The International Square Dance Magazine


First, once again I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, cards and letters through these difficult times. We are maintaining our sense of humor and are expecting positive results.

I hope everyone reads the ACA report this month. They have written a good article on recruiting new dancers. As you read please notice that it involves club members. Whether it is someone to answer the phone, put out signs or place flyers in different locations. I was at a dance one night and one of the dancers went to the president and showed him a newspaper article that said “email your current event and we will publish it at no charge.” The president said that they tried that a few years ago and even paid for an ad and they had no results. So, we are not going to ever do that again! As the hired caller I had to bite my tongue. Later, I as the dancer, said to go ahead and place the listing. We must find new dancers, and then we must keep them.

I keep reading and hearing about, “lets shorten the list”, “lets reduce class time”, “let’s make it easier to get someone into square dancing.” There seems to be no ending of these types of statements throughout our community of callers. Now let me add, I have seen on different websites and have heard callers comments about the details of specific definitions of calls. “Can we call it from this position?”, “Is this a legal call?”, “I don’t like that call so I never call it.” My question is, whatever happened to fun? Whatever happened to dancing to the music? What is wrong with counting out loud to get dancers to do their Ladies Chain on time to the music. What is wrong with having dancers learn how many beats of music a Grand Square is supposed to take, or even having the dancers count for you after you make the call. What is wrong with having the dancers on a right and left grand saying, “B, I, N, G, swing OOOOO”. Not only will the dancers know how far to go, they might even laugh a little.

Yes I like to let my dancers in on the definition of the call. I even tell the starting and ending formation and the number of beats of music. Do I make them memorize these thing? No, but I want them familiar, especially the timing. I want the dancers, dancing to the music. I want to hear the shuffle of the feet as they move around the floor, I want to hear the sound of laughter. I want dancers to know that this is a recreation. A recreation well worth the time and money invested. A lot of dancers will continue with other programs of dancing up to the complex puzzle solving of DBD (APD) Mainstream and Plus. Some to the puzzle solving skills of Advanced and Challenge. Gradually these take us away from dancing. We are adding other skills and we are having fun. But in my humble opinion Square Dancing starts with Basics and for the most part ends at Plus. Yes, at Advanced and Challenge we can still dance to the music, but, for the most part it is patter choreography. Yes this is fun and I enjoy this type of dancing as well as anyone. I also like the relaxation and fun of dancing to the music.

Fun set to music!