Tag Archives: dancing

Clippings and a Circle Right About Square Dancing

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Clippings and a Circle Right About Square Dancing

There were lots of Irish where I came from and their funeral customs probably came over from Ireland with the waves of Irish who came to work as labourers. The Irish certainly had and have many funeral customs and superstitions about death. Irish wakes sometimes became so rowdy that the corpse was taken out of the box and dragged around the dance floor. When I went to funerals as a young gal the open casket was in the middle of the community hall. Cases of beer filled the hall along with square dancing in front of the coffin until the time of burial. That’s where Iearned to play spoons. I just could not handle it so I hung out with the band when I wasn’t needed in the kitchen LOL.

Who does not like to square dance?? Finally, square dancing is just plain fun – and good for you! In a fast-paced world where you’re more likely to text than swing your partner, a square dance is a perfect way to connect with other humans without the technological filter. Square dances were originally intended as social gatherings. Even before the Civil War, people of various social and economic positions were intermingling and sharing in their experience at square dances across the country. They serve the same social function today.

The Almonte square dancing sets did well at the Ottawa Valley Square Dance Festival in the Coliseum, Ottawa, on Saturday. The beginners, Carman James, leader; Isabel Brydges, Keith Cassidy, Archie Rintoul, Ellen Stanley, Eddie Kennedy, Patsy Dakers and Lois Craig just missed first place by a few points. A set from Ottawa Normal School won first prize.

The Almonters who entered the open class also gave a good account of themselves and placed third. They were Alex. Symington, leader; Mrs. Alex. Symington, Mr. and Mrs. G. Donaldson, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil McIntyre and Mr. and Mrs. Bert McCrae. 1 The sets who were awarded first and second places w ere French.

The ladies wore pastel skirts of different colors trimmed with various colored ribbon and the men wore plaid shirts and red toques. The Almonters wore black ballerina skirts and white blouses and the men wore white shirts, black ties and dark trousers. There were eight sets competing in the beginners’ class and nine in the open class. Both were composed of English and French speaking dancers. Dec 1950 Almonte Gazette

1954 Almonte gazette

Classified Announcements for Dance Halls that issue 1958Dancing Saturday Nights– Town Hall– Carleton Place–Music by CFRA ‘Happy Wanderers’ Admission-75 centsDance-Franktown-Friday-Thompson’s Orchestra- Refreshment Booth-Admission 75 centsDance every Friday Night-Appleton Community Centre Hall- Music by the Rhythm Rangers-Refreshment Booth- Admission 50 centsDance in Appleton Wednesday Night– Ontario Farmer’s Union-Ashton Local No. 257-Irvine’s Orchestra- Admission 50 centsDance – Perth Town Hall- Friday night- Rock N Roll, Modern, Round and Square Dancing 9-1:30 -Music by Jerry Badour and his Western Airs- Admission -75 cents

Ted Hurdis– I remember my dad telling me that Almonte was “dry” way back. You used to be able to get a special coke at the Superior restaurant. Also lots of spirit at Wava’s Inn dance hall back then.

Carol McDonaldGreat times, always enjoy the country dances the Civitan Club in Almonte, hosted monthly

The Mississippi Squares Dance Club

Formed in 1986, the club is based in the friendly town of Carleton Place, Ontario, at the junction of Highways 7, 15 and 29, approximately 40 km to the southwest of Ottawa.  It derives its name from the nearby Mississippi River and Lake.  Our regular dancing location is the Brunton Community Hall, just 2 km south of Carleton Place on Hwy 15.  The Mississippi Squares currently has one of the largest memberships in the Eastern Ontario Square and Round Dance Association (EOSARDA).  The club teaches modern square dancing with our caller Brian Crawford, and is very active in the recruitment of new dancers. To this end, the format on Tuesday evenings is one of alternating Basic and Mainstream tips. The immediate integration of new dancers with the Mainstream group has proven to be very successful in the retention of new dancers. Plus dancing is held weekly on Friday evenings. The Mississippi Squares

David R Doucette
January 14, 2017  · 
Square dancing in Carleton Place
— with Mary A. Kennedy.

Swinging Swallows Square Dance Club
November 25, 2016  · 




The Swinging Swallows had a great visit from The Mississippi Squares all the way from Carleton Place! They come once a year to promote their Half Way Dance, which many of our members attended in January 😊. They even brought 2 past members to visit. What a great evening filled with lots of laughter and dancing 🎶
Swinging Swallows Square Dance Club
January 14  · 




#ThrowbackThursday
The “Half Way Dance” put on by the Mississippi Squares in Carleton Place has been a regular on the Swallows’ list since it started in 1990. The Swinging Swallows was formed in 1987, and our Caller at that time, Mel Wilkerson, was to call at the Half Way, so it was a given that Swallows would attend. It has been a favourite dance ever since. Good callers and good food.
Rick RobertsThis a picture taken in front of the fireplace on 28 Frank Street in 1962, soon after the fireplace was built. My parents (Elsie Devlin-Roberts and Ben Roberts) are dressed to go to a square dance.

Dance Hall Fire Blakeney

The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s

by arlenestaffordwilson

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

The Canadian Beatles aka The Beavers- Mike Duffy was their Road Manager –Bands of the 60s

Saturday Date with “Thee Deuce” in Almonte

The Coachmen Return!!! Born to be Wild Circa 1985

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

Kindle Fire Minutes of “Dancin the Feelin“ with James Brown

Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina 1968 and Saul Cohen working at Place Bonaventure from-Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause!

Never Miss a Chance to Dance!

No one in this world wanted to take over tap dancer Ann Miller’s job more than I did. After 70 long years of random attempts, all that remains is a pair of silver tap shoes tucked away in a cupboard long forgotten. I used to wear them on a day to day basis for many years as I always believed one should be on call if someone had the odd tap dancing job. In life I have always winged it: life, eyeliner, just everything.

As a child my mother told my father that I had natural rhythm and would probably belong to a professional dance troupe. Actually, what she really wanted me to be was one of the dancers on American Bandstand, but I had other goals in mind. When I was eight I wanted to fluff out my tutu and be the Sugar Plum Fairy so badly that I accidentally bumped the reigning fairy off the stage during practice. Seeing the stage was a foot off the ground, she was luckily not hurt, and I was to remain a Waltzing Flower forever.

At 17 I had my first “break”. I became one of the regular “crowd” dancers on a Montreal based TV show called “Like Young”. Every Saturday afternoon I lined up outside CFCF-TV sporting my grandmother’s orthopedic brown lace up shoes, ready to dance. Those borrowed shoes were just super for dancing and they looked fabulous with my floor dusting Le Chateau gabardine pants. I was nothing but double-trouble on the dance floor.

After the show was over we would all head downtown and refresh our spirits at the Honey Dew restaurant on Saint Catherine Street. One giant glass of Honey Dew along with a hot dog and then it was off to Place Du Soul. It was the “all ages” place to be, that was right across from the Greyhound Bus Station in case you had to leave town quickly. Each week I resumed my Sugar Plum Fairy dreams of long ago– only this time it was for the coveted title of go-go cage dancer. The elevated cages were about twenty stairs up a shaky ladder and it became a weekly goal to try and fight the others to be queen of the dancing soul-castle.

One weekend James Brown was the headlining act and even though I had issues with vertigo I decided I was finally going to be dancing in that cage that evening.  As I stood in line waiting my turn I told several people that the lead singer Bruce from “Les Sultans” was soon to be coming in the front door.

“Les Sultans” were the French Canadian version of the Beatles in those days, and I tell you that line stopped being a line in about two seconds flat. Smiling a very large sinister smile I climbed those twenty stairs wearing a short print mini dress, white boots and a huge white bow on top of my head. I never looked down once and realized quickly there was no lady-like way to climb that ladder without flashing my underpants. Remember, there is always a wee bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.

James started to sing, “I Feel Good,” and it couldn’t have been a better song. I stayed up in the cage as long as I could and danced my boots off. Others got tired of me hogging the limelight and tried to climb up and get rid of me. I threw my boots down one at a time.  Last song, bootless, and eyeliner running down my face James threw me a kiss in the air and sang “I Got You”. I would never live my mother’s dream of being one of Dick Clark’s dancers, but finally, I was the Sugar Plum Fairy of Soul and covered in a “Cold Sweat”!
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here, we should dance. When you are sixty and still dancing, you become something of a curiosity. If you hit seventy and you can still get a foot off the ground, you’re phenomenal. Now, with a cane, dancing can be difficult, but I still dance like nobody’s watching. Because, in reality, they aren’t watching you. That’s because they are all too busy checking their phones. Why be moody, when you can shake your booty!

Looking for Info on The Happy Wanderers etc.

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Looking for Info on The Happy Wanderers etc.
may 1958

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum photo– CFRA dance from the 70s..Thursday’s Blast from the Past photo
The Hayshakers — Charlie Finner

read–The Hayshakers — Charlie Finner click

In spite of rain, 600 persons attended the dance sponsored by the N.L.A.S. In their hall on the fair grounds On Saturday night. The music was supplied by the C.F.R.A. Happy Wanderers starring Bob King,! and Ward Allan. Dances will continue each Saturday night with Almonte Hayshakers supplying the music.

I was reminded of days like this when we would be listening to Rough Rider football on CFRA with Ernie Calcutt. Frank Ryan who owned CFRA was a son of Almonte. Given CFRA’s connection to the valley-remember the Happy Wanderers and Frank Ryan’s farm reports?- I thought Frank Ryan deserved a mention–Lou Chapman

I met Tom Gardiner, at a place outside of town He dropped by, to help me make some sounds Said; you’re the hotshot, who thinks he can play & sing I don’t have time for talking, just make those darn strings ring.–Lyle Dillabough

I was reminded of days like this when we would be listening to Rough Rider football on CFRA with Ernie Calcutt. Frank Ryan who owned CFRA was a son of Almonte. Given CFRA’s connection to the valley-remember the Happy Wanderers and Frank Ryan’s farm reports?-

Larry Delaney
February 18  · 

The Happy Wanderers were among the Ottawa Valley’s earliest country & western groups — popular on CFRA radio, and as a showband performing at various venues throughout the Ottawa and Western Quebec regions.
There were several different personnel changes during the group’s existence…this is believed to be the first lineup (check next post for a different configuration).
Pictured here (front L/R) Vince Lebeau, Bob King, Ken Davidson, (back L/R) Ward Allen, Joe Brown, Ken Reynolds).
(Photo Courtesy: Larry Delaney Photo Archives)
Victoria Edwards
November 4, 2014  · 

CFRA AM The Happy Wanderers mid 1950s Ottawa http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/index3.html

Bob Bethell
June 20, 2020  · 

Cfra…and the happy wanderers !!!!….
Hannah Brown Photography

Thanks to Lorraine Reynolds Patoine for sending..
Perth Remembered
February 1, 2016 ·
Dave White shared the photo on the top of his Uncle Les Nield’s band “The Stardusters”. This was a very popular horn band in the area through the 40’s and early 50’s. They played the swing tunes of the day, but would also play square dances. In the picture, in back, is drummer, Buck Emerson. In front, left to right, Jim White, (Dave’s Dad) guitar singer and caller, Les Nield, saxophone and violin, Ab Duncan, saxophone, and Les Bostian, piano. The Orchestra played at many venues all over the region and were a staple at the many events and dances held at the Perth Town Hall.
I found this ad from in the Perth Courier, November 1943. Also an article in 1945 that tells of the Firemen’s Assembly that was held at Perth Town Hall which was an annual event and greatly enjoyed by large numbers of town and district folks approximately 300 couples totaling 600 “tripped the light fantastic” to the always popular music of the Stardusters’ Orchestra with Mr. James White of Innisville, master of ceremonies and “caller-off”. DB




Don White
March 18  · 

Left to right: Don White, Ray Hynes, Ed White, Merle Smith, Scotty Ferguson

releated reading

read–The Hayshakers — Charlie Finner click

Reserve Me a Table –The Silver Fox –Ron McMunn

Memories with Thee Duces — David Lugsdin

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls

Dance Hall Fire Blakeney

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s

The Coachmen Return!!! Born to be Wild Circa 1985

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

Saturday Date with “Thee Deuce” in Almonte

Dance Hall Fire Blakeney

The Canadian Beatles aka The Beavers- Mike Duffy was their Road Manager –Bands of the 60s

He Died Stepdancing in Franktown

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

Gilles Roy-Step Dancer Extraordinare

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

The Fred Astaire of Carleton Place — John Stanzel

Christopher Gower — The Baryshnikov of Carleton Place

What Happened to John Liddle?

Dancing Shoes- Sherri Iona — Judy Wing

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Dancing Shoes- Sherri Iona — Judy Wing

These are photos from various dances when I, Sherri, and Judy Wing were little. As far as I remember Dayna Featherstone did all the costumes but My Mom’s friend Edna White (Dave White’s mom) may have made the odd one. I remember going to her house at Innisville. The piano player for most of our music was Gert MacTavish. She was grandmother to Ron MacTavish, Ottawa Valley Moving. –Sheri Iona ( all photos Sheri Iona)

 

67312279_994282470917449_6544296949439266816_n.jpgSherri LASHLEY, 1960, taken at a Christmas concert at Innisville.

 

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Note spelling of my name is wrong. Costume was for Here Comes Suzy Snowflake. We sang and danced.

 

67456110_1965885270179426_4148503194604929024_n.jpg

66829450_699341170526193_1565192816894672896_n.jpg

We would be about 8 years old

67162416_861115817601426_2370172488207302656_n.jpg

67631263_458255958332469_6751539145924935680_n.jpg67238104_429513810984367_8598894705528274944_nThis was my favorite costume. The colours which don’t show well we’re like a rainbow. The song was Baby Take A Bow.

67296648_479944562803891_990711305780330496_n.jpgI don’t remember this one much. The picture was taken at my parents’ farm at Montgomery Shore. And my hair appears red, which while I was blonde, my mom would have loved! I was probably 9. I quit dancing at 10 to study piano.

 

 

historicalnotes

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Sheryn (Lashley) Sauvé or Sherri donated one of her dance costumes from 1970 created by seamstress Dayna Featherstone back in early sixties when Sherri studied tap dance under local dance teacher Lee Howard. Sherri danced with Judy Wing, daughter of Ronald Wing. Together they won several dance and talent contests and even tried out for the Ted Mack show. Sherri Iona — This will be donated to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

He Died Stepdancing in Franktown

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

Gilles Roy-Step Dancer Extraordinare

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

The Fred Astaire of Carleton Place — John Stanzel

Christopher Gower — The Baryshnikov of Carleton Place

What Happened to John Liddle?

The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls

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Dancing

 

IN 1959 the local law enforcement began a clean up of drinking at dances. Inspector  S Ervine of Carleton Place said that every step and every measure would be taken to  eliminate offences under the Liquour Control Act.

At the opening of one dance hall in this district nine young people were charged with drinking in an unauthorized place, also for carrying beer and liquour in a car.

Inspector Ervine said: “We will not tolerate drinking at any dance hall”.

Ervine mentioned that it would be easier if the dance hall owners co-operated and did not allow anyone in who was intoxicated. Should there be repeat offences orders would be issued to close down the dance halls in Lanark. There should be no reason why these dances should not be conducted in an orderly manner.

That year the ‘dawn patrol’ was headed up by Corporal  Gartner and Constable Pierce

Carleton Place Canadian 1958

Classified Announcements for Dance Halls that issue 1958

Dancing Saturday Nights– Town Hall– Carleton Place–Music by CFRA ‘Happy Wanderers’ Admission-75 cents

Dance-Franktown-Friday-Thompson’s Orchestra- Refreshment Booth-Admission 75 cents

Dance every Friday Night-Appleton Community Centre Hall- Music by the Rhythm Rangers-Refreshment Booth- Admission 50 cents

Dance in Appleton Wednesday Night– Ontario Farmer’s Union-Ashton Local No. 257-Irvine’s Orchestra- Admission 50 cents

Dance – Perth Town Hall- Friday night- Rock N Roll, Modern, Round and Square Dancing  9-1:30 -Music by Jerry Badour and his Western Airs- Admission -75 cents

Ted Hurdis– I remember my dad telling me that Almonte was “dry” way back. You used to be able to get a special coke at the Superior restaurant. Also lots of spirit at Wava’s Inn dance hall back then.

 

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s