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Hip to be square: Today is last chance to join square dancing session
by Tribune Staff
Oct 06, 2011 | 931 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Larry Pisorno and Elisabeth Johansen practice square dancing on Sept. 29 at the Sparks Elks Lodge.
Tribune/John Byrne - Larry Pisorno and Elisabeth Johansen practice square dancing on Sept. 29 at the Sparks Elks Lodge.
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SPARKS — Larry Ward has been calling and teaching people to square dance for more than 60 years, an effort he continues to this day.

His current endeavors include a weekly class at the Sparks Elks Lodge at 416 Pyramid Way. The class meets Thursdays and today’s meeting is the last time for new students in the current session, which lasts through Dec. 22.

At age 14, Ward began learning square dancing at his elementary school. He enjoyed it, so his parents gave him permission to attend dances with his teacher. A year later, the teacher moved away to get married and said Ward was good enough to teach the other students. The school’s principal protested, but the other teachers overruled him.

That was the start of Ward’s decades of teaching square dance. He went on to start large clubs for enthusiasts all along the West Coast and has been an adviser in several movies. Four years ago, Ward moved to northern Nevada to be close to his brother and started teaching here.

The challenge these days is to inspire interest in an activity that hasn’t garnered many new participants over the last few decades.

“We’re in a technical computer age,” Ward said. “The social skills are disappearing.”

Ward’s class costs $6 for adults and $4 for teens age 13 to 18. The class lasts 14 weeks and runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays at the Sparks Eagles Lodge.

For more information, call Ward at 461-0474.
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