Harman square dance slated Oct. 12

Harman has been kicking up its heels with square dances since the early 1800s. David Hunter Strother came to visit Harman in 1872 and documented a square dance for the Harpers News Weekly Magazine; At these “Dry Fork Assemblies” jigs, reels and square figures were danced to the “inspiriting strains” of fiddle music. For more than 100 years, square dancing has been an active part of the Harman social scene and The Mountain Dance Trail, with the help of local citizens, is trying to revitalize it once more. At one time, the Harman High School Senior Prom was a square dance.

Things have changed greatly since then, but square dances are still happening on a few Saturday nights throughout the year in Harman to the fiddle music of Jack Hedrick and friends. Delmis Evans, a local square dance caller, will be hollering out square dances on Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall. This is the last dance in Harman for 2013; don’t miss your chance to dance.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Refreshments will be provided by the Harman VFW Ladies Auxiliary. All square dances are beginner and kid-friendly. You can come with a partner or by yourself, or to just listen to great old-time music. The Mountain Dance Trail has helped organize several Harman square dances in the last two years.

“We’ve had a good turnout at previous dances, with a mix of tourists, and locals, and we hope to continue to get a crowd out,” said Rebecca Hill, Mountain Dance Trail coordinator.

The Mountain Dance Trail is a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College and was recently featured on “All Things Considered” on NPR. The project preserves and promotes local square dances from the Virginia Line to the Ohio border. The 2013 Mountain Dance Trail season will continue to run until the end of December and is available in our brochure and online at www.mountaindancetrail.org. Information is also available by calling the Mountain Dance Trail coordinator at 304-637-1349.