Lessons

After almost 18 months on hiatus due to COVID-19, we are ready to get back to lessons. Come join us starting September 15, 2021! Details follow.

Note: The Delta variant is quite prevalent in Portland. As a result, until further notice, proof of vaccination and mask/face covering are mandatory for all dancers at all Ramblers events, including lessons. Our goal is to keep our members and guests as safe and comfortable as possible. Thanks for your understanding.

When and where are the lessons?

We offer two series of lessons each year, from January to May and from September to December. We do not offer lessons in June, July, or August. 

Our next lesson series will start Wednesday, September 15, 2021. The lessons take place at the Bridgeport United Church of Christ, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. Lessons start promptly at 7 pm and continue until 8:30 pm. If you are curious, you are welcome to drop in to observe a lesson.

 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 virtually 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):

  • Social Square Dance
  • Plus
  • Advanced
  • Challenge

Our September lessons will be taught at the Social Square Dance level. This is the most accessible level and prepares dancers for social dancing. Some dancers will stay at this level forever and have a great time attending social dances. Other dancers want more of a challenge and seek to move up to higher levels. Each dancer decides what’s right for them. There is never any pressure to move to a higher level. The main thing is to have FUN.

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 7:50 pm for club announcements. After the announcements, 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 8:30.

How much do the lessons cost?

A series 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. (If you dance at a different club, you will pay according to that club’s payment policy.) In addition, students who complete one series of Social Square Dance 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@rosetownramblers.com.