Swing on over to the Apple Barn

Article Published: May. 27, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Swing on over to the Apple Barn

Swing your partner at the Apple Barn Thursday. Beginners welcome. Photos submitted

Have a hankering to swing your partner?

Then do-si-do on over to the Apple Barn Thursday for a foot-stomping, guitar picking, swinging experience that's sure to get your heart pumping.

"You can bring a partner, but you don't have to bring a partner ... we usually encourage people to dance with different partners," Boone Country Dancers (BCD) spokesman John Pertalion said.

BCD has been in existence about 20 years, and Pertalion has been around for 14 of them.

He's not alone. BCD knows how to pack the barn. Most dances average between 100 and 120 dancers.

Many of them are beginners, and, thanks to careful instruction by the caller, it's easy for them to pick up the moves.

"The band will crank up, and the caller will call the dance, and people will start doing it," Pertalion said.

While you may have heard about the dances on Saturdays at the barn (second Saturday of every month), the Thursday dance is brand new: An experimental dance, if you will.

"It's more of a flexible dance," he said, a chance to try out new formations and new bands in a casual environment.
While dancing is great exercise, the Apple Barn isn't just for burning calories. Pertalion, who started dancing when he was 5-years-old, said it's a great way to socialize.
"Actually, I met my wife at a contra dance," he said. "That was 26 years ago."

What better way to get to know someone new than dancing?

"Dancing is like a necessary activity that people need to do in general," he said. "Once people start dancing, they feel that way, too ... It's a very friendly atmosphere."

Expect all ages. "I've seen people as young as 5-years-old and as old as 80," he said.
Expect surprises. "Sometimes you'll see your neighbor," he said.

And above all, expect to have fun.

"Everyone is welcome to these dances," Pertalion said.

Thursday's dance, called by Phil Jamison with music by the Zephyr Lightning Bolts, starts with a flatfoot workshop with Paul Anderegg at 7 p.m., followed by the dance at 7:30 p.m. Expect to dance until 10 p.m.: Freestyle flatfoot, two-step, waltz and more. It happens at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis. Admission is $7 and $3 for high school students and younger.

For more information, visit http://www.boonecountrydancers.org.

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