- January 14 Dance CANCELED
Due to continuing ice and snow on Portland roads, the Ramblers have reluctantly decided to CANCEL the monthly dance on January 14, 2017. Stephen Cole is one of our most popular guest callers–we will try to re-schedule him for a dance in the Spring.
- Ramblers Canceled for January 11
Due to the extraordinary amount of snow, the Ramblers will not be dancing on January 11, 2017. See you at the Black and White Ball at the Milwaukie Grange on Saturday, January 14. Potluck at 6:30; Mainstream and Plus dancing from 7:30 to 9:30!
- Ramblers Update–January 3, 2017
1. No Moss Grows… Under a rambling rose. After our holiday break (extended one week due to snow on December 14), we will get right back to dancing this first week of 2017. We will hit the boards tomorrow night, January 4, at the Ankeny Studio from 7-9 pm. As a reminder, we are not starting a new series of lessons this January. Instead, we are going to work on mastering the Mainstream calls that we just learned. We also hope to have enough Plus-level dancers so we can work in a few Plus tips, too. Our goal here is to elevate the skill level for all dancers. Since we won’t have income from student fees, we are asking for a $3 donation from all dancers–except those who started class in June or September 2016–to defray the cost of studio rental and to pay Ian. These Mastering Mainstream, Practicing Plus (M2P2) dances will continue on Wednesday evenings as long as there continues to be interest. We hope to see you there!
2. Black and White Dance. Our annual Black and White Dance will take place on Saturday, January 14–the second Saturday in January. Our traditional caller for this dance, Stephen Cole, will be back. Everyone is encouraged to wear some combination of black and white attire–but as with all Ramblers dances, we don’t have a dress code, so wear what feels comfortable. This dance will take place at the Milwaukie Grange, with a potluck at 6:30 and alternating Mainstream and Plus tips from 7:30 to 9:30.
- Ramblers Update–November 2, 2016
1. Scares and Squares–It’s a Wrap!
The Ramblers just completed another fabulously successful three-day fly-in at the Multnomah Arts Center. Our callers–Bronc Wise, Mike Kellogg, and Gary Monday–kept us on our toes for the entire weekend with an eclectic combination of traditional music, new songs, and creative choreography. Individually they were superb, and, when they collaborated, they were sublime. We had a wonderful turnout of our students, who danced beautifully. If you have photos from the weekend, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to post them on the website.
By my calculations, about 2/3 of the current Ramblers membership helped out in some capacity over the course of the weekend. That statistic tells us two things: (a) it would be impossible to pull off an event of this magnitude without this support, and (b) we have an awesome membership. I am really proud to be part of this organization.
I don’t have space here to individually acknowledge everyone who helped out, but I would like to publicly thank once again those who took on an organizer role. These include:
Organizer In Chief: Ariel Shattan
Auction: Jan Thompson
Saturday Banquet: George Chow and Myron Boyer
Caller Arrangements: Rick Hawes
Sound: Scott Phillips
Lights: Ken Vannice
Decorations: Mark Clift and Clint Maurice
Registration: Tami and Pam Hazen; Nelly Kaufer and Cheryl Wilton
Friday Picnic: Tiffany Naemura
50/50: Ted Naemura ($326 gross!)
Sunday Brunch: Kendra Killian-Davis and Jan Kahn.
2. Upcoming Ramblers Dances. Remember that the Ramblers do not dance this Saturday, November 5. We will be dancing on the second Saturday, November 12, at the Milwaukie Grange, from 7:30-9:30. Ian Craig will be calling–we’re hoping our students will build on their experience at Scares and Squares by coming to the social dances.
In December, we will be dancing on the FIRST SATURDAY, that’s December 3, from 7:30-9:30 pm. The legendary Anne Uebelacker will be calling. Don’t miss this one!
3. Other Dances. A big crowd is anticipated this Saturday, November 5, at the Oaky Doaks trophy dance. As Scares and Squares clearly demonstrated, there’s no thrill quite like square dancing in a packed dance hall. It would be great to have a nice representation of Ramblers at this dance. It will take place at the Oak Grove Community Club, 14496 SE Cedar Ave, Portland 97267, with Mainstream dancing from 7:30-10 pm.
There will be a great opportunity to support the LGBTQ club in Eugene–Spin Cycle Squares–at their pre-Thanksgiving dance on Saturday, November 19. This dance will take place at the Emerald Square Dance Center, 2095 Yolanda Ave., Springfield, Oregon. The schedule will be Advanced Dancing from 3-4:30; potluck from 4:30-5:30; and Mainstream/Plus from 5:30-8. Kris Jensen–another outstanding caller–will be calling this dance.
4. Wednesday Classes. Please remember that our lessons are continuing on Wednesday evenings through December 14 (except November 23–the day before Thanksgiving), and angels are always appreciated. Hope to see you there!
- Ramblers Update–August 8, 2016
The refrigerator was patented on this date in 1899. The Ramblers have been chilling out for the past few weeks, but things will be heating up shortly.
1. August 20 Dance. All things are ready for our community dance at the Q Center on Saturday, August 20. This is an open dance for the entire community–admission is free, and no prior dance experience is required. We’ll use this opportunity to publicize our Mainstream lessons starting in September. This is a great opportunity for newer dances to scrape off some rust and show off their new skills. The veterans are also encouraged to attend to talk up the joys of square dancing. The Q Center is located at 4115 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland. We will dance from 7-8:30 pm and enjoy refreshments from 8:30-9. Ian Craig will be calling.
2. August 26-27 Yard Sale. The Ramblers’ prodigious yard sale will take place Friday August 26 and Saturday August 27 at 1911 SE 26th Ave., Portland. The hours for the sale will be 10-6 on Friday and 9-4 on Saturday. If you have something to donate, you can bring it to the August 20 dance at the Q Center or drop it off at the sale location starting on Thursday, August 25.
3. Lessons Start September 14. We will start our September series of Mainstream lessons on Wednesday, September 14, from 7-9 pm at the Ankeny Studio, 975 SE Sandy Blvd. As in the past, our first two lessons will be free tastes of square dancing. Encourage your friends, relatives, in-laws, and random strangers to give square dancing a try!
4. Scares and Squares–September 1 Deadline. The September 1 deadline to purchase discounted registration for the 2016 Scares and Squares dance extravaganza is rapidly approaching. On or before September 1, the cost for the full weekend of dancing, dining, and diversion is $85; after that date, the price increases to $95. This is a bargain for the opportunity to dance with three celebrity callers: Gary Monday, Bronc Wise, and Mike Kellogg. You can register on the Ramblers page or the IAGSDC website.
The silent auction is an integral part of Squares and Squares. In addition to being a fun way to shop, the proceeds are an important source of funds to help balance the books on the weekend. If you are able to donate goods or services for inclusion in the auction, please contact Jan Thompson, or check out the auction page, or send an email to email@example.com.
5. He Glitters and He Shines. Long-time Rambler and all around great guy Myron Boyer was featured in an article in the Oregonian. It is well worth the read. Myron brings his generous, welcoming spirit to all of the Ramblers’ events. We are very fortunate to count him among our members!
On that happy note, let’s all plan to make someone smile today!
- Ramblers Update–June 14, 2016
1. Lessons. Our new dancers are learning quickly and having lots of fun. We welcome angels on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm at the Ankney Studio. (Reminder: No class June 29.)
2. Pride Parade. Pride promises to be especially poignant this year, and, after last weekend’s events in Orlando, many feel the need to come together as a community. Being part of the Ramblers float in the parade is a great way to participate in this expression of community strength and solidarity–and celebration. Of course, we need dancers, but if you don’t feel up to dancing on a moving platform, you can still join us either sitting/standing on the float or as a walker alongside. If you haven’t already sent an email to Joanna (firstname.lastname@example.org), please do so. This will help us provide a participant count to the parade organizer. Meet on NW Park Ave. at NW Flanders at 9:30 a.m. Rainbow attire is encouraged.
3. Community Dance. Join us for a Community Dance–absolutely no dance experience necessary–at the Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, on Saturday, August 20, from 7-9 pm. Our special guest caller will be Gary Monday from Seattle. Singles, couples, and groups are welcome!
4. Monthly Dances. We are dark until September 10.
- Lessons for new dancers start June 1
The Ramblers are pleased to announce that we will be offering an 8-week series of square dance lessons for brand new dancers starting June 1, 2016. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about lessons.
1. Where and when are the lessons taught?
The lessons will take place on Wednesday evenings, from 7-9 pm, at the Ankeny Street Studio, 975 SE Sandy Blvd., Portland. The studio is inside an office building—so don’t be surprised if the building does not look like a typical dance studio from the outside! The studio parking lot and entrance are on the north side of the building (the Ankeny Street side). (Please do not park in the parking lot on the south side of the building.
2. What are the dates of the lessons?
The 8 lessons will run from June 1 through July 27. This is a period of 9 weeks, but there will be no class on June 29 because many of our members will be traveling to Toronto for the annual square dance convention (http://www.toronto2016.com/).
3. How much do the lessons cost?
The first lesson, on June 1, will be a free introduction to square dancing. We will use this night to introduce you to the club, provide some background about square dancing, and help you decide whether you want to pursue lessons. There’s no obligation to continue after June 1, but we hope you will!
If you decide to continue with the lessons, the cost will be $50, payable on June 8, for the full series of lessons.
4. What will I learn?
You will be up and dancing from the very first class. Over this series of 8 lessons, you will learn the first 51 calls of the Mainstream dance level. (Mainstream is the first of 4 dance levels and has a total of 68 calls.) Some people call this the “Basic” dance level.
If you complete the 8 lessons, you will be able to attend any new dancer “jamboree.” These are special dances for new dancers and focus just on the first 51 calls. We will let you know how to find times, dates, and places of jamborees.
5. Do I need to bring a dance partner?
No! Solo dancers are welcome at all Ramblers lessons and dances. For lessons, our top priority is making sure all students get into a square, whether they came as a couple or as a solo dancer.
6. What happens after I finish lessons?
We will have a community dance at the Q Center on Saturday, August 20, at 7 pm. This would be a great opportunity for you to show off your new skills.
Also, we anticipate starting our next series of full Mainstream lessons in mid-September. This 15-week class teaches all 68 Mainstream calls. Dancers who complete our summer series will have a real head-start for Mainstream lessons in the fall. We normally charge $100 for the Mainstream class, but if you take the summer series, your payment will be applied to the cost of Mainstream lessons. That is, your cost for the full Mainstream class would be $50.
And we have monthly dances at the Milwaukie Grange starting the second Saturday in September. This is another great opportunity to practice your dancing and get to know our club members better.
7. Do I need to wear special clothes?
No, please wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Attire for lessons is totally casual. Since these lessons will be offered in the summer, most dancers will wear short sleeves and some may wear shorts. The studio is air-conditioned, but it tends to heat up with lots of dancers on the floor.
We do recommend that you wear smooth-soled shoes. Tennis shoes are usually not the best choice. If your soles have too much grip, you may put unnecessary stress on your knees.
8. What do I need to do to prepare?
Be prepared to have fun and meet new people! We also encourage you to invite friends to join us. Square dancing is definitely a case of “the more the merrier.”
It is a good idea to give some thought to whether you want to dance on the left side or right side of your couple. (The left side is the traditional male or “boy” position; the right side is the traditional female or “girl” position.) The Ramblers do not require traditional gender roles, and most of our members eventually learn both dance positions. You are welcome to dance in the position where you feel comfortable, but it generally helps to have this figured out in advance—so we can make sure we get you in the right place in the square.
9. What if I still have questions?
Please send an email to email@example.com.