The International Square Dance Magazine
AMERICAN CALLERS' ASSOC. VIEWPOINTS

By
By Tom Davis, President

Looking Ahead into 2015 and Beyond

Dear Friends in Square Dancing: It is with the greatest of enthusiasm and optimism on behalf of the members and the Executive Board of the American Callers Association that I would like to wish all square dancers and callers a very happy and prosperous 2015.

Sometimes we hear someone say “We used to have 15 squares every Friday or Saturday night.” “There used to be 150 squares at the State Convention.” “We would not think of starting a class unless there were at least 5 squares of new members.” “There were people competing with one another for a club or association office.”

Perhaps we spend too much time and effort focusing on the past. Everyone would like to see square dancing become today what it was 25 or 35 years ago. This may not happen overnight, but good things can happen if we keep it moving. Square dancing has been on the decline for at least 30 years. There is no magic cure or silver bullet that can turn the decline in the number of dancers around.

Unless we start Looking Ahead this decline will continue. It has been the goal of American Callers Association for the past 22 years to Look Ahead, searching for new ways to reduce the time and effort needed to bring new dancers into the activity by changing the activity to better fit the lifestyle changes of the demographic groups of Seniors (55 million people), Baby Boomers (78 million people), Generation X (41 million people), and Tweens & Teens (71 million people).
There are many people to join and dance. We have to look at the significant changes in lifestyles and adjust our square dance program accordingly to fit their needs and preferences. The ACA one floor program which can be taught in as little as 12-14 weeks would fit many of the changing lifestyles.

We at American Callers Association are daily Looking Ahead by communicating with Callers, Dancers and Organizations to share ideas and methods that have worked for them and publishing them in our American Callers’ Association Newsletters and in American Square Dance magazine under the American Callers’ Viewpoints. By doing this we hope to contribute to reversing the downward slide and bring square dancing back to being the great activity it should be like we once had.

This is something that cannot be accomplished by any one organization. Everyone must work together in this effort in order for it to begin to work. The American Callers’ Association receives suggestions and anecdotal success stories of square dance recruiting success from all over the square dance world. I would like to thank the many people who provide us with the “good recruiting” news and encourage any dancer, club, association, or caller to contact us and we will publish them in the ACA Newsletter and in the American Callers Viewpoints in American Square Dance magazine. Our goal is to get the “successful” accomplishments and ideas to you who are the true life blood of square dancing.

Looking Ahead will become the self fulfilling prophesy to begin to reverse the decline in square dancing. Send ACA your ideas and we will be happy to publish them.

Any individual, club, caller, or association who wishes to communicate his/her opinions on this subject or communicate their success stories in recruiting is encouraged to contact the American Callers’ Association at Loulet@aol.com or Dr. Patrick Demerath at pdemerath@hotmail.com.

A happy and prosperous 2015 to all. Let’s move forward together and: Happy 2015 Dancing!

Fun set to music!