The idea that became Symmetry was formed when Marcia Aleksiewicz attended her son's birthday party on Zoom in March 2020. She had been working with a group of about 12 beginners learning English country dance at her senior center in Charlottesville, VA, which had just closed due to Covid-19. She realized they could continue their lessons on Zoom, and by the next week they began.
It was a hard slog at first. They spent more time learning how to use Zoom than dancing. Marcia chose a few simple dances from 21 Easy English Country Dances published by CDSS. She recruited her friend Larry Wegehaupt of Greenbelt, MD, to help. Larry knew Jim Miller of St. Louis, MO, and asked him to join. Jim solicited the help and support of caller Bob Green and musician Martha Edwards from the St. Louis group Childgrove.
Marcia's little group was growing. She was encouraged to open it up to others and posted a notice on the CDSS website. Sharon Spangler and Gerald Pottern of Raleigh, NC, saw the notice and joined. They were charmed by the group's quirks, from doing Duke of Kent's Waltz and Alice every week to ending with a “teddy bear waltz.” Marcia realized she had an interested caller in Sharon, who began calling weekly starting in June 2020.
With a regular caller, the group could expand. Marcia drew on her expertise with organizing and working on Zoom to put the group on a solid foundation. With the group's input, she and Sharon worked out their vision of good calling on Zoom: two walk-throughs and calling throughout. Sharon's husband Gerald provided useful demonstrations of the moves while Sharon focused on giving clear calling and instructions.
Marcia decided it was time for a new name. She had been calling her group Charlottesville ECD, but that no longer seemed to fit this group of dancers, most of whom had never met outside Zoom. It was truly a virtual dance community and needed a name not tied to any one locality. Symmetry seemed a good choice.
Symmetry continues to grow in quality and quantity, adding many new dancers as well as new callers. In October Luanne Stiles began calling twice monthly, and in December Brian Stanton started calling once a month. In January 2021 Symmetry added a Thursday evening dance and a 5th Tuesday Fundraiser dance. Ann Fallon, Juliette Web, Sharon McKinley and Margaret Bary joined Symmetry as Callers.
At the February 16th (2021) dance, Dave Marcus surprised Marcia with a newly composed waltz named A Gift to Marcia "to celebrate Marcia Aleksiewicz's contribution to dancing and dancers". With Dave's permission, Marcia renamed the waltz The Symmetry Waltz as a tribute to all the people who have worked so hard to create Symmetry ECD.
Stay tuned to the website for info on all our new and ongoing adventures!