City of residence: Bonaire
Member: The Robins Ramblers
Q: September was National Square Dancing Month. How long have you been square dancing?
A: Since 1993, so 22 years now.
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Q: How did you start?
A: I went to a classes in Macon with the Pairs and Spares square dancing club there and learned then danced with them for a while. Then I started meeting with the Warner Robins club. The Warner Robins club is called the Robins Ramblers.
Q: So you didn’t learn as a child -- in fact, you’re not from around here are you?
A: No, I’m from Manchester, England. My first husband, Ramsey McDonald, and I met while he was stationed in England and we later moved to Georgia. He was from Hazlehurst. After he died, a friend suggested it was something I should do, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Q: What do you enjoy about it?
A: It’s such fun and you meet such wonderful people. I guess that’s the main thing. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere and you get to laugh and have such a good time. Even when you mess up, people don’t get mad, we all just have a good laugh about it. There are a lot of good things about square dancing.
Q: Like what? What are other benefits?
A: Well, it certainly is great exercise. It’s low-impact, low-stress exercise and it helps keep you flexible with good physical dexterity. There’s a mental side to it, too. There’s mental stimulation from learning new things and remembering the dance calls and moves.
Q: And socializing?
A: Oh yes. You make friends; lifelong friends. You make friends in your own club and you can go to different clubs and other groups like the one in Macon and others across the state. They’re all over the world, really. It’s a great cheap night as far as entertainment goes. That’s not so easy to find these days. My husband, Bill, and I look forward to it and hate when we have to miss a night.
Q: How long have the Robins Ramblers been active?
A: It was started by Claude Lewis as part of the Warner Robins Recreation Department back in 1959. He had three squares when they first started.
Q: Squares? What is that exactly?
A: That’s where the name comes from. There are eight people to a square, so there were 24 people right at first. Later it became an independent club but we still meet at the recreation department on Watson Boulevard every Tuesday except the third Tuesday each month. We meet from 7 to 9 p.m. The first class specifically to teach people square dancing was in 1960 and we have someone from that first class still dancing with us, Agnes Todd.
Q: How many members now?
A: I guess around 30.
Q: What’s the age range?
A: The youngest is 9 and the oldest in our club is 81. In Macon, there’s a gentleman who is 98.
Q: Do you welcome newcomers?
A: We encourage them; we’re glad to have them. They can come any time but we’ll be having special open house meetings Jan. 5 and 12 with beginner classes starting Jan. 26. Macon is having classes starting this October, I believe. If someone wants information they can contact our club about any of this.
Q: Who should they contact?
A: Our club president is Rich Thomas and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: So there must be more information at www.robinsramblers.net, also.
Q: You’re quite enthusiastic. Do you recommend square dancing to everyone?
A: I do, I do. And we welcome anyone and everyone. And you can dress however you like, from really getting into the fancy square-dancing outfits to just coming casually in shirt and jeans. Whatever you want to do or your budget allows. It’s just all for fun.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at email@example.com.