ST. GEORGE – Dancers are swinging and shuffling history back into tradition by holding weekly dances on the water tank by the Dixie Rock known as the Sugarloaf. Dancers of all ages and skill levels gather to learn, teach and have a good time.
Recently, the city installed a new staircase and safety railings around the top of the tower, making a trip to the top safer than in the past – dances were at one time held on the water tank after it was first built in 1948 devoid of such safety measures.
“It just started off as a party,” said Tiffany Barnes, dance instructor and co-founder of Red Rock Swing. “Over spring break I decided I wanted to have a party on top of the water tank like they used to.”
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Videocast by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
After some research into city traditions, Barnes found that decades ago members of the community would hold dances on top of the million-gallon tank. The flat top is layered with cement, there is a great view of the city, and it is an ideal location for such events.
A major focus of the group is providing a fun opportunity to all members of the community regardless of what demographic people fall into. All people are invited regardless of background, ability, age, gender, race, or faith.
“If you have no dance experience, two left feet, no rhythm, anything like that, we would love to have you,” Barnes said. “Really, this dance is for everybody.”
Instructors specialize in various forms of swing, teaching everything from century-old traditional swing to more modern variations that can be danced to top-40 hits.
“Right now we’re starting from scratch,” Co-founder Kelly Aslin said. “So we’re mainly focusing on people who are even below beginner.”
In addition to the weekly dance, Red Rock Swing teaches community classes for people who want to learn even more, and have occasional theme events to keep dancers dancing.
“That’s where the fun really starts,” Aslin said. “Starting as a beginner and improving your skills as you find where you fit in most.”
When: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Where: 500 East Red Hills Parkway
St. George Old Water Tank – webpage by the Washington County Historical Society
Utah’s Dixie Sugarloaf Info webpage
UPDATED 11:25 p.m. reference to Sugarloaf added.
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