September Issue 2014
SEP ISSUE 2014
May 31, 2015
A free square dance class and dance is planned on Monday 4th, at the Fairfield Eagles Club -- For those who catch the bug, the next 12 week series of lessons will begin at 6:30 PM, Jan. 11.
Mt. Pleasant man has square dance fever!
By BRYCE KELLY - Mt. Pleasant News
SEP 29, 2014
People have been movin’ and shakin’ to their own beats recently and it’s starting a revival - a dance revival that is.
For almost two years now, Fairfield has become known as one of the hottest places in Iowa for a revival that has been slowly sweeping the globe. Since January of 2013, Fairfield Square Dance has been the hot ticket for square dance enthusiasts all over Iowa, and soon it will be hosting some international guests.
On Oct. 3 and 4, Fairfield Square Dance will play host to a 32-member Japanese square dance group as well as about 120 dancers from various states to showcase a full weekend of square dancing at its finest. Dances will be held on the Jefferson County 4-H wood floor ballroom at 2606 West Burlington Avenue.
“People are coming all the way from Japan to dance for one weekend to Jerry Story, who is from Fairfield originally, so it is really quite something,” says Fairfield Square Dance coordinator, Sarvani Viger-Edson.
For fans of square dancing, Jerry Story is nothing short of a legend among square dance callers. According to Edson, being an internationally acclaimed caller and recording artist, fans of square dancing and even those new to the sport, are promised a good show with Story on the microphone.
Now it may come as a surprise to some, but Jerry Story is not the first famous caller to be scheduled to perform at Fairfield Square Dance. Robin Ragen, Pam Courts, Bob Asp, Joe Saltel and Linda and Jim Kuhle have all been callers in Fairfield before, or are set to make an appearance this year.
With such big names in the world of square dancing coming to Fairfield, it is no surprise that the dance bug has started to catch on. According to Edson, dance classes are now averaging about 50 dancers per class while regular dance nights can bring in about 40 dancers.
With such an influx of interest in square dancing, those ignorant of the activity might wonder what makes it so much fun. Fairfield Square Dance participant and all-around square dance enthusiast, Warren Messer, of Mt. Pleasant, has the answer.
“Square dancing is the best kept secret in the world if you want to have fun,” says Messer. “You can end up making a best friend through square dance, you really can.”
Of course, when some people hear the word ‘dance’, they immediately think it may not be for them. However, Messer insists that anyone can learn to square dance, and feel a lot better because of it.
“Anybody can do it,” says Messer. “If I can do it, anybody can do it. There are only three rules in square dancing. Listen, listen and listen. In Fairfield, if you make a mistake, we all just laugh. We laugh with people, not at them.”
Not only has dancing been a social outlet for Messer, but it has also proven to be a very healthy exercise for him as he has battled various health issues in the past.
“Seventeen years ago I had a heart bypass, six years after that I had two stints put in, then I got a new hip five years ago and I don’t have an ache or a pain in my whole body. My heart doctor has said to me on many occasions that square dancing is one of the best things that I have ever done to keep myself healthy.”
Even Edson’s husband was not too keen on the idea of square dancing when they both started a year and a half ago. Now, she says, he never misses a class. “He loves it more for the mental stimulation,” explains Edson. “It’s more of a challenge mentally than it is physically. You have to listen, learn, follow the beat and work with seven people. If you haven’t tried it once, do it. You will absolutely love it.”
For those that are still a little hesitant to start dancing, Messer offers what he thinks is the best way to begin.
“I have been dancing for quite awhile, so take it from me and keep going and learning at a steady pace. All you need is to take a few lessons and then...it’s floor time.”
For those that are looking for more information about Fairfield Square Dance, details can be found on the web at www.fairfieldsquaredance.com.
Those interested in learning more may also contact Sarvani Viger-Edson by phone at 641-233-1331.
Mt. Pleasant News
Fairfield Ledger, 31 December 2015