TOLEDO MAGAZINE

Toledo man has been calling dances for 50 years

11/11/2012
BY ROD LOCKWOOD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Glen LeFever of Toledo calls out square dancing directions at the Bedford Senior Center in Temperance, Mich.
Glen LeFever of Toledo calls out square dancing directions at the Bedford Senior Center in Temperance, Mich.

Glenn LeFever’s seen it over and over: younger folks who sacrifice exercise by spending too much time in front of their computers.

The twist is that he’s talking about senior citizens. At 86, he still moves on the dance floor and keeps a busy schedule calling square dances twice a day all week long at senior centers.

Unfortunately he’s seen a decline in participation among his peers “who would rather sit at [computers] than get out and get some exercise.”

At the Maumee Senior Center this week, 19 seniors line danced as Mr. LeFever called out the steps. “Left, right, cross, 1, 2, 3,” he said over a microphone headset that he wears so his voice can be heard over the music.

In a sweat shirt, jeans, and comfortable shoes, the retired electrician stood in front of his turntable, spinning 45s and the occasional compact disc.

Donna Lapiarz, left, of Toledo and Gerry Braunfels, of Erie, Mi., laugh with each other about their mistakes while square dancing.
Donna Lapiarz, left, of Toledo and Gerry Braunfels, of Erie, Mi., laugh with each other about their mistakes while square dancing.

The Toledo resident has been calling square dances for 50 years and line dances for a few decades. “I enjoy every minute of it,” he said. “I enjoy being with people and I enjoy teaching.”

The repertoire of music ranges from Blake Shelton to Perry Como and his manner is straight-forward and undemanding. After the songs the participants, mostly women, huddled and talked and laughed before the music cranked back up.

Mr. LeFever would adjust the volume, offer up some commands, and dance a few steps himself: “Sideways, now two forward, now box.”

Time to get moving.

Contact Rod Lockwood at rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.