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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Chance to dance at Grand River Multi-Purpose Center Friday

  • Those who enjoy old fashioned country music will have a chance to dance and enjoy the talents of live musicians tomorrow night (Friday).
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  • Those who enjoy old fashioned country music will have a chance to dance and enjoy the talents of live musicians tomorrow night (Friday).
    Every first and third Friday of the month, Jack and Joann Constant organize an old fashioned country music dance in Chillicothe. The group meets for a bonus third time of the month if there happens to be a fifth Friday, such as this month.
    The Constants took over the reigns of the dance nearly two decades ago. Joann said the event has become more than just a dance. It is a gathering of close friends.
    "It's just like a family," Joann explained. "There's people that come every Friday night. If they don't, you think they're sick or wonder where they are. You just get attached to everybody."
    Jack said he and Joann's routine has remained mostly unchanged since they took over the preparations of the event in 1994.
    "We get down there a little around 6:00," Jack said. "We make coffee and get things arranged. We have to move a little bit around to get things set up."
    The Constants do not receive any money from the dances. Jack said the work he and Joann do to put on this event is a labor of love.
    "Some people think we're crazy for doing all the work for nothing money-wise," Jack said. "But we enjoy doing it because it gives us something to do. If we went somewhere, we'd spend about the same amount of money we do on the part that we do."
    On an average night, the dance attracts around 50 people. Despite the event taking place in Chillicothe, Joann said a majority of the attendees are out-of-town guests. Some drive more than an hour for the dance from parts of Iowa and down around Marshall, Mo. Jack said all fans of country music are invited to come enjoy the music, even if they don't come to dance.
    "People have the idea that since it's a dance, if they come, they'll be expected to dance," Jack explained. "That's not the case. We have several that just come to listen to music. We have been told that we've got good music."
    Ken Holmer, Chillicothe, leads a group of musicians known as Country and More. Jack said these old fashioned country music musicians love coming to play at these dances. There used to be many places to play in the area, but those numbers have dwindled.
    "Here in this town, there used to be several dance halls or taverns that had live music," Jack said. "We just don't have it anymore. A lot of them tell us how much they appreciate what they do."
    The next dance is scheduled from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. tomorrow night, Friday, May 31 at the Grand River Multi-purpose Center in Chillicothe.

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