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The City Journals

Tuesday at the Viridian

Feb 10, 2017 12:21PM ● By Bryan Scott

The R.O.C.K. class shows off their collection. (Viridian Center)

Marina McTee | [email protected]

Have you ever wanted to learn how to be a medieval knight, or how to dance in the 18th century? Well here is your chance. The Viridian Event Center in West Jordan offers classes with subjects such as these every Tuesday night.

The Tuesday Night program at the Viridian is free and open to anyone in the community who wishes to come. Topics of the classes vary by the week, and can range from vintage dancing to rock and fossil workshops.

“It impacts the community because it is a non-traditional education opportunity,” Viridian Event Coordinator Tayler Allen stated. “We have the freedom to present unique programs to best benefit the community.”

The classes are organized by many different programs from the community including the Old Glory Vintage Dancers, the Rockhounders Outreach for Community Knowledge— known as R.O.C.K., Couple LINKS, the Alzheimer’s Association and the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The vintage dance classes by the Old Glory Vintage Dancers are a new addition to the Viridian. The classes teach dances from the 18th and 19th century to the community. 

“Old Glory Vintage Dancers brings to life the elegant grandeur of the 1700s and 1800s dances and dress for those who want to experience the exhilaration and charm of history and not just hear about it,” the organization states on their website. 

The program was founded by Kimberli and Tom Grant after they move to Utah from Georgia and couldn’t find a vintage dance group to join. 

“There are vintage dance groups like this all over the South and up and down the Eastern seaboard,” Kimberli told the Deseret News in 2012, “but we couldn’t find anything like it in Utah. So we decided, ‘Let’s just start our own.’”

Old Glory Vintage Dancers collaborate with the Jane Austen Society of North America to present the Annual Regency Romance Ball at the Little America Hotel in February.

One of the more frequent classes at the Viridian is the Medieval Knight class. Organized by the Society for Creative Anachronism, these classes teach “the medieval arts of sword fighting, weaving, and other skills,” according to the center’s website.  

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization that is, “dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of the pre-17th-century Europe.” The organization consists of 20 chapters—or “kingdoms”— and more than 30,000 members around the world. 

The local chapter is titled the “Kingdom of Artemisia,” and encompasses Utah, Montana, southern Idaho, western Colorado and Wyoming. 

Another recurring class is organized by the Rockhounders Outreach for Community Knowledge. R.O.C.K. is an educational organization that is “dedicated to the advancement of fossil, rock, and mineral collecting, and related lapidary arts,” according to its website.

R.O.C.K. was founded in 2011 with the purpose of, “[Setting] up educational programs for educating youth and adults in geology and earth related sciences,” “[Providing] an education forum for the community through teaching the above sciences via public presentations to other charitable or civic organizations,” and much more, 

The Rockhounders Outreach for Community Knowledge gathers the first Tuesday of every month in the Viridian Center and also hosts an annual Rock and Gem Show.

There are also other limited series classes that the Viridian offers. In the past, some of the classes have been Social Security seminars, the Couple LINKS series and the Alzheimer's Association Education series. 

No matter the week, there are always at least two to four classes on different subjects every Tuesday.

“The classes are free, and are an opportunity for those in the community that couldn’t otherwise get access to that education,” Allen said.