Square dance for charity Nov. 13

       Ron Counts is one of the Carriage Stop's busiest square-dance callers, but that won't stop him from calling a dance event Nov. 13 for free.
       Informally called the “dance for the disabled,” the event from 2 to 4 p.m. is planned to raise money for children with cerebral palsy. The public is welcome to attend, with admission and concession fees being donated for that cause, Counts said.
       The impetus for the event came from Tim Swanson, a Calhan resident whose daughter, Tawny, has cerebal palsy. Swanson is setting up a foundation “to help kids with disabilities to socialize and have richer lives in accordance with their abilities,” said Counts, who normally rents the Carriage Stop for dances every Saturday night of the year.
       The Hoedowners square dance club, led by Counts and his calling associate, Kit Galvin, are sponsoring the Nov. 13 dance in conjunction with Don Meyer, president of the Colorado Springs Square Dance Center. The center consists of members from the 12 dance clubs that rent the Carriage Stop, a large, popular, hardwood-floor facility built and owned by the Staggs family, at 2700 Robinson Street in the Westside's Midland area.
       “Ron's giving his services for free and we're renting the facility,” Meyer said. “That's our way of contributing support to them.”
       In addition to being “for” cerebral palsy sufferers, the dance will be an opportunity for people afflicted with the disease to learn some square dancing, Counts said. “If they're in wheelchairs, that's fine, too,” he said. “We'll start off in a circle. That removes a lot of anxiety. We'll do some easy things, and if anybody is having trouble, we'll back it down a little.”
       Among the steps he's thinking about are the hokey-pokey, paddy-cake polka, San Antonio stroll, some “very easy squares and a few games.” There will also be a “mad hatter” dance, with prizes for the weirdest and best hats, he said.
       “We'll do this from the heart, and give our proceeds to him (Swanson),” Counts said.
       He's thinking about leading future such dances, if the disabled children and their families want to keep it going, too. Although he can't afford to keep donating his time, he's open to some kind of “cost-sharing,” Counts said.
       Admission costs to the dance will be $3 for adults, $2 for teenagers and $1 for ages 13 and under - “the same as for our regular hoedowns,” he said.
       For more information, call Counts at 598-8624.

Westside Pioneer Article