Square Dance Fest Could Raise The Roof

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Andy Towle photo

Ladies and gentlemen in frothy, frilly matching costumes will twirl in time June 12-13.

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Andy Towle photo

Rounds and squares, cuers and callers, fun and festivity — the 29th Annual Zane Grey Twirlers Dance Under the Rim Square and Round Dance Festival has it all. The event is this Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13 at the Tonto Apache Tribal Recreation Center.

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Andy Towle photo

Zane Grey Twirlers — Marlene and Rick Kubiak, Julie and Skip Shipp, Nancy Ragland and Duane Coyer.

When you get about 200 people swirling, twirling, stamping and stomping — all in time with one another — you might get a roof or two raised in the Rim Country.

The 29th annual Dance Under the Rim Square and Round Dance Festival returns June 12 and 13. The Zane Grey Twirlers will have about 200 people in attendance at the event, which will be held at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center.

Activities begin at 7 p.m., Friday, June 12 with pre-rounds cued by Annie Brownrigg from the Sunflower Resort in Surprise, Ariz. Square dancing begins at 8 p.m. with caller Mike Hogan of Omaha, Neb.

Brownrigg has taught dance since the age of 12, and became involved in square and round dance activities in 1967. She has cued dances in 14 states, at national conventions, three countries and on numerous cruises. In addition to sharing her talent at the Sunflower Resort, Brownrigg cues dances in Sun City, Sun City West, Happy Trails, Arizona Traditions and Crazy 8’s. She also continues dancing with partner Carl Dammier.

She said her goal as a cuer is to keep older people active and out of nursing homes.

Formerly from Texas, she has made her home in Arizona since 1997.

Dammier began teaching round dancing in 1975 in upstate New York with his late wife, Patsy. Their teaching continued in Texas, where they were transferred in 1979. After his wife’s death, Dammier joined Brownrigg in her teaching in 2007.

Hogan has called square dances from the age of 13, but he makes his living as a full-time sales and senior account manager in radio broadcasting. He is also a teacher, giving four square dance classes a year. He has called for dancers in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois, New Mexico, California and Arizona.

He said his goal as a caller is to be the best entertainer, educator and leader he can be.

A full day of fun and festivities is planned Saturday. Things kick off with a pancake breakfast and welcome dance, with guest callers and cuers at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 13.

Workshops will be held through the day, with the round dance workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the square dance workshop from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Pre-rounds with Brownrigg cuing will be from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by the Grand March at 7:45 p.m. As part of the Grand March, Mike and Shirley Stewart will sing the National Anthem and Payson Mayor Kenny Evans will offer a welcoming address.

Hogan takes over the microphone from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. calling the square dancing, which will be mainstream and plus.

Rim Country residents and visitors are welcome to come and watch the fun at no charge.

Those interested in participating in the big 30th Annual Dance Under the Rim Festival, planned for June 11 and 12, 2010 should visit the Zane Grey Twirlers Web site www.zanegreytwirlers.org. The group has invited Mike Seastrom to be the caller, and Barb Lopez to be the cuer at the 2010 event.

For more information about the 2009 activities, call (928) 474-5138 or (928) 482-8115.

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