Mountaineers 2017 Class

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Jim Langdon (mntndncr@gmail.com) 2017-12-08

This year, Jim Langdon introduced the Rocky Mountain Recruiting Program to the Mountaineers. Although we had been doing a lot of the pieces of the program, we adopted the entire program. The main emphasis was to set up a committee of 5 couples to divide the work. We also had expectations that the Club Members were to actively pursue new dancers. Our goal was to collect 100 names and end up with 20 new members.

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Dancing For Your Health

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Colorado Round Dance Association Newsletter (Sandi & Dan Finch)

2017-12-08

Dancing For Your Health

This newsletter article describes some studies and articles that discuss the health benefits of dancing.


Rocky Mountain Recruiting Plan

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB Marketing Committee (callerlab@aol.com)

2017-12-14

Rocky Mountain Recruiting Plan

This detailed recruiting plan was abstracted from the CALLERLAB Marketing Report. The report includes some success story examples and the Rocky Mountain Recruiting Plan is one of them. This article details the general plan and includes a description of one successful execution.


ARTS Letter Containing Promotional Materials (Aug 2017)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

The ARTS (directorarts@aol.com)

2017-08-06

Class Promotional Materials

This letter from the ARTS organization contains promotional materials and plans useful to clubs planning to start a new class.


Small Town Club Has 5 Squares of Beginners

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Tom Kahnert (tom@teamtomandjo.com) 2017-11-27

The Town of Strathroy has a population base of about 8,500, located about 35 km west of London, ON. Including some surrounding rural areas the natural catchment area is about 22,000. Despite this relatively small population to draw from, this club has a very successful beginner program with 40 paid-up new dancers. How exactly did they accomplish that?

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This Is Your Brain On Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Chris Lynam

2017-02-11

Web Document

This article is actually a promotion for Arthur Murray Dance Studios, but it lists a variety of studies that support the benefits of dance for brain health. The studies apply equally well to square dancing.


PINTEREST Page With Square Dance Material

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com)

July 2016

Alberta Chatter Article

This newsletter article describes a Pinterest board established by the Canadian Square and Round Dance Society (CSRDS) that contains material useful in the promotion of square dancing.


Effects of Cognitive Leisure Activity on Cognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

JAMDA Journal

2017-04-07

Effects of Cognitive Leisure Activity on Cognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment

This article documents a Japanese study on the effects of engaging in dance activities, or playing musical instruments, in individuals displaying symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Their overall conclusion: “Long-term cognitive leisure activity programs involving dance or playing musical instruments resulted in improvements in memory and general cognitive function”.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that a long-term, structured cognitive leisure activity program is more effective than a health education program at reducing the risk of further cognitive decline in older adults with mild cognitive impairment syndrome (MCI), a high risk for dementia.

Design: A 3-arm, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Community.

Participants: A total of 201 Japanese adults with MCI (mean age: 76.0 years, 52% women).

Interventions: Participants were randomized into 1 of 2 cognitive leisure activity programs (60 minutes weekly for 40 weeks): dance (n = 67) and playing musical instruments (n = 67), or a health education control group (n = 67).

Measurements: Primary outcomes were memory function changes at 40 weeks. Secondary outcomes included changes in Mini-Mental State Examination and nonmemory domain (Trail Making Tests A and B) scores.

Results: At 40 weeks, the dance group showed improved memory recall scores compared with controls [mean change (SD): dance group 0.73 (1.9) vs controls 0.01 (1.9); P = .011], whereas the music group did not show an improvement compared with controls (P = .123). Both dance [mean change (SD): 0.29 (2.6); P = .026] and music groups [mean change (SD): 0.46 (2.1); P = .008] showed improved MiniMental State Examination scores compared with controls [mean change (SD): −0.36 (2.3)]. No difference in the nonmemory cognitive tests was observed.

Conclusions: Long-term cognitive leisure activity programs involving dance or playing musical instruments resulted in improvements in memory and general cognitive function compared with a health education program in older adults with MCI.



Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Medical XPress Website

YubaNet Website

2017-08-25

Medical XPress Article

YubaNet Article

This KnowledgeBase entry points to two different articles that summarize the results of the same scientific study conducted in Germany. Both articles provide links to the actual text of the study report for those who like to get into the weeds of the topic. A quote from the study author: “In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”


Morrison Grand Squares – Zero to 60 in Two Years

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Mike Hogan (mike.hogan@cox.net) 2017-07-06

Morrison Grand Squares in Morrison, Il went from zero to 60 members in just two years. This item shows how they did it and provides details of their marketing plan.

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Happy Time Squares, Lawrence KS

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Mike Hogan (mike.hogan@cox.net) 2017-07-06

In four years the Happy Time Squares in Lawrence, Kansas, went from zero to 140 members!

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Duke City Singles and Doubles – a Revival Story

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Mike Hogan (mike.hogan@cox.net) 2017-07-06

In 2012 the club was very close to folding due to lack of members so new club leadership took responsibility to develop a growth strategy. The result – by 2017 they have 80 new members.

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66th US National Keynote by Eric Henerlau

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Eric Henerlau (eric@erichenerlau.com) 2017-06-28

On June 23rd, 2017 Eric Henerlau delivered an exciting keynote address at the 66th US National in Cincinnati. His remarks were heavily laced with wonderful ideas and insights for how we can go about growing our square dance activity. This written version of his speech provides an extremely valuable aggregation of ideas for recruiting, teaching, and retaining dancers. But more importantly, it provides a framework and context for adjusting our thinking and approach to make our efforts to grow our activity more productive.

You can view the text of Eric’s remarks by clicking on the button below. Or, if you would prefer to see the document in PDF form, you can click here for PDF.

Welcome to the keynote address for the 66th National Square
Dance Convention here in Cincinnati. I want to thank you for coming.
My name is Eric Henerlau, and I live near San Francisco, CA. I’ve
been calling for nearly 40 years, and I travel extensively. I also have
an active home program where I teach multiple new dancer classes every year.

Today I was asked to talk about what’s right with square
dancing. What a great way to talk about this wonderful activity!
It’s so easy to focus on the negatives, to complain, and to
tell you all the reasons why square dancing is in decline. So many
of them we have heard time and time again. However, most people
don’t like to listen to others complain about a problem just to
complain. It drains their energy.

What people like to hear are ideas and positive responses. People
like to hear what’s good and right. It lifts their spirits and
helps them move forward in the face of challenges. So today I’m
going to talk about some of those challenges in a way that we can
meet and overcome them. I’m going to share a vision of what
square could look like in the future. And finally, I’m going
to give you some ideas of how you can attract more people in to
square dancing and build your club!

When I started calling, square dance clubs were ubiquitous. New clubs
were formed and occasionally other clubs folded, and I never paid
much attention to the overall health of the activity… until
about 15 years ago. That’s when I really started to see a
decline, not only in clubs and dances, but also in callers teaching
classes. The inevitability of square dancing continuing forever
didn’t seem so inevitable. When I talked to existing dancers,
they would start listing all the reasons why they thought square
dancing was in decline. Most people seemed to be resigned to the
state of affairs, as if nothing could change the direction. They
complained they couldn’t get younger people to try square
dancing, or that the Internet or videos or two working parents or
(fill in the blank) were turning people away from classes. However,
all of these things were really symptoms of other more fundamental
issues. Here are the issues that I see we face and some ways we can
overcome them:

  • Communicating
    value.
    Square dancing has so many positive attributes: fun,
    exercise, and social connection just to name a few. The combination
    of these things is unique in square dancing. We need to let people
    know the great benefits of square dancing. We need to have them
    feel it’s worth their while and their money to try this
    activity. However, we often advertise square dancing in terms that
    emphasize “cheap” or “free” in big letters.
    If we made all square dancing free, do you think people would be
    lining up at the door to join in? Probably not. People value what
    they pay for. Psychologists and economists tell us that if we pay
    money for a product, we value that product to the level of the money
    we pay. The more we invest in the product financially, the more
    likely we will support and promote the product. Let’s set the
    value of our product (square dancing) to be commensurate with the
    joy we get out of the activity. Valuing our product fairly leads us
    to the next challenge we face.

  • Setting
    realistic financial expectations.
    Halls cost money and callers
    need to earn money. Dues and dance fees that haven’t changed
    in the past 20 years are not keeping up with the real cost of
    living. Compare costs of entertainment in your area. What does a
    movie cost? What does a set of ballroom dancing lessons cost? How
    about a set of tennis lessons? Are your dance fees in line with
    other entertainment options such as a movie or bowling? Some clubs
    have done a good job with adjusting dues and dance fees to match
    expenses. These clubs usually have a treasurer who is good with
    numbers and can calculate what the club needs to keep afloat. Have
    honest club meetings to discuss finances. Setting realistic budgets
    can be empowering, and those who really enjoy this activity will
    find ways to make the finances work. These people usually have
    great attitudes towards the club.

  • Building
    the club’s attitude.
    If the club’s energy is low,
    or members feel burned out, or if the existing dancers have little
    tolerance for new dancers, the club is struggling. Dancers may be
    going through the motions of club activities without the enthusiasm
    they once had. When this is the case, identify your members who
    have the strongest vision and call a meeting. Have these leaders
    talk about the things that make the club fun. Emphasize the value
    of new faces in the squares and what these new people will bring.
    Talk about the future of the club in one, two, and five years out.
    Inspire them to look for ideas and elicit support from the rest of
    the club. Attitude is changeable, and it starts with the leaders
    who “own” square dancing.

  • Making
    more “owners” and fewer “renters”.

    Some people participate in life as a “renter”, that is,
    paying for a service or good while they want it, then leaving that
    provider whenever they want. The whole square dancing activity can
    be looked at as a provider. However, square dancing doesn’t
    happen by itself. Square dancing is a collective effort of many
    people. People with a “renters” attitude give less
    towards the support and maintenance of square dancing. They don’t
    “own” square dancing or take responsibility for the
    long-term health of the activity. They get what they want until it
    doesn’t suit them anymore, and then complain to the club or
    quit.

    On the other hand, dancers with an “owners”
    attitude see that they are responsible for the condition of the
    club. They realize that without action on their part, the club will
    diminish. Owners take initiative and encourage others to
    participate fully. Owners understand the importance of social glue
    that keeps the club strong.

    The first step in making more
    owners is to have people self-evaluate. Can they be counted on to
    step up when needed and take on some leadership? Strong clubs
    develop efficient leadership in dancers.

  • Having a
    lean and effective board.
    How often have we heard that
    dancers don’t want to serve on the board because they don’t
    want to get involved in the politics? How about board
    members who feel they are more important just because they are on
    the board? These two attitudes are mutually exclusive, and it
    causes some board members to serve for years, while other members
    never volunteer. There is a need for administration of a club to
    keep it running smoothly. The club needs to choose callers and
    halls, advertise for classes, decide details of dances and run them.
    Is your governing body right-sized? A good board is trim and has
    only the offices it needs to run the club efficiently. A smaller
    board has fewer positions to fill.

    Make sure your board
    positions are clearly defined with a minimum of duties. Ask members
    to volunteer for the board for just a one-year commitment. Hold
    board meetings only when necessary, perhaps only four or five times
    a year. Have clear, purpose-driven agendas that make a productive
    meeting. Keep the focus on necessary club business and avoid petty
    or tangential issues. If you do this, everyone will feel the work
    is worthwhile instead of wasteful. Be sure to solicit input from
    your caller.

  • Including
    the caller on the board.
    If your club has a regular caller, use
    him or her for advice and guidance. The caller sees many things
    from the stage that dancers don’t see and is a thread of
    continuity in the board when club leaders change. The caller
    usually has experience with other clubs and their methods. The
    caller can draw from the body of knowledge that is shared with other
    callers and provide counsel and expertise.

  • Embracing
    the attitude of growth.
    Some people believe that when their
    club reaches a certain size they no longer need to grow. They
    believe they are big enough, and that any more people would be a
    problem (hall size, personal connections, etc.) Many years ago the
    president of a club I called for dismissed the idea of a beginner
    class because the club had 40 members and that, according to him,
    was big enough. He didn’t want to bother with growing the
    club any bigger until we lost members. In reality, we must always
    focus on growing. Marketing and recruiting new dancers
    should be a permanent year-round activity. There should never be a
    time when we decide we have enough dancers. During any dance
    season, a club is either growing or shrinking. No club is ever
    static. The moment we stop efforts to grow is the moment we start
    dwindling.

  • Believing
    there are plenty of people interested in square dancing.
    There
    are 300 million people living in the United States. Almost all of
    them don’t square dance – yet! This is a huge pool of
    untapped potential dancers. Some club members who have scarcity
    thinking believe there is only a small group of people who might be
    interested in learning to square dance. They find themselves in
    competition with other groups in attracting new dancers. Once a new
    beginner has started dancing, the club may be reluctant to encourage
    the person to dance with other groups for fear of losing him or her.
    To these club leaders, the new dancers are a scarce commodity that
    must be protected from other groups. Scarcity thinkers have a fixed
    mindset.

    In contrast, leaders who have abundance thinking
    believe there is an endless supply of people who would like to try
    square dancing. They see that for every personality type, age, sex,
    and demographic in their club there are hundreds more just like them
    that want to join in the fun. They never stop finding ways to reach
    out to those groups of people. Abundance thinkers believe the
    supply of possible new dancers is unlimited. Abundance thinkers
    have a growth mindset.

These challenges can be worked through and overcome. The way we see and experience square dancing may change as a result. Here are some
examples of what the future of the activity could look like:

  • A new group of callers steps up. They may not have all the skills of seasoned
    callers, but new and existing dancers connect with them and support
    them in their efforts.

  • Groups get creative about where they dance. Beyond the customary church halls
    and schools, groups find they can dance in vacant stores, people’s
    garages or living rooms, or on patios and decks when weather
    permits. In exchange for advertising, groups get local businesses
    to sponsor them or provide dance venues.

  • More Basic and Mainstream groups are created, giving dancers more options for
    dancing. Instead of pushing dancers through the programs, callers
    find more ways to use the Basic and Mainstream calls creatively, and
    dancers go to the dances because they are fun!

  • Square dance clubs partner with line dance, contra dance, and other dance groups,
    or square dance evenings are shared with other non-dance activities.
    People will come to square dance and do other things, so less
    emphasis is placed exclusively on square dancing. Square dancing is
    just part of an evening’s entertainment. People create clubs
    that hold a variety of social activities, with perhaps only some
    members square dancing.

  • Callers make more use of technology to reach remote dancers. Callers use Skype
    or social media to call to groups too remote to have a caller.
    Recordings of teaching modules or mini-dances are sent to remote
    groups for practice.

  • The music and sound systems become more contemporary. The speakers and amplifiers
    are on par with what is used by professional DJs. Spectators
    recognize the music as current songs from the radio.

How will these changes occur? There two possible paths. The first is
that forward-thinking clubs will see the future and embrace the
coming changes. They will realize they must adapt to today’s
society to keep square dancing relevant. They will modify their club
policies about everything from dress code to lesson requirements to
callers’ participation. They will expand their idea of what a
square dance club is to include other activities.

The other possibility is that the existing clubs will continue as they
are and eventually fold. The callers and dancers will be content
with stasis, and eventually the clubs will shrink and cease
operations. In their place, new groups will be formed with new
callers and dancers who don’t have the historical context.
These groups will bring a new paradigm for square dancing without
having the institutional thinking of the legacy groups. Culture and
style will be newly created, and a new art form will arise. Either
of these paths will involve getting new dancers.

How can we get more people into square dancing? This is the question
we’ve been asking ourselves for a long time. We know there is
no silver bullet; if there were, we would have discovered it by now
and the halls would be overflowing. We do know that
marketing, promotion, recruitment, and retention take effort, and
that our results will be directly proportional to the effort applied.
However, even the best efforts can yield poor results if we are not
communicating effectively. Achieving better results starts with an
understanding of who we are and what we are willing to change in
order to adapt. Here are my suggestions to start the process:

  • Decide
    what you are going to offer.
    What are you offering to people?
    Fun or long-term commitment to an unknown activity? Basic,
    Mainstream, or Plus destinations? Social community or academic
    lessons? If what you’re offering isn’t working,
    consider changing it. People who don’t square dance are not
    keen on making a long-term commitment to an activity they don’t
    know if they will enjoy. Connect with people on a social level.
    Build relationships around fun, and then include square dancing as
    part of the relationship.

  • Target
    your audience age group.
    People generally socialize with other
    people who are less than five years older or younger than they are.
    If you want to bring in younger dancers, target your marketing
    efforts to people who are five years younger than the average age of
    your club. If the club’s average age is 70, don’t try
    to recruit 30 or 40 year olds – they won’t be
    interested. As an activity, we’ve been aging up over several
    decades. Aging down will be a gradual process for many existing
    clubs. It will take effort and focus. In some cases, entirely new
    clubs may need to be formed with a younger demographic.

  • Focus on
    your club’s personality and strengths.
    Who are you as a
    club? Are you mostly working-age adults or retirees? Singles or
    couples? Do you all attend the same church? Are you traditionalists
    or casual in your approach to dancing? Does your club do only
    square dancing or also include other social activities? The culture
    of a group tends to indicate the type of people it will attract. If
    you want to attract a different demographic, have the club discuss
    the changes needed in its culture. Different groups will attract
    different kinds of people.

  • Find ways
    to be more inclusive
    . Does your club welcome singles? People
    of different skin colors or religions? People with different sexual
    orientation? Just like other activities, many square dance clubs
    have unspoken cultural attitudes that set the social norms for the
    group. These attitudes can be helpful when recruiting people who
    fit the same norms as your group, but they can also be a barrier to
    others who would like to participate but don’t feel like they
    fit in. Look for areas in your club’s culture that may make
    new dancers feel less welcome and discuss what you can do to change
    these areas.

  • Don’t
    be everything to everyone!
    A respected business leader once
    said, “If you’re everything to everyone, you’re
    nothing to anyone.” This holds just as true for square
    dancing as it does for business. We all like to say that square
    dancing is for everyone regardless of age or ability. It’s a
    great thing that so many people can participate in this activity,
    but when we talk about square dancing and offering it to the public,
    we need to narrow our focus to our target audience. Understand
    whom you are trying to attract. A person who hears that square
    dancing is for anyone, and anyone can square dance, is the same
    person who thinks “I’m not just anyone, I have special
    qualities and interests, so this is not for me”. Instead,
    consider focusing on a demographic that is in sync with your group:

      • People who want a social activity

      • People who want exercise

      • People who are interested in trying something unusual or different

      • People who like puzzles and games

      • People who like to travel

      • People who are single or whose partners don’t dance

Even though you are focusing on your target audience, avoid
exclusionary practices that would turn away a potential dancer that
is not part of your target. For example, if you are primarily a
couples-oriented club and a single dancer shows up for lessons, have
a plan to accommodate that person. That person may be the next
enthusiast in the group who contributes to the activity. Find a
place for everyone who expresses an interest.

  • Rethink
    Plus or even Mainstream as a destination for new dancers
    . Last
    year Jerry Story gave an impassioned address about the problems with
    pushing people through too many calls too quickly. He advocated the
    Club 50 program and other similar programs. Some areas of the
    country are experimenting with the 12-week condensed teaching order
    and other smaller lists. Both the Basic and Mainstream programs
    have plenty of variety in their calls, and a skilled caller can use
    these programs to make an entertaining dance for everyone. He or
    she can make the choreography simple and easy or complex and
    challenging without using extra calls. Consider a destination
    program that is shorter and easier to learn, allowing new dancers to
    reach a level of proficiency more quickly.

  • Shift the
    focus from calls to people.
    We tend to emphasize learning a
    bunch of calls to get through the list or program, just so we can
    learn the next set of calls on the next list, etc. Instead, your
    club could make its top priority meeting, socializing, and having
    fun. When the people are more important than the
    calls, groups thrive. New dancers feel more welcome and are more
    likely to return. Experienced dancers enjoy dancing with new people
    as much as being entertained or challenged by the caller.

  • Redefine
    success.
    What is success in square dance lessons? What makes a
    beginner class worthwhile? How long must a new dancer continue
    dancing for you to consider the class a success? Some people
    believe that if the new dancers don’t stay square dancing for
    life then the class was not successful. What if a dancer learns to
    dance and continues dancing for a year or two and then leaves? Is
    that not a form of success? Are we expecting too much from people
    who don’t stay involved for a long period? While some people
    join the activity and do stay for a long time, others will enjoy
    dancing for a while, and then move on. If you consider that
    recruiting effort to be a failure because the person isn’t
    still dancing, then the club’s morale will be compromised.
    Alternatively, if you consider the class a success because there was
    a period of time when the people were in a square, then you can
    build on those efforts and tailor your program around those dancers.
    We all know that many dancers who stop dancing come back again at a
    later date. When this happens, be sure to keep that person on a
    follow up list for future classes or dances.

  • Talk about
    what’s good about square dancing.
    Have a real discussion
    in your club. Underscore your strengths. What is it about your
    club that makes people want to return each week, each month, each
    year? People come for a reason, because square dancing fulfills
    something in their lives. Have your club members articulate those
    reasons. It will get them excited and inspire them to share with
    others who are not square dancing yet.

  • Develop
    community service outreach.
    While square dancing is fun in
    itself, the people involved in the club can also make a difference
    in their local community. Probably some are already volunteering
    time or money to local non-profits. Is there a way to connect the
    club or local dancers with a non-profit or charity? Can you
    organize the club to contribute time or money to a charity and get
    some visibility for square dancing? Not only will your club feel
    good about what they are doing, but non-dancers can bond with club
    members on a different level. The more connections you can make
    with the public, the easier your class marketing efforts will be.

  • Initiate
    cooperative marketing with clubs in your area.
    It takes a lot
    of effort for one club working independently to recruit new dancers.
    Instead of going it alone, talk to other local groups who want to
    grow. Working together, each club can leverage the others’
    skills, resources, and labor to attract people into dancing. The
    visibility of square dancing will increase exponentially. These
    efforts can be coordinated through your local association or
    federation. If your governing organization is not interested in a
    coordinated marketing effort (or other factors make doing so
    ineffective), then create an informal group of clubs who want to
    make a difference. Form small teams from each club who are willing
    to meet periodically to share ideas and work on joint projects.

  • Experiment
    with different marketing techniques.
    There are many ways to
    advertise for your classes: flyers, postcards, newspapers, lawn
    signs, placemats, community outreach events, and Internet ads, just
    to name a few. Try as many as the club has energy and money to
    support. Track your return on investment, but don’t give up
    on any one method if you don’t see immediate results. What
    doesn’t work this time may work well next time.

  • Think big,
    think new.
    Do you remember the children’s book The
    Little Engine That Could
    ? The mantra that kept that engine
    going up the hill was “I think I can! I think I can!”
    The Little Engine took on the challenge of climbing the hill, and
    instead of letting her limitations stop her, she persevered with
    focus and commitment until she was successful. The Little Engine
    thought BIG and NEW. How can your club think bigger or in a newer
    way? What outrageous ideas can you come up with for building your
    club? When you embark on a new project, believe what you’re
    doing will work. Commit to your plans fully. The quickest way to
    failure is not having faith in your efforts. That
    subconscious message of “not believing” will undermine
    your work and almost certainly guarantee disappointment. Instead,
    commit and put the energy into your plans without hesitation.

  • Think
    strategically.
    Where do you see the club in the future? Not
    just for your tenure in the activity, but beyond into the next
    generation of dancers? Do you have a goal for the club and its
    growth? Be willing to adapt to the 21st century world for
    square dancing. Create a vision of your club at milestones in the
    future: 2018, 2020, and 2025. Make plans; think about what’s
    possible even if it seems impossible. Enroll other dancers
    in looking ahead.

  • ALWAYS
    look ahead and avoid dwelling on the past
    . It doesn’t do
    any good to talk about how many squares there used to be at dances,
    how many dances were held, how big the beginner classes used to be,
    and the like. All this is just negative thinking. NO ONE likes to
    hear that yesterday was better than today. We all want to believe
    that today is great and that tomorrow will be even better.
    Suggesting anything different, whether or not it’s true, is a
    sure-fire way to discourage someone new to square dancing. That
    person will think he or she missed the glory days and start to take
    a dim view the current state of affairs. His or her dancing career
    may be shortened – after all, why learn an activity you
    perceive as dying? Instead, keep the focus on how great you can
    build on what you have: classes, activities, and fun. Inspire
    people to look forward to good times in the club, regardless of how
    many people are dancing.

  • Recruit
    and support the next generation of callers.
    The activity cannot
    survive unless there are new callers coming up the ranks. Encourage
    every young dancer to call a tip or singing call. Create an
    environment that would foster the calling “bug” in
    someone. Encourage that person to go to an accredited callers
    school. Give him or her opportunities to call and teach. Enable
    these new callers by fully supporting their efforts. These people
    will be the leaders of tomorrow. Help cultivate them now!

  • Support
    motivated club leaders.
    These people may or may not be on the
    board, but they are “movers and shakers,” people who are
    inspirational, have energy, and get things done. If they have an
    idea that would benefit the club, give them what they need to run
    with it. Let them lead the rest of the club in something new. Even
    if you’re not feeling like a leader, support the people in
    your group who have the energy and let them do the job.

  • Partner
    with your local callers
    and callers association. If
    there are any restrictions on how your organizations can work
    together, remove the restrictions. Have dancers and callers serve
    together in organizations that promote square dancing. Form a tight
    teamwork relationship with your club caller. If you don’t
    have a club caller, enlist local callers whom you respect. Solicit
    their advice. Listen to the issues they see from their side of the
    microphone. Most callers have a vested interest in attracting and
    retaining dancers. They can see what works and what needs
    improvement, even if it’s not popular or goes against
    tradition. Be open to suggestions, and then partner together to
    create solutions.

  • Involve
    the club caller financially.
    Structure the caller’s
    compensation to have some correlation with dance attendance. This
    makes the caller have a reason to attract as many people as possible
    to classes and dances. He or she is more motivated to teach and
    call in ways that retain the most dancers. Callers should take an
    active role in the club’s marketing efforts.

  • Run more
    than one class per year.
    Running only one class each year is
    not very effective. The non-dancing public expects multiple entry
    points to any recreational activity. It’s very bad PR to tell
    a person interested in learning that he or she must wait 9, 10, or
    11 months before another class will be offered. It’s highly
    unlikely that person will return. Many groups have redesigned their
    teaching program and are successfully running multiple beginner
    classes each year. Experiment with multiple entry points and
    overlap the classes to allow the club members and new dancers to
    mix.

  • Use
    technology.
    Technology is available in multiple forms to help
    you grow square dancing. If you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar
    with the variety of technologies in use, find someone in your group
    who can step in and do some of the work. Often the caller can help
    out as he or she may be using the various tools.

    • Website.
      If your club’s website is out of date, have someone volunteer
      to keep it updated. It’s a bad sign to visit a club’s
      homepage to find out about all the dances coming up in 2006…
      If you don’t have a website, get one! They cost from $0 to
      $1000, depending on how robust you want it. Several companies
      offer free websites and website tools in exchange for advertising
      on the side. The club’s homepage should be designed for the
      non-dancing public. When a visitor lands on the homepage, the site
      should communicate the social and fun aspects of the club, along
      with when the next class will start. All other club information
      and business can be on other parts of the site. The homepage is
      the most critical for a new prospect.

    • Facebook.
      Keep your Facebook page up to date with current and relevant club
      activities. Facebook and your club’s website are the
      public’s perception of who you are. Anyone considering
      joining your class or club will visit the website and Facebook page
      first – make sure they are attractive and inviting.

    • Email
      distribution lists.
      Use email group lists for communications
      within your club. Be clear, and concise with club communications
      so that everyone is fully informed. These emails strengthen social
      bonding. Your web hosting service may provide email groups; if
      not, Yahoo and Google both provide this service for free.

    • Google
      phone number.
      Get a unique phone number for your club that you
      can give out to people. Google offers phone numbers for free, and
      you can have any incoming call to that number redirected to a
      person who is designated to receive it. This allows the leadership
      in a club to change while still keeping the same club phone number.
      It also keeps personal phone numbers private.

    • Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram.
      You can use these to send out news and pictures about the club,
      club events, and recent activities.

    • Free or
      near-free online services.
      Use Craigslist, local “patch”
      news sites, meetup.com, etc.

    • Groupon,
      Living Social and other web-based coupons.
      Some clubs have had
      success in using promotional coupons through the Internet. Explore
      this avenue to see if it may work for your club.

    • Prospects
      database.
      Once you get a person who is interested in learning
      to square dance, capture that person’s name/email/city and
      phone number and put it in a database (spreadsheet or document).
      Use an email processing tool to send out email invitations to your
      prospects for upcoming classes.

    • Ads and
      keywords.
      Both Google and Facebook have abilities to promote
      your classes when people use certain keywords to search. Look for
      keywords that someone might enter that would make that person a
      square dance prospect. Bid on and buy those keywords, so that when
      a person enters them, your ad is displayed on the sidebar.

Finally, the most important thing you can do to grow your club: have
the right attitude!

  • The number one key to success: Attitude. A club that truly wants to grow
    will find a way to grow. The members will generate enthusiasm that
    is infectious. People want to be around people who are happy and
    having fun. Capture that attitude and do whatever is necessary to
    bring people in the door. Some groups say they want a class but
    then can’t get enough beginners to justify it. Other clubs
    run successful classes and grow. What’s the difference
    between these groups? ATTITUDE! Those groups who are excited and
    happy about coming to a dance create an energy that attracts others.
    They exude fun and friendliness that make others happy. They don’t
    have to remember to smile – they are already smiling!

Summary:

So, what’s right with square dancing? Every person might have
a different way that square dancing appeals to him or her:

    • Social activity with friends

    • Community

    • Exercise

    • Mental stimulation, brain exercise

    • Respite from the anxiety in the world today

There are so many ways square dancing is the right activity right
now. We all know that people would love this activity if they tried
it. The call for action is now. Get the whole club involved. Make
it fun. Seek out and find success stories from other clubs and
callers. There is a wealth of information on the Internet on
marketing ideas; however, resources are useless without action.
Inspire and motivate your club to take action. Keep emphasizing all
the reasons why square dancing is right for everyone. Your classes
will be more successful, your club will grow, and square dancing will
continue to be the best entertainment for people all over the world.



Collection Of Marketing and Recruiting Articles

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com) 2017-05-25

Claudia Littlefair is the editor of the Alberta Chatter newsletter. This edition provides a wonderful compilation of a number of articles dealing with advertising, marketing, promotion, and recruiting. You can see the table of contents for the edition below. Follow the link to access the newsletter.

Read Newsletter ….

Newsletter Table of Contents

Name of Article Page
1. No ‘One-Shot Wonders’ in Advertising – by Mike Hogan …..……………………………..……. 2
2. *New* CALLERLAB Resources: Teaching; Knowledgebase; Dances ………………….……… 3
3. A Lesson In Marketing – Producing An Effective Print Ad – by Brian Elmer ….………….. 4
4. *New* Canadian Society Pinterest Account ………………………………………………………..…… 6
5. Marketing On-Line ………………………………………………………………………………………………..…. 6
6. The Off-Season …………………………………………………………………………………………………..……. 7
7. Favorite Website Picks for Promotional Ideas ………………………………………………………..… 8
8. Recruitment – by Tim Marriner …………………………………………………………………………..….… 9
9. Rocky Mountain House’s Success Story – by Doreen Guilloux …..……………………………. 10
10. ‘Winning Ways’ Success Story – New Jersey Rutgers, Ken Robinson ………………………. 12
11. Selling the “Why” ………………………..………………………………………………………………………….. 13
12. What Sells – Facts or Benefits? …………..…………………………………………………………………… 14
13. Signs Speak Volumes …………………………..………………………………………………………………….. 15
14. Summer Demos – by Mike Seastrom …………..………………………………………………………….. 16
15. Writing a News Release, “The Modern Square Dance Image” CALLERLAB, 1978 ……… 17
16. Who’s Your Target – by Mike Hogan ………………………………….…………………………………… 18
17. On-Line Articles Bring In 20 New Dancers ……………………………………………………………….. 19
18. Why Fax? ……………………………………….……………………………………………………………………..… 20
19. Marketing To Baby Boomers …………….……………………………………………………………………… 21
20. Today’s Square Dancer – Do We Have An Image Issue? …………….…………………………….. 22
21. Successful Square Dance Recruiting – Does It Exist? by Patrick Demerath ……….………. 24


Bob Brundage Interviews

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2017-04-14

This summary article contains a table (see below) that contains links to the interviews that Bob Brundage did with a wide variety of notable people in the square dance community. These interviews represent a huge project for which Bob was awarded the CALLERLAB Milestone award in 2012. Both audio files and written transcripts are provided. Listening to these interviews provides a unique and personal vantage point on some of the seminal developments in square dance history.

You can see the list of interviews in alphabetical order by clicking on the button below labelled “Table of Interviews”. To view the materials for a specific interview just click on the interview name in the table revealed below. The actual files reside on the website of the Square Dance Foundation of New England at http://www.sdfne.org.

Interview
Armstrong, Don: SIO Hall of Fame
Bailey, Hillie: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Baird, Pancho & Marie
Baker, Clark: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Bates, Red
Belanger, Jim
Bishop, Charlie
Brodeur, Cliff
Brown, Ginger (husband Lou deceased): SDFNE Hall of Fame
Brozek, Allan
Brundage, Al & Bob (Early days)
Brundage, Al History Presentation
Brundage, Al: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone, NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Brundage, Bob: CALLERLAB Milestone, CALLERLAB Award of Excellence
Burdick, Cathie: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Burdick, Stan: CALLERLAB Milestone, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Campbell, Cal
Casey, Joe: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Ceder, Vic & Debbie
Clark, Bryan
Cocke, Enid
Collipi, Ralph & Joan: ROUNDALAB Silver Halo, NE Yankee Clipper
Dalsemer, Bob
Davis, Bill & Bobbie: CALLERLAB Milestone
Deck, Decko CALLERLAB Milestone
Dixon, Anna Keenan: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Dixon, Mil: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Driver, Wade: CALLERLAB Milestone
Easterday, Irv & Betty: ROUNDALAB Silver Halo
Edelman, Larry
Egender, Herb: CALLERLAB Milestone
Flippo, Marshall: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Foote, Ed: CALLERLAB Milestone
Forsyth, Max
Garvey, Kip
Gilmore, Ed
Golden, Cal: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Goodbody, Roland
Gotta, Betsy & Roy: CALLERLAB Milestone
Greene, Patty
Greenleaf, Lisa
Griffin, Culver
Haag, Jerry: CALLERLAB Milestone
Hass, Dave: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Helsel, Lee & Mary: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Helt, Jerry & Kathy: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Hendrickson, Chip
Hendron, John: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Heyman, Bill: CALLERLAB Milestone
Hilton, Jim & Dottie: CALLERLAB Milestone
Holden, Rickey
Houle, Lennie & Connie: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Howell, Bob: CALLERLAB Milestone
Jennings, Larry
Johnson, Bruce: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Johnston, Bill
Johnston, Earl: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone, NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Jones, Fenton (Jonesy): SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Jones, Jon: CALLERLAB Milestone
Juaire, Ed: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Kaltenthaler, John: CALLERLAB Milestone
Kopman, Lee: CALLERLAB Milestone
Kronenberger, Arnie: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Lane, Frank: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Laufman, Dudley
LeClair, Johnny: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Leger, Dick: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone, NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Livingston, Bob
Lovett Hall (Dave Taylor)
Luttrell, Melton: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Mabie, Michelle
Macey, Cem (Father Joseph Hugh Macey deceased)
Mackin, Everett
Maczko, Jim
Mallard, Martin: CALLERLAB Milestone
Marriner, Tim
Marshall, John
Matthews, Osa: CALLERLAB Milestone
Mayo, Jim: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone, NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
McClure, Veronica
Millstone, David
Moore, Brent (wife Mickey deceased): ROUNDALAB Silver Halo
Moore, Dick & Erna
Moore, Paul
Morin, Lori
Morningstar, Glen
Morse, Wayne
Murtha, Jack: CALLERLAB Milestone
Nelson, Ron
Osgood, Bob & Becky: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Oxendine, Tony: CALLERLAB Milestone
Page, Nita (husband Bob deceased): SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Page, Randy
Palmquist, Eddie & Audrey: ROUNDALAB Silver Halo
Parkes, Tony
Patton, Gardner: CALLERLAB Milestone
Peters, Bill: CALLERLAB Milestone
Piper, Dr. Ralph: CALLERLAB Milestone
Reed, Jerry
Reel, Rich
Riggs, Bob
Ritucci, Ken
Roth, Gloria Rios: CALLERLAB Milestone, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Rutty, Ed: SDFNE Hall of Fame
Sargent, Don
Schneider, Ron
SDFNE Board # 1
SDFNE Board # 2
Seastrom, Mike
Severance, Dick: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Sheffield, Elmer
Shepherd, Art: CALLERLAB Milestone
Shukayr, Nasser
Smith, Nita (husband Manning deceased): SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone, ROUNDALAB Silver Halo
Stevens, Al: CALLERLAB Milestone
Story, Jerry
Sweet, Ralph
Taylor, Dave: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Tirrell, Doc & Peg: ROUNDALAB Silver Circle
Van Antwerp, Bob: SIO Hall of Fame, CALLERLAB Milestone
Wagner, Dale
Warrick, Red
Weaver, Buddy
Wedge, Johnny: NE Yankee Clipper, SDFNE Hall of Fame
Williamson, Don
Wylie, Norma (husband Wayne deceased): ROUNDALAB Silver Halo



IAGSDC History Wiki

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

IAGSDC (International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs)

Website

The IAGSDC is an umbrella organization for square dance clubs around the world that serve the LGBTQ community. Their History Wiki presents a wide range of historical information about LGBTQ square dancing, including current and past clubs, notable people, their annual Convention, the Gay Callers Association (GCA) and other affiliated organizations, as well as the evolution of the IAGSDC itself.


Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Country Dance and Song Society

Website

The CDSS site contains material about a variety of country dance forms including square dancing, contra dancing, and English country dancing. In addition to historical and cultural information, there are many pointers to other resources and information.


Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Website

The Lloyd Shaw Foundation preserves and shares a diverse range of dance and music traditions with an inter-generational audience. We develop leadership in traditional dance and music forms, and sponsor events and scholarships to ensure their continuity. Through our archives housed at the University of Denver, and at our Dance Center in Albuquerque, NM, we retain important historical records that document the past and enable us to preserve the future of traditional American folk dance.


Square Dance History Project

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Square Dance History Project

Webpage

Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.

Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there is no current source that offers a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.


Sets In Order Archive

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Osgood

1948-1985

SIO Archive Page

Click on the link to view a page pointing to digitized copies of complete editions of the Sets In Order magazine.

This page is a tribute to Bob and Becky Osgood. The Sets In Order magazines are one of their legacys that comprise in these pages the history of modern square dancing. Bob began publishing SIO in 1948 and the last issue was issued in December 1985, 444 issues.

This material is Copyright (C) by Bob Osgood, and his heirs and may not be reproduced in any form including digital transmission for commercial purposes. Short articles may be reprinted using credit: “Reprinted from [magazine] and magazine year and month. magazine should be replaced by the appropriate magazine name such as SQUARE DANCING Magazine, official magazine of The Sets in Order American Square Dance Society” or just “Sets In Order” for earlier issues. Please credit by-lined authors.


As I Saw It – Bob Osgood (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Paul Moore (paulmoore@wildblue.net)

2017-02-05

Purchase At Amazon

This book was compiled and edited by Paul Moore. It describes the life and career of Bob Osgood, one of the founding fathers of MWSD and through that lens provides an enlightening vantage point on the evolution and growth of the square dance activity. Much of it is in Bob’s own words, taken from his own articles, notes, and recordings. A remarkable insight into a remarkable man.

Document Abstract

This is the story of Bob Osgood from his early years in New York City to his passing in Beverly Hills, CA. We get a picture of the Los Angeles area from a child’s perspective during the Depression. More importantly we see Bob discover square dancing in a small country general store in Northern Arizona and the effect that experience had on him. Later Bob was reintroduced to square dancing at a leadership conference held at the beautiful conference ground at Asilomor, near Monterey, California. These two experiences changed Bob permanently, and then he went on the change square dancing. He studied under Dr. Lloyd ‘Pappy” Shaw who inspired Bob to teach some of the first classes in the Los Angeles area. In the post WWII era, Bob started a square dance magazine, Sets in Order, which was the most widely read square dance magazine in the world. And Bob took square dancing worldwide with a series of tours to all parts of the world. Bob saw first hand the effect square dancing had on the military returning from the war and how square dancing had a profound effect on America. When the square dance activity became widespread, Bob saw the need to have callers use the same terminology when calling. Bob was the drive behind the formation of CALLERLAB, The International Association of Square Dance Callers. This book gives all readers a chance to meet a charismatic man who was dedicated to helping people have fun.


Step By Step Through Modern Square Dance History (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Jim Mayo (jmayo329@aol.com)

2003-12-02

Purchase On Amazon

This book traces the development of Modern Western Square Dancing from its earliest origins through to the present day. Understanding the evolution of our activity can shed valuable insights for dealing with today’s issues.


Why We Should Care About On-Line Marketing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com) 2016-10-12 On-Line Marketing

This an article extracted from the October 2016 edition of the Alberta Chatter newsletter edited by Claudia Littlefair. In the article Claudia examines the typical strategies various age groups use when shopping or looking for information, and how we can use that understanding to reach potential dancers.


Approaching Malls With Vacant Storefronts for Demo Spaces

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Janice Cha (Janice.cha@sbcglobal.net) Sep 18, 2016 Chicago Tribune article

Check out this article in today’s Chicago Tribune. Our club reached out to a local shopping mall with lots of empty storefronts. The management company was very interested in bringing people in for events. They will not be charging us to use the space. We will be hosting a new dancer dance at our local mall in October, and an intro to square dance event next January.

Our square dance club is Glenview Squares (Glenview, IL), and the mall we will be partnering with is Golf Mill Shopping Center, Niles, IL.


Media Articles on Square Dancing

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2017-10-09

This summary article contains a table (see below) that points to a number of media articles about square dancing or people involved in square dancing. They frequently contain information useful in the promotion of square dancing. The articles are initially sorted in ascending order by publication date and location of story, however you may sort on any column by clicking on the small up/down arrows in the column header. Click on the Article Title to see the article text.

This table points to 38 media articles. Last update was 9 October 2017.

# Publication Date Publication Name Location Article Title Comments
1989-01-22 phili.com Philadelphia, PA Only The Dancing Is Square Reporter’s story on how square dancing wasn’t what he expected
2002-09-15 New York Times New York, NY Swing Your Partner and Try to Remember All Those Steps General article on square dancing
2007-12-10 Chicago Tribune Chicago, IL New generation of square dancers intrigued by its math concepts Students discover the puzzles and math underlying Challenge square dancing
2013-05-04 Regina Leader-Post Regina, SK Dancing the test of time History of square dancing in Saskatchewan.
2013-09-03 Fairfield Ledger Fairfield, IA The Square Dance Revival in Fairfield Square dance resurgence in Fairfield, Iowa
2014-01-01 Iowa Source Fairfield, IA Jerry Story’s Calling Profile on Jerry Story
2014-05-09 KQED News Blog Berkeley, CA Abstract Math Concepts Spring to Life at UC Square Dancing Club Student dancing at UC Berkeley
2014-07-24 Daily Xtra Ottawa, ON Allemande left, do-si-do Profile of Date Squares in Ottawa, Ontario
2014-07-24 Marin Independent Journal San Rafael, CA Square dancing club keeps twirling in San Rafael Profile of dancing at Tam Twirlers
2014-08-21 Nevada Appeal Carson City, NV A brief history of square dancing
2014-08-22 KQED News Blog Fresno, CA World’s Oldest Square Dance Caller Keeps Central Valley Dancing Profile on Ernie Kinney
2014-09-02 Comox Valley Echo Comox, BC Square dancing makes you smarter and healthier Discussion of health benefits
2014-09-07 Daily Telegram Adrian, MI Square dancing club offers family-friendly fun, fitness for all ages Discusses health and social benefits of belonging to Maple City Swingers
2014-09-07 Estevan Lifestyles Estevan, SK They love to call a good dance Discussion of health benefiits of square and round dancing
2014-09-08 Journal News Martinsburg, WV Group provides fresh take on square dancing Chronicles the story of a new club forming.
2014-09-08 Daily Courier Prescott, AZ Square-dancers try to rebuild 60-year-old club Profile of Mile-Hi Squares efforts to rebuild their club.
2014-09-14 Camarillo Acorn Camarillo, CA Square dancing is far from being square Buckles and Bows Square Dance Club is undergoing a resurgence in popularity
2014-09-14 Tallahassee Democrat Tallahassee, FL Square dance calling takes Elmer Sheffield to faraway places Profile of Elmer Sheffield and his recent trip to Japan
2015-01-22 Tullahoma News Tullahoma, TN Don’t be a square – dance! Profile of Estill Springers Square Dance Club and general info on square dancing.
2015-03-05 Newsday New York, NY Square dance legend on LI still has the moves Profile of Lee Kopman
2015-03-16 Medical News Today Loneliness and social isolation linked to early mortality Does not discuss square dancing per se but relevance is obvious
2015-03-25 Wall Street Journal New York, NY Having a Ball: Young New Yorkers Revive Old Dance Craze Contra dancing offers an inclusive atmosphere where participants can work up a sweat, do a little courting
2015-06-06 River View Observer Riverview, NJ Lord of the Square Dance Howard Richman gets Dancers Swinging Profile on Howard Richman and square dancing in New Jersey
2015-06-06 Salina Journal Salina, KS An old form of dance reaches a new generation Starts as profile of 6-year old Damien Smith who is a caller, but develops into a discussion of square dancing as a worldwide activity.
2015-10-05 Kirkland Reporter Kirkland, WA Kirkland’s square dancing club mixes hip hop, charity and pajamas for fun Article on Samena Squares and general benefits of square dancing
2015-11-01 Quartz (Bronwyn Tarr Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford) (Online News Outlet) Science says dancing with friends is good for your health Article on health benefits accruing from music and dance (not square dancing in particular, but emphasising dancing in groups).
2016-01-01 Scan Club Newsletter San Diego, CA Dancing to Good Health Article on health benefits from a health care institution.
2016-08-15 Ventura County Star Camarillo, CA Square dancing to Maroon 5? In Thousand Oaks, that’s not square at all Article on square dance resurgence in Ventura County.
2016-09-27 Tuckahoe ?? Tuckahoe, VA Still Swinging Article on 50th anniversary of Tuckahoe Square Dance Club
2016-11-29 WJON AM1240 St Cloud, MN National Square Dance Day Encourages You to Get Up and Do-Si-Do [VIDEO] Short video essay on Tom Allen and the Beaux and Belles square dance club. Good testimonials promoting the activity.
2016-12-07 Santa Maria Times Santa Maria, CA Square dancing returns to the Grange Hall (video included) After the death of her husband, Don, in July, Yvonne Martin needed an outlet. She belonged to a knitting group, but wanted something more, something that kept her connected with Don. She honed in on square dancing. This article includes pointers to a short video.
2017-02-21 Ukiah Daily Journal (Carol Brodsky) Ukiah, CA Swing your partner! Square dancing returns to Ukiah
This article focuses on caller Lawrence Johnstone but discusses a lot of background and history of dancing in the Bay area.
2017-02-24 Palo Alto Weekly (Patrick Condon) Palo Alto, CA Gay square dance group forms bonds among its members Article describing how all the clubs in the Bay area help to bind the local LGBTQ community together.
2017-03-29 New York Times (Gretchen Reynolds)

Denver Post (Monte Whaley)

New York, NY

Denver, CO

Walk, Stretch, or Dance?
Dancing May Be Best For the Brain

Dancing May Help Fend Off Aging in the Brain

These two articles, one from the New York Times and one from the Denver Post, discuss the results of a scientific study that indicates dancing seems to have beneficial effects for the aging brain. The actual study they refer to was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience on March 16, 2017
2017-04-12 KJZZ NPR Radio (Annika Cline) Phoenix, AZ Not Your Grandpa’s Hoedown: Square-Dance Calls Get A Remix This radio piece was broadcast on NPR. It was recorded at the 44th CALLERLAB convention in Mesa, AZ in April 2017. It provides a reasonably realistic portrait of how MWSD evolved to where it is today, and finishes with comments from a new 16-year old caller explaining how she got into it and why it appeals to her. The link points to both a written transcript and an audio file of the 4-minute piece.
2017-07-01 CBS News Palm Springs (Alexandra Pierce) Palm Springs, CA Hundreds gather to square dance this weekend in Palm Springs This page shows a TV spot plus a written transcript about the 2017 IAGSDC Convention in Palm Springs.
2017-09-18 ABC News Australia (Samantha Turnbull) Australia Forget Tinder, baby boomers say Gen Y should take up square dancing Square dancers say young Australians should be ditching their smart phones in favour of real life connections on the dance floor. More than 200 dancers converged on the northern New South Wales city of Lismore last week for the 38th annual state Square Dance Convention. Square and Round Dance Association of NSW president David Todd said part of their goal was to attract more young dancers to the pastime.
2017-10-06 Clark County Today.com (Suzan K. Heglin) Vancouver, BC Jim Hattrick still going strong calling square dancing in Vancouver Jim Hattrick has been calling for 58 years. This piece in ClarkCountyToday.com describes his career and includes general information on square dancing and recruiting and training dancers.



Health Benefits Article Posted by Ontario Square & Round Dance Federation

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Ontario Square and Round Dance Federation February 4, 2016 Webpage

This article was posted on their website by the Ontario Square and Round Dance Federation. It discusses the health benefits of square dancing and also contains links to other materials dealing with the topic.


Rocky’s Success Story

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Doreen Guilloux (jdguil2@cciwireless.ca) March, 2016

Three years ago the Rocky Mountain House Whirlaways were struggling to hold their own. This spring they already have 2-1/2 squares signed up and paid for, for next fall, and they haven’t even advertised yet! Their recent President’s Report explains how their club worked together to turn things around.

Read More …


Health Plan Newsletter Extols Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document SCAN Newsletter January, 2016 SCAN Club Newsletter Article Jan2016

SCAN is a health plan that publishes a newsletter for its members. The January 2016 edition contained an article talking about the benefits of square dancing for physical, social, and cognitive health. Considering the natural interest a medical plan has in promoting the overall good health of its members, this represents a strong endorsement.


Newspaper Article: Don’t be a square – dance!

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Tullahoma News
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Kali Bolle, LIFESTYLES EDITOR
2015-01-22 Tullahoma News Article

This article printed in the Tullahoma News provides some interesting historical background and a lot of information on the benefits and appeal of square dancing.


Using Yard Signs to Advertise

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Dale and Cindy Bennett (dale@the-nest.us)

Janice Cha (Janice.cha@sbcglobal.net)

2015 Frontier Squares Winning Way Story

Swinging Sugar Squares Winning Ways Story

Advertising square dance lessons by placing a sign on a lawn or a poster on a telephone pole is not new. But this new twist shows how with a little more active management, the tactic can be much more effective than you might think.

This idea was extracted from a couple of Winning Ways Stories. You can read more detail on this idea and see the context in which it was used by clicking on the links to the left


Operation Frontier – 2015, Milford, OH

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Dale and Cindy Bennett (dale@the-nest.us) 2015

If you think it’s inevitable that square dancing is destined to decline, ask any member of Frontier Squares from Milford, Ohio – and they’ll offer a different opinion. Working together as a team our club achieved the following:

  • Our marketing and advertising strategy resulted in 102 new visitors the first three weeks of lessons.
  • On the 15th week, 51 new dancers were still active.
  • On the 15th week, 11 squares were dancing – 47 new dancers were dancing with 41 Angels
Read More …


Signs Speak Volumes

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea

Document

Claudia Littlefair November, 2015 Albert Chatter Newsletter Nov 2015, pages 1-2

This article abstracted from the November 2015 edition of the Alberta Chatter newsletter describes how a club uses innovative signage as an aid to recruiting new dancers. See the article titled “Signs Speak Volumes”.


Interview Talking Points

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Eric Henerlau 2014 Talking Points for Interviews

Have you ever been asked to give an interview about square dancing? It can often catch you by surprise. This sheet of talking points from Eric Henerlau can help you prepare yourself for a controlled and positive experience with your interview. In fact, it’s a good idea to have some of these at your fingertips any time. You never know when someone in an elevator is going to ask you why you’re there or what’s going on in the ballrooms.


Promotional Video From Maine

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Dave Wilkinson Video

This 28 minute video was produced by Dave Wilkinson in cooperation with the Sage Swingers in Maine. It does a great job of describing a little square dance history, explaining how their local clubs work, explaining the benefits and appeal of square dancing, and showing dancers having fun at dances. Production values are excellent.


havefungetfit.org

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Brian Freed (webmaster@havefungetfit.org) Website

The “Have Fun Get Fit” website is a recruiting and advertising tool for some clubs in Minnesota. It contains some information about Sep 2015 classes and an advertising video.


Advertising Brochure Stressing Health Benefits

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jean Lander (hjlander@gmail.com) April 2015

2015-04-20 Ottonobee Brochure re Health Benefits (pdf file)

2015-04-20 Ottonobee Brochure re Health Benefits (docx file)

It is a different approach. I am stressing the health benefits of square dancing. The idea is we will get these rack cards professionally printed. We will buy the plastic rack holders and then our members will approach doctors offices, medical centres, activity centres, health food stores, or anywhere they can find that is suitable for our display there. Hopefully one person/couple will take responsibility of one or two holders, finding a location and keeping it stocked.

I have had positive feedback from Lift Lock, Otonabee, Lindsay and Cobourg. Cobourg is waiting for a meeting to get approval. The clubs will pay for as many cards are they want.

There will be no specific locations, times, etc., on the card, as you can see.

I have had 3 quotes for printing 5000. The best price is $600 which includes tax. Holders are approx. 1.50per piece. The cards are about 3.5″ x 8″. The shelf life of the cards is long term as no dates, times etc., are given.


Dancing Makes You Smarter

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Richard Powers 2015

Condensed Article From SRDIAA Sep 2015 Newsletter

Full Article

Full Study In New England Journal of Medicine

This article by Richard Powers discusses the findings of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 which found that dancing offers protection against dementia. Square dancing is not specifically singled out, but the information presented seems to indicate that it would provide one of the highest degrees of protection. In September 2015 the Square and Round Dance Instructors Association of Alberta (SRDIAA) published a condensed version of Richard Powers’s article in its newsletter. The condensed article provides pointers both to the full Richard Power article and the subject NEJM study. Those pointers are also provided here.

Richard Powers is a full-time instructor in contemporary social dancing and dance history, Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Theater and Performance Studies. (Full bio)


you2candance.com

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Roy Gotta (you2candance@you2candance.com) Website

This site is designed to introduce non-dancers to the general world of square, round, and contra dancing. It includes demonstration videos, pointers to resources and clubs, and information about how to get started in the activity. It’s a great reference for that friend who asks you for information about dancing.


WheresTheDance.com

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Robert Ameeti Website

This site provides a comprehensive list of upcoming special events as well as regular dances in a geographical area. You can search for dances by area, by level, or time period. You can look for clubs that dance particular programs or on particular days. You find locations and addresses. A huge collection of information about square dance events.


ceder.net

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Vic & Debbie Ceder (debbie@ceder.net) Website

Ceder.net is a comprehensive collection of resources related to square dancing. It includes a number of sections:

  • A database of callers and cuers
  • A database of square dance clubs
  • An extensive database of choreography examples
  • A database containing upcoming events
  • (for the above 4 databases individuals can input and update their own entries to keep them current)

  • A large repository of documents and articles related to square dancing
  • A huge database of square dance music (for historical reference, not for purchase)
  • Links and lists of other square dance resources


Include Non-Dancer Events At Festivals and Conventions

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2015-07-28 (none)

We used to go to an annual 1-day festival. In the evening they had a non-dancer hall. We could bring non-dancing friends and they would spend a couple of hours learning a few basics while we danced in the other halls. Then we could join them and dance a couple of tips together. It made for a great introduction to our activity.

Suppose some of our national or regional conventions started to incorporate an event such as that as part of their program. Locals would have a chance to introduce their friends to our great activity.


No Experience Necessary Dances

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Dave Harry 2015-03-02

Report from Dave Harry describing how combining a “no experience necessary” floor with a Mainstream dance introduced 15 squares of non-dancers to our activity.

Read More …


Village Swingers Club New Recruiting

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Eva Murray 2015-07-28

Report from Eva Murray about how over a period of years the Village Swingers is rebuilding their club through effective advertising and improved teaching programs.

Read More …


CALLERLAB 2015 Brainstorming Session

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2015-07-12 Brainstorming Ideas Spreadsheet (CALLERLAB 2015)

A “brainstorming” session was held during the opening session of the CALLERLAB Convention in 2015. The audience was seated at round tables with 8-10 people at a table. Each table was asked to brainstorm for 10 minutes or so on things that could be done to “improve square dancing” (however they conceived of that). Ideas were just written down by each individual as fast as they occurred to them. Each table was asked to rank their ideas and select the top 3. Then those 3 were taken to another table, which was asked to rank them.

The attached Excel spreadsheet contains those ideas. There are 441 items of information. Some are cryptic or unformed, some are well-trodden ground, but many are valuable.

The spreadsheet has three columns for categorizing the idea so you can sort the spreadsheet and group ideas together by category. There are also two rank columns: the first shows the rank assigned by the originating table, the second the rank assigned by the evaluating table. If the rank fields are blank, then the idea was not selected as one of the top 3 by the originating table.


Larkspur Tam Twirlers – Invite Public

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Eric Henerlau 2003-07-19

The Larkspur Tam Twirlers, which dances during the week, periodically sponsors a Saturday night special when other clubs, are invited. These dances are typically plus level. Occasionally, the dance may be a red light/green light dance where half the tips are new dancer level.

Realizing a marketing opportunity in having the non-dancing public see a large Saturday dance, the club recently advertised their dance to the general public. Non-dancers were invited to attend at no charge. A special introductory session was held 30 minutes prior to the dance, during which the caller taught some basics with the club dancers filling the floor. After the half-hour was completed the public was invited to stay and watch the square dancing. Between tips, mixers and easy lines were played with everyone invited to join in. Twenty non-dancers attended and thoroughly enjoyed themselves with several joining a new dancer session that started 3 weeks later.

The Lakespur Tam Twirlers use a multi-cycle new dancer format. The destination level is Plus.

Read More …


Recruit Exchange Students

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Sharon Frank 2015-03-29 (None)

Many universities and colleges have exchange student programs or foreign student programs where young people come from other countries to advance their education. Often these students are interested in new social activities, especially ones that serve to introduce them to western culture. Many of these institutions have special exchange student social programs. Approaching the people coordinating such programs could generate interest in scheduling square dances for the students.


Pump Toppers

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Bear Miller 2015-03-29 (None)

Many gas stations have advertising on top of their pumps. In many cases this space is for sale and could be used to advertise square dance lessons or events.


Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation CALLERLAB Convention March 2014 Patrick Schwerdtfeger Video

This video shows the keynote address at the 2014 CALLERLAB convention in Reno, Nevada. It spawned the now famous catchphrase that “Nobody is talking about square dancing because nobody is talking about square dancing”.