Well, it's spring (sorta). You know what that means: time to throw on your boots, break out the tassels and get your square dance on.
Thanks to an aptly-timed Twitter alert fromthe Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn
(pointing us to the delightful video below) we got inspired to find some good 'ole fashioned hoe downs of our own.
For starters, take a moment to tap your feet to "Tractor Square Dancing," and then you, too, might be inspired to try out your skills, if not on a tractor, then on a dance floor.
Chicago offers a surprising (to me) number of opportunities to watch, learn or just take part in square dancing, and the summer is packed with events across the area for all levels of dancers.
The Chi-Town Squares are one of the most visible dance groups within the city limits. The dancers, mostly gays and lesbians, perform at city fests throughout the festival season and have a big event planned for the fall.
"Crossfire XX: Scoot Back Down To Chi-Town" will be held Sept. 4 - 7, at The Center on Halsted. Over 100 dancers are featured in this annual event, so you can imagine the hoe-down it becomes.
Another high-stepping group of locals, The Chicago Barn Dance Company, offers open dances and workshops throughout the metro area, including a weekly event on the city's North Side.
Is your interest piqued?
The Chicagoland Square Dance Web site offers a listing of available lessons throughout the suburbs from groups such as the South Side Squares, The Happy Twirlers, The Country Bumpkins, The Call and Caper Club and the Fox Valley Mixers.
If you'd rather start as an observer, there would be no better place than at the 26th Annual Illinois State Square & Round Dance Convention. Take a weekend trip to the Quad Cities this summer (July 31- Aug. 2) and watch some of the state's best as they heel, toe, heel, toe their way toward ribbons and medals.
You're not too cool for this, really.
If you're looking for some high-energy activity, square dancing may be the thing for you. The outfits are to die for and, besides, it's fun to boot (cowboy boot, most likely).