Are you ready for the community square dance?

Square dancing is not just for the geriatric set. I mean, look at these hipsters in Fargo, square dancing to the Black Eyed Peas. It’s so ironic, you probably don’t even get it:

But seriously, two astonishingly hip Oak Cliff women are putting together a community square dance on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Trinity River Audubon Center. Leila Grothe and Cynthia Mulcahy won a $4,000 Idea Fund Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. And with that money, they are throwing an outdoor square dance they hope will foster community spirit.

Here’s how they describe the setup:

“an old-fashioned outdoor dance area will be created using large round hay bales, string lights, and red and white gingham covered picnic tables decorated with cans of Texas wildflowers.”

The free event also includes snacks and a band playing square dance, Texas swing and traditional folk music. Wayne Shoemaker, a licensed caller with the North Texas Callers Association, will lead the dancers. Grothe and Mulcahy have curated an collection of classic square dance pictures from the Dallas Public Library, and those will be projected on the building.

Grothe and Mulcahy are not experts in square dancing, but they are interested in an art movement called “art as social practice,” “social sculpture” and other names that basically refer to creative work that shapes community.

They chose square dance because it is the official dance of Texas, and there is a history of hoedowns in Dallas throughout the early 20th Century. Plus, the dance lends itself to community building.

“If you go to a dance, you just dance with people you know, but if you go to a square dance, you dance with everyone else who’s dancing,” Grothe told us when the project was announced earlier this year.

Anyone who attended a public elementary school in Texas probably has received a square-dance lesson. For those of us who never have square danced, Grothe assures us we can pick it up quickly with the help of the pro caller and square dance ringers who will keep the party going.

If you’re thinking Grothe and Mulcahy could be breaking into a new hipster craze, think again: They were square dancing in Portland, like 10 years ago:


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