Wednesday November 03, 2010 | 09:36 PM
Nineteen US states have designated square dancing as their official state dance. I'd say that was on account of its wide-spread popularity, but I haven't seen hide nor hair of the coupled dance since fifth grade gym class. The memory is hazy, but I recall an announcer and the "do-si-do." I also recall not wanting to hold my partner's hand because 1) mine were inordinately sweaty and 2) he was a boy (a boy!).

Maine isn't one of the 19 square dance-supporting states. We don't even have a state dance, unless you want to count the crunking at local proms.

We'd solve plenty of school dance controversy if we could catapult square dancing into mainstream popularity again. (Again? Maybe for the first time.)

It's coed, which the kids will appreciate, and there's little to no pelvic contact, which the parents and teachers will appreciate.

It's an idea that at least deserves the courtesy of some honest consideration.

For folks open to the idea of some old time square dancing, there's a hip, rad, wicked, phat square dance at Mayo Street Arts in Portland on Saturday. I'm confident my use of once-popular slangisms have sold you on the idea.

There'll be live music, plenty of swinging partners and some good old fashioned fun. No experience needed - because the wrong turns and missed steps are truly half the entertainment - and the event is by donation.

Let's stop the no-state-dance madness and bring a little promenade into Maine.

FMI: Square Dance 7:30 pm Saturday, Nov. 6

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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