The International Square Dance Magazine

Barry Casper

CALLERLAB Square Dance Knowledge Base

So let’s say you’re on the Executive Board of your local square dance club and you’re trying to think up new ways to recruit new members. Or maybe you just got assigned the task of running a special event dance and you’re looking for guidance. Wondering how you can use social media to help promote your club? Perhaps you’re a new caller trying to find material to assist your professional development. Are you hunting for new marketing ideas? You just heard through the grapevine that XYZ Club down the road had 50 new dancers in their class. How did they do that? You know that every year CALLERLAB runs a Convention with 40 or more hours of recorded education. Where can you get that material? You want to have more than one new dancer intake in a year: how can you adapt your teaching process and club organization to do that? All of that and much more is available in the new “CALLERLAB Square Dance Knowledgebase”.

This website ( is designed to house the kind of material that will help you in all of the above areas, and many more. The slogan of the website is: “Sharing ideas and experiences for the betterment of square dancing”.

The most important word in that slogan is “sharing”. This material is not a series of lectures and dissertations by experts favoring you with their golden thoughts (well, mostly not). The material is gathered from people who have experienced something and are willing to share what they learned. Think of it as a collection of newspaper clippings, stories, and scrapbook items. Each one bears on some aspect of Modern Western Square Dancing, but they come from all over the place. They may contain thoughts, opinions, ideas, anecdotes, histories, references, insights, resources, and much more. They all represent something somebody somewhere thought was valuable enough to write down, record, present, or otherwise share.

The Knowledgebase is organized into a number of sections:

Promoting Square Dancing: This section contains information relevant to promoting the square dance activity in general. It includes topics such as marketing and advertising, creating videos, social media tips, and other items relevant to conveying a positive image of the square dance activity.

Developing Dancers: This section contains information about finding, recruiting, training, and retaining dancers. It also contains information on operating clubs, lesson systems, community and party dances, and other topics.

Developing Callers: This section contains information for and about callers. It includes material that callers may use for their own education, as well as materials to help those who are mentoring a potential caller.

CALLERLAB Conventions: This section collects recordings of presentations at CALLERLAB Conventions. There are now hundreds of these available, both audio, and in later years, video.

Winning Ways: This section collects “Winning Ways” stories that have been provided over the years. These are stories sent in by people who have taken the time to share their experience, either positive or negative, with some method or approach to achieving a goal. The Winning Ways section contains the complete stories so you can understand the complete context of the experience. Some of the individual ideas, however, have also been extracted and entered as separate items so you can find them without having to read through the entire story.

Often though, you will want to find articles on a topic more specific than the broad categories above. Each article is “tagged” with keywords that describe the particular topics it discusses. For instance, an article that deals with ways to advertise would be tagged with “advertising” along with any other topics it specifically discusses. On the right side of every Knowledgebase page is a “tag cloud” (a list of all tags that have been used to describe articles). You can just click on one to see a list of all the articles bearing that tag. And of course, full-text search is also available.

For a full description of how to navigate the material, please read the section on the Homepage titled “How To Use This Knowledgebase”.

As I said earlier, this Knowledgebase is a collection – a collection of material provided by many, many people. People like you!

If you have material you think might be helpful, or have seen material elsewhere you think might be helpful, send a note to and specify in the subject line that you have material for the Knowledgebase. Visit soon, and visit often –!

Fun set to music!