Here Say: Your Stories about Dancing, Told at the Missouri State Fair

Aug 26, 2015

Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning and more. To see where we've been, check out our interactive map. And to hear your favorite stories from last season, you can find our free podcast on itunes.



There’s so much going on at the Missouri State Fair - all the rides on the midway and the animals and, when we visited, dancing. We met Felecia Dixon after she performed with her clogging group.

Felecia Dixon, center, dances at the Missouri State Fair
Credit Kristofor Husted/KBIA

  Music is my life, so for me it’s everything. I did nine months last year without going into the dance studio for medical reasons, and it about killed me. I could not wait to get back into the dance studio.      

Billie Jean Butler says square dancing was easy for her to start.

It was like 25 years ago, and there was an ad, I saw an ad and just thought it would be fun. And once you ever go you’re usually hooked. It only takes one or two lessons, cause it is so much fun.  

 But Billie Jean says it can be hard to get new people started because there are so many moves to learn - and that makes her worry about the future of square dancing.  

Billie Jean Butler
Credit Sara Shahriari/KBIA

 We have trouble trying to get people to commit to learning lessons, learning all the the moves, cause there are 150 different moves and you have to know them when the caller says.  



Charlie Smith remembers some international friends he made through square dancing, and told us how square dancing works throughout the world.

Charlie Smith
Credit Kristofor Husted/KBIA

  We were in San Antonio Texas at the Alamo, and a group from Japan was square dancing with us and they met us in the Alamo and we  got our picture there with this whole group from Japan. Amazing! Square dance is all over the world, and no matter what country you’re in the calls are in English. They’ll sing the song in their native language but all the calls are in English so you can go and square dance anywhere.

Don Dysart from Saint Joseph told us that music just sets him on fire - and he has a group of friends he goes dancing with three nights a week.

My wife don’t dance much. There’s a bunch of us that get together, there’s what six, seven, widow ladies in their 80s, and a couple of them in their 90s, and we dance every dance. We don’t miss. I sort of rotate around among them, and there’s another guy - he does too. It keeps us in shape.