The International Square Dance Magazine

Mike Seastrom

The CALLERLAB Foundation

The purpose of The CALLERLAB Foundation for the Preservation and Promotion of Square Dancing is: “to support the funding of projects which will preserve and promote square dancing.” The projects are designed to help protect the activity, contribute to its growth, and emphasize the social, physical, and mental benefits of square dancing.

The Foundation was formed in 1992 with a mission to not only preserve and promote the folk art of American square dancing, but also its related dance forms. Its vision has been to coordinate the efforts to raise funds by seeking grants, endowments, and donations to support its mission. It is a 501(c)(3) organization which means that most of the contributions may be tax-deductible, but it’s always a good idea to consult with your tax advisor for more information.

The accomplishments of The CALLERLAB Foundation are many and on-going. They began with funding an internet marketing survey to find better and more effective ways to market our dance form and find better and more seamless ways to allow non-dancers access to our new dancer programs. The Foundation published and distributed almost a million brochures to promote square dancing and produced and distributed over 4,000 promotional video tapes containing TV public service announcements to be used for recruiting new dancers. The CALLERLAB Foundation also provided grant money to The Square Dance Foundation of New England, educational materials to the Czech Republic, and funded an educational exchange between master dance instructors from the People’s Republic of China and square dance leaders in the United States.

At, one can find contribution information and applications for grants and scholarships that are currently available. There is a sample document of a codicil that can be added to a will allowing people to bequeath funds to The Foundation and also grant information with an application to support efforts to establish a continuing series of square dances at colleges and universities. The Foundation website also contains information and grant applications for youth and newer callers to get useable equipment at little or no cost. All callers, dance leaders, and organizations are being encouraged to support this important project to further encourage new callers and teachers for the future of our dance activity. There is also grant information and an application form for clubs to apply to receive up to $250 in grant money to help manage a new dancers’ program. A club can be eligible to reapply two years after receiving this grant.

Another section on the Foundation website contains applications and information for various scholarships and grants for caller and dance leader education. The first application is for callers in need to receive funds to attend an organized caller school and the second application is for financial aid available to organizations that need help presenting an educational event.
Also in this section of the website is information on the David Krediet Scholarship Fund, the Paul Place Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Kenneth Reid Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Michael Jacobs Memorial Scholarship Fund, and the Music Producers Committee Scholarship Fund. These scholarships are aimed at helping new callers acquire funds to attend a full caller school. The CALLERLAB Foundation Executive Directors review each application and may award additional grants deemed appropriate by the circumstances of the application.

There is also information on the Grand Square Incorporated (GSI) Education Fund.

Proceeds from the Grand Square Inc. fund are intended for use by:

1)  A deserving dancer who has indicated a desire to learn how to better serve square dancing.

2)  A deserving caller who has a background of calling or dancing; and who has indicated a desire to learn to call or a desire to improve their calling.

3)  A square dance organization which has indicated a desire to sponsor a seminar or clinic to provide training to dancers or callers to help them better serve square dancing.

Wouldn’t you like to give something back to the activity which has given you so much pleasure? You have that opportunity because the Foundation operates through private contributions, public grants, and endowments. The goals and objectives can only be met if funds are made available. Here are some ways you can help:

A) Make a tax-deductible contribution – The Foundation is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) Corporation and donations may be tax deductible as previously mentioned.

B) Hold a dance with proceeds donated directly to The Foundation.

C) Sell promotional merchandise available from the Foundation.

D) Sponsor a caller to attend a Foundation sponsored caller seminar.

E) Add a standard codicil to your last will and testament, bequeathing funds to The Foundation.

F)  Add $1.00 to the admission fee for dances, festivals, and weekends and send them to The Foundation for the Preservation and Promotion of Square Dancing.

In the past 5 years, The CALLERLAB Foundation has awarded over 90 scholarships totaling over $21,000 to assist callers attending caller schools. The Foundation has also distributed almost $20,000 in grants to assist clubs, organizations, and callers with lessons, calling in schools, educational seminars, marketing surveys, history projects, re-imaging project, and donations to the ARTS (Alliance of Round, Traditional, and Square Dance, Inc.) Additional information regarding this organization can be found at Become actively involved in preserving and promoting our dance activity in all its various forms. Find out how you, your club, or your organization can donate and if necessary obtain grants or scholarships from the CALLERLAB Foundation by visiting the website mentioned in the first part of this article. The future is up to us and investing in callers and dance leaders now will make all the difference in passing our dance to future generations. 

Fun set to music!