Question of the Day: May I have this dance?

Don Woodcock and friends played a variety of foxtrot, waltz and swing tunes.

I attended a rare event this past Saturday night in Heuvelton: a ballroom dance to live music. Dancing to live music isn’t rare, but as an amateur dance instructor, I’m often asked about ballroom dance venues in the North Country. Not rock or swing, but more traditional ballroom dances. Where are they?

Doing the foxtrot at Pickens Hall.

More than 50 folks filled the second floor of the historic Pickens Hall for the Heuvelton Historical Association’s Winter Ball.

I helped kick off the dancing Saturday night with basic foxtrot and waltz lessons for a very enthusiastic group of dancers. It was so cool to see people of all ages on the dance floor. Even better was the live music from the band made up of some “top shelf” local musicians. In an email after the dance, champion fiddler Don Woodcock (on keyboard and fiddle that night) told me, “I haven’t seen people dance like that in years. It has become a lost art to do a foxtrot or a waltz especially here in the North Country. I grew up seeing dancing like that when I used to go as a kid with my father when he played at dances.”

The Heuvelton group has another event scheduled for Saturday, February 25 at Pickens Hall and is planning an Irish dance in March. Anyone know a traditional Irish jig? The Cosmopolitan Club of Watertown has been going strong for years – their next evening of dinner and dancing is February 25 at the Black River Valley Club. Bonnie and Doug (fabulous dancers!) will teach tango and samba at a ballroom dance party at the Clayton Opera House on Friday, February 17. And, don’t forget the 25th anniversary of Dance Flurry – three days of music and dancing, February 17, 18 and 19 in Saratoga Springs.

The question of the day is: “So, where do you go to dance?”


3 Comments on “Question of the Day: May I have this dance?”

  1. Megan says:


    Thank you for taking the time to give us dance lessons. We had a great time at Pickens Hall and have been practicing at home. Thanks to Pickens Hall for sponsoring these events.

  2. john says:

    It was a great way to spend a few hours out on a Saturday evening! On these long winter nights, it is difficult to find fun, affordable activities that give the weekend a little focus. We left home at 5:30, practices some dance steps from 6-7. At 7:00PM, the band started up and for the next two hours, couples danced, neighbors and friends visited and listened to the band over light refreshment. All of this took place in a beautifully restored multi-purpose room in historic Pickens Hall. When all was said and done, everyone was back home, safe and warm, before 10:00 PM!

  3. Maggie says:

    I had a fabulous time! Thanks to all who made it happen.

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