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Square dancing club gets around

To be a part of the Latham Circle Squares, there is no age restriction, according to Quigley. "We have one dancer who's 14," she said. According to Quigley, there are many reasons why square dancing appeals to people of all ages.

One of those reasons was echoed consistently all night long at Sunday's dinner celebration: Square dancing, according to Quigley and many others, is an excellent form of exercise.

Pearl Albrechtsen, 71, of Schenectady, said she considers square dancing an easy and fun way to work the body's muscles.

"It's good folks, good fellowship and more fun than aerobics," she said.

Albrechtsen had learned about the group through a singles add in a local newspaper.

"I've been square dancing in the club for about seven years," she said.

While Albrechtsen has now gained experience in square dancing, she said she does not know how to ballroom dance, though she enjoys watching others in the club do it.

A key element of the dances, Quigley said, is the people who lead the dances, known as "callers" and "cuers."

The caller, Don Batchelder at Sunday's dinner, is the person who calls the directions and actions of the dancers during a square dance, while the cuer, regular club-cuer Dolores Randall, provides directions for ballroom dancers during the dance form known as "rounds."

The dance form of traditional square dancing is referred to as "squares."

Jim Landau, 81, and his wife, Helen, are well-versed in both rounds and squares, though they said they prefer squares.

"We've been at this for 32 years," he said.

Landau also said they were introduced to square dancing after he and his wife came to a "Fun Night" 32 years ago when they were looking for something exciting to do together.

Members of the clubs are at different skill levels, according to Quigley, who says she is at a phase four skill level out of seven.

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