Community Square Dances Begin February 13 at the Ozark Folk Center

Keith Symanowitz

Photo credit – Kirk Jordan from Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism.

 

Community square dances have long been a tradition in the Ozarks. The Ozark Folk Center State Park is continuing this tradition with annual community square dances beginning on February 13 and running each week through March 27, weather permitting.

The dances are free and open to the public every Tuesday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Ozark Folk Center Music Auditorium. Whether you’re a first-time dancer or seasoned veteran, all ability levels are encouraged to attend. Traditional dances of the Ozarks will be taught.

“We have a great group of dancers that are part of our nightly performances during the regular season.” says Music Director, Daren Dortin. “For anyone interested in learning to square dance or call squares, there isn’t a better group to learn from.”

Spaces for new contract dancers will be limited for the upcoming music season at the Ozark Folk Center but everyone is still encouraged to join the fun.

The mission of Ozark Folk Center State Park is to perpetuate, present and promote the Ozark way of life in an educational and enjoyable manner; through craft demonstrations, musical programs, the Heritage Herb Garden, workshops and other special events. For more information on this and other events visit OzarkFolkCenter.com or call 870-269-3851.

 

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.