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Square Dancers Dazzle as they Do-si-do at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show

Harrisburg - The twirling skirts and fancy footwork were a sight to behold as dancers young and old competed in the Square Dance Contest Monday, January 9 at the 2017 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

66 squares of dancers from teams across Pennsylvania filled the New Holland Arena as they were judged on their technique, uniformity, rhythm, and response to the calls for dance movements.

The three divisions of dancers to compete were Division 1, for dancers under the age of 17, Division 2, for dancers between the ages of 15 and 25, and Division 3, open to dancers any age or combination of ages.
Rather than competing against each other, dancers were judged individually in three required square dances and awarded ribbons in what’s known as the Danish system of judging. Groups received a white ribbon for a good performance, a red ribbon for an excellent performance and a blue ribbon for a superior performance. 
Square dancing is an activity enjoyed by people of all ages. For 10 year old Eli Bell of the Juniata County Junior Hillbillies, being able to see his friends is what makes dancing fun, especially at the Farm Show.

“It’s a lot of work to do to prepare,” said Bell.

Tim and Patti Dilley of the Flirts and Skirts Square Dance Club are a couple who enjoy square dancing because of the time they get to spend with other dancers as well as each other. Patti, who has been square dancing for 30 years, is the one who began taking Tim to square dancing lessons four years ago.

“It’s a grin from start to finish,” said Tim, a grin on his face.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 7-13 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and January 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from nearby Interstate 81.


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