Columbia organization invites public to put on its dancing shoes

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COLUMBIA-The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers hosted their 16th annual Spring Breakdown. 
Spring Breakdown is a weekend-long event that consists of different workshops for various genres of dance. Some of the dance styles included the Waltz and French dancing.
Event organizer Jim Thaxter said people from all over the country came to Columbia to participate in the Spring Breakdown. 
"We've got people here from Maine, San Diego, California, Texas and Louisiana," Thaxter said. "People come from quite a ways away to dance for the whole weekend."
Thaxter said normally, the organization puts on monthly dances around Columbia but the Spring Breakdown gives the organization a chance to put on a "party" and share dance experiences will others who may not be from Columbia. 
Participant Brent Hogue said he drove six hours from his home in Kansas to be part of the weekend full of dancing. Hogue said out of all of the workshops put on during the weekend his favorite dance is the Contra dance. 
"I love the joy it puts on people's faces, there's a real connection, a lot of fun and laughter and it's a big team effort." he said.
Thaxter said Contra dancing is like folk dancing with origins from England, France and Ireland. 
Hogue said the joy he feels from contra dancing is "hard to put in words."
Brenda Pallone, another Spring Breakdown participant, said dance, overall, has been very beneficial for her.
"It gives me joy in my life and it's wonderful to connect with all the people that like to dance," Pallone said. "The health benefits are also great. I think it's just a great way to spend time."  
To learn more about the Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers, click here.