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Thu, Jun 20


Beltrami County Historical Society

Way Grand: Square Dancing, Traditional to Modern

featuring Carole Laitala and Roger Lueth of the First City Squares

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Way Grand:  Square Dancing, Traditional to Modern
Way Grand:  Square Dancing, Traditional to Modern

Time & Location

Jun 20, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Beltrami County Historical Society, 130 Minnesota Ave SW, Bemidji, MN 56601, USA

About the event

The Beltrami County Historical Society is thrilled to announce an exciting event as part of our FREE Brown Bag History Series: "Way Grand: Square Dancing, Traditional to Modern," featuring renowned square dancer Carole Laitala and caller Roger Lueth from the First City Squares. This engaging program will take place on Thursday, June 20, at 12:00 PM at the Beltrami County History Center, located at 130 Minnesota Ave. SW, downtown Bemidji.

Square dancing, a lively and communal form of dance, has a storied history that spans continents and centuries. Originating from European folk dances, particularly those from England and France, square dancing made its way to America with early settlers. In the 19th century, it became a staple of social gatherings in frontier communities, evolving into a uniquely American tradition.

The tradition of the caller, a key element of modern square dancing, helps dancers navigate complex sequences of moves. This practice, along with the standardization efforts in the 20th century, particularly by figures like Lloyd Shaw, has kept square dancing vibrant and accessible.

Carole Laitala and Roger Lueth of the First City Squares, an organization founded in 2002, will bring the history and joy of square dancing to life. Carole Laitala, a seasoned square dancer, and Roger Lueth, an experienced caller, will demonstrate the evolution of square dancing from its traditional roots to its modern forms. They will discuss the history of square-dancing clubs in the area, special events across the state and country, and the social, health, and fun aspects of square dancing.

Adding to the excitement, members of the First City Squares will perform a "teach dance" for audience members interested in learning the basics of square dancing. This interactive segment will give attendees a hands-on experience of this delightful dance form.

This event is perfect for history enthusiasts, dance aficionados, and anyone interested in learning about the cultural heritage of square dancing. Bring your lunch, bring a friend, and enjoy a fascinating journey through time with us!

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