Wednesday, June 4


Don't miss this fun opportunity

[JUNE 4, 2003]  The year is speeding by and this summer is going faster than any other in Lincoln's history. Why? In case you haven't heard, Lincoln has BIG sesquicentennial plans and these are added to our already BIG Art and Balloon Festival.

There is one activity that isn't in the offering everywhere, and offered but about once every 50 years, that you can start enjoying now. If you haven't tried Civil War-style dancing, you are missing out on lots of fun. It is great for all ages.

Civil War dance steps are simple and don't require great coordination. They are fun dances designed to provide social opportunities. Balls were held frequently to provide soldiers with a distraction from the miseries of battle and give them opportunity to enjoy the presence of the fairer, gentler sex. Soldiers attended wearing their woolen uniforms and boots. Some of the poorer ones even came in their bare feet.

Remember, these are dances that were created to bring foot soldiers off the field for some relief and to lift their spirits, so the dances aren't complicated and give ample opportunity for fun. You too will enjoy dances like the Virginia reel and patty-cake polka. They are great stress-breakers, and laughter often rings out while doing them.


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Lessons are being offered on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. in the dance studio inside the Johnston Center for Performing Arts at Lincoln College. Last Thursday was the first of five consecutive Thursday evening practices. Participants are encouraged to join at any time through the end of June.

The lessons are $25 per couple or $15 for singles for the series. Call Ron Keller at Lincoln College to confirm your attendance: (217) 732-3155, Ext. 295.

Those who have spent some time learning the steps will especially enjoy the ball. It is scheduled for Saturday evening, Aug. 30. The fabulous 33rd Infantry Band, which plays on authentic instruments, will provide the music.

The Civil War ball will be at the Elk's Club. It is open to the public and free. While many will be wearing period-authentic clothing, everyone is invited to attend.

[Jan Youngquist]

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