Fellowship, fitness and fun are dance by-products

Fran Smith of Marshalltown isn’t shy about promoting square dancing.

Nor is husband Ken.

Simply put, the Smiths are eager to share their enthusiasm with anyone who will listen about the fun they have square dancing.

Both are co-presidents of the Central Iowa Square & Round Dance Club.

And Fran said anyone can learn square dancing.

“Square dancing is ideal for anyone … singles, couples, empty-nesters or retired folks,” she said. “If you can walk, you can square dance.”

Fran was also excited about the club’s new fall season which begins Sept. 8 at Rogers Elementary School in Marshalltown.

The club is promoting it for beginners, or those who want a review. And the first two lessons are free-of-charge.

Veteran dancer Fran knows the benefits of dancing by heart.

“It is not only fun, but a great way to exercise as well,” she said. “It is heart healthy and will reduce stress.”

The Smiths have been square dancing for approximately 23 years and they plan on continuing many more.

From dancing at Rogers to the Iowa State Fair, to national conventions, the Smiths are fired up and ready to go.

What started out as general interest has grown steadily over the years.

Smith a woman in her 70s but who looks 10 years younger, quickly identified other their reasons for partaking.

“We enjoy the people,” Fran said. “Plus square dancing keeps your mind sharp. You have to listen to the caller.”

Barry Peck of Des Moines is the caller, and Fran said the club is thrilled to have him.

“A caller is critical to do square dancing,” she said.

The Smiths said they have made other life-long friends who share their passion as they travel on numerous weekends to dances around the state.

Boone, Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Independence, the Quad Cities and Waterloo and more, are stops the Smiths make annually.

For more information contact Fran or Ken Smith at 641-485-2087 or fksmith2011@yahoo.com