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Barn Dancing Club brings country culture to Carlmont

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Barn Dancing Club brings country culture to Carlmont

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue


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A new and unique club has been added to Carlmont’s expanding list of dancing clubs.

The Barn Dancing Club, started by senior Carolyn Donohoe, is not the typical high school club. Instead of having the majority of club activity held at their meetings, the real action is held at Pie Ranch in Pescadero– one of the few barn dancing venues in the area.

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue

The Pie Ranch barn dancing venue

“I first went barn dancing a little more than a year ago with a friend and had tons of fun. We wanted to start a club at carlmont to get more people involved and have a fun, safe way to meet new people and hang out,” said Donahoe.

Donahoe decided to reach out to Andrew Ramroth, a favorite teacher of hers, to be the club advisor. Meetings are held every other Monday in room D11.

Though Ramroth had no experience before committing as the club advisor, he said, “I went once and it was pretty fun!”

Even if barn dancing is a new concept for some, all are welcome to join the club.

“We don’t personally teach people how to dance, but no prior knowledge is required to participate because there is a caller who tells everyone what to do,” said senior and club member Franklin Rice.

According to PieRanch.org, “Beginners and experienced dancers are all encouraged to take part!”

Senior Laila Rafi stated that the night begins with a partner with whom you know, but then after learning more and more dances, participants will have danced with a lot of people– both friends and friendly strangers.

Pie Ranch even has a house band called the Country Line Pickers who perform at their events every third saturday of the month from 7-10 p.m.

Their “stellar caller,” as Pie Ranch explains in their website, guides dancers through “a whole host of contra-dances.”

Rafi explained it isn’t hard to pick up either, “If I can do it, anyone can. The caller explains each dance really clearly and demonstrates the moves!”

One big problem, however, is continuing the club. Currently, the club only consists of seniors, posing as a problematic situation for future barn dancing. “We hope [non-seniors] will see the value and fun in barn dancing,” said Rice.

Rafi, reflecting on her novice experience with barn dancing, is also encouraging non-seniors to join.

“I totally didn’t think it would be that great, but it was so incredibly fun. You dance with people you’ve never met before, sweat like crazy, and if you’re me, get elbowed in the eye by a gay man in overalls,” said Rafi.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Barn Dancing Club brings country culture to Carlmont