Fun Dancing With John Wargowsky

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Behind the Dance: Jesse Polka and Darwin Bryan

Posted on November 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM

In late September 2014, I called a community square dance near Wapakoneta, Ohio. It started off with a great potluck meal. It was held in a new barn and the concrete had just been poured earlier that week.


There was a great turnout that included over 3 hours of dancing time with the group. I learned part way through there was a couple there for whom I called square dances at their wedding reception 11 years ago near Wilmington, Ohio. What a great surprise!


At the end of the dance a sweet senior lady came up and asked about my comment earlier in the dance. I shared that I first started square dancing at a Farm Bureau youth conference in Bluffton, Ohio in the late 1970s. She told me she attended a youth conference there in the 1950s and learned dancing from Darwin Bryan. Darwin was the first youth director of the Ohio Farm Bureau and started there in 1937. Much of my dancing approach is in line with his heritage and was taught to me by Shirley Boyd, his successor as Ohio Farm Bureau's youth director.


I told with this lady that I knew Darwin, learned some dances from him and that he allowed me to lead dancing in my early dance leading years at Friendship Village where he resided with his wife Helen. The lady then started a little dance step I recognized as the Jesse Polka. I put the music on for her to dance to and she had the biggest smile on her face. What a delight!


Below you may listen to that song. Contact me if you would like me teach this dance at an event you are hosting. I teach this as a couple dance and can use it as a mixer. It's a fun tune to dance to.


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Categories: Line & Round Dance, Fun With People, Behind the Dance

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