- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) - English and Scottish country dancing is providing a creative outlet and alternative dance form for those interested in the early dance style.

Every year in Douglas County, a group of dancers known as the Roseburg Country Dancers meet to practice the old-fashioned dance style known as English and Scottish country dancing, reported The News-Review (https://bit.ly/2hw5IqQ).

The dancers practice regularly at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center. They are a part of The Heather and The Rose Society, an English and Scottish dance organization, which also has other branches in Oregon.

“This kind of dancing is music made visual,” lead teacher Alixe Dancer said. “It’s like a sculpture of human beings and we are a part of it.”

Dancer, who attended Julliard, has performed this style of dancing ever since she was 5 years old. She said it is an art form that binds people together and helps them pursue friendships that they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Both traditional and more modern styles are presented, with new routines created regularly. Members of the dance group said they believe dancing helps combat the effects of aging by keeping people moving, alive and healthy.

Theresa Dielensnyder, who has been dancing with the Roseburg Country Dancers for five years, said that she hopes this style of dance “provides those of us who haven’t ever danced before in our lives an opportunity to experience the absolute joy of being able to do a dance and do it well.”

The dance style itself could be described as a set of geometrical patterns, guiding dancers through circular and square designs. It is a highly social dance form that requires involvement of multiple people. This style is commonly associated with films such as “Pride and Prejudice,” highlighting the 1600 to 1800 time period when the dance was originally practiced.

Members of the Roseburg Country Dancers have announced their upcoming Midwinter Ball, which will be hosted at the Roseburg VA Medical Center Feb. 3 and 4. Experienced English and Scottish country dancers are encouraged to enter into the ball and community members are invited to watch.

For people who wish to join the Roseburg Country Dancers, all newcomers are welcome free of charge. No partners are necessary. Classes are taught from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays at the Roseburg VA Medical Center in the Building 16 auditorium.


Information from: The News-Review, https://www.nrtoday.com

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