who calls out the dance moves that others follow.

Worley has been teaching and calling in the Tidewater area for roughly 30 years, he said. He and his son Matt Worley have been recording square dance records for their label Crown Records since 1989.

“Anyone that can follow simple directions — and can walk — can learn to square dance,” he said. “We say that children 8 to 10 years old can learn very well, and sometimes younger than that.”

That includes a family of homeschooled children and their parents that participated in Carmean and Worley’s last session. According to Carmean, the father was one of the students who clamored for another session.

Participants have enjoyed the music and light aerobics of the lessons, plus it’s a great family activity that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Carmean said.

“Nobody takes it so seriously that it’s not fun. If you mess up, you just keep moving,” she said.

Registration is $60 and can be done the day of the first class or in advance. Call Carmean at 651-5300 for advance registration and other information.

By Alex Perry, Suffolk News Herald