The International Square Dance Magazine

By Patrick Demerath

Thanksgiving in Square Dancing

The American Callers’ Association in its attempt to be of service to all callers, dancers, and associations provided current, timely, and effective information on new dancer recruitment, winning ways to retain club dancers, and pitfalls to drive square dancers away for most of 2000 to 2015. ACA appreciates the positive comments, encouragement to continue, and contributions from callers and dancers all over the country and from abroad to continue these initiatives. The American Callers’ Association will continue to provide information that will help the square dance community recruit, retain and retrieve square dancers as well as encourage the dancers to reach out to each other.

This month’s American Callers’ Association Viewpoints exemplifies a significance of Thanksgiving with a story of a painful and tragic yet turned positive uplifting story...It was sent in by one of our American Callers’ Association members. It deals with a caller who was bitten by a tick or mosquito carrying a deadly virus. The person whose blood was injected with the virus at first thought nothing of this tick/mosquito bite.

About a week later, the caller went into severe seizures and lapsed into a coma resulting in total memory loss for this period. The medical authorities provided him top notch treatment, but he was unresponsive to all the medication and continued into repeated seizures with lapses into comas with total memory losses.

Although he was responding in part to the aggressive medications, recovery eluded him. Square dancers put him on their various church prayer lists praying for his recovery. Square dancers used an informal square dance network and were able to contract at least one square dance club in every state and the Canadian provinces. All of these clubs reached out to ask for divine healing and recovery for this American Callers’ Association caller. Shortly afterward he was placed on the prayer list of so many groups, he began to recover and respond to the medications. Physicians treating him related that his recovery was a combination of medical and spiritual.

The purpose of this Viewpoints is to point out that the human and caring side of square dancing is its strongest strength. Accepting that the heart and soul of square dancing is healthy and strong, we can remember that Thanksgiving was originally celebrated in thankfulness for a prosperous harvest.

This 2015 Thanksgiving we can be thankful for all the “gifts” in our lives and at the same time be thankful for the supportive and wonderful friendships each of us has made in square dancing. Said another way despite the decreasing numbers with its segregationist dance programs, the fabric and life blood in the hearts of square dancers is beating strong and healthy offering rewards for which to be thankful.

The Board of Directors and membership of the American Callers’ Association wish each of you a very happy and gracious “Thanksgiving.”

Any individual, club, caller, or association who wishes to communicate his/her opinions on this subject is encouraged to contact the American Callers’ Association at or Dr. Patrick Demerath at

Please visit our website and newsletters at Until next time: Happy Thankful Thanksgiving and Happy Dancing.

Fun set to music!