What do you think of square dancing

Patients like to dance with the “Main River Dancers”

“At some point the care for the elderly is over, the children are out of the house - you sit in the living room and think: Was that it now?” Petra Richter-Salewsky and her husband Harald Salewsky didn't have to think twice. The two Michelauers liked to dance in the past, but more of a standard dance. In autumn 2013 they decided on a certain type of “full body training”: they do “square dance” with the Lichtenfels “Main River Dancers”.

Dance, run, turn, clap - and watch out. “You really have to concentrate, otherwise the square will stand,” laughs Petra Richter-Salewsky when performing in the Schwabthal rehabilitation clinic on Friday. The "Main River Dancers" regularly visit the clinic in Lautergrund with their President Gerald Vierling. A caller, a square and music - that's all it takes to offer a fun evening to watch and participate.

"You have to really concentrate, otherwise the square will stand."
Petra Richter-Salewsky, Michelau

The caller is Matthias Knabner. He makes the announcements on the microphone, tells the dancers which figure should be danced next. That's what makes square dance so special: “We haven't learned anything by heart here, everything happens on demand,” he explains to the many guests in the foyer. He gives the commands in English, they are uniform all over the world, be it in Europe, in the USA, where square dance originated in the 18th century, or even in Russia.

A square consists of four pairs, i.e. eight dancers, who line up on the sides of an imaginary square. You don't have to be able to speak English to understand the commands in question; you need to know where to the left and where to go. The music is not standardized either. Country and western, German oldies, rock and Mozart - you can dance to anything. However, the "caller" of the Lichtenfels "Main River Dancers" has a special loudspeaker and microphone system for this: In square dancing, the announcements, the words, are very important, not so much the musically perfect reproduction of the sounds.

You can also dance anywhere abroad

Around 40 different figures belong to the standard repertoire of the dancers, some even master 70. Like the Michelauers Petra Richter-Salewsky and Harald Salewsky. Every vacation or excursion is - as far as possible - combined with a dance performance, with a visit to another square dance club. No problem, the announcements are uniform, the address to each other is "you".

Both fondly think back to an event in September 2015 when they visited Paris and took part in the "Dance under the Eiffel Tower". Last year, on the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary, the two traveled to Amsterdam for the “European Convention”. Square dance is really international, a great hobby, they are convinced. The guests and patients, who enthusiastically applauded the dancing couples, think so too. The last round then belonged to them too: Caller Matthias Knabner called on people to take part. Between the petticoat and the western shirt, many people dressed in "civil" clothes, happy to dance, and happy to be seen.

"Open-door day"

The Lichtenfels Square Dance Association "Main-River-Dancers" invites everyone interested to the "Open House" on Friday, September 27th and Friday, October 11th, in Lichtenfels, Henry-Dunant-Straße 6, in BRK training room, near Lichtenfels Clinic. The start is always at 7.30 p.m. There is already a “Korbmarkt Special” on Saturday, September 14th, in Lichtenfels in the hall of the “TS Lichtenfels” at Schützenplatz, Schützenstraße 3. Further information can be found at: www.Main-River-Dancers.de.

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