Boots clacked and hips smacked during an ABC Dance at the Wadena Fairgrounds.
The session was hosted by the Wadena Whirlaways, a local dance troupe that specializes in square dancing.
An ABC Dance is designed for beginners and introduces people to the fun and rhythm of square dancing. No experience necessary and no intricate dance moves needed, just sensible footwear and the urge to dance.
Organizers converted a fairgrounds building into make-shift dance stage complete with rows of chairs and industrial fans to cool things down. The caller, Phil Miller, started out the evening by inviting dancers to the floor. He dispensed some brief advice before rhythmically giving dance instructions. The dancers would form up, sometimes taking each other arm in arm and swirl, twirl, and sway to the music. Once they had the moves down, the real fun began. The music hit a peak and they were off. Clapping and dancing in time with the beat. Seasoned square dancers were leading the pack as the rest fell in line.
Within the pack of dancers was Linda Brotherton, lesson coordinator for the group. According to Brotherton, the Whirlaways have been dancing for around 35 years and often put on shows during local fairs and parades.
"A lot of people are not aware we have it in the community," said Brotherton. The ABC Dance is a new concept organized in an effort to spread awareness about the group and square dancing in general.
The ABC Dance was free to join. The group does offer lessons starting in the fall. The Whirlaways and Rays Promenaders will be hosting another ABC Dance on Aug. 17 at the Pillager fairgrounds.