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They swing their partners ‘round and ‘round

Janine Marnien

There’s nothing like having a good square-dancing time, at least

for the members of Dons ‘N Donettes. The La Crescenta-based club has

spent its 39 years responding to callers’ directions at dances,

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various events and classes, ‘do-si-do'-ing as part of what one of the

club’s vice presidents calls a “huge subculture.”

“Until you get into it, you don’t realize how big it is,” said

Diane Redfern, a 10-year member of the club. “We went to an

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international event and danced with some couples from Japan, and they

spoke no English except for the calls.”

The club began May 5, 1963, and was christended “Dons ‘N Donettes”

to reflect the Spanish heritage in the Verdugo area. The current 50

members have performed at the Montrose Harvest Market, the Gene Autry

Museum and at Western jamboree-type events.

Square dancing is a combination of various traditional dances

settlers brought to America. It requires four couples in a square

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formation. Dance moves are dictated by a caller, who calls out names

of moves like “alamande left” to a variety of music.

The dance form meshes physical exercise, mental stimulation and

social interaction all into one activity, club President Bob Brown

said.

“It’s been said that if you go to a dance and dance every dance,

it’s the equivalent to walking five miles,” he said.

Square dancing is also a natural stress reliever, Brown said.

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“You can have a totally hectic day, where hardly anything went

right, but when you go to a dance you forget about the rest of the

world,” he said. “You have to concentrate on square dancing and what

the caller is calling. If you’re thinking ‘Tomorrow I’ve got a

meeting,’ you’ve just lost it.”

The club holds periodic instructional classes and monthly dances.

For more information, call 248-1772.


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