Lessons

Lessons Resume on September 13! See details below!

When and where are the lessons?

We will offer a series of lessons starting Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Milwaukie Community Center and continuing each Wednesday through mid-December. Our lessons start promptly at 7:30 pm and continue until 9 pm. Note that this is a slight change from the way we did things in the past. In a concession to Portland’s increasing traffic congestion, we’ve moved our start time back a half hour, to 7:30, to give people more time to get to the dance venue. We have shortened our breaks to make sure that students get the same amount of instruction time. Please try to arrive on time so we can start right at 7:30.

 Why do I need to take lessons?

Modern square dancing is based on standardized calls (moves), which are linked together to create patterns or figures. To be a successful dancer, you need to learn the calls. The good news is that these calls are the same internationally and are always called in English, so once you take lessons with the Ramblers you can dance anywhere in the U.S., Canada, or the world.

What do the lessons entail?

Our club follows the International Association of Square Dance Callers square dance program. There are four levels of dancing named (in increasing degree of complexity):

  • Mainstream
  • Plus
  • Advanced
  • Challenge

The Ramblers offer lessons at the Mainstream and Plus levels. The Mainstream level covers 68 calls, and the Plus level adds 30 more calls. It takes about 15 weeks to become proficient at the Mainstream level and about 8 weeks to learn the Plus level.

 What happens at a typical class?

We try to start promptly at 7:30 to make the best use of our limited time. We will square up, generally trying to include a mix of students and experienced dancers (called angels) in each square. Because the angels are already familiar with the calls, they can help students learn more quickly.

We usually spend about 20 minutes reviewing the calls taught previously and then take a short break. We will then learn some new material and break around 8:15 pm for club announcements. After the announcements, we may do a short angel tip (a tip is a series of two dances, usually one spoken (or patter) dance and one singing dance) so students can see what a full Mainstream or Plus dance looks like.

We will finish by practicing both the new and old calls, developing familiarity and proficiency. This is a chance for students to ask for additional work on calls that they find particularly challenging. We finish promptly at 9.

How much do the lessons cost?

A series of 15 weeks of lessons costs $100 if paid the first or second week of lessons. We accept cash or check. Students may request financial assistance, which may consist of installment payments, reduced tuition, or volunteer work for the club in lieu of payment.   Our desire is to not refuse anyone for lack of funds.

If you’re not sure whether square dancing is right for you, you’re welcome to attend the first two weeks of the series free of charge. You’ll only pay if you decide to continue with lessons after the second free week.

Tuition includes the student’s Rosetown Ramblers membership through June following the first class, a Rosetown Ramblers name badge upon graduation, and free admission to all club dances (generally, the second Saturday of each month) through graduation. In addition, students who complete one series of Mainstream level lessons can re-take the next series at no additional cost. It is a great opportunity to strengthen knowledge and gain proficiency.

 

Where can I get more information?

You can get more information by sending an email to info@rosetownrambles.com.