Learning To Dance Without a Caller

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Julian Pritchard (julian.pritchard@orange.fr) 2017-06-11

We dance in two clubs which have no caller (actually, most of the clubs in France have no caller). We study the calls and then teach them; then we use pre-recorded training material to compensate for the lack of a “real” caller. All the material referenced below comes with texts files enabling you to walk-thru the material when your square crashes. In some cases we have transcribed tracks where text was not provided and people can always contact me for a copy.

(Open the tab below to read the full article.)

We dance in two clubs which have no caller (actually, most of the clubs in France have no caller). We study the calls and then teach them; then we use pre-recorded training material to compensate for the lack of a “real” caller. All the material referenced below comes with texts files enabling you to walk-thru the material when your square crashes. In some cases we have transcribed tracks where text was not provided and people can always contact me for a copy. The best programmes we have found so far are:

BASIC intro – Traveling Hoedowners (USA):

We start our BASIC class using the Travelling Hoedowners Instant Hoedown DVD/CD set. This starts from zero dancer knowledge and works thru the first part of the BASIC programme in 10 lessons with alternate Patters (11) and Singing Calls (12). Cost is 30 USD. We find it works very well. See: http://travelinghoedowners.com….. We only use the CD part but it comes with a DVD showing all the patters/dances so you can look to see how it should be performed if you have any doubts. The Traveling Hoedowners also do an excellent set of BASIC/MS/PLUS reference DVDs explaining and showing each call performed by a Square filmed from above. This was a tremendous aid to us when we started-out.

BASIC – Tomas Hedberg (Sweden):

… after that we swap to the Tomas Hedberg BASIC teaching CDs set which covers the entire Basic programme in 29 sessions of patter+singing calls. The actual callers on the latest version are Bronc Wise (USA) and Thomas Hedberg (Sweden). The cost is 2000 SEK (approx. 230 USD). More information is available from Tomas Hedberg email: caller@caloham.se. (He doesn’t have a website).

MAINSTREAM – Tomas Hedberg (Sweden):

We use the Tomas Hedberg MAINSTREAM teaching CDs set which covers the entire MS programme in 16 sessions of patter+singing calls. The actual caller on the latest version is Thomas Hedberg (Sweden). The cost is 1250 SEK (approx. 140 USD). More information is available from Tomas Hedberg email: caller@caloham.se. (He doesn’t have a website).

PLUS/A1/A2 – Stefan Sidholm (Sweden):

We use the Stefan Sidholm teaching CDs sets:

PLUS: –
71 tracks of patter+singing calls covering the whole programme. The actual caller on the latest version is Stefan Sidholm (Sweden).
A1: –
71 tracks of patter+singing calls covering the whole programme. The actual caller on the latest version is Stefan Sidholm (Sweden).
A2: –
69 tracks of patter+singing calls covering the whole programme. The actual caller on the latest version is Stefan Sidholm (Sweden).

You can get more info from: stefan@sidholm.com. (He doesn’t have a website). The cost is 155 euros (approx.. 170 USD) per level plus postage (discount available if provided on one DVD in mp3 format) (further discount available if you buy more than one level at a time.

C1/C2 – Tony Collingwood (UK):

Tony has C1 and CD teaching material which you can download from his website for free (https://sites.google.com/site/pacesettersuk/home). Contact: tcpace@gmail.com. He also does Two-Couple teaching/practice material from MS thru C3B.

(See also the full KnowledgeBase article on Tony’s recordings here. )



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



CALLERLAB Program Documents

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2017-03-16

This summary points to all the program-related documents that have been officially published by CALLERLAB. This includes program lists, call definitions, timing charts, lesson checklists, teaching tips, and other materials. Click on the appropriate button below to see a list of materials for the program indicated. Click on the name of the document to access it.

Program Document Tables (click to view)

Document Name Revision Date
Advanced List 2016-12-21
Advanced Definitions 2017-02-22
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet ????

Document Name Revision Date
C1 List 2016-09-26
C1 Definitions 2017-03-19
C2 List 2016-12-21
C2 Definitions 2016-12-21
C3A List 2014-02-04
C3A Definitions (obsolete, new doc under construction) 2008-06-30
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10


Media Articles on Square Dancing

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

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 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 36 media articles. Last update was 22 May 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
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.
2016-09-27 Tuckahoe ?? Tuckahoe, VA Still Swinging Article on 50th anniversary of Tuckahoe Square Dance Club
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.



CALLERLAB Convention Audio Recordings (as of Dec 16, 2016)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource CALLERLAB (callerlab@aol.org) Click here to see the index page for the audio recordings.

Each year the CALLERLAB Convention provides two full days of education and information sessions. For many years audio recordings have been made of selected sessions, and latterly some have also been recorded on video. So far, CALLERLAB has posted several hundred of these recordings to YouTube, to make them generally available. There are many more to come, so this is an ongoing process.

Click on the link in the column to the left to see an index page listing all the recordings. The list shows the year, the title (which is also a link to the recording), and a description of each posted recording.

CALLERLAB Convention Video Recordings (as of June 1, 2016)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource CALLERLAB (callerlab@aol.com)

Click here to go to the index page showing all the video files posted to date.

Each year the CALLERLAB Convention provides two full days of education and information sessions. For many years audio recordings have been made of selected sessions, and latterly some have also been recorded on video. So far, CALLERLAB has posted several hundred of these recordings to YouTube, to make them generally available. There are many more to come, so this is an ongoing process.

Click on the link to the left to see an index page that lists all the video recordings posted so far. Each entry shows the year of the recording, the title of the session (which is also a link to the recording), and a description of the topic. This table lists video files only.


Beginner Dance Party Leaders Seminar – Presentations from 2014

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary

Presentation

Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) January 2016

For many years, as a lead-in to the main convention, CALLERLAB has hosted a 1-1/2 day seminar focusing on how to call square dance parties for non-dancers. CALLERLAB has posted to YouTube videos of a number of the presentations from the 2014 BDPLS. These presentations constitute a wealth of information about how to make such events a success. They cover everything from dance material to promotion to preparations to contracts, and much more.

Presenter Topic and Link
Dottie Welch Variations on the Virginia Reel
Susan Morris Effective Use of Circles
Paul Moore Working With Kids
Bob Riggs Planning
Chris Pinkham Dance Programs
Cal Campbell Genderless Dancing


Experimental Lesson Systems

Article Type Author Last Update Description

Summary

Barry Clasper 2017-03-19

This article summarizes several experimental approaches to teaching new dancers known to be in use at the time of writing. (Full text below)

All of these systems are aimed at the recruiting of new people into a system of progressive lessons from which they graduate as Modern Western Square Dancers capable of dancing some CALLERLAB square dance program (for example, Mainstream or Plus). This is in contrast to approaches aimed at entertaining non-dancers with no previous training for a single evening (for example, ABC, Community Dance, etc.) Material on those types of systems may be found here.

Some of these systems are simply revised teaching orders or innovative approaches to teaching a current program. Others are predicated on a revision of one or more current CALLERLAB program lists. Clearly, for those requiring changes to CALLERLAB programs universal adoption would require the appropriate committee approvals. Inclusion in this article does not imply such approvals are imminent or even likely.

Some of these initiatives are the result of CALLERLAB committee activity, others were created by CALLERLAB members independently of CALLERLAB, and still others were created by people with no CALLERLAB connection at all. Inclusion in this summary in no way implies that CALLERLAB officially endorses, recommends, or supports the system. This information is provided solely to acquaint you with known experimental systems.

In recent years a great deal of effort has been put into devising more effective teaching systems. These are primarily aimed at training new dancers more rapidly, and enabling multiple intakes of new dancers each year.

Following are some of the more prominent efforts:

Multi-Cycle

The term “multi-cycle” has been around for many years and has been applied to a variety of lesson systems. In general, the term implies that the teaching system in use permits new dancer intakes more than once a year. The term first evolved when adding a second intake in January was considered real progress. More recently, such systems aim to allow much more frequent intakes.

Click on the following link to see further knowledgebase articles on initiatives that could be considered “multi-cycle”: Multi-Cycle Articles

Condensed Teaching Order

This system was devised by a CALLERLAB Ad Hoc Committee to include a condensed teach system of calls. The documentation includes the suggested calls to teach along with abbreviated definitions, teaching tips and other useful information. The strategy is to teach the most frequently used subset of Basic and MS calls first so that students can more quickly be integrated into an existing group already dancing MS.

Sustainable Square Dance

Sustainable Square Dancing is the rubric Jerry Story has applied to a comprehensive effort he is leading to change the current most prevalent approach to recruiting, teaching, and retaining new dancers. It is based on Jerry’s experience in Iowa showing that teaching fewer calls more thoroughly, retaining new dancers in the entry level for a longer period, and exposing them to a broader range of call applications provides greater success.

Jerry’s design contains a number of parts, including a modified entry list that he calls Club Level 50 and a document that contains a detailed lesson plan containing sample choreography that illustrates both standard and extended applications. CALLERLAB has created an Ad Hoc charged with the task of creating this document. Once written and passed by the Sustainable Square Dance Ad Hoc Committee, it will be presented to the Board of Governors and the Mainstream Committee to seek approval for publishing as a CALLERLAB document. Regardless of how well accepted the overall Sustainable Square Dance initiative turns out to be, the SSD lesson plan document promises to be a valuable contribution to the activity.

At this point, the overall system, including the modified entry list, has not been discussed or approved by either the Board of Governors or the Mainstream Committee. That discussion is expected to take place in conjunction with the approval and publishing of the lesson plan document. Even after such approvals, SSD will still have the status of an Experimental Lesson System. Becoming a full CALLERLAB program such as Mainstream or Plus requires a vote of the full CALLERLAB membership, which, by design, is a lengthy process.

The NEST

The primary reason THE NEST system was developed was so prospective square dance students would no longer have to wait to take lessons. In other words, it was designed to encourage and facilitate the perpetual integration of new students into the classroom. Our goal has always been to create a learning environment so students could enroll anytime – thereby allowing us to recruit anytime – thus, enabling us to promote anytime. Never again having to tell folks they have to “wait ‘til September” or ????.

General Dance Program

This program was created by the Santa Clara Valley Square Dance Association (SCVSDA) as a means to integrate new dancers more quickly into their Plus community.

What is the General Dance Program?

GDP is three things:

  1. An easy and fun way to get more people square dancing
  2. A list of calls, about half the calls in the full program of Basic, Mainstream, and Plus
  3. A series of dances sponsored by SCVSDA using the GDP call list
Why should I come to GDP dances?

Because you want more square dancers. Learning the full Plus program takes a long time (particularly because most Plus clubs do at least some APD/DBD), and it’s clear from the declining size of the square dance community that this discourages many people from square dancing. It takes less than half the time to learn GDP, which gives us a chance to grow the community again.

Because you’ll have fun. The intent of GDP is “half the calls, ninety percent of the fun”. If you’re a Plus dancer who sometimes feels that Plus hoedowns are a bit too hard, you definitely want to come to a GDP dance.

What is missing from GDP?

For the most part, the missing calls are similar in function to other calls (e.g., Dive Thru), rarely used (e.g., Do Paso), or more complicated (e.g., Linear Cycle). GDP dances also use simpler choreography, avoiding APD/DBD and concentrating on “standard applications”.



Community Dance / Party Night Resources

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2015-08-21

This summary page points to material useful for doing single party nights or other dances aimed at people with no prior dance training. These dances are intended to be stand-alone events held strictly for the enjoyment of the dancers on that night. They are not designed to be recruiting vehicles for MWSD clubs, although there may well be cases where such an event might pique someone’s interest in a MWSD club.

The article below lists a number of systems or repositories of material to help design single-night dances.

    CALLERLAB Dances Resource Website
    This Dance Resource is a compilation of Beginner Party Dances, Community Dances, Contra Dances, and Traditional Square Dances. Dances are grouped by type and listed in HTML code for easy viewing. Each dance is also available to be downloaded as either a Rich Text File or a .pdf file. There are also supporting documents including a Glossary of Calls and Formation Diagrams.
    ABC
    Enjoy a fun, easy beginner square dance with no experience and no commitment needed. There are three different dances. The A, B, and C dances can be experienced in any order. (This is the main difference between ABC Square Dancing and traditional “lesson-based” approaches. You can do the three beginner dances in any order.) After dancing all three dances (in any order), dancers have learned 24 square dance calls. The next step is the experienced “ABC” dance using those 24 calls. New dancers and their friends can start ABC Square Dancing at any time by dancing the individual A, B and C dances in any order.
    Lloyd Shaw Foundation
    The Lloyd Shaw Foundation is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and teaching of the folk dances of America. This site contains much reference material and music for traditional dance forms.
    Community Dance Journals
    Pointer Needed
    Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS)
    This website contains a great deal of material and references regarding Square Dancing and other related dance forms.
    Dancing For Busy People
    This book contains over 400 dances that can be taught quickly to non-dancers.



Finding Music

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2015-11-12

This article aggregates a number of sources for obtaining music suitable for square dancing. It includes both music specially produced for square dancing and also sources of alternative music.

Modern Western Square Dancing primarily uses recorded music. There are a number of square dance music producers that produce music specially designed for square dance use. This is often referred to just as “square dance music”. There is also lots of music available that is suitable for square dance use despite not being produced with that in mind. This is termed “alternative music”.

Music From Square Dance Music Producers
  • MusicForCallers An aggregate webpage containing links to the websites of many square dance music producers
  • dosado.com Square dance music distribution service offering music from many producers
  • A & S Records Distributors of a number of square dance music labels
  • Perry’s Place Kentucky-based music and apparel store
Sources Of Alternative Music