Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 7, 2018)
February 7, 2018
Wallowa County Chieftain
LEFT, Anand Arupo of Joseph and Rusty Hogg of Enterprise found themselves
hand-in-hand Jan. 20 at the Old-Time Community Dance at Hurricane Creek
Grange Hall. The monthly dances are sponsored by Wallowa Valley Music Alli-
ance. CENTER, Ingrid and David Cook of Joseph build a bridge. RIGHT, Kristin
Caine and Caleb Sheahan of Enterprise work their way through a dance. Dancers
range in age from preschool children to senior citizens.
DECADE OF DANCING
Young and old kick up their heels monthly
Story and photos by Paul Wahl
ne Saturday night each month, the Wallowa Valley
Music Alliance creates dance-central for those who
enjoy old-time dancing. The community dance pro-
gram kicked off its 10th year Jan. 20.
“Every month we get new dancers coming to try it
out,” said Laura Skovlin, who coordinates the sessions. “We
keep the dances at more of an entry level to accommodate all
ages and abilities.”
Between 50 and 80 dancers show up for square and circle
dances, reels, contras, waltzes and polkas with Skovlin pro-
Contra dance is a folk dance made up of long lines of cou-
ples and reels feature dancers performing traveling figures
alternating with “setting” steps danced in one place.
“For me, it’s all about the infectious, high-energy live
music and seeing a room full of smiling faces,” Skovlin said.
“It’s what keeps me doing it.”
Music is provided by an open band, meaning anyone who
is able to read chord charts and keep good time can join.
Larry Richerson, left, and Brian Oliver of Joseph along with
Carolyn Lochert of Lostine were part of the band keeping it
lively at the Old-Time Community Dance Jan. 20.
Fiddler Caleb Samples has been the band’s mainstay for
years. Other musicians include John Raines of Wallowa on
guitar, Rusty Woods of Enterprise on the upright bass and
Mike Ragsdale, Marcia Malstrom, Larry Richerson and
Brian Oliver, all of Joseph and all guitarists.
has been the
caller for the
es for the past
“Last month we only had a band of three, but they sounded
tight and put out plenty of sound,” Skovlin said.
Occasionally a mandolin, banjo or concertina player will
throw in. Sometimes more than one fiddler walks through
“It’s a good way for a beginning musician to practice
playing tunes over and over, as the dances can be up to 10
minutes long,” Skovlin noted.
No special clothing is required. Participants should wear
“Unlike modern western square dance with the matching
outfits, this kind of dancing requires no partner or special get-
ups,” Skovlin said. “It is a great opportunity to learn some-
thing new, to meet new people in a safe environment and get
There is usually a table of donated snacks, and water is
provided. Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are
admitted free. The next dance is Feb. 17 at the Odd Fellows
Hall in Enterprise. Dances are listed in the Chieftain commu-
Volunteers are being recruited to help run the program.
Call Skovlin at 541-398-0800.
Make Your Home at Alpine House
• Apartments with small kitchenettes •
• 24 hour staffing • Medication assistance and health monitoring •
• 3 Homemade meals • Beauty Salon • Church fellowship •
• Exercise and Activity Programs •
ONE BEDROOM AND STUDIO APARTMENTS AVAILABLE NOW • CALL OR COME BY FOR A TOUR
204 NORTH PARK STREET • JOSEPH, OR 97846 • 541-432-7402 • email@example.com