By Jacob Dimond / [email protected]
The Nisqually Moose Lodge in Yelm hosts a variety of weekly dance classes, open to people of all ages.
The dance classes, which start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, will teach participants the basics of line dancing and country-western partner dancing, as well as occasional cha-cha, swing and other dance styles.
The public is invited to attend classes.
“The Moose Lodge is a family center and children are welcome with adult supervision,” said Marie Duvall, the public relations representative for the courses. “Everyone is welcome to sit and watch, sip, eat, socialize and dance as much or as little as you feel comfortable.”
From 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., line dancing is taught to a wide genre of music. After line dancing, there are couple or partner lessons. Each lesson is taught step by step, and a dance partner is not required to join.
Recent line dancing lessons have included songs like “Give Me Shivers,” “La Fiesta Cubana,” and “South Side Shake,” while lessons for partner dances have included songs like “Seven Summers,” “Schottishe and “Home Grown Honkey Tonk.” .”
Following the instructions in the lesson, the group practices their dances from start to finish. Once they finish class, song requests are open until 8:30 p.m. for more dancing.
Classes are led by “competent dance teachers,” Duvall said. They include Lucia Case, Steve Wilson and Penny Wilson, with occasional guest instructors.
Instructors typically teach one dance for about two weeks, which is then followed by the introduction of a new dance. This keeps lessons fresh and allows for the incorporation of a variety of dance styles, Duvall said.
The return of dance lessons is something Duvall is happy to offer again after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the activity to a temporary halt.
“We’ve all taken a COVID lockdown break and are happily getting back into the rhythm of dance classes and dance halls reopening,” Duvall said.
Those who haven’t visited Nisqually Moose Lodge since the pandemic began will see an upgraded facility after the lodge underwent interior renovations.
“During the COVID lockdown, the Nisqually Valley Moose Lodge has undertaken a major renovation,” Duvall said. “The dance hall has been redesigned with a new larger dance floor and a stage for groups. The lodge has a sparkling new look thanks to the hard work of many volunteers.
The band also offers “reasonably priced” food and drink during class, which is offered by the Nisqually Moose Lodge Bar and Grill. Food or drinks from outside are not allowed in the room.
Duvall and Mandy Biles run the “DancesWithMoose” Facebook page, which provides more information about classes, the group, and upcoming events.
Duvall said dance classes are offered statewide. Some of the other places include the Tenino Eagles, the Manhattan Ballroom Dance, and the South Tacoma Eagles.
The Nisqually Moose Lodge is located at 1117 W. Yelm Ave.