The International Square Dance Magazine


Patrick Demerarth

Let's Recognize Dancers' Desires

The American Callers’ Association in its attempt to be of service to all callers, dancers, and associations has provided current, timely, and effective information on new dancer recruitment, winning ways to retain club dancers, and pitfalls that drive square dancers away from 2000 to 2017. ACA really appreciates the positive comments, encouragement to continue, and contributions from callers and dancers all over North America and abroad to continue these initiatives. ACA 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 speak out on the cumbersome dance programs.

If square dancing is to reverse its decline, the focus of square dancing must turn from the Caller, Caller Associations and National Dancers’ Associations to the Dancers, and Resistance to Change (which is damaging square dancing) must be reduced. The American Callers’ Association advocates that square dancing has the potential to be of interest to many new people and does not have to fail if we all begin to change our ways by putting the Dancers’ needs and preferences first and let go of the “sacred cows” such as the outdated and debilitating dance programs with their long periods of instruction.

Let’s address the positive side of Square Dancing, which is fun and friendship. Let’s notice, recognize, and offer thanks to square dancers who have gone unnoticed, unrecognized, and un-thanked for helping when needed. Let us as callers and national, state and local associations and federation leaders remember, support and thank them.

Let’s identify these dancers and thank them by their actions.

• Dancers who have helped support church activities and entertained the infirmed.
• Dancers and square dance clubs who have helped raise funds to support such worthy activities as the Handicapable Square Dancer Activities.
• Dancers who take offices in clubs and associations because no one else will.
• Dancers, who work to recruit new dancers and retain current dancers.
• Dancers who are not callers, but fill in for absent callers.
• Dancers who start new square dance activities.
• Dancers who are willing to try new ideas.

In Summary in these times of conflict, unrest and decline in Square Dancing, let us focus our attention on the dancers. It is their activity. It is by focusing on their needs and preferences that square dancing can survive and regenerate itself.

Any individual, club, caller, or association who wishes to communicate his/her opinions on this subject is encouraged to contact the American Callers’ Association ( ) or Dr. Patrick Demerath ( ). Please visit our website and newsletters at

Until next time, happy dancing!

Fun set to music!