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 CALLERLAB square dance program. There are four levels of dancing named (in increasing degree of complexity):
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.
When and where are the lessons?
We generally offer two series of Mainstream level classes per year, from January to April and from September to December. Classes are held on Wednesdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Our class location is the Ankeny Street Studio, 975 SE Sandy Blvd., Portland, Oregon.
Note: We will not be offering a new series of lessons starting in January 2017. We had three series of lessons starting in 2016 (January, June, and September), so we are taking a break from lessons so our new dancers can solidify what they learned. All dancers who have been through a Mainstream class program are encouraged to join us on Wednesday nights.
We anticipate offering classes again starting in September 2017.
What happens at a typical class?
We try to start promptly at 7 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 pm for club announcements. After the announcements, we will usually 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.
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 first 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.