Salthawk square dance tradition grows


It’s a time-honored tradition over 50 years strong at Hutchinson High School: students learn square dancing in PE class on the last week before the holiday break.

New this year, the invitation to all Salthawks of Christmas past to come back and relive the square dancing tradition. 

“This is probably one of the biggest if not the biggest things that binds Salthawks together, is their memories of square dancing at Christmastime,” Glenna Burden, the HHS alumni association president said Friday.

Burden graduated from HHS in 1991.

Warren “Whitey” Alpers began the tradition when he taught kids to square dance in his PE class. Alpers passed away in 2017. Though what he began is very much alive in the many alumni that returned on Friday afternoon to re-live the square dancing.

“I think it’s part of Hutch High. It is Hutch High, it’s always been done. I couldn’t imagine going to school here and not having square dancing,” Xavier Hoover, class of 2011 said.

Hoover is now a first-year teacher at his alma mater. He gave his students the option to go to the alumni square dance, though he admits, freshmen boys take a little more prompting.

“You get to dance with someone pretty and you don’t have homework. So I don’t see the negatives,” Hoover said.

He jokes that next year: it’s mandatory.

The $5 donation at the door goes toward scholarships for graduating seniors and grants for classroom projects.

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