State square dance conclave in Marble Falls on March 6-7

Texas State Federation of Square and Round Dancers Conclave Meeting

Gaynelle and Bailey Sutherland (left) enjoy an evening of square dancing during a regular Country Cuzzins Square Dance Club meeting at First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls. On March 6-7, the Austin Square and Round Dance Association, of which Country Cuzzins is a member, is hosting the state conclave in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Square dancers from across Texas will do-si-do their way to Marble Falls for a state meeting March 6-7.

The Austin Square and Round Dance Association is hosting the Texas State Federation of Square and Round Dancers Conclave Meeting. “Square Thru the Wildflowers” features two days of dancing and more at the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes-Marble Falls Unit, 1701 Broadway.

Dances start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday. While square dancers pay a fee to attend the conclave, the dances are free for those who just want to watch.

“Yeah, come in and learn what all the fun’s about,” said Bailey Sutherland, a member of the Country Cuzzins Square Dance Club, which is based in Marble Falls. He’s also a promotional material director for the state federation.

Sutherland said organizers expect more than 100 people to attend the conclave, which should make for some great square dancing.

“It’s really good for you,” he said. “It’s good for the memory because you have to learn these calls, and there are 65 of them to start with. When the caller calls one, you have to remember it and then do it.”

Participants dance in a group of eight, called a square. The initial 65 calls are “mainstream.” As dancers get better, they can progress to “plus,” which is another 60 calls, and “A” and “C” levels, which each have an additional 60-plus calls.

“As you progress, the calls get harder and harder,” Sutherland said.

During the conclave dances, callers will stick with mainstream and plus.

“It’s good exercise,” Sutherland said. “In one night, you’ll walk over two miles while dancing. That’s pretty good.”

Another benefit is the camaraderie.

“It’s a wonderful group of people you get to meet and become friends with,” Sutherland said.

The conclave begins March 6 with a hospitality gathering from 3-5 p.m. at Best Western Marble Falls Inn, 1403 U.S. 281 North. This is reserved for attendees. The business meeting, also for attendees only, is 9 a.m.-noon March 7 at the Boys & Girls Club. Sutherland said members will elect state officers during the conclave.

The dances, though, are open to the public at no cost.

The Country Cuzzins group, which meets from 7-9 p.m. Thursdays at First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls, is part of the Austin association as well as the state federation.

In the Austin association, clubs across Central Texas hold weekly meetings.

“If you wanted to, you could dance just about every night of the week,” Sutherland said.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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