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Happy Hoppers 50th anniversary dance draws large crowd

Ken and Sheila Price, of Marysville. kick up their heels at the Happy Hoppers square dance clubs 50th anniversary at the Stillaguamish Senior Center April 21. -
Ken and Sheila Price, of Marysville. kick up their heels at the Happy Hoppers square dance clubs 50th anniversary at the Stillaguamish Senior Center April 21.
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SMOKEY POINT Seven founding members joined a crowd of more than 120 people dancing at the Happy Hoppers 50th anniversary party Saturday, April 21. The club was founded in 1957,
Our caller for 40 years, Doug Coleman came back for the party, said Ken Price. Ken and Sheila Price joined the club in 1991.
Price said that the crowd was double the usual turnout of 60 70 dancers who show up for the regular dances on the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Stillaguamish Senior Center.
We usually have eight squares, so thats 64, Price said. Its good to have a few extras so you can sit and take a rest now and then.
The Happy Hoppers have been dancing at the senior center since 1999, when they grew out of the nearby Grange Hall.
Its the best deal in town, Price said. Where else do you get three hours of dancing, a lot of good exercise and food for $5?
Price noted all the health benefits of square dancing, including cardiovascular conditioning, strong bones, mental exercise, burning calories and socializing, too.
The sudden changes of direction are really good for bones, he said. And remembering all the steps is good exercise for the brain.
The Happy Hoppers are one of 15 clubs in the Mt Baker Council District, which stretches from the south Snohomish County line north to the Canadian border.
In Lynnwood and the south county area there are three groups, the Dudes and Dolls for adults, the Spurs and Laces for pre teens and the Shirts and Skirts for teens.
They do a lot more competitions down south, Price said.
While the Happy Hoppers dance primarily to old time country music, there are other groups who dance to rock-and-roll and different types of music according to Price.
Another north county group, the Darrington Scrambling Squares dance on the same nights as the Happy Hoppers in Darrington.
The group plans to start offering square dance lessons in September.
The experienced dancers who help the beginners are called angels, Price said.
We welcome everyone over 8 years old.
For information call Ken Price at 360-659-4714.

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