The International Square Dance Magazine


As we embark on a new year, let us reflect on the past, not to dwell on things that may have not gone as we have wished, but on things that have brought us joy. A few years ago Callerlab had an annual meeting theme of “Accent the Positive”. It is with this outlook that we should begin the new year. Should I bemoan the fact that one of the clubs that I call at used to have five squares and is now down to two? Or should I feel good that just last year the club could not field enough for one square on a consistent basis and is slowly growing. Should I complain that they do not dance the Plus Program, or be glad that they are always laughing and dancing the majority of the Mainstream Program? They have fun, they invite their friends and tell them it is OK to only come once in a while. The Caller will always get them up dancing and having a good time. One of my goals for this year is to introduce as many people as possible to Square Dancing. They may only dance once this year and may not return for several years, but, they will have a good experience.

I have heard and read many things about new experimental programs to teach Square Dancing. The more that I read and hear the more I realize that there is nothing new. Different teaching order, different phraseology, shortened lists, even some who teach all position dancing from the beginning. I ask Callers to find what works for them. On the first night I usually teach things like Circles, Stars, Pass Thru, Wheel Around, Ladies Chain and most of the time Grand Square. I had another Caller say that could not be accomplished; he visited my opening night when I had six new dancers. He left a believer. Unfortunately I cannot even take credit for this as I learned how to teach this during a break at a Callerlab Convention. I just love creative plagiarism.

As we embark on this a brand new year, let us give thanks for this wonderful activity. Let us look forward to finding a way to introduce this activity to more people, if for no other reason than to bring joy into their lives. Happy New Year from your friends and staff of American Square Dance. 

Fun set to music!