From do-si-do to I do: local couple finds love after square dancing

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — “To love to cherish… and to obey every square dance call… until we’re parted by death,” said France Ramey at their wedding.

For Philip and Frances Ramey, it was love at first step.

The two met at Medford’s Rogue Valley Square Dance Center in September of 2015.

“It was a surprise that I stood still long enough for her to catch me,” said Philip Ramey.

Frances was mourning her late husband of forty years.

“Frances walked into the dance hall and sat down on a chair… and after about 10-15 minutes the look on her face was like what am I doing here,” said Philip Ramey.

Philip had given up on winning anyone’s heart.

“He was always the last one out on the dance floor and he would look around to see any lady was left and to take her, so I ended up being sure I was that lady,” said Frances Ramey.

A circle to the left, a twirl to the right, and a move called a “grand square” changed everything.

“He would just put his arms out to swing you around… and it just felt so right,” said Frances Ramey.

Fellow square dancer and pastor, Dan Houghton, spotted the pair on the dance floor.

“Their eyes… just shining, flashing,” he said.

Houghton says he almost immediately heard church bells ringing.

He was right.

“When you find that someone and you know you have found that someone,” said Houghton.”When I found my wife and I knew that that was my someone. It’s the only time in my life that I felt twelve feet tall.”

After saying their vows, they heard another call.

This one required dancing shoes.

“I was chasing a dance partner,” said Frances Ramey. “And ended up with a wonderful husband.”

Years later, reflecting on their love at the square dance building in Grants Pass, they say every dance together feels as magical as the first.

“How did I know? When I seen the look coming from her eyes was the same look coming out of my eyes… then you know,” said Philip Ramey.

Every year on their anniversary, Frances and Philip hold a square dancing party with close family and friends to celebrate their shared passion and love for one another.

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