SSD FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document SSD Committee 2020-09-16 Social Square Dance (SSD) Frequently Asked Questions

Those who are considering use of the Social Square Dance (SSD) system usually have many questions about how it works, the best way to implement it, and the issues they may have to address along the way. The Social Square Dance Committee has published the SSD FAQ document to address these questions. The document Table of Contents is reproduced below so you can see the topics that are addressed. Once you access the PDF document itself, the entries in the Table of Contents are links that take you directly to that part of the document.

We Urgently Need Beginners 4
Why do we need new dancers? 4
Why can’t we do what we’ve always done in the past? 4
What is the Dance Program Escalator? 4
What is the difference between Learn Mode and Dance Mode? 5
What kind of square dancing would be easier to sell? 5
What kind of shorter program can be easily learned by new dancers and also enjoyed by experienced dancers? 6
How can we maximize “Friends Bring Friends” recruitment? 6
History of SSD 7
Who started SSD? 7
What is the difference between SSD and the CALLERLAB Basic program? 7
What’s the difference between SSD and Target 2000? 7
What’s the difference between SSD and Mainstream? 8
Why was SSD created? 8
What do the letters S.S.D. mean? 9
If SSD is from CALLERLAB, why can’t I find it on the CALLERLAB website? 9
Who uses SSD? 9
The SSD List of Calls 10
If square dancing is a grass-roots activity, why do we need a list of calls? 10
Why can’t SSD use an existing list? Why do we need a new list? 10
Where can I get a copy of the SSD list? 10
Why should I follow the SSD list exactly, instead of my own variation of it? 10
What if my favorite call is not on the SSD list? 10
What if I think the SSD list should be bigger or smaller? 11
Starting Your SSD Program 12
How do I get started? 12
Where do I find beginner dancers? 12
How often should I start an SSD class? 12
How many weeks should my SSD class last? 13
What is the structure of an individual SSD session? 13
Where can I get a copy of the SSD guide book? 13
Who will promote SSD to dancers? 13
Who will promote SSD to callers? 14
How do I get my club to offer the SSD program for new dancers? 14
What if I just don’t like SSD and I prefer to teach the same programs I’ve taught for years? 15
Should I teach the calls from all formations and arrangements? 15
SSD Dancing 16
What do SSD dancers do after 12 weeks of class? 16
How can I keep dancers entertained long-term, using only 50 calls? 16
May I teach my favorite call, even if not on the SSD list, to my own group of dancers? 17
If I teach my favorite call to my group, can other SSD dancers still visit and dance with us? 17
How do I get my club to allow dancers to remain at SSD with no pressure to move up? 17
Can my SSD group visit other clubs which dance Mainstream or Plus? 18
Where can SSD dancers find other SSD dance groups? 18
Should national square dance conventions have a separate hall for SSD? 19
How does the CALLERLAB recommendation “that calls be taught from more than a single position (formation and arrangement)” fit in with SSD? 19
I heard that SSD focuses on symmetry. What is symmetry? 20
How to Keep Your SSD Program Strong 22
Where can I find ideas and success stories? 22
Where do I find dance material which uses only SSD calls? 22
Which is more important: What I call, or How I call it? 22
What happens if my club insists on continuing to teach SSD dancers all the way through Mainstream or Plus? 23
SSD was originally called “Sustainable Square Dancing”. What does sustainable mean? 23
How do I encourage people to bring their friends to the next SSD beginner class? 24
What do I do when a nearby caller tries to recruit my SSD dancers? 24
My question is not answered in this FAQ. Where can I ask additional questions? 25

all8.com

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Rich Reel Website

Rich started all8.com as a place to keep his notes as he was learning to call. It has grown into a useful resource for all callers and includes singing call figures, modules, articles on sight calling, and other miscellaneous information on learning to call.

Two-Person (Minimal Phantoms) Square Dancing

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Bob & Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love, Nanaimo, BC 2020-08-14

Bob & Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love, in Nanaimo, BC created a whole series of videos they titled “Dancing In The Garage”. They are aimed at people who can’t assemble an entire square – or maybe not even another couple. This story explains how they went about creating the series and designing their choreography to provide a dance experience for one couple – or even individual people. Their objective was to minimize the use of phantoms, which differs somewhat from many other offerings that assume at least 4 real people. You can find pointers to their videos in this article.

Read More …


Save Square Dancing With SSD

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Jerry Story and Deborah Carroll-Jones 2020-08-14

SSD (Social Square Dancing) is one of those “new” things that has been around for a long time but is now starting to be noticed and implemented widely. SSD evolved to address the recruitment and retention issues that have developed over the past decades. But its approach and design makes even more sense in this “age of the pandemic”. This story by two of SSD’s most prominent practitioners goes over the rationale and usage of the system and how it has been shown to address square dancing’s most prominent problem.

Read More …


Want To Develop Your Dancing Skill? Start A Club!

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Glenn Rogerson (rogerson498@gmail.com) 2020-08-09

A few years ago Glenn Rogerson and his wife became hooked on square dancing. They recognized immediately that a major component of their enjoyment came from mastering a skill and making rapid progress. To provide the environment they needed to make that happen they started a club. The link below points to a document that describes how they went about doing that: what they had to consider, what they had to figure out, and how they eventually made out.

Read More …


Welcoming Dance Environment Documentation

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB

2020-07-01

Goals and Handbooks

Guidelines For Dealing With Inappropriate Behavior

Square Dancing is an overwhelmingly social activity. Therefore, it is essential that square dance groups create a social environment that feels welcoming, engaging, and safe. Events in recent years have caused shifts in social norms that raise questions about what “welcoming, engaging, and safe” actually means. CALLERLAB has acted to provide guidance in this area. The result is two documents, one providing an overview of objectives and a handbook of procedures, and a second containing a template process that clubs could adapt for handling instances of inappropriate behavior. Click on the button below to see an abstract of the document contents.

In the spring of 2018, the CALLERLAB Board of Governors updated the CALLERLAB Code of Ethics to include the following item:
5. Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all. I am committed to providing an environment free from sexual and other forms of harassment or bullying without bias based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability, and always be respectful of the hearts and spirits of others.

Expanding on this commitment, it is our goal for all participants to have a pleasant social experience while attending square dance events. In support of this goal, CALLERLAB will provide its members and the greater square dance community with guidelines, information, and educational opportunities to assist them in preventing, recognizing, addressing,and eliminating inappropriate behavior. In addition to the documents listed below, look for additional educational opportunities such as large group presentations, small group discussions at the CALLERLAB Conventions, and Articles in Direction.

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment CALLERLAB Handbook for Organization Leaders and Callers for information about the following topics.

  • Definitions of Harassment and Other Inappropriate Behavior
  • Enhancing Caller Awareness
  • Teaching Dancers about Appropriate Behavior

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment CALLERLAB Handbook for Dancers for information about the following topics.

  • Appropriate Dancer Behavior
  • Defensive Dancing
  • Helping Create a Safe, Secure, and Welcoming Environment

Please refer to the Welcoming Dance Environment Organization Guidelines for Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior for a draft Club or Organization Policy with specific information about the following topics.

  • When and How to Make a Report
  • Guidelines for Taking a Report and Addressing a Complaint
  • Inappropriate Behavior Complaint Form


SSD Documentation and Support Materials


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-09-07 15:17:27

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system called Sustainable Square Dance (SSD). Earlier versions of this system had been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

In July, 2020 CALLERLAB announced this system and the supporting Committee were renamed Social Square Dance (SSD). Only the name changed. All existing supporting materials still apply. At the same time, the CALLERLAB Board of Governors formally endorsed the use of SSD as a recommended vehicle for a rapid restart of square dancing after the COVID pandemic subsides.

SSD is designed to provide a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 20-25 hours of instruction, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to SSD, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers happy in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

This article collects in one place documentation and materials that support the use of the SSD system. Some were created by the CALLERLAB SSD Committee while others were created by people using the system in the field. These are presented in two separate groups below. Click on the buttons below to view the respective tables.

Item Title (link) Description
Social Square Dance (SSD) Teaching Guide This comprehensive document provides a lesson plan, teaching tips, and sample choreography to jump-start callers on implementing the SSD lesson system.
Press Release announcing Board Of Governors endorsement Board Of Governors endorsement for using SSD as an approach for rapid restart of square dancing after COVID-19.
COVID-19 Information Page This page collects CALLERLAB information related to COVID-19.

The table below has two sections. The first contains materials of direct assistance to callers/dancers working with SSD – lists, videos, call definitions, etc. The second contains stories and experiences contributed by users of SSD.

Item Title (link) Description
Supporting Documentation and Materials  
SSD Teaching Videos North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL created a series of teaching videos that demonstrate the calls in the SSD 50-call lesson plan.
Flash cards for SSD calls. Each card has the name of the call on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call on the other. These sets of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.
SSD Call Booklets North Shore Squares of Evanston, IL created definition booklets as an SSD teaching aid. The booklets contain a concise and easily read definition for each call, many including color diagrams to illustrate the action.
SSD Alphabetical Call List A single page that alphabetically lists the calls used in the SSD lesson system. The sheet highlights the calls from the Mainstream list that are used in SSD and also lists separately the Mainstream calls that are NOT used..
Stories and Experiences
North Shore Squares – 0 to 50 in 18 months An inspiring personal narrative that charts a journey through the process of using the Social Square Dance (SSD – formerly named Sustainable Square Dance) system as a tool to dig their club out of an all-too-common hole.
Stories from Facebook Some stories posted in Facebook about experiences using SSD.
Teaching an SSD Class This Winning Ways story from a newer caller explains how she is using the SSD program to teach new dancers.
Save Square Dancing With SSD Jerry Story and Deborah Carroll-Jones outline the philosophy and approach of SSD and how it can be used to solve square dancing’s biggest problem: recruitment and retention.

Cuesta Squares: A Social Success

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Luis Magana 2020-05-31

This is the story of Cuesta Squares which is an LGBTQ club that dances in San Luis Obispo, CA. It is different in that it is told by a new member and relates his experiences learning to dance with the club. It is an excellent example of the importance of the social environment of the group to the success of the club.

Read More …


News ‘N Notes Caller Note Service

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-26

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of News ‘N Notes produced by Al Brundage, Earl Johnston, and Ed Foote. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to callers. The list below covers editions from 1984 to 1989. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are full-text searchable.


Saddlebrook Square Dance Teaching Videos

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Saddlebrook Squares (Richard Beaty, rdbeaty@gmail.com)

Online Square Dance Lesson Videos

Order DVDs

Saddlebrook Squares of Tucson, AZ and their caller Larry Kraber have made and excellent set of teaching videos for the Mainstream and Plus programs. These videos are available online or can be ordered on a DVD.


Ideas for Creating Social Connections

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Cory Geishauser (corbengeis@gmail.com)

2020-05-14

Icebreaker Questions

Cory Geishauser provides some ideas for stimulating socialization by getting people to ask questions about each other.
 
“I’ve seen places have a blast with these kind of questions. For instance, make a big bulletin board with these displayed. I’ve seen folks make trivia out of it and play with their entire group such as.. “Guess who in this club fishes every morning in their barefeet?” Some have made scrapbooks and made copies for everyone in their clubs. Even Club and Dancer Facebook pages and groups highlight a different member each day, or once a week etc.
Go crazy with it… Corby Geis”


United Square Dancers of America (USDA)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

USDA

USDA Website

The UNITED SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA, INC. (USDA) was formed on June 26, 1981, during the National Square Dance Convention held in Seattle, Washington, and has grown to the size that approaches the representation of 310,000 dancers throughout the United States. USDA is an organization formed by dancers, for dancers, and is under the operational control of dancers. The purpose of the organization is to:

  • Promote and perpetuate the total Square Dance Movement which includes Square, Round, Contra, Clogging, Line and Heritage Dancing.
  • Establish a line of communication from the individual dancer to a recognized unified body so that an expression of varied opinions can establish or influence policy for making decisions at the national level.
  • Provide for education to further the growth and enjoyment of Square Dancing through educational publications, distribution of a quarterly magazine “USDA NEWS”, and annual participation in seminars at the National Square Dance Convention.
  • Encourage cooperation between member clubs, state associations, councils, federations; national and international organizations; or other groups involved or interested in the promotion of Square Dancing.
  • Provide a forum for implementing the benefits of membership in the UNITED SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA and assist members in any way possible. Our programs include offering Affiliates 501© (3) non-profit status, USA Travelers Program, and accidental medical and liability insurance.
  • Represent Square Dancing to the general public as a wholesome, enjoyable family type recreation. USDA awards Founders Youth Memorial Scholarships , a Centennial Award for dancers reaching the age 100, as well as support for the Handicapable Dancers.


USDA COVID-19 Letter

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

USDA (Tony & Diana Rock, Presidents president@usda.org)

2020-04-01

USDA Statement re COVID-19

The United Square Dancers of America published this open letter with guidance on handling dances during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Virtual Square Dances and Recordings


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-07 15:19:17

There have always been pockets of people who find themselves unable to assemble a whole square, or sometimes even another couple, but who want to dance anyway. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole square dance population into such people. As the pandemic wears on more and more of this sort of dancing is becoming available. To the point that guides and calendars are emerging to help sort through the offerings. The first three entries in the list below are such items. The first is the IAGSDC calendar of Virtual Dances (it’s the first item in the table below). The second is the Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide, which focuses on Advanced and Challenge dances. The third is a guide published by the Austin Square and Round Dance Association that includes all levels.

In addition to the pointers to the online calendar and guides, this article provides a collection of recordings specifically aimed at people dancing by themselves. Some are in the form of a “virtual dance” where you can see other couples dancing along with you in their living rooms. Others are more in form of a demo couple showing you the moves.

Click on the item heading to go to the recording. Some are video, others both audio and video.

IAGSDC Virtual Dance Calendar
As the pandemic wears on virtual dances have become increasingly numerous. The IAGSDC addressed this issue by putting up an online calendar of virtual dances. Virtual dance sponsors can enter their event on the calendar by filling out a form on the calendar page. It is not restricted to members of the IAGSDC. Some of the events are recorded and may be found after the dance date on YouTube or Facebook, or in one of the collections following below. Others are live Zoom sessions that allow you to interact with other dancers between tips.
wheresthedance.com
In response to the changed situation due to the pandemic, the wheresthedance website has updated their facility to include virtual dances. After following the link above, click on “Show all virtual: Square Dance” to see all dances registered with the site. This site has a separate KnowledgeBase article with additional details which you can view here.
Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide
The Trailblazers square dance club in LA has published a guide for virtual dances at Advanced and Challenge. It is available online and will be updated as new information is received. If you have information you would like added to the guide contact vsdeditor20@gmail.com. The link provided takes you to a page that appears to show two documents. Only the first one takes you to the PDF. The second has a title of the form “Updated {date}.pdf”, and is just a dummy to tell you when the last update to the first one was done.
ASRDA Virtual Square Dance List
The Austin Square And Round Dance Association is publishing a frequently updated list of Virtual Square Dances at all levels. The link takes you to a calendar, but the actual dance information for each week can be viewed by clicking on the document link in the Sunday of each week.
Intro to Virtual Dancing
The SquareDanceCalgary organization has put together this page explaining the basics of virtual dancing using Zoom. It includes pointers to several instructional videos that explain how the dancing works, and how to use the Zoom program to access dances.
Ett McAtee Virtual Advanced and Challenge dances and workshops.
Ett McAtee wished to keep her C1 class up and running after they had to shut down due to the pandemic. Her program has grown to a regular C1 workshop on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons, an A2 dance with C1 star tips on Friday evenings, a Sunday Challenge series, and a C3A workshop/review co-called with Linda Kendall on Tuesday evenings. Email Ett for more information and to get “on the list”. Her email address is available if you follow the link above.
Buddy Weaver One-Couple Dancing
Buddy Weaver has recorded several tips specifically choreographed for a single couple. The tips progress in difficulty with Part I being the easiest. All tips have an audio recording, and some have a video recording as well.
Mike Dusoe Virtual Dances
Mike Dusoe has hosted a number of virtual square dances over Zoom. He often has guest callers as well. The video screen shows a number of windows, each containing a couple (or a single) dancing the material in their own home. This page is an index to those dances.
Dancing In The Garage Series
Specifically designed for two person Square Dancing, the “Dancing in the Garage Series” is created by Bob and Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love from Vancouver Island. These are presented as dance along fun-shops and tutorials. There are currently over 200 videos available.
Mike Seastrom Connects With His Class via Zoom
During the pandemic Mike wanted to keep in touch with his dancers, so he called some dancing they could do in their own living rooms.
Darren Gallina Zoom Dances
Darren Gallina has posted several “Zoom” dances to his YouTube channel during the pandemic. Called by Darren and a variety of other callers.
Calgary Virtual Square Dance Videos
The Calgary & District Square & Round Dancers Association has held a number of Zoom dances aimed at single couples during the pandemic. They have posted the recordings on YouTube.
Challenge 2-Couple Zoom Virtual Square Dance Videos
During the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Challenge virtual dances were held over Zoom. Levels include C2 through C4. Keith Rubow recorded these dances and they are available for purchase on his site. Information on the scheduling of the live dances is available on the IAGSDC calendar.

Hints For Dancing Wheel Thru

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-05-13

Hints For Wheel Thru PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Wheel Thru successfully.


Hints For Dancing Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears successfully.


Hints For Dancing Peel Off

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Peel Off PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Peel Off successfully.


Hints For Dancing Load The Boat

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Load the Boat PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Load The Boat successfully.


Ed Foote – All Things Considered

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-06-15

Ed Foote is a well-known caller who has been calling since 1965. He was a founding father of Challenge dancing and served as Chairman of the CALLERLAB Advanced & Challenge Committee for 30 years. He created the National Advanced and Challenge Convention, which for decades was a highlight on the calendar of most Advanced and Challenge dancers. Yet half of his calling every year has always been for Mainstream and Plus clubs. He is a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach and has conducted hundreds of caller clinics and schools around the world. In 2008 he received the Milestone Award, one of CALLERLAB’S highest honors, for significant contribution to the square dance activity.

He writes prolifically and has had articles published in square dance magazines in all parts of the world. He has been writing a monthly column for American Square Dance magazine called All Things Considered for over 30 years. Below are pointers to a number of these articles as well as some education material from his caller schools.

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Articles for CallersArticles For Callers and DancersArticles About Advanced DancingThoughts and Opinions On Various Topics

Click on a sub-section heading below to see the articles it contains



Sample Radio Ads From Montana

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Hunter Keller (Hunter@HunterKeller.com) Website 2020-03-06

Hunter Keller voiced four professional radio spots to advertise his beginner classes in Montana. Their first usage generated about 25 new dancers and a second round an additional 16. Each 30-second spot featured a different music style and a slightly varied message. Click on the button below to see links to the MP3 files so you can hear what they sounded like. If you’re considering doing radio spots, they provide a terrific example.


ANSSRDT Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Dottie Welch (dwelch@eastlink.ca)

ANSSRDT Newsletter Index

Association of Nova Scotia Square and Round Dance Teachers Newsletter. Published semi-annually in conjunction with each meeting.  Each issue includes handout material for the caller workshops. Digital issues available since 1992 with an index. Most issues contain lots of choreo examples. The link to the left points to the index, which allows you to search for subject matter of interest to you. There is link to the archive page on the index page. Once you have found an article of interest, you can use that link to find the pdf of the edition you want.


Lee Kopman on the Phil Donahue Show

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Phil Donahue Show

“1980”

Kopman on Donahue Show Video

Lee Kopman created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, who calls for a group of young dancers, Kopman provides lucid responses to the host’s questions, and he provides clear demonstrations of the differences between traditional and modern square dancing.


Buddy Weaver Square Dance Music Podcast

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Buddy Weaver (buddy@buddyweaver.com)

Archive Link

This podcast is for the purpose of square dance education.

These are audio files that have been digitally re-mastered from albums and videos previously released on the various music labels owned by Buddy Weaver.  Listeners are welcome to listen (stream) or download any of the podcasts.  Use the podcasts for dancing in your home or for research – it is provided to you at no charge.

Historically, square dance albums – 33 1/3 vinyl and the 78-rpm shellac before that – were created for dancers that didn’t have a caller in their home area.  Albums sales were incredible which gave rise to even more albums being produced.  Much of the growth of square dancing can be attributed to the production of square dancing on albums.  The albums were also a great resource for callers to learn new material by listening to the pros.

The callers featured on these recordings reads like a “who’s who” of square dancing from the sixties through the eighties.  You will find Marshall Flippo, Mike Sikorsky, Ernie Kinney, Johnnie Wykoff, Bob Fisk, Jerry Helt, Dave Taylor, Mike Seastrom, Ron Schneider, Buddy Weaver and many more.


Promotional Video from California

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

JW Davis, Temecula Grape Stompers Square Dance Club

2020-01-23

Square Dance Promotional Video

This promotional video was produced in 2019. It shows an attractive collage of slides depicting dancers having fun over a soundtrack of Dan Nordbye doing a singing call.


Behind The Mike Newsletter TOCs

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-06 17:02:57

Barry Wonson edits an Australian caller newsletter called Behind The Mike. It consistently presents a wealth of useful information for callers and dance leaders. You can subscribe to have editions emailed to you, or you can view past editions on their website at https://www.behindthemikewebsite.com

The purpose of this summary article is to provide a searchable index of the table of contents entries for past Behind The Mike issues. This will make it easier to zero in on editions that have material of particular interest to you. The list of entries shown has been edited to remove time sensitive material that is no longer relevant. Clicking on the edition title will take you directly to the edition you are interested in.

To search for a particular text string use your browser’s Find function to search this page. Do not use the search box to the right. It searches the entire KnowledgeBase, not just this page. Before searching, click on the button below to display all the text. Then enter Ctrl-F to find text on the page.

Article Title Link to Edition
OUR QUEENSLAND ADVENTURE
THE ACF CONFERENCE
NATIONAL CONVENTION
DISASTER TIME (or A Great Way to Cue a Round Dance)
2016 EVENTS to COME
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
CHOREO TIME – COUPLES HINGE
ROUND DANCE – GENERAL INFORMATION (by Ed Coleman)
HISTORY TIME
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY
BREAKDOWN
BARRY’S PET PEEVES
COMMITMENT
SARDANSW
ASK Dr. Al LeMANDER
I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME Cue Sheet

July 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
EDITORIAL COMMENTS
REPORTS
DATE CLAIMS
2016 EVENTS to COME
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
CHOREO TIME – CROSSFIRE from a 3/4 Tag – legal or not
MORE THAN JUST WORDS by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY
SPOTLIGHT ON MAINSTREAM Split & Box Circulate
ROUND DANCE NOTES & COMMENTS
SARDANSW
ASK Dr. AL LeMANDER
WORDS OF WISDOM

August 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
WELCOME
STATE CONVENTION REPORT
COMMENTS & CORRECTIONS
DATES TO REMEMBER
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
SARDANSW CALLER ASSESSMENTS
PROGRAM COMMITTEE REPORT
MAINSTREAM CHOREO SPOTLIGHT: Split & Box Circulates
BUILDING CHOREOGRAPHY by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES
LESS IS MORE by Gary Petersen
FUN WITH NUMBERS
SARDANSW
September 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE Cover page
2016 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE
TOOLS AND HOW TO USE THEM CORRECTLY
BEHIND THE MIC: MEL’S MEANDERINGS
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
ON PROGRAMMING
FUN WITH NUMBERS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (by Ed Foote)

October 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE Cover Page .
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH Table of contents.
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME.
SOUND ARCHIVE.
THE STEVE TURNER CLINIC.
CHOREO TIME with Mel Wilkerson.
MEL’S MEANDERINGS.
QUOTABLE QUOTES …well, sort of.
PRINCIPLES INVOLVED in the TEACHING/LEARNING PROCESS .
THE OPEN FIREPLACE SAVINGS PLAN.
January 28-29 2017 SARDANSW Callers Weekend – Registration Information.
Editor’s Final Words … well at least for now .

November 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
COMMENTS regarding the November Issue:
SOUND ARCHIVE The library of Sound Recordings is as follows:
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
PROGRAMMING GENERAL OVERVIEW – Why Is It So Important?
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
Mel’s Meanderings – The mighty module – making of a focus movement module
On Caller Leadership…
SHORTHAND IDEAS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED…
Ask Dr
CHOREO CORNER
Closing Comments

December 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
Editorial Comment from Barry Wonson
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SARDA President’s Report
QUOTABLE QUOTES …well, sort of
January 28-29 2017 S
Editor’s final words … well at least for 2016

December 2016 Part 2
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
CHANGE – The Administrative Side
CHANGE – Communication
THE LEARNERS CLASS
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE -Library of Sound Recordings
Mel’s Meanderings – Presentation is an Art
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
CHOREO CORNER – Walk and Dodge
All Things Considered….by Ed Foote
CHANGE – The MUSIC We Use
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER

January 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WELCOME
WHAT’S BEEN A-HAPPENING HERE
Mel’s Meanderings – Presentation is an Art (part 2)
POET’S CORNER
ONCE UPON A TIME – by Bill Peters
SOUND ARCHIVE
4 callers – it is 2:00 AM – what else – More Choreographic ideas
Caller Education Workshop – Choreographic ideas by “New Callers”
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY: (Plus) – Working with Acey Deucey
COURTESY
All Things Considered….by Ed Foote

February 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME
COMMENTS FROM THE READERSHIP
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE
MEL’S MEANDERINGS
QUOTABLE QUOTES (WELL, SORT OF)
KEEP YOUR ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FRESH
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER
ROUND DANCING – WE PROTEST!!!
THINK BIG: STEP SMALL (FROM NEBRASKA REPORTER)
THINGS ARE CHANGING
CHOREO CORNER
POETS CORNER
IT’S A SEX THING – LOOKING AT SLIDE THRU
ADVANCED MODULES
MAKING ADVANCES
CHOREO WITH A TWIST
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS … well at least for now

March 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
Caller Schools vs Caller Workshops — Mel Wilkerson March 2017 Part 2
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S COOPERATIVE NEWSLETTER COVER PAGE
ON THE INSIDE TRACK – Table of contents
WELCOME
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
MEL’S MEANDERINGS…by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES (WELL, SORT OF)
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER
CHOREO CORNER: RESOLVES TO HOME
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE… by Mike R. O’phone
SLIDE THRU: 9 TIMES
POET’S CORNER
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED…by Ed Foote
HINTS AND TECHNIQUES FOR SQUARE DANCE CALLERS – Chinook Records
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
WHICH CAME FIRST? … bt Ken Ritucci
FOOD FOR THOUGHT – Use it but don’t abuse it….by Mel Wilkerson
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS … WELL AT LEAST FOR NOW

April 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME by Barry Wonson
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
Mel’s Meanderings Understanding the Singing Call
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
Ask Dr. Allemander
CHOREO CORNER: General Mainstream by new callers
FOR NEW DANCERS: THE FINAL EXAM
WE NEED EACH OTHER By Ken Ritucci
DEFINITIONS
POSITIVE PLUS. – PEEL OFF. by Mel Wilkerson
All Things Considered…. by Ed Foote
LITTLE WHEELS & BIG WHEELS By Barry Wonson
POET’S CORNER
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED Fun Modules and different Concepts
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED General choreography for variety
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

May 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME
Australian Callers Federation Updates
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
GETTING BY WITH TRADE BY? By Mel Wilkerson
HOW TO BE A WELL-KNOWN SQUARE DANCER (AND CALLER) by George Pollock and Barry Wonson
MEL’S MEANDERINGS Tools of the Trade by Mel Wilkerson
Wit AND Wisdom with Jeff Garbutt
THE SQUARE DANCER’S CLOSET by Clifford Schartzer
QUOTABLE QUOTES
THE CALLER’S REWARD by Dick and Carol Mannin g
CHOREO CORNER: General Mainstream
DEFINITIONS
Positive Plus
Timing is everything by Jim Mayo
All Things Considered by Ed Foot e
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words … well at least for now.

June 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
2017 SPECIAL EVENT – Red Barons TRIPPLE EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
MID-YEAR RESOLUTION TIME by Andy Finch via Nick Turner
DOING IT DIXIE STYLE by Mel Wilkerson
Three Types of Calls and their Combinations by Paul Adams
NON DESTRUCTIVE TESTING by Don Beck
Mel’s Meanderings ½ SASHAYED OR REVERSED – JUST WHAT IS A REVERSED CALL?
CLASS TIME by Barry Wonson
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
POSITIVE PLUS
THINKING SKILLS Proactive vs reactive thinking: How to be proactive
DEFINITIONS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED by Ed Foote HINTS FOR DANCING: SPIN CHAIN AND EXCHANGE THE GEARS
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

July 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH…
On the Inside Track
AUSTRALIAN CALLERS’ FEDERATION UPDATE …
GENERAL NEWS …
Reader Feedback
2017 SPECIAL EVENT …
SOUND ARCHIVE
A CALLER’S VIEW: TOUCHING HANDS By Skip Brown
WHAT’S IN A NAME? New Formation /position naming conventions …
Square Recovery by Tim Marriner
NUTS AND BOLTS by Kip Garvey
LOOKING AT CROSS FOLD by Mel Wilkerson
Letter to Barry from one of his dancers
Mel’s Meanderings – The caller’s toolbox – Mechanics of Choreography THE CALLERS TOOLBOX:
LAMENT OF A SQUARE DANCER
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
Bowling Alone A book report by Jim Mayo
THROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words – well at least for now
August 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
Modules – Creating Interesting Square Dance Choreography by Shaun Werkele
HEADS WILL ROLL – HALF SASHAY DOESN’T by Mel Wilkerson
The Voice By Barry Wonson
Controlled Resolution and Manipulation System (CRaMS) an overview by Jerry Story
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED (a focus on Grand Swing thru)
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

September 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Understanding the movements
New Caller Training – ANALYSING A CALL
What the heck is F.A.S.R and why is it important?
Methods of Choreographic Management
editor’s final words (well at least for this issue)

September Supplement 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS
– 2018 Australian National Convention – Update
– Australian Caller Federation (ACF) Update
– Red Barons Triple Celebration Weekend Update
– SARDANSW Caller Training Weekend Update
– 2020 National Convention & ACF Caller Conference Update
COURTESY TURNS By John Goodwin (from New England Dancer Magazine – 1990’s) …
SOUND ARCHIVE
THE WORKSHOP: Belligerent but Beautiful Basic
MEL’S MEANDERINGS: Preparing And Practicing The Patter Premiere
A BIT OF HISTORY by Merv Sharpe
SINGING CALLS By Paul Adams
THE RIGHT LADY by Steve Turner
THE SQUARE DANCE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Ken Ritucci
QUOTABLE QUOTES
MOVIN’ DOWN TO MAINSTREAM with Barry Wonson
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED with Barry Wonson
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS
October/November 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS
2018 Australian National Convention – Update
SARDANSW Caller Training Weekend – Update
Australian Caller Federation (ACF) – Update
2020 National Convention & ACF Caller Conference
TYPOS – More pleasing Poetry
MORE ON CIRCULATES
What Makes Choreography Difficult and Why Should We Care by Don Beck
ASK Dr. ALLEMANDER
QUOTABLE QUOTES
REFLECTIONS OF A BEGINNER or ROUND DANCING IS FUN?
Movin Down to Mainstream by Barry Wonson…
ON RECORDING YOURSELF by Barry Wonson
How old is New – Choreographic Aiglets from the archives of Don Beck…
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Buliding Blocks for the PLUS PROGRAM
JIM’S JOTTINGS by Jim Mayo
Editor’s Final Words
Decembruary 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
A Special Present for Subscribers
Event and Activities Updates
Update
ACF Conference 2020
BTM Website Update
From Our Readers
For The Dancers: Your attitude is showing
2018 SARDA NSW Education Clinic
Commandments For Square Dancers
Sound Archive
Nuts and Bolts by Kip Garvey
Breaking the Circle
Circle 4 VS Circle to a Line
Mel’s Meanderings – An Unpopular Opinion
ASK Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler (with Barry Wonson)
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – The Chicken Plucker
Throughly Plussed with Barry Wonson
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
February 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
 ACF Update
 ACF CONFERENCE 2020
 BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Comments from our Readers
For The Dancers: Callers Are Human Too….
Poetry Corner – Ode To The Square Dance Caller
A BASIC OVERVIEW OF TECHNICAL ZEROS – by Paul Bristow (UK)
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
What is Success – Square Dance “The Movie” vs Square Dance the Board game
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
EMPHASIS CALLS
 B/MS: Emphasis Call(s): PASS THE OCEAN and PASS TO THE CENTRE
 PLUS – Emphasis Call: – ANYTHING AND ROLL
 A1 – emphasis call: RIGHT/ LEFT ROLL TO A WAVE
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM with Barry
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
March 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
2018 59 th NATIONAL CONVENTION UPDATE
ACF Update
ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Comments from our Readers
ASYMMETRICAL CONCEPTS
UNSYMMETRICAL SIGHT CALLING by Keith Lethbridge
INTO THE UNKNOWN AND RETURN – ASYMMETRIC Steve Turner
ASYMMETRIC PRIMER FOR CALLERS by Vic Ceder
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
Teaching Round Dancing for Square Dancers!
CHOREO CORNER
EMPHASIS CALLS OF THE MONTH
Playing with Circulates
Playing with Cross fire
Playing with ¼ THRU AND ¾ THRU
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM with Barry
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
April 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
ON TEACHING
New caller training – I See The Light!!!
o EXTEMPORANEOUS SIGHT
New Caller Training – Second Sight
o EXTEMPORANEOUS SIGHT FROM START TO RESOLUTION
o THE TWO SIMPLEST AND BASIC RESOLUTION TECHNIQUES
o Centre Box Resolution Technique – REFERENCE SHEET
o 2 Face LinelResolution Technique – REFERENCE SHEET
New Caller Training – Modular Living
o THE EVER SO MIGHTY MODULE
o The SINGING CALL Module
o UNDERSTANDING THE MODULE CONCEPT – Practical Example
o PREPARED AND PRACTICED PATTER PERFORMANCE
NEWS AND NOTES – AUSTRALIAN FOCUS
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC with Betsy Gotta
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
May Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
ustralian National Convention WENTWORTH FALLS 2020 Update
 BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
New Music Update
Sound Archive
Stretching The Friendship (Definition) – Steve Turner
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
What The Heck Is FASR? – Paul Bristow
 Analysing A Call Worksheet
Emphasis Calls Of The Month Mel Wilkerson
 Eight Chain Family…
 Peel the Top…
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out on MICRO-PROGRAMMING
Ten Ways for Dancers and Callers to Keep Dancers Square Dancing – Patrick Demerath …
Reverse Engineering Resolutions –- Mel Wilkerson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream – Barry Wonson
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
May 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
Thoughts On the Division of Time Devoted To Studying Patter Choreo vs Singing Calls

June 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
Australian National Convention 2020
ACF Update
ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Comments: June Special Soapbox Edition
Sound Archive
Separating the Fly Poop from the Pepper
Importance of Vocal Warm Ups for Square Dance Callers by Lisa Lincol
for Square Dance Callers by Lisa Lincoln
Good Things about Square Dancing By Betsy and Roy Gotta
Encouraging new dancers to join. By Betsy and Roy Gotta
They’re in the door, now what? by Roy Gotta
Working as a Duet by Steve Turner
Movin’ Down The Mainstream
Playing with Wheel and Deal – Workshopping extended variants
Quotable Quotes
The Right Lady By Steve Turner
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
From Our Side Of The Mike (Denver Caller Association Presentation)By Herb Egender
Footenotes: The 11th Commandment By Foote
You Have Never Thought About This – The caller thought process from Ed Foote
Mel’s Meanderings A commentary on “Star Thru, Veer Left”
Throughly Plussed – Story Time With Barry Wonson
Plus focus of the month – Chase Right / Left
2018 SARDA NSW Education Clinic
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
July/August 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
Music This Month
Event And Activities Updates
— Acf Update
— Acf Conference 2020
— Btm Website Update
Sound Archive
Square Dance History
Callerlab – Changes To The Mainstream Program
Comments From Our Readers
Talking Up Square Dancing By Roy Gotta
Easier Square Dancing (various)
Mel’s Meanderings – Focus Modules and Sight Calling
Quotable Quotes
Well Grounded By Jim Mayo
Moving Down The Mainstream By Barry Wonson
Positive Plus – Using ¾ Tag The Line
Is The Beat The Enemy Of The Phrasing – By Hal Rice
Using Music Well by Jim Mayo
Choreo Corner – Just A Little Bit More – Using Once And A Half
Editor’s Final Words …Well At Least For Now
September 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— Australian National Convention WENTWORTH FALLS 2020
— ACF Update
— SARDANSW
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
1958: Just what were they dancing way back then?
Mel’s Meanderings – Diamonds in the Rough by Mel Wilkerson
The Man With The Mike (Author Unknown)
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – Micro-programming
Not The Same Old Tag Line – ¼ And ¾ Tag The Line At Mainstream
Smooth Dancing By Paul Bristow
— TIMING AND BODY FLOW Part 1 – Overview and Timing (1)
— TIMING AND BODY FLOW Part 2 –Timing (2)
Body Flow by Brian Hotchkies
Movin’ Down The Mainstream – Out of Left Field by Barry Wonson
Ask Dr. Allemander By Barry Wonson
Micro-Tips For Dancers By Allen Conroy
Editor’s final words
October 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
Btm Website Update
Share And We All Succeed – A Caller’s Edict
Workshop Choreography.
Teaching Techniques By Jerry Reed .
Music, Beat Tempo By Paul Adams
Tools Of The Trade: Compilation Article – Various
Starter Tool Kit Zeros And Equivalents
— A. Simple Starting Zeros From Facing Lines Of Four:
— B. Zeros From Box:
— C. Zeros From Waves:
Starter Tool Kit Simple Equivalents
— A. Partners Trade Equivalents:
— B. Pass Thru (Pass By, Pull By) Equivalents:
— C. Right And Left Thru Equivalents:
— D. Star Thru Equivalents:
— E. Square Thru Two Equivalents:
— F. Square Thru Four Equivalents:
— G. Lead To The Right Equivalents:
— H. Lead To The Left Equivalents:
— I. Some Other Useful Equivalents:
Line Zeros
Box Zeros
Editor’s Final Words …Well At Least For Now
October Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF Conference 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter – Randy Doherty
— Special Update – Voice Coach for 2020 Conference – Arden Hopkin
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
Smooth Dancing – Caller Education Series by Paul Bristow
— Timing and Body Flow part 3 – Body Flow
— Timing and Body Flow Part 4 – Final Thoughts
Disposable Calls – A Commentary by Barry Wonson
— Cross the Ocean by Larry Letson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream
— Scoot Back Once & a Half by Barry Wonson
— Workshop Teaching – Dixie Style to a Wave / Uusing Left Hand Waves by Gary Dodds
Ask Dr. Allemander By Glenn Ickler
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – Square Dance History
Walk, Stretch or Dance? Dancing May Be Best for the Brain By Gretchen Reynolds
BTM Focus Move of the Month – Eight Chain Family
Showmanship by Paul Bristow
POSITIVE PLUS: Rolling Around by Barry Wonson
UNDERSTANDING BOXES by Ed Foote
WORDS OF WISDOM from Jeffrey Garbutt
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM by Barry Wonson
Spinning the Top or Spinning Your Wheels? by Mel Wilkerson
POETS CORNER – THE POOR BEGINNER (author Unknown)
CALLING DUETS by Chris Froggatt
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
November/December 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
SOUND ARCHIVE
Mel’s Meanderings – Preparing for the Polished Performance
The Five Keys to Success by Mr Self Development
The Odd Couple – 7 couples – No Problem
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
November/December Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track by Barry Wonson
Event And Activities Updates
— ACF Update January 2019
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 –
— • ACF 2020 Special guest profiles – Randy Doherty and Arden Hopkin
— • Why would you want to come?
— • The ACF 2020 Caller Conference Program
— • Administration
— • The post-conference wrap-up dinner cruise special
— • New ACF Conference Newsletter
— BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Learning the Tricks of The Trade: Good Timing by Chris Froggatt
Scooting Around The Issues by Mel Wilkerson
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Circle to a Line by the BTM Staff
Ask Dr. Allemander by Barry Wonson and Glenn Ickler
Movin’ Down The Mainstream By Barry Wonson
On Programming – Programming A Square Dance Convention by Jim Mayo
Positively Plussed by Barry Wonson
Understanding Leaders & Trailers By Ed Foote
An Oddity: for those who remember Pounds & Ounces by Tony Instone
A1 Fun – A Chain of Reactions – from our readers
Special Presentation: Music-Beat-Tempo. Calling & dancing by Paul Adams
Poets Corner – Dare to Be Square by Gershon Hepner
Quotable Quotes – Well…sort of anyway
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
January 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
The Interview – Jack Luby Interviews Ed Gilmore 1961
Square Dancing Paradoxes By Jeff Garbutt
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
January Supplement 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
From our readers
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— Voice coach for 2020 Conference
— The Post-Conference Wrap-Up Dinner Cruise Special
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
Body-flow in Square Dancing by Doren McBroom
Sight Resolution Logic Path unkown
Mel’s Meanderings: What is a gimmick? by Mel Wilkerson …
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month by Mel Wilkerson …
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Square Dance – Etiquette ?? from ASD Magazine circa 1970 (ish)
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
DIXIE GRAND Part 1 by Ed Foote
Caller Resources – CALLERAMA from Kip Garvey
Being Creative with Scoot Back by Guido Haas
Positively Plus: EXPLODE & (anything) with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
The Technical “I KNOW BETTER’ Caller an opinion by Mel Wilkerson
Dancing by Definition edited document by Joe Pryluck and the Unconventional Squares
A1 Fun – Moving up to Advanced or Challenge an opinioin by Allan Hurst
The Future of Square Dancing by Jim Mayo
Poets Corner
— Square dance Poem – Author unknown
— At a Cowboy Dance – from an 1898 collection by James Barton Adams
Where is my Corner?? By Susie Kelly
Editor’s Final Words — At Least For Now
February 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
Points for Better Calling by Rich Reel
Mainstream Resolutions – “Tag, You’re It” with Mel Wilkerson
Tourist Guide to Aussie English
Positively Plussed – more resolutions with Mel Wilkerson
1/2 SASHAY by Bill Peters
A Rose By Any Other Name: A question of Language by Mel Wilkerson
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Positive Plus with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
Square Dance Troubles 1995-1998 by Jim Mayo
A1 Fun with Mel Wilkerson
Dixie Grand (Continued) by Ed Foote – Addendum by Brian Hotchkies
Thoughts by Alan Eades
Hypocrisy Of The Roundalab Phase System by Ed Foote
You’re Starting a What? by Glenn Rogerson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson
Poets Corner – FRIENDS by Norm Gifford
Mainstream: SIMPLY SINGING CALLS – by Chris Froggatt
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now from Barry Wonson
March 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Event And Activities Updates
— Acf Update
— Acf Conference 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— Voice Coach For 2020 Conference
— The Post-Conference Wrap-Up Dinner Cruise Special
— Btm Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
The Ear, The Mic, And The Music by Glenn Rogerson
Finding The Right Caller For Your Club by Debi Bliss
Finished Basic – What Happens Now? By Barry Wonson and Mel Wilkerson
Paul’s Five Call Guarantee by Paul Cote
Btm – Focus Movement Of The Month – Split Circulate
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin – Plus Stuff by Mel Wilkerson
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Pushing The Definitions – Working Offsets by Barry Wonson and Jeff Seidel
Death By Committee by Barry Wonson
Flow Sequencing by Mel Wilkerson
Improvising Singing Calls By Jim Mayo
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
April 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— 2020 ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike – Caller Resources
— BTM Website Update
— Sound Archive – Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— o Educational Programs
— o Dance Recordings
— o Our Music
RE-VISIT – Working Off-sets from April 2019 – Response to readers
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Basic and Mainstream “Bend the Line”
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Plus “Fan the Top”
Poets Corner
— Square Dance Basic by Mary F. Halsey
— swing Your Partner by Dorothy Zimmerman
Finished basic – what happens now? – by Mel Wilkerson
Ask Dr. Allemander – with Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Square Dance Patter Sequences – by Mel Wilkerson – inspired by Glenn Rogerson
Planning Your Dance (Night) – by Geoff Clarke
Changing Times: The Future of Yellow Rock – by Ed Foote
That’s Not My Corner – by Mel Wilkerson (various) a compillation article
Dancing with Fractions – inspired by a workshop by Wendy Vandermeulen
Calling A Dance Using “SKYPE” – information provided by Jerry Reed
Angeling for Tech Squares – with permission of Tech Squares
Circulated between friends – by Mel Wilkerson (various) a complillation article
Let them dance!! – Atricle inspired and approved by Deborah Carroll-Jones
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now – from Barry Wonson
May 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track by Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates
— 2020 ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike – Caller Resources
— BTM Website Update
— Sound Archive – Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— • Educational Programs
— • Dance Recordings
— • Our Music
Dancing Movement versus Spatial Orientation by Kip Garvey
Poet’s Corner – Friends by Norm Zech
Every Argument About Square Dancing Ever by Shaney Crawford
Focus Movement of the Month by Mel Wilkerson
The Technical “I Know Better” Caller by Mel Wilkerson and others – collated discussion article
POSITIVE PLUS with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
Quality of Dancing by Jim Mayo
Why can’t they move to the beat? By Mel Wilkerson – inspired by Lee Meador
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glen Ickler and Barry Wonson
Gimmick Time from Barry Wonson
Promotion/Communication by Paul Bristow
T-Bones To Diamonds by Jeff Seidel
NOT THE SAME OLD TAG LINE By Mel Wilkerson and others ¼ and ¾ tag revisited
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now by Barry Wonson
June/July 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
– ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
– ▪Educational Programs
– ▪Dance Recordings
– ▪Our Music
Response to readers: from Mel & Barry
Poet’s Corner
How Long is Too Long
Focus Movement of the Month
Ask Dr Allemander
The Turn Of A Phrase
How “Unresolved” Can a Square Be?
The All Important First Tip
Movin’ Down The Mainstream
Are They Coordinated?
I Went To A Halfway Dance
Is “CLUB 5O” the Future? An Objective Analysis
A Square Dance Riddle Sequence
Smoothness and Dance Mechanics
A Square Dance Riddle Sequence -Answers
Editor’s Final Words

August 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside Trackwith Barry Wonson
AN INTERESTING IDEA –Converting from vinyl to MP3
FROM THE EDITORIAL STAFF AT BTM
Event and Activities Updates
– 2020 ACF Caller Conference
– 2020 ACF CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
– THE ACF CALLER CONFERENCE PROGRAM DYNAMIC
– CONFERENCE TOPICS –OVERVIEW
– 2020 ACF CALLER CONFERENCE PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
– Educational Programs
– Dance Recordings
Our Music
Fighting the Dancer Spread by Mel Wilkerson
From Our Readers–Asymmetrical Choreo Ideas by Marcel Koneth (Ger)
Focus of the Month September 2019.Extended Application Singing Calls
Dancing Movement versus Spatial Orientation by Kip Garvey
Image Is Everything by Calvin Campbell
Variety –Dancing Versus Forcing By Mel Wilkerson and various participants
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
The Odd Couple–using the Sicilian Circle by Mel Wilkerson
Ask Dr AllemanderBy Glen Ickler and Barry Wonson
In Conversations – with Don Beck and Mel Wilkerson
But Why Would You? by Barry Wonson and Mel Wilkerson
The 61stANSDC –10-14 Apr 2020-Update
Editor’s Final Words

September 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
– •2020 ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— •Educational Programs
— •Dance Recordings
“HANDS” by Mel Wilkerson
MAN RULES – How to live dangerously
Advice for Angels by Bill Van Mellee
From Our Readers- Choreo submissions from Marcel Konath (Ger) and Jeff Seidel (Aus)
Mainstream Focus of the Month – Oct 2019 by Mel Wilkerson
Choreo Commentary by Deuce Williams and Steve Noseck
Our Customers by Jim Mayo
Advanced Dancing: Tips For Callers by Ed Foote
In Conversation – With Don Beck by Mel Wilkerson and Don Beck
Movin’ Down The Mainstream by Barry Wonson
OOPS! I made a mistake – Dealing With Anxiety by Mel Wilkerson
Positive Plus by Barry Wonson
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Daffynitions by John Dromey (and others)
Community Dances in the 80s: Dare To Be Square! By Phil Jmison
Old-Time Square Dancing in the 21st Century:15 years later by Phil Jamison
The 61st ANSDC –10-14 Apr 2020–Update from Susanne Horvat
The Final Word –At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

October 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside Track by Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates–2020 ACF Conference update from Jaden Frigo
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— •Educational Programs
— •Dance Recordings
Memory is the Key. Now where was that lock? by Mel Wilkerson
Humour –Reflecting on Male Caller Banter–stolen from male callers everywhere
Straight Talk –Dancers, Dare to be Presumptuous by Bobby Anderson
IN-DEPTH : Just Let Them Dance -A Deeper Look by Deborah Carroll-Jones
Reader Comments –Just Let Them Dance from Cal Campbell
Mainstream Focus of the Month –Nov 2019 by Mel Wilkerson
Square Dancing –Social Aspects by Dan Martin
Reverse Engineering Resolutions –Revisited with Mel Wilkerson
The Calling evidence –Dancers are Judge and Jury -ASD article and response
Remembering the Fallen -A square Dance– by Roger McGough
Mainstream Get-Outsfrom Barry Wonson
Getting There Is Less Than Half The Fun by Mel Wilkerson
“Be your own” by Al Stevens
Round Dance Graduation –to the tune of “MY WAY” by Rosella Bosley
Calling A Guest Tip –notes from the Alabama Callers’ Association
Positive Plus from Barry Wonson
Experience by Barry Wonson
Modern Square dance –What is traditional? by Shaun Werkele
Basic Principles Of Sound Equipment (Part 1)– from notes by Paul Bristow
Rewarding The Team by Calvin Campbell
Ask Dr Allemander with Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Daffynitions-humour
The 61st Australian National Square Dance Convention 10-14 Apr,2020
The Final Word –At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

November 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates
– 2020ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— •Educational Programs
— •Dance Recordings
The Power of Participation by Mel Wilkerson
Mapping a Singing Call by Cal Campbell
Daffynitions – a touch of humour for everyone
Hello Dolly –Square Dance Doll(checker) shortcuts by Don Beck
Experiences from the use of The Condensed Teaching Order by Kevin Lovell
Mainstream Focus of the Month –Dec 2019-SEPARATE
Notes on Progressive Squares by Cal Campbell
Interesting Plus notes by John Charman
Ask Dr Allemander with Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Poetry Corner: Is it Square –Or Is It Round? By Lorraine Standish
Leadership Today by Barry Wonson
Mainstream Choreography from Mikeside Management 2001
Showmanship by Cal Golden
The Do Not Call List by Tim Marriner
Gimmick Time –outsides Square Thru by Barry Wonson
Dancing In Sicilian Circles by Calvin Campbell
The Sicilian Circle –Follow Up by Daryl Clendenin
Separating the Fly Poop from the Pepper by Mel Wilkerson
English Teachers a little humour from Joni Micals
Positive Plus: Back in the CROSSFIRE: an analytical look at Crossfire from Barry and Mel
Square Dancing –Social Aspects by Dan Martin
What do you think? –Questions For The Callers from a new caller
Advanced Dancing Tips For Callers by Ed Foote
61st Australian National Square Dance Convention 10-14 Apr2020update by Susan Horvat
The Final Word –At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

December 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates
– 2020 ACF Caller Conferencefrom Jaden Frigo
Behind the Mike –Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive –Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— •Educational Programs
— •Dance Recordings
Choreography –Adding Interest, Not Complexity by Mel Wilkerson
Dave Wilson’s Ocean Wave Resolution written up by Clark Baker
25 Awesome Australian Slang Terms by Helena Heldegaard Holmgren
Rewarding The Team by Calvin Campbell
Thoughts from our readers –The opposite box response by Mel Wilkerson
Mainstream Focus of the Month -Anyone Walk –Others Dodge from Mel Wilkerson
Unpunctuated –Righting Rules by everyone everywhere
Positively Plussed from Barry Wonson
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Poetry Corner: Slow Dance by David Weatherford
MovingDown The Mainstream by Barry Wonson
Creative Choreography by Lee and Steve Kopman
Caller Run Clubs and Dancer Run Clubs by Burt/June Harvie and Ron/Barb Lowe
Smooth Dancing by Don Beck
Writing/Adapting Square Dance Singing Calls by Calvin Campbell
A few One Liners from Chuck Jordan
Square dance Limericks by Barbara Smith
A Little Practice Goes A Long Way by Mel Wilkerson
Your Voice by Jim Mayo
Dancing Positions For “Double Star Thru” by Ed Foote
A1 Modulesfrom Barry Wonson
61st Australian National Square Dance Convention 10-14 April 2020 by Susan Horvatt
The Final Word –At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

January 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates
Behind the Mike Caller Resources
– BTM Website Update
– Sound Archive Caller Material from SARDANSW Education weekends and sessions
— • Educational Programs
— • Dance Recordings
Truth in advertising What a concept by Mel Wilkerson
Wisdom Has No Age Learning Is A Choice by C.D. Foster (commentry by Mel Wilkerson)
Dancing & Society by Calvin Campbell
Sight Calling Versus Image Calling by Don Williamson
This Is Dancing by Jim Mayo
The Hidden Singing Call. Response to questions by Mel Wilkerson
Mainstream Focus of the Month Feb 2020 Wheel and Deal
Reading The Floor by Tom Perry
Adding One Half Is So Much More from various forum discussions and readers
Creative Choreography Chase Right with Steve and Lee Kopman
A Little Play with Slide Thru K.I.S.S by Steve Kopman
Attitudes Yours And Mine by Ted Nation
Beginner Dance Parties by Calvin Campbell
Positively Plussed by Barry Wonson
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Poetry Corner from Don Schlesinger
Beads on a String by Calvin Campbell
Equipment Part 2 (continued from Nov 2019) by Paul Bristow
61st Australian National Square Dance Convention 10 14 April 2020 from Susanne Horvat
The Final Word At Least For Now with Barry Wonson

February 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
CALLERS CONFERENCE 2020–Cancellation update
Keeping It Sharp by Steve Turner
Module Building Block Basics Part 2 – by Mel Wilkerson
Playing With Spin The Top by Beuford Evans
The Way to a Dancer’s Feet by Walt Cole
Calling Tips – Body Position and Flow” by Gene Turner
Dancing Tips – Thoughts On Event Programming by Harold and Lill Baush
Creative Choreography – “Just the Centres”by Ed Fraidenburg
A Comparison of Calling Methods by Don Beck
Leadership by Dan Hicks
The “New Caller Trap” – Response to BTM reader questions by Mel Wilkerson
Mainstream Focus of the Month Mar 2020 – Using Stars – inspired by Rick Hampton
A Good Start To Life by Cal Campbell
Less Obvious Aspects of Smooth Square Dancing by Thomas (Doug) Machalik
Scoot Back Once and a Half by Don Beck
Calling to the Music – Viewpoint by Al Stevens – Notes for Callers
Teach The Mechanic – Not The Toolbox – Lists by Al Stevens
Ask Dr Allemander, by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Poetry Corner: Square angel and Who did it by Jim Roop
Random Ideas by Jeff Seidel
Movin Down The Mainstream – Choreography – various contibutors and reader submissions
30 Years Ago Today – A Profound Prologue by Stan Burdick
Great Dancing – One Step at a Time by Jo Jan Nunley
Team Pride by Cal Campbell
Asymmetric Stuff by Rich Reel
Humour-unkown
Limericks – Square dance call tips –Pt 2 Continued from Feb 2020 by Don Schlesinger
The Final Word – At Least For Now – from Barry Wonson

March 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Behind the Mike – Caller Resources
BTM Website Update
Sound Archive – Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
•Educational Programs
•Dance Recordings
Flow Sequence Combinations by Mel Wilkerson
Zoom from the Completed Double PassThru by Jack Lasry (preamble by Mel)
Calling Tips for April from Chinook Records
Teaching Class Level Mainstream Basics by Jack Lasry
What Do Callers Tell You About Themselves? By Ben Rubright
Veer Left / Veer Right by Don Beck
A1/A2 -Brace Thru by Don Beck
Simple Stuff Underused – Caller Workshops – Response to readers by Mel Wilkerson
Traditional Treasure – Filler Patter from Mikeside Management Jan 2000
Mainstream Focus of the Month – Apr 2020 – Turn Thru
Cueing and Clueing –What’s The Difference by Jerry Reed
Positively Plussed by Jerry Reed
What Happened To Teamwork? By Calvin Campbell
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
The Origin of Yellow Rock – By Yeeds
Calling Tips by Gene Trimmer
Thoughts – a Critique of Module Building Blocks BTM Mar 2020 by Cal Campbell
Movin Down The Mainstream – Choreography from Barry Wonson
Timing by Jim Mayo
Touching Hands – Food for Thought by ed Foote
The Final Word – At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

April 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Therein Lies the Program Problem Today – a compilation of responses (collated by Mel)
Singing Calls –Variety and Recycling the Zero by Shaun Werkele
Calling Tips – What List To Use? By Harold Bausch
This Is Our Music – BTM from Barry Wonson
One Persons Viewpoint by Doc Tirrell
Singing Call Adaptation by Tim Marriner (CallerLab Learning Documents)
Mainstream Focus of the Month Singing call Choreography – a new start by Mel Wilkerson
Dancing Tips – Moving to the Music by Harold and Lil Bausch
Why English Is So Difficult To Learn – and you thought square dance language was hard
Choreographic Ideas by Marcel Konath
Bits and Pieces – Notes services – a commentary by Barry Wonson
A Good Start To Life by Cal Campbell
BTM Mailbag: Caller Lockdown Learning Letters and responses by Mel Wilkerson
Tim Tam Turner’s News Flash by Steve Turner
Is Sight Calling The Only Answer? By Unknown – Comments by Barry Wonson
Lines of 3 from the Wonson Archives
Ask Dr. Allemander with Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Square Dancing – A love & Passion excerpts from Jerrry Junck – 1998 CallerLab Convention
Poet’s Corner
Positive Plus by Mel Wilkerson
Looking Back – 60 years of Sound – a Blast from the Past
Lexophilia from Jeff Seidel
Caller – Club Relations by Jim Mayo
The Final Word – At Least For Now from Barry Wonson
Appendix of upcoming events and Caller Resources

May/June 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside –with Barry Wonson
Caller’s Toolbox –Methods of Chroegraphic Management by Paul Bristow
Part 1: Module Calling
Part 2 Module Calling
This is Our Music –A&S Records
Do It Again And Again by Al Stevens
Zoom –Changing the perspective by Rod Shuping
From Our Readers –Warm up Lines
Square Dance History -A Look Back At Our Sound
Choreographic Ideas from Marcel Konath
Calling Tips for Newbies by Daryl Clendenin
Mainstream Focus of the Month –July 2020–WHEEL AROUND from Mel Wilkerson
Ideas & Knowledge From The Past Masters
Music And Sound – By Lee Helsel (1956)
Expression In Music by Leif Hetland
Ask Dr Allemander
Things I Have Learned In 50 Years Of Calling by Ed Foote
Back to Basics with Brian Hotchkies
Be Careful What You Call by Calvin Campbell
The Technical Side Of Calling by Calvin Campbel
Making A Meal Of It by Barry Wonson
Callerlab Square Dance Knowledge Database
A Coordinated Approach by Mike Callahan –A look at “Coordinate”
Attitude is Everything by Jerry Junck
Time to go home –by Mel Wilkerson
The Final Word –At Least For Now from Barry Wonson
July 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside with Barry Wonson
Methods Of Choreographic Management by Paul Bristow
—Sight Calling Part 1
—Sight Calling Part 2
This is Our Music A&S Records
Dietary Tips For Square Dance Callers by all callers everywhere
The Square Dance Caller’s Stress Diet by all callers everywhere
Working 3×1 Lines with Jaden Frigo
Calling Tips for Newbies: Management of Dancers by Cal Campbell
Dance Inducing Delivery by Paul Preston
Positive Plus Trade the Wave 1 ½ by Barry Wonson
On Yodelling Research by Barry Wonson
SWINGERS BEWARE by Mel Wilkerson
Some Basic Thou ghts by Les Gotcher (1962)
Working With Six Couple Rectangle Sets by Calvin Campbell
Workshop: Choreographic Ideas by Marcel Konath
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Presentation Techniques For Creative Choreography by Ed Foote
A Bit Of History not attributed
Poet’s Corner: Remember by Unknown and A Joyful Harvest by Mary Helsey
In Depth: Being Creative with Spin Chain Thru by Guido Haas
The Final Word At Least For Now with Barry Wonson

August 2020

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On the Inside – with Barry Wonson
Methods Of Choreographic Management -Conclusions by Paul Bristow
This is Our Music – A&S Records
The Monotony of Singing Calls By Paul Hartman
Shorter is Better by Jaden Frigo
Thank You For The Music by Paul Preston
Working waves of 3 with Jaden Frigo
A Possible Plan to Restart and Sustain Square Dancing? By Gene Turner
Positive Plus – Explode The Wave by Barry Wonson
Asymmetric Resolution Techniques by Rich Reel
Zoom Session Topics by Barry Wonson
Working with six couple rectangle sets – Part 2 (conclusions) by Calvin Campbell
Workshop: Choreographic Ideas By Marcel Konath
Ask Dr Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
As A Dancer, What I Look For In A Caller by Ed Foote
Quick Resolve idea Paired Couples in boxes
An open letter to all Callers by Bruce Smith
A Bit Of History from Bob Osgood
What Is This Right-Hand Lady Stuff? By Mel Wilkerson
In Depth: Being Creative with Get-Ins to a Corner Box by Guido Haas
The Final Word – At Least For Now from Barry Wonson

September 2020

Facebook Stories About Using Social (formerly Sustainable) Square Dance (SSD)

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com),

Joni Micals (c3bdancer@gmail.com)

2020-01-12 Updated 2020-12-23

Dean Dederman posted a question in the Sustainable Square Dance group in Facebook. The answers provided by Barry Johnson and Joni Micals constitute an excellent Winning Ways story on using the SSD experimental lesson program. Later in a different thread, a question was posed as to how much of the success of a reported SSD implementation was due to the involvement of an outstanding caller (Kip Garvey). Barry Johnson replies to that with his experience calling for two different groups, one using SSD and one not.

Click on the button below titled “SSD Story” to see the transcript of the Facebook threads.

Dean Dederman Original Question:
I have a question. I ask this with no agenda or dog in the fight, and just ask for honest answers and opinions with no one getting upset or offended. Callerlab’s teaching list of basic and mainstream has been the gold standard in teaching modern western square dancing for many years. But as numbers have gone down, different lesson teaching ideas have been tried and discarded. Among the ones that have come to prominence and have enjoyed some success are the ACA’s teaching list and the Club50/SSD. My question is a long one, but can anyone explain why SSD was not presented to Callerlab for approval before presenting it as an option to replace the standard teaching list….or if it was, what were the reasons it was rejected?! Where it has been presented in piecemeal fashion where some clubs…federations….state organizations are for and against it, do both the traditional methods and the SSD methods a disservice. I ask this so I can give an answer to questions posed to me by various club and association officials, as well as for my own personal knowledge. I appreciate any opinions, and again ask that they be given in a constructive manner. Thank you.
Barry Johnson Comment #1
That’s a very fair question, Dean.
As you said, as numbers have gone down, different lesson teaching ideas have been tried and discarded. Along the way, Callerlab has supported experimentation: People trying to do something different, looking for success. Some of those experiments succeeded; many showed little improvement over the norm. Yet the problems persisted.

In certain parts of the country (in the Rio Grande Valley specifically) the “season” is a short one. There simply aren’t enough weeks in the dance season to teach new dancers the full Mainstream program and give them remaining weeks in which to dance before they leave the valley. The callers in that area developed the “Club 50” program with a goal of teaching for 12 weeks, then dancing a common program across the valley.

Why not simply use Basic? Well, there are some popular Mainstream calls that aren’t very hard to teach, and there are some not-so-popular Basic calls (and others that are harder to teach). So why not, if they’re working as a group, leave a few Basic calls off the list and add in a few of the popular/easy MS calls? So they did.

The RGV callers weren’t the only ones to look at sharing the entry level programs. Callers in the San Fernando Valley area (if I remember right) established a common teaching order that was somewhat different. Representatives of Callerlab and ACA negotiated a common list of 50 calls with a recommended teaching order (and Callerlab calls that the “Condensed Teaching Order”). Again, the goal was to look at something like 12 weeks of teaching time, not 16 or 20 or 30.

Later, much later, the benefits of a shorter teach cycle began to be realized in various parts across the country. A 12-week teach can comfortably be finished in the September-December timeframe without getting into holiday stress. A second class can be done in January-April, and even a third class in the summer.

Not only that, we’re finding that a larger percentage of dancers graduate from a 50-call program than the full mainstream program (and we could spend an hour discussing *why* that happens). AND, perhaps more importantly, being able to start a new class relatively shortly after the previous class gives the newly graduated (and excited!) dancers a chance to bring in their friends and start through the classes again. Together with yet other reasons, it looks like this type of 50 call program actually does make a meaningful positive improvement in recruiting and retention of dancers.

So, given that success, what should happen next? How does one try to share and build on that success? The Callerlab Board of Governors has authorized a non-permanent committee to explore continued development of this program. The RGV Club 50 list was chosen as a starting point. Teaching orders were developed, suggested choreography and lesson plans were created, and pathways to provide continuing education to dancers (the “with variety” and “extended applications” areas).

If this program shows success in growing areas of the country, then it may be reasonable for Callerlab members to adopt this as their entry level program. And we are indeed seeing successful implementations across the country, with everyday clubs and callers (the success is not limited to exceptional callers or regions of the country with specific demographics, for example).

Why not just use the Basic list? That’s certainly a possibility: The approach (50 calls, 12 weeks, standard positions only, get ’em dancing — THEN improve) is the important thing, not the specific list of calls. But what the heck — why not leave Do Paso and Allemande Thars to a little later, and bring in Scoot Back and Recycle a little bit sooner? Some tinkering with the contents of the Basic list could very well be reasonable.

What are the downsides? In the eyes of some (perhaps many) existing dancers, this feels like a step backwards for them. “I’m a Plus dancer, and I made it from 0 to Plus in one year, so of course we should continue doing that! I don’t want to dance some measly little 50-call list.” Those dancers, of course, turn out to be exceptional people: They were one of the 10% that survive the lengthy indoctrination into the activity. Many of them have been dancing for decades, so it seems very easy to them.

But if you look at the numbers — if you look at the way people learn — if you look at the benefits of dancing a smaller program, you find that callers can put on high-energy, fun dances with a small dance program and reinvigorate an area. By letting dancers get into the activity several times each year (at least twice, if not three times!), by capturing their excitement at its peak, we’re seeing rejuvenation in areas that have been stagnant for a long time.

Barry Johnson Comment #2
Shoot, hit “enter” too quickly. Anyway, very few dancers are willing to step up and say “Let’s make our activity simpler”. That’s been a giant hurdle.

And this is where callers — “Square Dancing’s Professional Leadership” come into play. If CALLERS see the benefits, if CALLERS lead the way, if CALLERS make this happen — even at the risk of pissing off certain dancers — then we can see the success.

Not all callers are in favor of this, of course. Not all see a difference between, say, a 16-week class and a 12-week class. Except that he 16-week classes are generally only once per year, and the 12-week class can easily be twice a year…. and right there, just off the top, you can double the number of dancers entering.

“Our angels don’t want to dance that much”. Well, the answer is to get more angels, isn’t it? So let’s get more new dancers, and turn them into angels faster, and that problem goes away quickly.

We can talk for a long, long time about all of the benefits that come out of this. But it’s hard to talk many-decade dancers into believing that a new approach can make a difference, and some very actively oppose it.

All I can say is that it works. It works in multiple areas, it works for many reasons (some of which are quite subtle), and the results are worth the arguments. As callers, we’re leaders… and it’s time we get up and lead.

Sorry for the strong words — but you can tell I’m pretty passionate about this subject. And that’s because of my personal experiences with it, and seeing how other callers in our area are having exactly the same type of success.

I’m running three beginner classes this year, and we’ll graduate something like 20 to 30 new dancers. That’s compared to years prior to this where we were getting 4-6 new dancers per year. So we’re looking at four and five times as many new dancers coming into the club. WOW!

And those dancers are, on the average, a bit younger than we’ve been getting in the past… and those somewhat younger folks are bringing in their friends. The 12-week commitment is easier for those younger folks to make, which is one of the reasons why the average incoming age is dropping… which is another one of the benefits .

But back to some of your original questions: “Why wasn’t it presented to Callerlab”? It was presented to the Board of Governers, and they authorized the continued development of this still-experimental program. And as the program develops, the various Callerlab committees and membership will consider whether it looks like something to adopt as a permanent program, or whether some of the existing lists could/should be changed, or whether the experiment should be abandoned.

It takes time to steer a very large ship, and course should be changed only for good reasons and after serious consideration. I really believe that is what’s happening now — as an organization, Callerlab is learning whether or not it’s a good idea. I happen to think it IS a good idea, but we’ll need to present convincing evidence to the rest of the membership to make a change.

Long answer to a very good question!

Barry Johnson Comment #3
Oh, other questions that often come up from the dancers:
* “People won’t come to our dances if we do this.”
* “We won’t be able to take our new dancers anywhere else.”
* “We can’t take them to association dances, special weekends or conventions”

The long-term answer to all of this, if it works out this way, is to grow the support for the program across wider areas. But in the shorter term, this has been our experience:

“People won’t come”:
Attendance at our 50-call dances has actually INCREASED, not decreased as our club members feared. There are several reasons for this: The new 50-call dancers from -other- clubs are attending our dances (woo hoo!); some dancers that felt like they couldn’t keep up with our higher-level programs have continued to dance instead of dropping out; our own membership is growing faster because of the change; and the experienced dancers in the area have realized that they can still have a fun night dancing without needing Spin the Top or Shoot the Star.

By focusing on standard arrangements first, we can get the new dancers dancing at “club speed” sooner and with more success, so as callers we’re able to put on a higher-energy event… which raises the attractiveness of our dances.

“We can’t take them to other clubs”
That problem can be surprisingly short-lived, particularly when a leading club has success with the program. If one club starts growing much faster than others, then others may choose to copy that model… and it starts to grow. Inviting other callers to come in to the first club gives them experience in how to call at that level, and that eases the transition into other places. And honestly, the newest dancers are often the ones least interested in going to other clubs at first, giving more time for “continuing education” that improves their skills before heading out.

“Can’t take them to large events”.
Yep. That’s part of the overall picture of change. In our area, we’ve been able to convince our association leadership to offer SSD tips, if not a full-time hall, and it’s been popular (in some cases, more squares on the floor in that hall than in the ‘big’ hall). For our state convention this year, the hall that would normally be Mainstream is going to be SSD full time… the convention chairman and the programming chairman both strongly support the concept. For Nationals? Yeah… most of the newest dancers are not willing to travel to Nationals in their first year anyway, and by the time they ARE invested enough in the activity, they’ve probably had time for the continuing education to bring them up to the Mainstream level.

Of course, there are always roadblocks to making change, and these are good examples of the hurdles that need to be worked through. But they ARE solvable, and generally shouldn’t be considered to be complete show-stoppers.

Now, if there are clubs that don’t care about increasing the number of incoming dancers by 2 or 3 or 4 times… well, then, the right answer may be to let that club continue exactly as they are. They’ll either flourish (good for them!), stay the same, wither away and die, or decide to change. That’s entirely their prerogative, and that’s OK. No-one HAS to change.

Barry Johnson Comment #4
Sigh. I just can’t stop talking about this subject…

One other very important point about the approach.
IT IS NOT AN IMMEDIATE SILVER BULLET!

A giant contributor to the success of this program is small positive changes that compound year after year. There is no magic wand to wave that makes a huge difference from day one.

Instead, the success builds over time as the principles are applied season after season, year after year. It’s the old “friends bring friends” approach… if you get 5 people through the first class, then make it easy for them to bring new friends to a second class, then THOSE friends bring more friends for the third class… it grows over time.

But doing lessons just once per year isn’t enough. A shorter class makes it easier for an excited new dancer to sweep up a friend or few and start again “in just a few weeks”. And by increasing the percentage of folks that finish, this all compounds class over class over class until you’re seeing the good results.

And if you have someone that can’t finish for some reason? “Why don’t you come back and join us again in in six weeks when we start again?” instead of “Gee, I’m sorry you’re on vacation for 5 weeks. Will we see you again ten months from now?”

So, for all of my cheerleading about the process, it’s like advertising: you don’t get much result from just one application, but if you keep doing it over and over, it works better and better.

OK, I think I’m done now

Joni Micals Comment
My turn. I began dancing in 1975, with Callerlab calling the shots with program lists, experimental and quarterly selections, adding or deleting calls, and so on. If I didn’t dance regularly, soon I wouldn’t be able to because I would miss out on the latest call or concept, especially if it made it on my program. So here I am, 46 years later, at C3a. I started teaching the SSD program three years ago and love it. 2-3 classes a year, 50 calls. No, they cannot go to a mainstream dance (first criticism). No, most did not want to ever go beyond 50 calls (in fact, they all thought the first 40 was more than enough). My point is, if callers made it a fun journey, and not arduous, the dancers do not need to learn all of Burleson’s book of definitions, or even MS. Most are just interested in dancing. Although I teach all positional (and that’s my lack of experience in calling — they are half sashayed and I call R & L Thru), they don’t know that they shouldn’t know it at this point in the scheme of things. I do teach an older crowd (seniors — not the future of square dancers — second criticism), but what the heck, they enjoy it.
Today I was asked by several in my new 55+ community when I will start up a square dance class. I need to get a bit more organized, and I will. (BTW, no overhead, but no pay. Purely for volunteer.)
Barry Johnson reply to query about results being due to caller, not SSD

Barry Johnson replying to Mike Pogue: A large part of it is transferable, Mike. I can tell you that from personal experience.

The key differences: 12-14 weeks of lessons, not 16-30. Multiple starts per year. Focus on the *dance*, not in the puzzle, using generally just standard formations and arrangements. Support the new dancers by making the level a part of every club dance, preferably the only level offered at least some of the time.

I am a dead-average caller, certainly not a top tier guy, and it’s working for me. We’re only halfway through our second year after switching from a pure Plus club, and we’ve already increased our membership from about 45-50 (and trending down) members up to 70… and we’re starting two more SSD classes next month so hope to finish the year with 80+ members.

We’re also seeing it work with several other groups in the area (some of whom started calling after learning to dance with this program). There are now five area clubs that have adopted it (started with just one), being taught by eight different callers, none of whom are stars. The remaining clubs in the area are watching our success, and I know that at least a few more are considering changing as well.

Outside of this area, we’re seeing it work in Radar O’Reilly’s home town of Ottumwa, Iowa (led by Robin Ragen) as well as in the southeastern Iowa (Tom Manning). Tom is a good regional caller, but he’s seeing a dramatic difference in his results as well.

Some other observations (again, less than two years into the program):

  • Our dances usually had 2 to 5 squares before, and now we’re fairly consistently at 4 to 7.
  • Our class sizes are bigger: graduating 10 new dancers this week instead of the 2-4 dancers we had been doing each year for the 4 previous years. We’re also losing a smaller percentage of dancers though a lesson cycle… I think we lost just 2 or 3 dancers this fall, instead of the more typical nearly 50%.
  • The dancers in this set of lessons appear to average 5-10 years younger than previous groups. Don’t know if we’re seeing a significant difference yet, but the indication is that this program is more acceptable to folks somewhat younger than in the past.
  • Enthusiasm for classes is up: our lesson managers report increased numbers of phone calls expressing interest. We’re also definitely seeing the “friends bring friends” affect.
  • From a budgeting perspective, the club had been losing about $1000 per year on lessons, and people were seriously talking about killing the lessons because we couldn’t afford it. Now, we’re making a small profit on the lessons and again, the trend is upwards instead of down for several years.
  • This group holds 20 dances per year, and uses almost entirely guest callers. The callers have begun to embrace the program and are doing some nice, nice dances for us. The focus on flow and wind in your face for the SSD tips has been great. We’re using callers from four states, some of whom are more than two hours drive away, and they all (now) understand the program we expect. We’re hiring them, and they’re doing what we ask with virtually no complaints.
  • Excitement is higher in the club than we’ve seen in the past. This is really hard to quantify, but we had lost the feeling of fun and anticipation for dances and special events. But now, our newest dancers are bringing that back: they’re happy, they come to dances, they smile a lot… and the whole club feels uplifted.
  • Like many clubs, we were getting in a rut with the same volunteer leaders doing jobs for years. Now, we’re seeing new club members step into leadership roles, bringing fresh ideas.
  • The other local clubs (there are about 20 clubs with a 60 minute drive, and 75% of them are Plus only) have been accepting of our new format. Initially skeptical, those clubs have returned to visiting our group… and they’re doing it in somewhat larger numbers, too. Our visiting attendance at dancer is higher than it had been two, three or four years ago.
  • Best of all, I think, is that our wider net for catching has brought in some truly wonderful people that will, I think, form the future leadership of the group. I’m also about to start recruiting folks interested in calling to try to grow another caller or few.

    I’ve been teaching lessons for about 10 years now, and these SSD lessons (three groups last season, one so far this season, and two more starting next month) have been, I think, the most fun. I’m not grinding the dancers to death with 100 calls… I’m not teaching all positions… we celebrate victory about every three months… and then we do it again.

  • Continuing education has also been popular: we’re teaching advanced to the jaded Plus dancers (who suddenly realized they weren’t as good as they thought they were), running SSD and Plus workshops where we can focus on nuances, and happily encouraging our newest graduates to go through lessons a second time (this time as angels).
  • Finally, you can contrast this all with the mainstream lessons I’m teaching for a club in southern Wisconsin. They have lessons just once per year, and even skipped the lessons last year because their angels were too tired and wouldn’t commit to coming. The club membership is down to less than 20. We’re about to graduate 8 new dancers for them… but I can point at four or five of them that I don’t expect to see next year.

    They’ll add some of these folks to club membership… that’s good, but it’s unlikely that they’ll do much more than stay even with their membership.

    I really, really have to convince them to change next year. They need all the help they can get.

    Convincing our club to change was hard… I finally threatened to quit. “I’m not interested in teaching 0 to Plus any more. If you want to do that next year, you’ll have to find a different instructor.” THAT’s when they got serious talking about it. After the last 18 months of success, all of the reservations of club members are gone… they have completely bought into the program (and realized that they’re having more fun, too!)

Mike, I’m sold on this program, because I’m seeing it work for me.


Collections Of Images Related to Square Dancing

Update on 1Sep2019

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2019-09-01

This summary article contains a table (see below) that points to a number sources for images and posters related to square dancing. They can be quite useful for marketing or creating flyers. 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.

# Collection Name Comments
Washington State Image Collection The Washington State square dance organization maintains a Facebook page that contains a collection of images with information about the benefits of square dancing. You don’t have to be a Facebook member to view the images.
CSRDS Pinterest Page The Canadian Square and Round Dance Society maintains a Pinterest page that contains a collection of images with information about the benefits of square dancing. Some pages may require you to login to Pinterest.
123RF Stock Images Square dance section of 123RF stock images.
Shutterstock stock images Square dance section of Shutterstock Stock Images.
CanStock Stock Images Square dance section of CanStock stock images.
Getty Images Square dance section of Getty Images stock images.

Teaching Order Design Principles

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Mainstream Committee Ad Hoc (Clark Baker, Dottie Welch)

2007-12-06

PDF Document

This document provides guidance to callers who wish to design their own teaching order. While it was created by an Ad Hoc of the MS Committee the content is general and can be applied to any program. The authors have extensive experience in teaching programs from beginners through challenge.


Minnesota Promotional Website

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

TryDancingNow.com

Website

This Minnesota website promotes MWSD and serves as an entry point for people who are interested in learning to dance.


Promotional Video from Minnesota

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Dan Sahlstrom

2019-08-25

4-Minute Video

30-Second Video

This 4-minute promotional video features an interview with caller Dan Sahlstrom of Minnesota describing what MWSD is, what it’s like, who can do it, and how to learn more. A condensed 30-second version is also available. It is featured on a larger promotional website at trydancingnow.com


2019 IAGSDC Survey Results

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Brad Bruner (liaison@iagsdc.org)

2019-07-17

Survey Results PDF

The International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC) is an association of square dance clubs that mainly focus on LGBTQ square dancing, although members of all backgrounds and identities are welcomed. While membership numbers vary with time, at the time this survey was done the association contained 60 member clubs. More information on the IAGSDC can be found at the IAGSDC website.

While there are come historical and cultural differences between gay and straight clubs, there are many more commonalities. Gay clubs face the same difficulties as straight clubs in the areas of recruitment and retention. In an effort to understand what their members were doing to address those problems and which efforts seem to be meeting with success, the IAGSDC commissioned a 46-question survey of their members. The PDF file contains the summary results of that survey. A total of 43 surveys were sent out and 41 responses were returned – a very high response rate for such a project. While a few of the questions deal with matters specific to gay clubs, such as participating in Pride parades, most apply equally well to any square dance group. These survey results provide a useful and very current window into the operations of square dance clubs.


West Coast Square Dancing Flexible Learning Program

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Gordon Ruedig  (webmaster@westcoastsquaredance.com) 2019-03-28

The West Coast Square Dancing site provides a great example of effective marketing of square dancing. It serves as a vehicle to promote several clubs in western British Columbia. In addition, they have designed a modified teaching plan called the Flexible Learning Program that allows more student intakes per year and also accommodates people who have to miss lessons due to travel or work. Click on “Read more” below to see the full story. To see the lesson plan for their Flexible Learning Program, click here.

Read More …


MS Teaching Plan from Daryl Clendenin

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Daryl Clendenin (yloroc@comcast.net)

2019-03-24

Teaching Plan

Daryl Clendenin is a veteran caller who has taught scores of beginner classes. Follow the link to the left to see his detailed 20-lesson plan to teach his MS group for 2018-19. The 92-page document contains his teaching plan and sample choreography for each lesson.


Using Sicilian Circles for Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) Daryl Clendenin (daryl@clendenin.net)

2019-03-23

Dancing In Sicilian Circles (Cal Campbell)

Using Sicilian Circles for Teaching (Daryl Clendenin)

Cal Campbell and Daryl Clendenin discuss how to use the Sicilian Circle formation for teaching – and even as a “square dance” formation – in Modern Western Square Dancing. The Sicilian Circle is a series of facing couples arranged around the rim of a circle. Dancers can work in their own group of 4 or easily move on to another as part of the dance action. Most calls on the BMS list can be done with only four people, which makes Sicilian Circles an excellent teaching tool.


Becoming A Square Dance Caller 3rd Edition (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2020-02-02

Purchase Online

When Bruce Holmes was learning to call, he had no luck finding a textbook to help him through the process. Now that he is a caller, he has written the book he wished he had when he was first learning. You can read the table of contents by clicking on the button below. For purchase information click on the Purchase Online link to the left.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why I Wrote This Book ……………….. 5
The Plan ………………… 6
The Circle Before The Square …………….. 8
Into The Square ………………….. 12
     Remembering The People In Your Square ………….. 13
     Modules ……………………. 13
     Equivalents ………………. 14
     Flow ………………….. 15
     Sight Calling Light …………… 18
     More Modules ………………….. 19
     The Loop ………………….. 21
Moving Around The Square ………………. 24
Your First Sequence …………… 28
Technical & Fractional Zeros …………… 29
Doppelgängers …………… 30
Partner Lines ………………. 31
     Converting From Boxes To Lines And Back Again ……… 34
Building Your Library ……………….. 36
     Set Sequences ………………….. 39
Standard Applications ………………. 41
Module calling versus Sight Calling, Part II …………… 43
How To Resolve …………… 44
     Don’t Always Use An Allemande Left ……………. 45
FASR …………….. 46
     sequence Practice …………… 47
Easy Calls Resolve ………………. 49
     First Objective, Get Everyone Into Lines Facing In …………….. 49
     Next Objective: Pair Up Your Primary Couple version 1 …………… 50
     Final Objective: Resolve …………………. 52
     When All The Couples Are Paired Up …………… 53
     When The Secondary Couple Is Not Paired Up …………… 55
     Easy Calls Resolve Summarized ……………. 58
Pairing Up Your Primary Couple version 2 ……………. 59
Classic Resolve …………… 61
Grand Resolve ……………. 64
Get-Ins …………………. 68
     To Corner Box ………………….. 68
     To Partner Lines ……………… 71
     Non-Standard Crossfire Get-Ins ……………. 73
Get-Outs ………………. 75
     Resolves From Partner Lines ………………… 75
     Resolves From Ocean Waves …………. 77
     Resolving Using Folds …………….. 79
     Partner Lines to an Allemande Left ……………… 81
     Resolves From Corner Box …………….. 82
     You’re Home From Corner Box ……………… 85
Little Pieces of the Puzzle …………. 87
Advanced Grand Resolve ………….. 89
     Getting To Partner Lines When The Couples Aren’t Paired ……… 91
     Box Resolves – Couples Facing Couples ……….. 92
     The Grand Resolve Summarized …………… 95
Home Resolves …………… 97
     Primary Couple Home Resolves ……………. 99
     Moving to a Quadrant ………….. 102
     The Tools At Hand ………………… 104
     Sweep ¼ to Home Get-Outs ………………… 105
     From Partner Lines to Sweep ¼ …………. 111
Cool Endings …………….. 112
     Flip The Diamond …………………. 112
     Using Scoot Back & Box The Gnat ………………. 112
     Spin Chain Thru ……………. 113
     Chase Right ……………. 113
     Follow Your Neighbor ………….. 116
     Half Tag ………………….. 117
In Praise Of Sight Calling, Part LXLVII ………….. 118
What Makes For Good Calling? ……………… 119
     Being A Delightful Host ……………….. 120
     When Teaching, Kindness Is Everything …………… 120
     Microphones …………………. 121
     Confidence …………….. 121
     When You Mess Up ………………. 122
Music For Patter ………………. 123
     Modifying The BPM ……………… 124
     Stringing Songs Together ……………. 124
Singing Calls …………….. 125
     Getting The Verse Sequence To Work ……….. 126
     Putting A Singing Call Together …………. 127
     Singing …………………… 130
Getting Started In Calling ………………. 131
Equipment ………………… 132
Intro Parties …………….. 135
The Talk ……………. 138
Lessons ……………… 140
     Why I Use Club50/SSD …………………. 141
     The Forgotten Calls ……………… 143
     Fixing Half-Out Squares ………………. 144
     Filling Out Squares ………………. 145
     Rectangles ………………… 145
Getting Up To Call ……………. 150
Conventions ……………… 151
Games Callers Play ………….. 153
Callerlab Definitions ……………….. 154
Lists …………………… 155
     Equivalents ……………. 155
     Corner Box Get-Ins ………………. 156
     Alternatives to Allemande Left from a Corner Box …………. 157
     Partner Line Get-Ins …………….. 158
     Partner Line Get-Outs ………….. 159
     A-Box Get-Outs ……………… 161
     D-Box Get-Outs ……………… 161
     Box To Line Conversions …………….. 162
     Chicken Pluckers ………………….. 163
     Get-Outs To Home ………………… 163
Resources ………………….. 165
Callerlab ……………. 168
FASR …………………… 169
Formations ……………….. 170
     Eight Chain Thru …………… 171
     Facing Lines (Lines Facing In) …………….. 172
     Lines Facing Out …………… 173
     Trade By ………………… 174
     Double Pass Thru …………………. 175
     Completed Double Pass Thru ……………… 175
     Parallel Two-Faced Lines ……………. 176
     Parallel Ocean Waves ………….. 177
     Columns (Right or Left) ……………….. 178
     Z Formations (Left & Right) ………………… 178
     Fractional Tags …………….. 179
     Point To Point Diamonds …………….. 180
     Facing Point To Point Diamonds ………… 180
     Tidal Wave …………….. 181
     Tidal Two-Faced Line ………….. 181
Arrangement ……………. 182
     Half Sashayed Solutions ………………. 182
     Waves …………….. 183
     How Circulates Change Arrangement ……….. 185
     Diamonds ………………. 185
Sequence …………………… 186
Alternative Resolve Methods ………….. 187
     Mental Image ………………… 187
     CRaMS ……………………. 187
Call List ……………… 188


Community/Party Dance Teaching Videos

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

Teaching Videos

Cal Campbell has put up over 200 teaching videos for Community Dance and party night dances. Sometimes the written description of a dance isn’t enough to figure out how it works if you’ve never seen it done. This resource let’s you see how the dances work and how to teach them. These videos are contained in the BDPLS Channel on YouTube.


Flash Cards for MS Calls Not in SSD

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-01-25

MS Flash Cards for Calls Not In SSD

Bruce Holmes, who is the caller for North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL, has created sets of flash cards for calls on the MS list that are not included in the SSD list. There is a separate set that contains calls from the SSD list. The link points to a PDF file that prints 6 calls on each 8-1/2×11 page. The print is double sided so that when you print the pages the call name is on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call is on the back. These sets of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.


No Experience Dance at a Local YMCA

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Susan Morris (susan@callersusan.com) 2019-01-19

The Mount Baker Council in the Seattle area had good success running a “No Experience Necessary” dance in partnership with a local YMCA. Read the writeup below to see what was involved.

Read More …


North Shore Squares – Zero to 50 in 18 Months

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com) 2019-01-16

Bruce Holmes is the caller for a new club in Evanston, ILL called North Shore Squares, which at the time of this writing has been in operation for about 18 months and now has 50+ members. This story is an inspiring personal narrative that charts his journey through the process of using the Social Square Dance (SSD – formerly named Sustainable Square Dance) system as a tool to dig their club out of an all-too-common hole. All the clubs in the area danced Plus or beyond and you can’t realistically take the average recruit from nothing to Plus in a dance season. Result: at most one student intake a year, sparse student numbers, and heavy attrition. Club membership was falling. Along the way, the group faced all the usual hurdles: resistance to change, demoralization, lack of resources, reluctance to do the hard work. Bruce’s narrative takes you through how they stick-handled their way through the obstacles and grew their club.

You can click on the links below to get more information on the North Shore Squares story, and also see some of the supporting materials they developed to support their marketing and teaching.

Read Bruce’s Story
Flyer #1
Flyer #2
Definition Booklets
SSD Flash Cards
MS Not in SSD Flash Cards
Plus Flash Cards
Teaching Videos


Flash Cards for Plus Calls

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-01-16

Plus Flash Cards

Bruce Holmes, who is the caller for North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL, has created sets of flash cards for calls on the Plus list. One set contains calls from the SSD list. The link points to a PDF file that prints 6 calls on each 8-1/2×11 page. The print is double sided so that when you print the pages the call name is on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call is on the back. This set of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.


Flash Cards for SSD Calls

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-01-13

SSD Call Flash Cards

Bruce Holmes, who is the caller for North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL, has created a set of flash cards for the calls on the Sustainable Square Dance (SSD or Club50) list. Each 8-1/2 x 11 page contains six calls. By printing the PDF double-sided and cutting the page into 6 equal pieces, you can have a set of flash cards to help in remembering the definitions for the calls. Each card has the name of the call on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call on the other. This set of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.


Teaching Order Design Principles

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Clark Baker and Dottie Welch

2006-12-07

Document Link

While CALLERLAB offers suggested teaching orders for some programs it does not do so for all. Additionally, sometimes teachers prefer to use a different teaching order to accommodate local circumstances. This 9-page document discusses the factors that should be considered when designing a custom teaching order, regardless of program.


Tech Squares Call Definitions

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Tech Squares (squares@mit.edu)

2015-01-01

Call Definitions Index

Call Definitions By Lesson

Tech Squares is a club that operates at MIT. An interesting fact about this club is that their lesson-set is actually offered by MIT as a Physical Education credit. Part of the documentation they provide is a set of call definitions from Basic to Plus. They are abbreviated definitions that are intended to help dancers remind themselves about how the call works. The definitions are housed on a website. One link takes you to an index page that contains links to the definitions for each call. The other takes you to a page showing the lessons in which the calls are taught.


SSD, MS, & Plus Call Booklets from North Shore Squares

 

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes and Jill Sullivan (www.northshoresquares.com)

2018-01-01

SSD Call Booklet (PDF)

Continuing MS and Plus Call Booklet

North Shore Squares is a new club that dances in Evanston, ILL. Despite only being active for 18 months or so they already boast 55 members. They elected to use the Sustainable Square Dance (SSD) lesson system (previously known as Club 50) to facilitate rapid intakes of new dancers combined with retention after graduation from lessons. As a teaching aid they prepared booklets containing a concise and easily read definition for each call, many including color diagrams to illustrate the action. The first booklet contains calls on the SSD list. The second contains the MS calls not on the SSD list and the Plus calls.

Social Square Dance (SSD / Sustainable SD / Club50) Teaching Videos

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

North Shore Squares (northshoresquares@gmail.com)

SSD Teaching Videos

North Shore Squares dances in Evanston, ILL and has been using the Sustainable Square Dance (also known as SSD and Club 50) teaching list as their intake level. To help their dancers they have created a series of teaching videos that demonstrate the calls in the SSD 50-call lesson plan. Follow the link to see the list of call videos, both in alphabetical order and by lesson.

Alberta Chatter Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com)

Back Issues
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014

The Alberta Chatter newsletter is published every six to eight weeks. It contains articles on promotion, member retention, and general interest articles, as well as a regular column by a visually impaired dancer, Dee Jackins, entitled “The Lighter Side of Darkness”. 

Behind The Mike Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Barry Wonson (bjwonson@gmail.com)

Behind The Mike Newsletter Archive

Behind The Mike is a newsletter for callers and cuers published out of Australia by Barry Wonson. It typically contains lots of material on choreography, music, teaching and other topics of value to callers and cuers.

The Table of Contents entries for past BTM editions have been gathered together in a separate article to facilitate searching for specific topics. Click here to view that article.

Teaching an SSD Class

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Joni Micals (c3bdancer@gmail.com) 2018-11-29

Joni Micals is a newer caller who decided to use the Sustainable Square Dance (SSD) framework to teach a new group of seniors. Click on the button below to see her report of how it worked out. The second button shows a report by a dancer from Australia who happened to be visiting one of the lesson nights. It shows a third-party perspective on what was going on.

My First Attempt at Teaching a Class, by Joni Micals

I attended two GCA sponsored caller schools, my first with Betsy Gotta in St. Louis, 2015, and my second with Randy Dougherty in Palm Springs, 2017. The first time my goal was to just do one-night stands at RV parks across the USA as I was living in my RV and each park had empty recreational halls just waiting for someone to do something in them. The second time my goal was to take eight non-square dancers and teach them to square dance while I learned how to use my equipment, acquire stage presence, figure out how to actually use my words to teach the calls, and most importantly, make it fun while trying to get everyone home.

Be careful what you wish for.

I had moved into a 55+ gated community with a very large auditorium and many club rooms. I immediately petitioned to start a new club—square dancing. It took over six months of attending the recreational board meetings, writing requests, and explaining myself during open forum before two board members decided they would join a class if offered. They finally convinced the board to give me the auditorium, starting January 2018. I had six months now to recruit.

This community has a bi-monthly newsletter and a Facebook group of which I took total advantage. I posted blurbs about how square dancing was good as physical and mental exercise, wards off dementia, get to know your fellow community members, have fun, and learn something new. I posted pictures and videos of dancers smiling, memes of square dance sayings and images, and each time I left my name, number, and email, encouraging those that wanted inclusion to contact me. Without knowing the actual day and time (the Rec Board would let me know late in December!), my list of new dancers grew to 48.

Then our local area club, which did not have a class that year, started telling people that I was starting a class in January, and handed them my contact info. Dancers from that club, wanting to be angels, also contacted me. My numbers grew again.

I started to feel panicky. A group of eight to play with was now approaching five squares. I reached out to callers and dancers who all told me I would be fine, I could do this, I was a teacher for 38 years before retirement and this would be a piece of cake.

End of December and I was given a room (auditorium), a day (Tuesdays), and a time (10-12). I called back everyone to give them this info personally. Three squares could do it at that time and day. The rest had other obligations but wanted on my list for the next class if offered any day but Tuesday, in the afternoon, in the early evening, etc.

Class #1
Three squares of dancers age range 70-94. Everyone was given a name badge (Hobby Lobby, 12 plastic pin-on buttons for $4.99). Everyone initialing by their name on a sign-in page. Following the SSD (Sustainable Square Dance) 12 Week Program they learned 20 calls (parsing out the Circle Left and Circle Right as two different calls). In the first tip we learned most of the calls in a big circle. Here they could dosado, allemande left, right arm turn, promenade, and do a really grand Right and Left Grand until they got back to their partner again. In the second tip we reviewed all that we learned and then did a scatter promenade. Two became a circle of four, four became a circle of eight, and bingo! Three squares. Now they learned their new labels, Heads and Sides, and numbers, evens and odds. As they now saw the calls in the context of these squares, with each additional call (2 and 4 Ladies Chain) I realized I could get them back to their partners, and if they got out of order, I told them to grab their original partners and go home.

Class #2 and #3
Since the first three weeks were open to anyone else wanting to join, the first lesson was repeated. Some people came down with the flu, some dropped out because they had obligations (but please put me on your next list) and new people joined, so my number of squares hovered around two. At one point someone had to leave early for a doctor’s appointment, leaving one square with a hole. I put down the mic, took up the boy’s position, and called from the square. I called this “Trial by Fire.”

I should mention here that I have everyone’s email and phone numbers. For the first three classes I called everyone each week to encourage them to come, warning others that if they missed three lessons in a row they would have to discontinue their lessons and reenroll the next class offered.

Class #4
On to Lesson 2 in the SSD Program. The class learned four new calls, but were having problems with the patter that I was using from the SSD manual. Nobody was getting home. There were a few calls incorporated that they hadn’t learned yet. The sequences were too long for some dancers. I was getting frustrated. When class was over I complained on the Facebook site “Newbie Callers” only to find out I had an original copy, not the latest up-to-date version (look for the XX on the bottom of the page). I copied off the latest version (looks like they fixed Lesson 2), and I was a happy camper again.

Class #5
No new lessons. All we did was dance all of the calls we had learned. They were reacting quicker to the calls, dancing smoother, and really looked like square dancers. They were smiling, laughing, and told me how much fun this is. Only one sour puss in the group—an angel. Having been president for many years of the local club, he commented on how slow this class was moving through the calls. I said that I did not have a club over me demanding I reach Plus in 36 weeks, that I could take two years, if I wanted to, to just get them through Mainstream. Even though the SSD Program is a 12 Lesson program, it does not necessarily have to be done in 12 weeks. I wanted to make sure my class could dance, that everyone could execute the calls properly, that nobody felt stressed, and that everyone was having fun. That was my purpose.

The weekend before Class #6 I emailed everyone a copy of all the calls learned and encouraged them to print them out, highlight the ones they could do automatically, and mark the ones they wanted me to review more. Since I was being dropped off very early for the next class, I offered extra help to anyone showing up early.

Class #6
Six class members showed up early. We reviewed Star Thru and Slide Thru. Those women acting as men put their name badges on their left side, and by touching that badge they knew which way to turn on a Slide Thru. I answered questions, such as hand holds, and practiced swinging your partner. They also got a preview of one of the new calls, California Twirl.

A new lesson, four calls. Two squares (and another square’s worth absent with colds, coughs, doctor appointments) dancing everything. Bend the Line was a challenge for some. California Twirl, not so much. But when we learned Dive Thru, I introduced it as a swimming pool. Do you dive into or out of a pool? Who are my outside people? You are going to dive into the pool. You are going to dive under the arch that the people in the pool are now going to make with their inside hands raised. When those on the inside go to the outside of the pool, use that raised hand to do a California Twirl. Oh my! They actually had to remember to do something more on the outside that was different from the inside people! They felt very accomplished.

All too soon I decided to do a singing call that I planned to do at my next caller school (teaching us how to do one-night stands with Rick Hampton). I realized that the song had two calls not yet learned so they were taught Right and Left Thru and Grand Square. Then we attempted the singer several times. It was decided that no matter how slow I played the music, they hesitated too much to execute the moves in the amount of time allotted. I should mention that up to this point in the lessons I have not sung a song, just did patter. I am not a singer, having been told all of my life that I cannot sing (my parents switched me from piano to violin so that I would not sing with the tune!). In any case, I turned off the music and sang the song with the calls and slowed down for them to catch up, left song words out so they could catch up without being confused, and lo and behold! They got through the singer! Even better, I got through the singer feeling pretty good about my singing voice.

This is all I have for now. By the time this goes to publication I will have the rest of February through April under my belt. Who knows, we might have even finished the SSD 12 Week Program!

Doona Young, Australian guest

I attended one 2 hour session of Friendly Valley Twirlers in late Nov., 2018. The caller and teacher was Joni Micals.
The class was a mixture of two experienced angels, two elderly retreads, one lady taking classes both here and elsewhere (totally new a few months ago), one lady who had tried square dancing in the past, but not graduated, and two ladies who were totally new to square dancing this year. On the sign in sheet there were eight more dancers who couldn’t attend this lesson for all the usual reasons.

The class starts again from scratch (Circle Left) every 3-4 months, to allow beginners to join and others to review.
They are all elderly dancers – some with memory or movement problems. Some were quite tired after the two hours. All enjoyed square dancing for its exercise/movement benefits and fun. One mentioned the mental benefits.
The class started with only seven dancers, so Joni called while dancing for half a tip, when the eighth dancer arrived. Dancers tended to stayed paired with the same partner and same position in the square for the class duration. Dancers and caller benefitted from this consistency of home, partner, corner and opposite.

Joni turned the music down and her voice up when she was calling AND dancing. Otherwise, she used a microphone clearly. She had previously tested music and microphone levels before the class started.
There were two men and two ladies who immediately volunteered to be left side dancers. The ladies wore wrist bands for identification. The other four ladies were right side dancers.

We spent about 45 mins reviewing previously learnt calls, which were displayed on a whiteboard prominently. The calls were colour coded:

  • Black for calls already taught and reviewed.
  • Green for calls taught last week.
  • Red for the five calls to be taught in this lesson.

I was impressed with the review tips where many moves were taught and practised from both normal and half sashay positions. These moves included Flutterwheel, all 8 circulates and Grand Square. Joni moved the dancers quickly and easily to new positions.

At no stage were circulates taught as “Follow someone else.” The first circulate for the session was from ends facing out – “Ends Circulate”. – ie a facing circulate!

The most interesting was Grand Square. With a simple command “All join hands, circle left a quarter” “Sides face, grand square” can now be repeated with new sides. “Everybody half sashay” – and a warning to “be careful, this will feel different” – and we were all doing grand square half sashayed.
And this is week 8 of a beginner class.

After the review tips, we spent about 45 minutes teaching the new moves.
All of the tips in this 90 min period were used with hoedown music.
Joni constantly praised the dancers as they achieved new calls, remembered old calls, danced from new positions. She fixed muddles quietly. She asked the square to move close to her and microphone lead, so she could help people.

The last 30 minutes were used practicing and dancing two singing calls.
For one record, Joni knew how and when to leave out or shorten some calls, so we could complete the choreo in the required 64 beats. Joni knew how to add extra words for clarity, if needed. “full turn, all the way around” or “swing your NEW corner”.

The class also had a visitor – a gentleman from a neighbouring retirement village – interested in the suitability of square dance for himself and friends. Joni invited him to try – he declined – but watched with interest – and videoed our dance, and teaching, for his friends. I hope he joins the class when the next class commences in February. Maybe, if invited, he will join the class for the Christmas party in two weeks.

Effect of my presence –

  • “Are the calls the same in Australia?” = discussion about international hobby and use of English.
  • “Where are you staying?” = discussion about friends and travel.
  • “I’m coming to Melbourne next October”= email addresses exchanged; chance for this lady to dance in Australia; square dance hospitality demonstrated.
  • Another experienced dancer in square = group achieved so much.
  • I was the one who chatted to the visitor and prospective new dancer (as well as Joni, of course).

Continuing fitness and health are always continuing problems for elderly groups. Health, family and travel means many absences. Continual intake and frequent new classes mean that new dancers are welcomed and included quickly. Old dancers, who miss too many classes, can re-join in a few months.
This class has no time constraint for completion – no need to meet anyone’s expectation. They meet for fun and exercise. Well done, Joni.


Buy Advertising Space In Your Local Mall

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Blue Bonnet Squares (Club Website)

2018-08-09

Video Link

Blue Bonnet Squares in Houston bought an advertising display in a local mall to advertise their classes. See video at link provided or go to their homepage.


Promotional Ideas From the Johnny Appleseed Club (Mansfield, OH)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Johnny Appleseed Club

2015-04-01

Promotional Ideas Document

This article describes the steps the Johnny Appleseed Square Dance Club went through to build a successful class.


“Selling” Square Dancing To New People

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bernie Coulthurst

2018-04-01

Selling Square Dance To New People

This article describes some dos and don’ts when talking to new people about square dancing. How to best make it appealing and engage their interest.


NNJSDA Keynote Addresses From Roy and Betsy Gotta

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation Northern New Jersey Square Dance Association Convention April 2018 Betsy and Roy Gotta (separate presentations)

DREAM (Betsy’s Keynote)

They’re in the Door (Roy’s Keynote)

Talking Up Square Dancing

At the Northern New Jersey Square Dance Association annual convention in 2018, Betsy and Roy Gotta delivered individual keynote addresses. Together, these presentations provide a wealth of insights and suggestions on how to market, recruit, and retain new dancers. Click on the links to the left to see the text of the presentations.

  1. Check out Betsy’s keynote, titled “Dream”, for an exposition on how to market and communicate with non-dancers. How can we change the way non-dancers perceive our activity? What messages do we need to communicate?
  2. Roy’s keynote is titled “They’re In The Door”. If your marketing and recruiting is successful, how do you keep them coming back? How do you build a successful club?
  3. When you get an opportunity to talk about square dancing, do you know what to say? Has a friend ever expressed curiosity? Has a reporter ever approached you? Do you have an “elevator pitch” ready? “Talking Up Square Dancing” provides guidance on how to deliver appropriate, targeted, and concise messages when an opportunity presents itself.


Social Square Dance Teaching Guide (formerly Sustainable Square Dance) New Edition


Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB Sustainable Square Dance Committee (info@callerlab.org)

2020-07-21

SSD Teaching Guide V34

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with the task of developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system that has come to be known as Sustainable Square Dance. (Note: In July 2020 CALLERLAB announced this system and the supporting Committee were renamed Social Square Dance – SSD. Only the name has changed. All existing supporting materials still apply.) Earlier versions of this system have been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

This system is designed to create a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 12 weeks, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to this system, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

The publication of the SSD Teaching Guide represents the first deliverable to assist callers in using this system. It provides a lesson plan and sample choreography to help callers entertain dancers with a limited number of calls for a long period of time.

The link takes you to the most current edition of the guide – Version 34.


Successful Experiences using the 12 Week Condensed Teaching Method

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Lorne and Barb Smith (l.b.smith@shaw.ca) 2018-05-25

For the past 3 years, the Western Squares Square Dance Club in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has been running the 12 week lesson program. This program was introduced by Tim Mariner and Bill Harrison several years ago at the CALLERLAB Convention. I (Lorne Smith) felt there was a lot of merit in this program so I presented this revised teaching program to the Western Squares Square Dance Club and they bought into it. The program was introduced to this primarily solo club to aid in encouraging a second entry point into the square dance club. The Western Squares is a club that conducts a split program on a weekly basis. For the first hour and one half the caller (Lorne Smith) teaches the condensed 12 week method and then for the remainder of the evening the club dances the Mainstream program. This program is very similar to the Sustainable 50 that was presented at the CALLERLAB 2018 Convention.

Read More …


Innovative Program For New Dancers Revives Dying Club

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Claudia Littlefair (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com) 2018-04-01

This is the second year that our Strathmore club, just east of Calgary, used ‘The Nest’ program for new dancers. What this method has meant for us in Strathmore is that our club is not only surviving, but thriving. Four years ago we were close to shutting down because our small group of dancers (one to two squares/night) were quickly aging out. We were fortunate to graduate several new dancers that year and the next, who were willing to take on executive positions. But we were still just hanging in there. When we introduced The Nest program two years ago, six dancers completed the program. Using the old method (one fall entry point and no absences), only two of the six would have completed.

Read More …


How Rounds Are Scheduled Can Be Important

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jerry Junck (junck@aol.com)

2018-04-23

N/A

Jerry Junck reports on an observation from a club on Vancouver Island. Their format involved having a round between tips and they noticed that new dancers had difficulty getting into squares with the experienced club members. This seemed to be because the experienced dancers were doing the rounds and simply squared up right away since they were already on the floor. The club decided to make a change and do the round immediately after the square dance tip, then take the break. Now they have found that the new dancers were able to join squares with experienced dancers much more easily. We should be thinking of ways to INCLUDE new dancers, rather than unintentionally EXCLUDING new dancers in our dance programs. Breaking down the walls of US (the experienced dancer) versus THEM (the newer dancers).


Seating Can Change The Social Atmosphere of a Dance

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jerry Junck (junck@aol.com)

2018-04-23

N/A

This account from Jerry Junck describes a seemingly trivial change in the way dancers are seated during breaks which he believes has improved the social atmosphere of the group and lead to an increase in the number of dancers attending his dance. Something to think about …

==========================

For years I had always set up my hall with two rows of chairs in the back, side by side. Never really gave that a thought, but did it because “that is what I’ve always done.” That section is a 20 foot wide area behind a row of four columns. Too small an area to dance, but great for seating away from the floor.

Two seasons ago, my activity director decided to leave tables set up in that area all the time. I wasn’t all that sure about it, but that is what she wanted. They set two rectangular tables set end to end. Each table will each seat 4 people on a side, and there are ten sets of these tables. That seats 160 people. Using my old method of chairs side by side, I could not seat that many dancers.

What I have found is that dancers LOVE those tables. To the extent that I believe it has contributed to the growth of this dance in these last two seasons. Also, people are arriving earlier to “stake out” their tables for their friends. This has given dancers a place to put their drinks, their bags, and plates, if we have treats, and a place to put their elbows, if nothing else. It has increased the social aspect of the evening tremendously. Much easier to visit with people across the table rather than down the line beside them on chairs.

As an aside, I just called a dance here in Nebraska this afternoon for a club I started 51 years ago. They are not a big group anymore, but they also set up tables for people to sit around, rather than on the benches around the hall. It was amazing to watch how much they enjoyed being able to visit with each other.


Social (Sustainable) Square Dance (SSD) Alphabetical Call List

2020-02-02 SSD-50_Alphabetical_Call_List (updated 2019-11-05)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Kurt Gollhardt (kurt@certek.com)

2018-03-23

SSD 50 Alphabetical Call List (Updated 5 Nov 19)

Thanks to Kurt Gollhardt for producing this single page that alphabetically lists the calls used in the Social Square Dance experimental lesson system. The sheet highlights the calls from the Mainstream list that are used in SSD 50 and also lists separately the Basic and Mainstream calls that are NOT used. For full information and sample choreography for the Social Square Dance experimental lesson system you can view the SSD Teaching Guide


Jeff Priest’s Singing Call Figures for Teaching

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Jeff Priest (ask@canadiancallerscollege.com)

2011/2013

Singing Call Books

Jeff Priest has produced an outstanding set of books to assist callers teaching in the Basic through Plus programs. These books contain singing call figures which each feature only one call from the program being taught. This enables callers to teach the programs in whatever order they wish, and still use singing call figures that feature the call currently being taught. Follow the link for more information about these books and how to purchase them.


Promotional Video – This Is Modern Pattern Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Goldrushoutlaws49 (YouTube channel)

2014-03-29

Square Dance Promotional Video

This 6 minute promotional video shows some of the top modern callers, a variety of dance floors, ages, and dress. and shows how square dancing has evolved from its earliest roots to the modern form.


Restructuring El Camino Reelers Classes

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Allan Hurst (allanhurst@gmail.com) 2019-03-29

El Camino Reelers (“ECR” for short) is a club in the San Francisco area which had been experiencing a constant decline both in terms of class sizes and club membership from year to year. The club was losing money from year to year, especially on classes, but also on club nights. A number of members had died, experienced medical issues preventing them from dancing, or retired and moved out of the area. To arrest this decline the club decided on a new approach to reinvigorate their membership. The new plan involves a three track approach to recruiting and retaining dancers:

  1. Monthly “Drop-In/Fun Nights” with no experience required.
  2. A series of three partitioned blast classes, gradually taking dancers to Plus.
  3. Club nights with both blast-level and full level Plus/Advanced dancing.

This detailed 23-page document describes how they implemented this plan: how they advertised, how they recruited, how they restructured their teaching and club groups, and how they integrated new dancers into the club. It contains a wealth of insightful thinking and planning.

Read More …


Community Dance Journals

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

CALLERLAB Committee for Community and Traditional Dance

Index of CD Journal Issues

The CD Journal (formally titled CDP Journal) is published several times a year by the Committee for Community and Traditional Dance (CCTD). The Community Dance Program Journal is aimed at providing material to support dance events for non-dancers: party nights, intro nights, demos, etc. The material uses a limited number of calls (about 24) and allows the engagement of people with no prior square dance experience. Each Journal edition documents a number of such dances and the CD Journal has been published since 1992.


Three Promotional Videos From Sweden

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2018-03-21

Click on the button below to see a table listing three short promotional videos posted to YouTube by Jon Hansell Nilsson from Sweden. All are under two minutes long.

Video Title (click to view video) Creator YouTube Date Description
You should probably try Square Dance too Jon Hansell Nilsson 2018-01-30 This video shows modern American Square Dance. You may see a lot of traditional clothing in this video since it was filmed at a Swedish National Convention, you may however dress the way you like when you attend a dance. The purpose of the video is for you to get a feeling for Square Dance
Try Square Dance Jon Hansell Nilsson 2018-01-30 This is modern squaredancing! 4 couples dance together in a square figure. You can attend a dance by yourself or together with a partner. As soon as you get together you will begin to make new friends!
Make Time For Square Dancing Jon Hansell Nilsson 2018-02-04 A video to market Square Dance. The benefits are many! Come as yourself, learn to dance step by step and do the most of your leisure.



CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee (dwelch@eastlink.ca)

CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

The Choreographic Applications Committee has created this resource site to assist those who are teaching square dancers. Its intent is to collect in one place all the information about each call that teachers might need to teach students successfully.

The site is organized into sections according to the CALLERLAB programs. It is still a work in progress. Basic Part 1 and Basic Part 2 are ready for use. Mainstream and eventually Plus are planned.

For each call there are seven sections of information:

  1. the call definition
  2. standard applications
  3. call analysis information
  4. modules
  5. teaching tips
  6. extended applications
  7. other


CALLERLAB Square Dance Marketing Manual

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB Marketing Committee

2018-02-10

CALLERLAB Square Dance Marketing Manual

Japanese Translation

This square dance marketing plan has been developed by CALLERLAB members in support of our mission: “To foster the art of square dance calling, and improve caller skills.” Just like the square dancer population, the number of square dance callers today is dramatically smaller than 30 years ago. For CALLERLAB to increase the population of callers, we must start by growing the population of square dancers, thereby providing more opportunities for callers to call, and developing a population base from which new callers will be recruited.

Document Abstract

It is CALLERLAB’s goal to provide square dance callers, square dancers and square dance organizations the tools they need to recruit new dancers in their local markets. This includes:
 Education about marketing fundamentals, which will provide a review of the many things you need to consider about our activity when you begin marketing square dancing.
 Accurate research about the state of our current activity and an understanding of the general public’s image and awareness of our activity.
 Defined marketing strategy elements and exercises for groups to determine target demographics, benefits sought by each target demographic, analysis of our product versus products we compete with, a list of our marketing challenges, and a position statement.

Brand management tactics.
A large list of marketing tactics with “How To” instructions for each.
 Collateral marketing material to support specific tactics.
 Recommendations.
 Case studies to demonstrate successes that are repeatable.
 Fundraising ideas. Face-to-face training programs to assist local dance groups in their marketing efforts.


BC Westsyde Squares Recruits 29 New Dancers

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Alberta Chatter Newsletter (claudia.littlefair@gmail.com) 2017-12-20

This story describes how Westsyde Squares in British Columbia used marketing savvy and well targeted advertising to recruit a large new contingent of dancers. It contains a lot of great information about what messages people responded to, as well as an insightful discussion of the reasoning behind the design of the advertising which was a significant element in their success.

Read More …


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.

Read More …


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) 2018-08-21 Updated 2019-09-23

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?
(2019 Update: Using the strategy outlined in this article, the club inducted 15 new members in the fall of 2018 and 16 more in the fall of 2019)

Following are links to two documents that describe what happened. The first is an article in the Alberta Chatter newsletter. The second is the slides from a presentation Tom and Jo did at the Canadian National Convention in July 2018 where they went into a great deal more detail on how they made it work.

Newsletter Article
Presentation at Canadian National

Tom pointed out that some of the images used on the flyers and marketing materials were copyrighted and license fees were paid for their use (approx $35 each). Tom provided the following information about finding appropriate images:

Through liaising with a contact in Alberta, she reached out to another Club’s Executive Member who used these photos. Having the above numbers for each photo really helped, given that there are hundreds to look at.


Landmark Hearing Assist System

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Landmark Audio Technologies (info@landmarkfm.com)

Landmark Hearing Assist

For dancers who have trouble hearing the calls over the music, Landmark Audio Technologies’ FM transmitters and receivers provide high-quality, cost-effective hearing assistance. During a dance, a Landmark FM Transmitter is connected directly into the existing sound system. The caller speaks as usual into a microphone. Each dancer hears with ear buds or a headset on their Landmark Audio FM350 Receiver. Each adjusts their own volume level.


Keith Rubow’s Dance Recordings Site

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Keith Rubow (keith@krubow.com)

Rubow Recordings Page

This site permits you to purchase recorded dances done by a variety of callers as well as some special festivals such as AACE, PACE Extravaganza, and Heartland. In addition there are a number of sets of teaching recordings for levels C1 through C3A. Recordings are provided as downloadable MP3s. The site focuses primarily on Advanced and Challenge, although some callers have provided some Plus tips. This site is a tape group’s best friend.


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.



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.

Read More …


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!

Read More …


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.

Read More …


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.



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 ….

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


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.


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.


CALLERLAB Program Documents

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-18 16:21:52

This summary points to the primary program-related documents that have been officially published by CALLERLAB. This includes program lists, call definitions, timing charts, lesson checklists, teaching tips, formation charts, standard application documents, 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. The Alpha List button contains a sortable table showing all the documents in one place.

Program Document Tables (click to view)


Due to the large number of documents associated with the Basic and Mainstream programs, the table below is organized into sections:
Basic Documents that deal only with the Basic program
Mainstream Documents that deal only with the Mainstream program
BMS Documents that deal with both the Basic and Mainstream programs
Other Documents that are not specific to either program but are of interest to callers calling Basic/Mainstream

Document Name Revision Date
Basic Documents
Basic List 2019-03-06
Basic Definitions 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions Part 1 (German) 2020-07-24
Basic Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Mainstream Documents
Mainstream List 2019-03-06
Mainstream Definitions 2020-02-22
Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Mainstream Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Basic/Mainstream Documents
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish V2.01) 2010-01
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2018-06-22
Basic and Mainstream Checklists 2017-08-17
Basic and Mainstream Timing Charts 2017-08-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions 2014-09-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions (Japanese) 2014-09-15
Basic/Mainstream Standard Applications (Japanese) 2008-01-15
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips 2010-06-21
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-12
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide 2011-02-07
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide (Japanese) 2011-02-07
Other Documents
Formations Pictograms Chart 2010-12-14
Formations and Arrangements Charts 2008-01-15
Experimental Condensed Teaching Order 2015-03-01
Social Square Dance (SSD) Lesson System (formerly called Sustainable Square Dance) 2020-07-22
Social Square Dance (SSD) FAQ Document 2020-09-16
Non Program Teaching Items 2007-12-19
Lost Square Procedure 2004-11-19
Emergency Call For Medical Aid (ECMA) ????
Teaching Order Design Principles 2007-12-06

Document Name Revision Date
Advanced List 2019-10-30
Advanced Definitions 2020-02-25
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet 2014-09-15

Document Name Revision Date
C1 List 2019-05-16
C1 Definitions 2019-05-16
C2 List 2019-05-22
C2 Definitions 2019=03-29
C3A List 2019-06-13
C3A Definitions 2018-06-24
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10

Every three years the CALLERLAB program committees (Basic/Mainstream, Plus, Advanced, and Challenge) undertake a review of the current program lists and definitions. This review may result in additions or deletions of calls/concepts or a revision of definitions. The update of program documents may lag behind the initial public announcement of changes because after the results of the review are known, the committee may have additional work to do to redraft list or definition documents. This entry documents the raw results of the 2018 Triennial Review. Not all affected documents have been updated yet. Entries marked with an asterisk below indicate the changes are reflected in the officially published list.

2018 Triennial Review Results

Basic Results
The Thar Family and related calls are dropped, and as a result, are moved to the Mainstream Program list. This includes:

  • 32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • The Basic Teaching Order is modified as follows: Double Pass Thru, and First Couple Left/Right, Next Couple Left/Right are moved to follow Star Thru in the Basic Program teaching order.*

Mainstream Results
  • Moved to MS from Basic
    32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • Added to MS
    • Fractional Tags (1/2 Tag, 3/4 Tag, 1/4 Tag)*

Plus Results
No Changes

Advanced Results
No Changes

C1 Results
  • Add Track 0-4
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Cross Neighbor
C2 Results
  • Add Grand Drop In/Out/Right/Left*
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
  • Add Any Tagging Call Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
C3A Results
  • Add Single Calls: Shakedown, Turn and Deal
  • Add Interlocked Extend
  • Add Hinge The Top to the family of Lock the Hinge/Hinge the Lock (variations include Lock The Hinge the Top, Beau/Belle Hop the Top

The rows in the table below may be sorted by clicking on the up/down chevron in the column header

Document Name (Link) Date
Basic List 2019-03-06
Basic Definitions 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions Part 1 (German) 2020-07-24
Basic Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Mainstream List 2019-03-06
Mainstream Definitions 2020-02-22
Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Mainstream Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish V2.01) 2010-01-01
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2018-06-22
Basic and Mainstream Checklists 2017-08-17
Basic and Mainstream Timing Charts 2017-08-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions 2014-09-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions (Japanese) 2014-09-15
Basic/Mainstream Standard Applications (Japanese) 2008-01-15
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips 2010-06-21
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-12
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide 2011-02-07
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide (Japanese) 2011-02-07
Formations Pictograms Chart 2010-12-14
Formations and Arrangements Charts 2008-01-15
Experimental Condensed Teaching Order 2015-03-01
Social Square Dance (SSD) Lesson System (formerly Sustainable Square Dance) 2020-07-22
Social Square Dance (SSD) FAQ Document 2020-09-16
Non Program Teaching Items 2007-12-19
Lost Square Procedure 2004-11-19
Emergency Call For Medical Aid ????
Teaching Order Design Principles 2007-12-06
Plus List 2018-09-22
Plus Definitions 2018-09-22
Plus Definitions (Japanese) 2018-09-22
Plus Checklist 2015-09-29
Plus Timing 2016-07-12
Plus Standard Applications 2006-10-09
Plus Standard Applications (Japanese) 2006-10-09
Plus Teaching Tips 2008-11-04
Plus Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-31
Advanced List 2019-10-30
Advanced Definitions 2020-02-25
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet 2014-09-15
C1 List 2019-05-16
C1 Definitions 2019-05-16
C2 List 2019-05-22
C2 Definitions 2019-03-29
C3A List 2019-06-13
C3A Definitions 2018-06-24
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10
Community Dance List 2014-09-17
Community Dance Journal Index 2017-02-22
ARC Decision History (German) 2014-09-17
ARC Decision History (Japanese) 2018-01-31



Two-Couple Teaching and Dancing Recordings

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Tony Collingwood (pace@collingwoods.org) Webpage

In the Challenge dancing world it has often been the case that dancers wishing to learn a new level did not have a live caller near them who could teach it. The remedy for this was “tape groups” that used recorded materials to learn and dance the new level. Unfortunately, a result of our declining numbers is that it is increasingly common for a group wishing to learn a new level to be unable to muster a full square of dancers, let alone a caller. One answer to this problem is recorded material that requires only two couples. A surprising number of calls and concepts can be exercised without a full square.

Tony Collingwood is a caller in the UK who has created an impressive repertoire of 2-couple teaching and dancing material ranging from Mainstream through C3B. These recordings are available free of charge as MP3 downloads. Click on the link in the column to the left to go to a list of the available recordings.


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.


Using Yard Signs to Promote Square Dancing

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Janice Cha (Janice.cha@sbcglobal.net) 2016-06-21

This item contains a description of how the Swinging Sugar Squares of Evergreen Park, Ill. effectively used yard signs to attract more interest in their classes. There is also a link to the Swinging Sugar Squares Toolbox page which contains all kinds of resources such as sign templates, sample flyers, advertising strategies, and more. Click on the links below to see these resources …

Using Yard Signs Article
Toolbox Page


Media Articles on Square Dancing

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-09-09 15:40:27

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 descending order by publication date (i.e. most recent first) 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 58 media articles.

# Publication Date Publication Name Location Article Title Comments
1980-12-31 Phil Donahue Show Chicago, IL Lee Kopman on Phil Donahue Show (video) Lee Kopman has created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, who calls for a group of young dancers, Kopman provides lucid responses to the host’s questions, and he provides clear demonstrations of the differences between traditional and modern square dancing.
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
2013-10-15 US Army ?? Square dancing as easy as A-B-C An account by US Army veteran Mike Smithers about how he found square dancing and eventually became a caller.
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)

Colorado State University Source (Jeff Dodge)

New York, NY

Denver, CO

Denver, CO

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

Dancing May Help Fend Off Aging in the Brain

Study: Dancing may offset some effects of aging in the brain

These three articles, one from the New York Times, one from the Denver Post, and one from the Colorado State University Source, 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.
2017-06-21 Vice (Sean Egan) New York, NY America’s Gay Square Dancing Underground Wants You to Join Them

This article in Vice presents a positive description of the gay square dance movement with a focus on Times Squares in New York.

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.
2018-03-14 Northwest Boomer and Senior News (Deb Allan) Oregon Go Dancing on page 3 of the March 2018 web edition

This article, titled Go Dancing on page 3 of the March 2018 web edition, describes a successful club and dance hall in Springfield, Oregon. Of particular interest is how local clubs banded together to purchase and operate the dance hall. (You will probably need to zoom in to read the text.)

2018-03-14 The Maryville Forum (Jessika Eidson) Maryville, MO Square dancing could improve cognitive and social abilities

Square dancing is not only a lot of fun and a great form of exercise, for older (60-79) adults, it could help prevent cognitive decline. One study done by the University of Colorado found that white matter (the tissue on which messages can be send through the central nervous system) improved in integrity after 6 months of moderate, social exercise.

2018-08-09 The Denver Post (Shaban Athuman, Mark Jaffe) Denver, CO For Some Locals, It’s Hip To Be Square Dancing

This excellent article in the Denver Post does a great job of describing Modern Western Square Dancing and the current efforts of clubs in Denver to attract new members.

2018-09-01 55 PLUS (Colleen M. Farrell) Rochester, NY Square Dancing: Fun for Singles, Couples

This article in 55 PLUS magazine describes the stories of some enthusiasts who say square dancing keeps them mentally and physically active.

2019-02-27 Argus-Courier (Clark Miller) Petaluma, CA Square dancing makes local comeback in Petaluma

This article describes the efforts of Dan Lyke to re-establish square dancing in the Petaluma area. It provides a positive description of the nature of MWSD and outlines some of the challenges square dance groups face in today’s social environment.

2019-07-04 KYWTV (CBS affiliate) Philadelphia, PA Belle’s Run 2019 Square Dance Convention Takes Over Philadelphia

This 3-minute piece does a nice job of depicting square dancing in general and gay square dancing in particular at the 2019 IAGSDC convention in Philadelphia

2019-07-05 WHYY (PBS Radio, Peter Crimmins) Philadelphia, PA Swing those partners: Gay square dancers gather in Philadelphia

This 3-minute audio piece describes the 2019 IAGSDC convention in Philadelphia. It talks about both dancing and calling and provides good information.

2019-07-08 Philadelphia Inquirer (Brandon T. Harden) Philadelphia, PA ‘It’s the world’s best-kept secret’: International LGBTQ square-dancing convention held in Philly for the first time

This piece about the 2019 IAGSDC convention (Belle’s Run) in Philadelphia features interviews with Sandie Bryant and several dancers and organizers.

2019-07-11 AP (Natalie Pompilio) Philadelphia, PA Gay square dancers add new spin to centuries-old dance style

This piece about the 2019 IAGSDC convention (Belle’s Run) in Philadelphia has some nice quotes from dancers and organizers about square dancing and LGBTQ dancing in particular.

2020-01-03 UofL News (Haeli Spears) Louisville, KY UofL researchers study dancing as treatment for veterans with PTSD

Researchers at the University of Louisville and Western Connecticut State University did a pilot study focused on Dancing Well, a local non-profit organization which hosts the Soldier Project. The Soldier Project brings veterans with PTSD together for group dancing and community. The study was aimed at exploring the hypothesis that dancing provides benefits to PTSD patients.

2020-01-17 Times Record (Hannah LaClair) Topsham, ME Square dancing tradition alive in Topsham

This piece is a profile of the SAGE Swingers, a 50 year old club in Maine. It provides a synopsis of the benefits and pleasures of square dancing, as well as a discussion of some of the hurdles the activity faces.

2020-01-31 Capital Gazette (Jack Chavez) Maryland Fort Meade: Swinging squares brings modern square dancing to the community

This profile of Swinging Squares featuring caller Virgil Forbes provides a good positive treatment describing the club and the square dance activity.

2020-02-01 Albany Democrat Herald (Sandra J. Bean) Albany, NY Interfaith Voices: An antidote for despair: dancing

This evocatively written article does an excellent job of describing the mental and emotional experience of square dancing, and the benefits that flow from it.

2013-11-18 San Diego TV San Diego, CA Learn to Square Dance With Buddy Weaver (Video)

Clip for UTSan Diego TV program with caller Buddy Weaver, San Diego Square Dancerss and TV Hosts

2020-05-14 Chicago Tribune (Myrna Petlicki) Chicago, IL Glenview square dance club takes activities online

This article describes how Glenview Squares is staying active and keeping their members engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020-06-05 the Fence Post (Marty Metzger) Bellvue, Colo Such fun being virtually square (dancing)

This article describes how the Lemonaders virtual square dance group came together during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep square dancing alive in their area.

2009-12-16 Wall Street Journal New York, NY Strictly Come Square Dancing: Historian Digs Into Dance’s History

This article from the Wall Street Journal in 2009 give a brief overview of the history of square dancing.

2020-09-07 Salt Lake City Channel 13 Salt Lake City, UT TV News Item

This video from Channel 13 in Salt Lake City provides a positive report on square dancing. It was done during the pandemic and shows people dancing outdoors wearing masks and gloves, with good commentary by Suzi Page.



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 …


Recruitment

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Tim Marriner 2016 Document PDF

Some ideas from Tim Marriner on the subject of recruiting new dancers to a club.

One of the most important necessities of our activity today is the need to find prospective new dancers. Unfortunately, many current dancers have grown weary looking for new people for various reasons. Existing dancers often have hounded their neighbors and friends several times to the point of being a nuisance. There are also dancers that would prefer not to have to “angel” anyone else again, possibly due to burn out. Some members might not really want to lower their proficiency or may wish to move ahead to other forms or programs of dance, not really interested in recruitment of new dancers. If a club determines they need to host new dancer sessions, the entire club needs to understand their responsibilities to support the effort 100%. Recruitment should not be left in just the hands of the caller or the club officers.



New Dancer Coordinator

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Tim Marriner 2016 Document PDF

Does you club have an officer who has the job of organizing and catering to your new dancers? If not, you should think about it. This document describes what the responsibilities of a New Dancer Coordinator would be.

After the Club President the New Dancer Coordinator (NDC) is the next most important officer of a square dance club. They must coordinate between the Club President and the club instructor many necessary duties to achieve success. Without new dancers clubs are destined to fail. New dancers are the lifeblood of our activity. New dancers usually have friends nobody has ever contacted to join the square dance activity. They are often highly motivated and willing to encourage others to join something they find new and exciting. The main objective of the NDC is to provide the best fun filled learning experience possible. The NDC must also work year round to energize the club to recruit prospective new dancers, not just one month prior to a new dancer session. The task is very rewarding when everything comes together and you are able to achieve club growth.



174 Prospecting Ideas

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Jim Langdon (mntndncr@gmail.com) March 2016 174 Prospecting Ideas

Timberline Toppers’ Recruiting Plan

Timberline Toppers is a club that has dramatically grown their membership by creating an effective plan and executing it repeatedly. One element of that plan is to use a variety of prospecting tactics. Over the years they have collected a large number of prospecting ideas and published them in the first document in the list of links. This document is part of a larger Winning Ways story which is included as the second document in the list of links.


Timberline Toppers’ Recruiting Plan

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Jim Langdon (mntndncr@gmail.com) March 2016

Timberline Toppers in Colorado created a recruiting plan that they used repetitively over a period of several years resulting in a dramatic regrowth of their failing club. In 2005 they struggled to put a square on the floor. Their first execution of this plan resulted in 38 new club members. They have fine tuned their plan over the years and now believe they can develop a class of 40 or more any time they choose to put forth the effort.

Read Timberline Toppers’ Plan …
Read Timberline Toppers 174 Prospecting Ideas …


Moving and Grooving Square Dance CDs for Teachers

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Nick and Mary Anne Turner (nmturner@telus.net) Information Website

This is a set of CDs and guidebooks that can be used by teachers or community leaders as a user friendly resource for teaching square dancing. Click on Document Abstract below to see a description of what is included in the package.

Introduction

This dance program is in two sections, each of which can be used as a stand alone program or which you can mix and match to meet your needs.

All the dances are non-sex oriented. This means that you do not have to have boy/girl, man/woman partnering (though you might want to encourage students – especially in the higher grades – to partner with the opposite sex when the man is always on the woman’s LEFT)

The dances in both sections can be used in schools from Grade 3 though 12 and in any church or community group.

Partners will be designated by numbers: “1” for the left hand dancer in a couple (normally the man) and “2” for the right hand dancer in a couple (normally the woman) It helps greatly if the “2s” wear a sash – easily made from forestry marking ribbon, available in most hardware stores.

We used a three ring binder for this program so that you can easily add notes, or copy pages. We have done our best to make it “teacher-friendly.” We hope it will be a program that you will enjoy using for years!

Moving

The first section – “MOVING” – is a collection of traditional dances. Many these dances will be “walked thru” once on one Track and then the dance will be cued or prompted to the music on the next track of the CD. However, there are many that teachers and leaders can easily walk their dancers through themselves. You are expected to teach the steps which are explained in each dance.

Most of these dances can be used with a variety of tunes and songs.
If you have a favorite piece of music or a favorite song, try it with one of the dances. Don’t be afraid to change the dance by omitting or adding an 8 count move such as a Do Sa Do, a Forward and Back, a Star. Let the music tell you!

The dances in this section are good to get a class warmed up before starting on a Square Dance Unit and may be mixed and matched with the Square Dance “ Tips.” There are hundreds of similar dances and a Dance and Music Sources page has been included for your reference.

Grooving

The second section, “GROOVING” is entirely Modern Square Dancing. There are ten sequential units, with all instructions and calling done on the CDs. Units 1 – 5 will be easily done by Grades 3 and 4 and Units 1 – 10 by Grades 5 – 12 and by adult groups.

Again, all the dances are non-sex oriented. The left hand dancer in a couple (usually the man’s position) will be called a “1” and the right hand person of the couple, (usually the woman’s position) will be called a “2”. “2s” are encouraged to wear sashes.

Don’t be scared away by the lesson plans and terminology in this section. They are for your information only. All of the teaching and calling is on the CDs.



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.


Teaching Styling

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation CALLERLAB Convention 2014 Jon Jones and Tim Marriner Video File (part 1)

Video File (part 2)

Handout Files (zipped)

Presentation on the how’s and why’s of teaching styling to new dancers. How styling can help you and your dancers to succeed. Functional styling that helps dancers succeed and feel comfortable dancing (as opposed to regulated styling that implies “do it this way because I told you to” and “this is the way we always do it”).