Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why It's Hip to be a Square (Dancer)

As a kid growing up in Oregon, I, like many other school children, suffered through square dancing in PE class.

I returned to my homeland for today's A1 story about the current status of young square dancers of the Pacific Northwest. Turns out, the numbers are dwindling and there's a fight to keep the tradition alive. And it's not my grandma's (or gym teacher's) kind of square dance anymore.

I also got the chance to interview historians about the hidden history of square dancing. It involves French trends in the 18th century, slavery and Henry Ford.

Thanks to everyone who helped me out with this story!

(PS -- Reader writes in that there's a square dance group at MIT called the Tech Squares! Awesome!)