Old Joe

Joe and Dottie Todd were loyal and faithful dancers in the Catskill Mountain Squares, a square dance club in Arkville, NY. Although Joe had all appearances of being a little frail and hunched over, I clearly recall him jumping up with both feet in the air along with Seager “Sig” Fairbairn. Dottie was a very mild-mannered lady. She continued to dance even though she had a stroke. It was a pleasure to have them attend my dances.

If you’ve ever danced to me, you’ve probably realized that I enjoy talking with the dancers. Sometimes, it’s a difficult task to talk with everyone at each dance. The Catskill Mountain Squares danced at the Arkville Fire Hall in Arkville, NY. The hall had a stage at its far end and chairs formed a horseshoe shape around the exterior.

Joe Todd was sitting at the first available chair near the stage. During the first break, I looked at Joe and said, “Joe how are you doing?’ He replied, “OK”. I proceed around towards the back and talked to some other dancers, and I returned to the stage to do the next tip.

Once I completed that tip, Joe once again was seated in the same seat as before. I again acknowledged Joe’s presence, and I talked to others in the hall. As the break ended, I went back to the stage. This scenario was repeated several times during the dance.

The dance ended, and I went home with my family as usual.

The next Friday evening, we had the Catskill Mountain Squares dance once again. The crowd again had our friends Joe and Dottie. As usual, Joe was seated in the first seat near the stage. After the first tip, I proceeded to walk and talk to the crowd. I looked at Joe and started to ask him, “How …”

Joe stopped me from completing the sentence.

I waited to see what was going on. Joe responded with the following,”I know you were going to ask me how I am.” He told me that I asked him about 8 times the week before, and he went to look in the mirror figuring I might have seen a health issue he didn’t know about.  He didn’t have any health issues, so he figured I was just being awkward.  I was.

We both had a chuckle and the dance went on. From that point forward I made a concentrated effort to have a full conversation with Joe early each evening.

Schoharie Valley Hay Shakers (in Middleburgh, NY)

In my trip to NY, I actually got to dance with the Schoharie Valley Hay Shakers.  It was such a great time, and they dance at such a high level.  Ray Taylor did a great job calling (I knew he would…  We went to caller’s school together in 1976), and I recommend anyone dance to him.

If you’re ever near Albany, NY or south of there, take a short trip on out to the Hay Shakers.

Unnamed Dancer, Grateful

As many of my stories contain names of the people involved, the loyal dancer in this story will go unnamed as it is sensitive in nature.

My loyal dancer was having some difficulties in life including loss of some close family members in a short period of time. As I recall it was over approximately a six month period or so. I do not remember details or much else about the circumstances—the number of people at the dance, how much money I had made, or even the month or year.

I do remember this dancer telling me a therapist classified her recently as near a breaking point, potentially nearing a nervous breakdown. The therapist asked what support this local dancer had and what social activities the dancer was a part of. The dancer told the therapist that she was part of a local square dance club. The therapist honestly stated that the professional opinion that square dancing actually prevented the nervous breakdown. This dancer with tears and a big hug thanked me for being their and making square dancing fun for the community.

This is totally a true story and has been a motivation for to continue. I hope this is a single, isolated incident. But in the case that it isn’t, I sincerely hope that I can provide support to whoever needs it. am glad that I have, in at least one case, brought comfort and joy to those in need.

Pisgah Promenaders Chocolate Dance

This coming Saturday (May 26), the Pisgah Promenaders are having a chocolate dance.  I’ve got a couple surprises up my sleeve for the Chocolate Dance with the Pisgah Promenaders in Waynesville.  Come on out, there will be chocolate!


Peach Blossoms

I’ll be calling for the Peach Blossoms in Inman, SC on May 25.  If you’re free that evening, feel free to come on out to Inman.  I’m so excited to work with the Peach Blossoms, filling in for Tom Pustinger.

Come on south of the border to this dance—it’ll be a fun one.

I recorded this video (requested by Ryan) so that I could be hip and young.  It looks like it is working, because people are looking at it.

Remember to “Like” it on Youtube.


FREE Community Dance Program in Asheville, NC

Hey everyone!

The Circle 8’s of Asheville, NC are doing something great.  Mark your calendars, because they’re hosting a community dance program for people who don’t know much about square dancing!  It’s totally FREE!  I’ll be doing the calling for this program.

It’ll be at the Oakley Recreation Center in Asheville (see Circle 8’s site for directions) before the Circle 8’s regular dances on June 21, July 7 and 19, and August 2.

This program is geared towards people who are absolute beginners, but anyone can enjoy with little knowledge about square dancing or folk dancing.  It’ll be fun, and it truly is something that the whole family can enjoy for FREE (and I usually charge for these types of events!)  Come on over, you’ll be welcomed like family.

Visit www.martynorthrup.com for more information about me, pics and videos of square dancing.

Southern Lights 30th Anniversary Dance

I made the short trip up to Hendersonville this evening, and I got to dance with a great group of people.  Stan Russell did a fantastic job tonight, calling this dance with a surely special 30th Anniversary flair.  Check out the Southern Lights website.  Also, see Stan’s bio and consider seeing him call at the Southern Lights sometime.

This is one of my favorite singing calls to do, the original by Buck Owens.  I think it really is in a good range, where I can really get into the song.  The Emerald Squares seemed to really like it too.

Find more videos of me calling on my Youtube Channel.  To find more about me on my website, navigate to www.martynorthrup.com.

Circle 8’s Dance, Tonight!!

The Circle 8’s will be dancing tonight in Asheville, NC at the Oakley Community Center.  Come on out and square dance with the crazy eights!

Check out the Circle 8’s square dance club online.  Get involved with this great activity.  Square dancing is truly making a resurgence, and the Circle 8’s are drawing bigger and bigger crowds.  

Come on out.  Have a fun party with the Circle 8’s and Marty, tonight!