Focal Point

Focal Point is an evolving blog from the ADN photo staff, Bob Hallinen, Erik Hill, Marc Lester, Bill Roth and photo editor Anne Raup. Email your ideas and news tips to photo@adn.com | About the blog

Mobile kitchens draw lunch crowds to Spenard - 6/11/2013 11:08 am

Hundreds gather to show support for family of slain Cambodian couple - 5/29/2013 9:37 pm

Party like it's 1922 at Sullivan's Steakhouse - 5/24/2013 10:37 pm

Launching the Classic Sailboat Orca at the Homer Boat Harbor - 5/21/2013 5:54 pm

One of state's best gymnasts headed to Junior Olympics - 5/9/2013 2:37 pm

A train ride across Anchorage - 5/9/2013 10:58 am

A Pool for Pooches - 5/2/2013 10:19 am

An Airports Heights family portrait - 4/13/2013 2:58 pm

Photos and audio: Government Hill dance club shares the square

Ginger Gorsuch, center, dances with Herb Worthley.Ginger Gorsuch, center, dances with Herb Worthley.Megan Green and Freddy Reyes.Megan Green and Freddy Reyes.A rest between dances.A rest between dances.
Anchorage folk dancers keep a lively home on Government Hill. Eight dance clubs make the Anchorage Square and Round Dance Center active with calls, twirls and promenades. On Wednesday, the Stardusters Square Dance Club attracted a dozen dancers to its weekly lesson.

Caller Mike Preskitt hosts the gatherings, which combine beginning and experienced dancers in an informal environment. His wife Debbie, who helps organize the club, said they provide an atmosphere that keeps dancers coming back. “It’s like a big family that gets along,” she said. The club was founded more than 35 years ago.

Wednesday’s lesson included a small but broad sample of the Anchorage square dance community. Dancers ranged from 13 to 85 years old. Herb Worthley, the oldest member, said he’s been square dancing since he was in his 20s. Seventeen-year-old Freddy Reyes was trying it for the very first time.

Megan Green, 16, convinced Reyes to give it a shot. He said he was glad he did. “She was telling me about how much fun she was having, and I can see why now. Even though it's hard and I twist people the way they're not supposed to, it's so much fun. I can't stop smiling and it's actually starting to hurt."

Debbie Preskitt said Wednesday lessons are open to all and are the perfect place to start. After about 16 weeks of instruction, she said, dancers are ready to join in the “mainstream” dances that the club holds about twice a month. Those aren’t open to newbies, she said.

Although Sandy and Roger have a lot of dance experience in their 48 years of marriage, they come to the Wednesday lessons for the relaxed environment.

“It’s good, clean, friendly fun,” Roger said. "There’s no alcohol. Most everybody is doing it for the fun of it."

Sandy said she prefers to keep it light. “We hope to not have too serious a group,” she said. “We all make mistakes.”

Ginger Gorsuch personified that easygoing spirit. Her smiles and laughter stood out even among this happy group. She shared the experience with her 13-year-old grandson, James -- her buddy, as she calls him. Together they do-si-doed and allemanded with three other couples in a group called a set.

They made progress in learning square dance steps together. But Ginger said they were also making something much more special. “We’re making a memory that will never go away,” she said.

For more information on upcoming Stardusters events, check out their website.
Wednesday night lessons are $8 per person.Mike Preskitt calls the square dance.Mike Preskitt calls the square dance.Traditional square-wear available for a donation.Traditional square-wear available for a donation.Roger and Sandy Lewis.Roger and Sandy Lewis.At the conclusion of a dance, a bow.At the conclusion of a dance, a bow.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service