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Do-Si-Doers celebrate 68th anniversary

by Audrey Anderson

Hometown Weekly Reporter

Square dancers gathered together at Blackburn Hall in Walpole to dance in honor of the 68th anniversary of the Do-Si-Doers Square Dance Club of Walpole. Coming from near and far, including Cranston (Rhode Island), Mansfield, Norfolk, Walpole, Dover, Westwood, Dedham, Medfield, Peabody, Salem, Framingham, Easton, and Needham, the dancers celebrated their fellow club’s anniversary.

Dress varied, but some women wore wide skirts with crinolines that flared out when they spun around, and some men wore cowboy hats or country-western bolo ties to get in the spirit of square dancing.

The first part of the evening consisted of round dances cued by Lynn Sa. As Sa called out the steps in each dance’s choreography, pairs of dancers moved counterclockwise in a circle, following the cues. Round dancing is a social ballroom dance that utilizes a variety of ballroom dancing rhythms, such as waltz, foxtrot, or latin.

After about 45 minutes of round dancing, callers Bob Butler and Steve Park led the second part of the evening—square dancing. Butler and Park are both regular club callers, alternating weeks in the club’s schedule of dances. 

For the square dances, a group of four pairs of dancers formed a square. The dancers, who had learned a large number of calls (or types of dance movements), performed them when the caller requested them. They moved through the steps with concentration, laughter, and smiles, walking in pairs, moving in and out of lines, weaving through raised arms, and performing many other steps. The steps have quaint names, such as swing, do-si-do, circle left, promenade, allemande left, roll away to a half sashay, and many others. In addition to calling out the steps for the dances, the callers also sang along with the songs, pointed out errors, and kept up a delightful chatter.

The Walpole Do-Si-Doers normally have about four squares at their dances. At this event, the beautiful and spacious Blackburn Hall hosted six or more squares. Some attendees chose to sit out a few dances in chairs that lined the walls, visit with others, or stroll over to the refreshments table for some sandwiches, chips, or home-baked cookies, cake, or cupcakes. 

Special recognition was given during the dance to Harriett and Bob Clarke. Harriet had long been the club’s round-dance cuer, before taking a break recently. Working as a team, Bob showed the dancers how to do the steps that Harriet cued. Harriet also taught lessons before the dances for many years. The club chose to present the couple with a cranberry blanket, nodding to Bob’s career with Ocean Spray.

To memorialize the anniversary event, the dancers gathered at the end of the hall for a souvenir group photograph. Long-time dancer, Carol Leonard, was called to the front row of the group for the photo.

You can learn more about the Do-Si-Doers Square Dance Club at

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