Henrico County VA

Swing Your Partner

Be it the two-step or the tango, Henrico residents love to kick up their heels.

Now that the weather’s colder, we suggest you give it a whirl. By spring, you could be light on your feet. Area dancing clubs are light on the wallet, too, with affordable memberships and inexpensive social events.

Here are a few area groups that meet regularly in Henrico:

Ballroom Dance Club
The Richmond Chapter of USA Dance, Inc. boasts a membership of about 300. “Our membership doubled after Dancing With the Stars began,” said Phil Sisk. The club holds dances one Saturday a month from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Brookland Middle School, and averages about 100 people at each. Singles and couples are welcome.

Lessons are offered before the real dancing begins. “Even amateurs can have fun,” said Sisk. “And it’s really great that young and old can dance together.”

Often, club members will stage an exhibition dance, Sisk said, to show off their skills.

It’s a cheap and fun date night, too; the $8 admission includes snacks. Reservations are required for the December balls.

For details, contact Phil Sisk at 447-0175 or usadancerichmond.org.

Candlelight Club
“You don’t need to know how to dance,” said Gail McGhee. “Dancing comes from the heart. Just smile – that’s the best thing on the dance floor.”

The Candlelight Club holds ballroom dances from 7-10 p.m. on the third Friday of each month(except January, when there’s an afternoon “tea dance”) at Belmont Recreation Center, often to the music of a live band.

The members tend to be mostly senior citizen couples. It’s a great way to stay in shape and the club boasts members into their 90s. Though they don’t teach dancing, they don’t care how good or clumsy you are. It’s about having fun.

For details, contact Gail McGhee at 257-6450.

Colonial Dance Club
The Colonial Dance Club’s Linda Salter says she loved dressing up as a child, and loves it even more now that she can dress up and dance with others. The club, nearly 50 members strong, learns the dances of England and Colonial America from the 18th century, which they perform wearing period costume.

Dancers perform several times a year at the John Marshall House and for the John Marshall Historical Society, as well as at other events. They also attend balls around the mid-Atlantic region.

The club meets Wednesday evenings from 8-10 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. For details, contact Linda Salter at 266-7355.

International Folk Dance Club
No country is too obscure to have its own national dances, and at some point the International Folk Dance Club will probably perform them. “We do circles, lines and sets from all over the world, including European, Middle Eastern and some American,” said member Cynthia Stockdon.

The club is small, but draws members ages 8 to 80, who want to share a love of culture and dance. Some of the members are part of other groups and share what they’ve learned.

“You don’t need a partner or experience,” says Stockdon. “You just need to be ready to learn something new and have a lot of fun.”

The International Folk Dance Club meets Fridays (except the fourth Friday of the month) at 7:30 at Dumbarton Elementary School. For details, contact Cindy Stockdon at 261-3624.

S.G.T.E.V. Hirschjaeger Dancers
There’s a little bit of Bavaria in Richmond when the SGTEV Hirshjaeger Dancers perform. The group (whose full name is Schuhplattler und Gebirgstrachten Erhaltungsverein Hirschjaeger) is coming off its busy Oktoberfest season, but it performs year-round at festivals and other events.

The group offers beginner and intermediate dance levels for ages 16 and older and meets the first, third and fifth Friday of each month from 8-10 p.m. at Three Chopt Presbyterian Church.

For details, contact Mark Cheek, 541-5400.

Squares and Rounds
If square or round dance is your idea of fun, you could probably dance every night of the week somewhere in the county.

Henrico’s Division of Recreation and Parks is a central clearinghouse for several square and round dance clubs, said Cultural Arts Senior Coordinator Amy Perdue.

Groups include the Capitol Squares, Circle 8, Heritage Squares, Rhythm Rounds, Tuckahoe Squares, Tuckahoe Square Dance Club and the Richmond Square and Round Dance Association.

Most groups meet evenings at elementary schools. For a brochure and details about these and other clubs, contact Amy Perdue at 501-5859.
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