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The Surprise & Joy of Tom

I would let out a squeal -I couldn’t help it, the way Tom spun – I would be lifted, just a little, off the ground and that squeal of surprise and joy would just come out. 

That’s what Tom brought, surprise and joy.  In the 11 years I danced with Tom, Sue and our whole gaggle of Bridgewater area folks, surprise and joy. Weaving in and out, moving up and down and through- grasping hands to get the slight pull needed for the next turn;

Tom and I played off each other, there was always an extra tap, an extra smile or funny movement as we passed. 

As Sam gave instructions, Tom took the chance to share an observation that would either add to the dance or pull the whole group of us into a wave of giggles. At break he often had a Bridgewater story to share:  about the guys at Lucky Star Gas, or his next show with the Male Bonding Band and BSU Choir; the subject tackled at UU Church on Sunday or a project he and Barry were working on.  These were mixed with tales of recent visits with his kids and adventures with Sue. Tom loved it all and shared stories about all with joy and enthusiasm.

There were often Fridays when I finished the BuzzAround edits a little past 7 and rushed into Friday Community Dance  7:15 or 7:20. Arriving to everyone receiving instruction in the large circle or  in mid dance. Without fail, Tom would yell out “ Hi Jacquie!” disrupting whatever was going on, effectively welcoming me into the fold.  I yelled back “Hi Tom!” as I joined in; the surprise eliciting a quiet chuckle from the group, as we all turned our attention back to the dance. 

Without fail, Tom dashed over to lower the lights as we started our closing Sacred Circle Dance, cherishing the moment of spiritual connection. He revered our final moments together as we wove our spirits together in gratitude and peace. All will be well again, I know, Tom, but right now we miss you. 

On Friday July 12 at 6:30 we are having a Community Dance Special, kicking it up with Squares and Contras instructed and called by Chris Riccardi. (so Sam can dance with us) and in Tom’s memory we’ll make a donation to the 1st Unitarian Universalist Church. 

I hope you can join us. Tickets are on this link.

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Bridgewater Community Dance

Bridgewater Community Dance, led by Sam Baumgarten, has been meeting at the Bridgewater Senior Center for 13 years, offering Folk, Square, Contra and Sacred Dances twice / month to a multi- generational group of dance enthusiasts. Sam’s mix of dances exercise the body, providing aerobic exercise, warming up to quicker movements; stimulate the brain the mind; requiring it to sort out and remember complex dance patterns and engaging the soul by connecting us through stories of origin cultures, through cooperative learning, appropriate body touching, and moments of meditation. Sam brings years of dance training and the inclusive methodologies which no longer define dancers by gender, but by “Larks and Robins” (Left and Right partners).

Primarily adults ( children ages 10 and up welcome with adult), Bridgewater area, who wish to dance and have fun! It’s a great way for single adults of all ages to meet others. It’s highly interactive and social.

The goal is to bring the joy of traditional dance to our larger Bridgewater community. Typical programs include dances from different countries around the world, New England style square and contra dance, modern-day line dances, and meditative dance from the Sacred Circle genre. Dances are presented in an inclusive manner, with modifications made to include all ability levels.
Sam Baumgarten is Professor Emeritus at Bridgewater State University, having taught physical education—including dance—to the span of ages, from elementary school through college. He is the co-author of a text on elementary physical education, and, in retirement, continues to offer dance workshops to area teachers. Musicians and guest callers are occasionally featured from among those who regularly teach/play/perform throughout New England.

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Celebrate Community & Dance with Us!

I have been dancing with Sam for over 6 years. Two times a month, Sam has lead us, the tentative and the rambunctious, the visiting and the regulars. We have learned easy and been challenged by complex.

In the end we always come out laughing.

Cedar Street Community Center is a perfect place to bring in some fiddlers ( we are so very lucky to have Eloise & Company, they are AMAZING) and make a good- olde country stomping time of it. Throw in some good friends and a bit of food and we’ve got a down – right perfect night. We hope you’ll join us.

~ Jacquie