May 22, 2020
Today marks day 73 of the Ramblers Respite occasioned by the novel coronavirus. We miss our members and friends, and we miss the social aspects of dancing. The health and safety of our dance community continue to be paramount. We will adhere to guidelines established by state and local health authorities, and we will resume dancing as soon as we can do so safely and comfortably. We hope that you all are tending to your physical and mental well-being during this difficult and unprecedented time. Be kind to one another!
A Lament…and Hope
Once we were happy but now we’re dismayed
Because of this virus at home we have stayed
The dance halls are silent where once music played
While six feet apart we just can’t promenade.
It’s been 10 long weeks since we chained down the line,
Or you swung your partner, while I swung mine.
But if you asked, I’d say I’m doing fine
‘cept for Wednesdays from seven to nine.
It now falls to me to pop your balloon
There won’t be a monthly dance in June
We hope in September we can resume,
But can’t say for sure—it’s still far too soon.
The convention in Denver they had to annul
Life without dancing has sure turned out dull
Though once our social calendars were full
We’re now stuck at home, just shooting the bull.
Can’t wait for the day they reopen the halls
And once again they are ringing with calls
In the grand scheme of things, not dancing is small,
But I sure miss hanging and laughing with y’all.
Keep up the hygiene and washing of hands
To check the virus’s spread through our lands
Soon we’ll be back to left allemands
And yellow rocks will be part of our plans.
March 9, 2020
The Rosetown Ramblers have decided to suspend the club’s Wednesday evening square dance lessons due to continued uncertainty and concern surrounding the corona virus and its impact on our community.
This was not an easy decision–we would all like to continue dancing and engage with our square dance friends during this stressful time. But we think it best to err on the side of caution.
Because other clubs may be considering similar actions, following are some of the factors that influenced our decision:
1. We do not know the extent of community spread of the virus in the Portland area, but it almost certainly exceeds the number of reported positive cases.
2. We know that the virus is highly contagious, and hand-to-hand contact is one way to spread the virus. Square dancing involves a lot of hand-to-hand contact. While hand-washing is effective to kill the virus, it’s not practical to wash hands while dancing and people will have different levels of attention to hand-washing.
3. People are contagious even before they have symptoms, so the advice to stay home if you feel sick is good but not sufficient to protect everyone.
4. Experience around the world has shown that, if we postpone action until we know someone is sick, it’s too late to contain the virus.
5. If we are overreacting, all we are losing is a few weeks of lessons. If there’s an issue and we fail to act, there could be serious health consequences for a significant number of people.
We wish everyone good health and good dancing.
February 3, 2020
Our Mainstream lessons continue this month at Bridgeport UCC. We will dance each Wednesday from 7 to 8:30. Angels are welcome. We include a short Plus tip in the middle of each lesson.
Note that there’s no lesson February 26. This is Ash Wednesday, and the church is not available for our use.
Our February monthly dance will take place February 8 and feature Dan Preedy (Spokane) calling. Heads to the Center will dance Advanced from 4:30 to 6:30. The Ramblers will alternate Mainstream and Plus tips from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We dance at the Oak Grove Community Center, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon.
January 8, 2020
It’s a new year and a new decade, and the Ramblers are going to try our best to help you create magic and memories for the 20s. So, pull out your Palm Pilot (or subsequent device), and let’s get cracking:
- Monthly Dances. We have quite a line up slated for 2020. Here’s what to expect for the first half of the year. These dances all take place on the second Saturday of the month, at the Oak Grove Community Hall, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon. Unless otherwise noted, dances feature Heads to the Center Advanced dancing from 4:30 to 6:30 pm and Ramblers Mainstream/Plus dancing from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
- January 11: Stephen Cole calling. Advanced dancing starts at 5. NO POTLUCK in January. There will be a one hour break from 6:30 to 7:30 for dinner on your own. This is our annual Black and White Ball—everyone is encouraged to wear black or white, or some combination of black and white. No pressure, of course, but it’s fun to see the creative costumes that people invent.
- February 8: Dan Preedy calling. Regular schedule. No potluck.
- March 14: Dark. Travel to Seattle to support Puddletown fly-in!
- April 11: Gary Monday calling. Regular schedule. Potluck 6:30 to 7:30. Annual membership meeting at 7 pm.
- May 9: Ian Craig calling. Regular schedule. Potluck 6:30 to 7:30. Mainstream Graduation!
- June 13: Don Wood calling. Regular schedule.
- Our all-day Plus blast will take place on Saturday, January 11 from 9 am to 5 pm. The idea is to learn (or at least be exposed to) all of the Plus calls in an all-day intensive session. Ian Craig will be teaching at the Oak Grove Community Hall, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon. Cost is $50 for the entire day of lessons. You’ll be able to practice your new skills at the Black and White Ball that very night.
- Mainstream lessons resume on January 15 at 7 pm at Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. Tell all your friends! January 15 and 22 are free tastes. Students who started in September 2019 can go through the lessons again at no charge. We love and need angels for these lessons!
- Membership. Many thanks to those of you who have already paid your 2020 dues. We have two types of membership:
- Prepay membership. The cost of this membership is $100. It includes admission to all 9 Ramblers monthly dances in 2020.
- Pay-as-you-go membership. The cost of this membership is $50. Members pay just for those monthly dances that they attend, at a cost of $7 per dance.
Dues are payable by cash (e.g., at the January 11 dance!) or by check made payable to “Rosetown Ramblers.” You can bring your check to the January dance or mail it to P.O. Box 5352, Portland, Oregon 97228. (Note: September 2019 students do not have to pay dues until June 2020.
- Other Dances. The Oregon Federation’s Mid-Winter Festival will be in Albany January 24-26. The first Portland Area Council 5th Friday dance for 2020 will be on January 31 at the Milwaukie Community Club, 10666 SE 42nd Ave., Milwaukie. Dancing starts at 7. Darrell Kalmbach calling.
June 13, 2019
Watch for the Ramblers in the Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, June 16.
June 9, 2019
The Ramblers prepared for our summer hiatus with a mind-blowing barn burner at our June 8 dance, called by the dazzling Don Wood from Olympia. With the assistance of a set from the scintillating Silver City Squares, a range of raucous Ramblers raised the roof and raked the rafters at the Oak Grove Community Center. The Ramblers customary enthusiasm, combined with the youthful exuberance of our visitors, made a truly memorable occasion. We also welcomed dancers from Chaps & Petticoats and Valley River Dancers. If you’re looking for a good dancing time, you can’t go wrong with the Ramblers.
You will have to wait, however, until September 14 for your next opportunity to join the fun. We are dark in July and August. After our summer break, our fall dances will feature:
September 14: Kris Jensen
October 12: Richard Lane
November 9: Diana Wedel
December 14: Ian Craig.
We dance at the Oak Grove Community Center from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We alternate Mainstream and Plus tips. We don’t round dance. Every dancer is welcome at the Ramblers.
If you can possibly make it to the Oregon Federation of Square and Round Dancing summer festival, you will be richly rewarded by the fabulous callers scheduled to appear. Featured caller Michael Kellogg has called for our club several times, and he is a master of the craft. We hope to see you in Salem in July.
January 15, 2019
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Black and White Dance on January 12. What a great-looking group!
See you on February 8 for our next monthly dance.