Red Ribbon Square Dancing Club


From the weave to the Charleston to the pivot turn, Ruth Michaelson has been line dancing for nearly 23 years.

Michaelson is one of the many members of the Red Ribbon Squares, the official square dance club of Santa Monica and will be part of the club’s free dance party next week.

“The Red Ribbons Square Dance Club was originally declared the Official Square Dance Club by Mayor John Bambrick, and the city council on July 8, 1980. It was reaffirmed by Mayor Feinstein in January 2001 on the occasion of our 50th Anniversary dinner dance,” said Michaelson.

The Red Ribbons have been dancing in Marine Park since 1959, remaining at the location for over half a century.

Michaelson has been dedicated to the club for years and has acted as president. She explained that square dancing is a national folk art and dancing activity. In addition to being fun, it supports friendship and goodwill in a caring atmosphere.

She said, “The international language of the dance allows both adults and teens to participate in a rigorous low impact workout.”

Members enjoy their time dancing and meeting new people, and have decided their unofficial motto is fun, fitness, and friendship set to music.

“It is also less expensive than an evening at the movies. The class promote a healthy sport where folks can meet regularly, exercise and add balance to their lives,” said Michaelson. “It is a fun two hours and it is a hell of a lot more fun then going to a gym and modern square dancing is endorsed by the American Heart Association, the Mayo Clinic, and WebMD.”

In addition to a club dance they sponsor classes in conjunction with the City of Santa Monica every Tuesday night, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Marine Park where there is always a live caller.

Members of the club range from 35 years old to late 70’s, however Michaelson is proud to announce she is the oldest member in the club.

Red Ribbons Squares does not only spend time together dancing, together they offer their services to the community.

Michaelson said, “The Red Ribbons sponsor fundraising and collect food and toiletries during the holiday time to donate to local food pantries. We also demo dances for children, nursing and elder care homes as well as service organizations.”

Next week, on September 12, there will be a free dance party from 7:30 – 9:30 at Marine Park Auditorium (1406 Marine St.).

Michaelson explained the September 12 free class is an introduction to the club and the activity in general. There will be snacks, plenty of line and square dancing, and time for questions. Everyone is welcome and no partner is needed. She suggest casual dress with comfortable shoes.

Weekly classes are available in blocks of 8 week sessions. Open enrollment begins September 19 and 26; starting on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Residents receive a discounted price.

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