EDMOND — Visitors to the Teacup Chains Square Dance Club's first dance of 2013 got some advice from caller Jeff Holley as he spoke into a hand-held microphone.
“Rule No. 1,” Holley said to the dancers assembled in four-couple groups: “Trust your caller.”
Visitors had been coaxed onto the dance floor by club members who assured them square dancing isn't all that difficult.
Newcomer Paula Parkhurst said before taking the floor that it looked like people were having a great time, “but you've got to pay attention.”
Holley led participants through basic square dance moves, explaining how to execute an allemande left, a do-si-do and a promenade before launching into a rhythmic call set to a familiar guitar tune amplified from a laptop computer.
As the music wound down, there were smiles everywhere, and Teacup Chains' evening of square dancing was under way.
The club had opened its dance to visitors, and the evening was filled with lively stepping, handshakes, hugs, food and lots of smiles as Edmond's only square dance organization marked the start of a new year. Many were decked out in black-and-white western attire, while others were dressed more for comfort.
“We are accepting of what anybody wants to wear,” Teacup Chains President Michelle Schaefer said. “We just want you to come and have fun.”
Schaefer said she has been a member four years, and the club “is like a family.” She said square dancing is beneficial for several reasons.
“It's good exercise. It keeps your mind sharp. We say it's ‘friendship set to music,' and it really is.”
Teacup Chains has dances on the first and third Saturdays of the month at Peace Lutheran Church, 2600 W Danforth Road, beginning with a 7 p.m. workshop, then a grand march at 7:30 p.m. Its next dance, on Jan. 19, also will be an open house with visitors welcome, Schaefer said.
The club will sponsor a series of lessons beginning Jan. 24 at the Edmond Multi-Activity Center.