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National Square Dance Convention Opens in Louisville

Elizabeth KramerThe National Square Dance Conventionis back in Louisville this week — after a 27-year hiatus. And it kicked off with a caller — or announcer — calling the moves as he sang and the dancers swung around the floor. This Southern Indiana group, like many from the region, has been anticipating this week’s convention. So says Cindy Schoen, general chairman of 59th annual Square Dance Convention."It’s a big deal to them, to finally bring something and be a host to 10 foreign countries," she says. "People from every state in the union are coming here to dance with us. We’ve got 6,000 people here."Schoen says the attendees include members of nearly 100 Kentucky square-dancing groups in and dozens from Indiana. She says local planners want to use this occasion to show off the city.Schoen says the conference should help boost the local economy."We’ve got all the hotel rooms being booked, over a thousand rooms so four or five nights in a hotel room or camping," she says. "They love to eat. They love to shop. They’re touring all over the state. They are everywhere."The last time the city hosted the convention was in 1983."We have been working for years to get it here. This is an exciting moment for us. We are so glad to finally bring it to Louisville. This is our fourth time."Schoen says organizers have planned plenty of tours around the city for the visitors that should benefit the local economy.The convention runs Wednesday through Saturday at Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.