Professional square, round dancers coming to Tyler for annual festival

Published on Monday, 9 June 2014 23:44 - Written by KELLY GOOCH kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Professional square and round dancers will come together in Tyler this week for the 52nd Annual Texas State Federation Square and Round Dance Festival.

Between 400 and 500 square and round dancers from across Texas are expected at the event, which is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., and the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 S. Rose Park Drive.

“I am thrilled to see that many people. They love coming to Tyler,” Assistant Festival Chairwoman Nell Settle said.

She said various rooms will be set up for square and round dancing, and the public is invited to watch the dancers.

Everything kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. with a dance hosted by the Texas State Callers’ Association.

On Friday, there is an optional round dance hosted by the Texas Round Dance Teachers Association, which is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m.

The East Texas Square and Round Dance Association will then host a prefestival dance at 7 p.m., Ms. Settle said.

She said the festival lasts all day Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature contra line dancing and clogging, as well as square and rounds.

Ms. Settle said there also will be education clinics in the morning and information tables, one of which will be in honor of those square dancers that served in the military.

Additionally, she said, there will be activities for teen square and round dancers.

“One of the teen dancers’ most anticipated activity at the state festival each year is the ‘Teen Lock In,’” according to a news release.

“After the regular dance activities are completed, the teens get together for a combination dance/slumber party. They have adult sponsors, door prizes are given, food is provided, and dancing for a fun night.”

Each year, high school seniors also are awarded college scholarships.

Ms. Settle said festivities end Sunday with a business meeting, when the new president of Texas State Federation of Square & Round Dancers will be installed, and then a farewell dance, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

She said anyone who wants to watch may do so at no cost.

There is an admission cost at the door for festival participants — the square and round dancers — who did not pre-register.

For more information about the festival, call Ms. Settle at 936-635-2058, or visitwww.squaredancetx.com .