Autumn is on the way, the grandkids are going back to school,
and soon the snowbirds will be flocking back to Florida. It’s been a busy summer
for the wizards. Lewis & Linda have been visiting all the clubs in the
Northwest, and we are happy to report that the McDonalds and Cheryl Miller have
done a great job spreading the word and distributing merchandise to support the
Convention. Panhandle dancers often attend major events in Alabama, Mississippi,
and Georgia, and we are delighted that many of them are going to travel a little
farther to join us in Daytona Beach this February. (We central Floridians often
forget that Pensacola is so far west, it’s in a different time zone!) We know
that all of the Ways and Means wizards have been doing a great job because over
420 people are registered for the Convention already. So, when you see that
person at your dance with a stack of shirts, mugs, and buttons, be sure to give
them a yellow rock and thank them for doing such a great job. And buy something.
Please don’t forget that part.
We want to let you know about emergency services. In the past, the Lakeland
Center has required us to employ a paramedic. They are expensive, and very
rarely needed. Since the Ocean Center does not have this requirement, we do not
plan on having a paramedic on site. We will have common first-aid items at the
registration desk, and we will refer any true emergencies to the local 911
service. An AED is available at the Ocean Center. Since we are a private group,
everyone attending in any capacity must be registered.
Free admission: Don’t get your hopes up; if you come to dance, you gotta pay.
But, we know that there are some dancers who can’t dance any more, but would
like to be included. We welcome those folks to help out with areas such as
registration and hospitality, and we will give you a volunteer ribbon for free.
Also, spectators are welcome. They must register, but will not be charged for
admission. Lastly, we need three special, rugged, helpful, downright wonderful
individuals to help with set-up and tear-down of the flooring. No experience is
necessary -- they will show you what to do. We need you from 6 AM until 9 AM on
Friday, and 9PM until midnight on Saturday. Those folks will receive a refund of
their admission after the Convention. Please contact Wizard Lewis if you are
interested in being a floor helper.
Be a Wizard! We are still trying to find the best wizards to fill the following
These important positions must get filled soon, so if you don’t want to hear
begging and groveling, please contact Wizard Lewis to volunteer for these.
Until next time, dance like nobody’s watching (except your corner!)
Summer is heating up in the Enchanted Forest, and the gnomes
have been doing their best to calm down the dragons so they won’t make as much
heat. The saplings planted for the Convention’s wood floor are growing well, and
they have gotten their bark as well as their bite!
We would like to tell you about a new feature that your Ways and Means wizards
will be bringing around soon. Wish trees are a Japanese tradition where people
write their wishes on paper or wood and hang them from trees or wire forms
resembling trees. I can’t tell you how often the wishes come true, but I can say
for sure that when you buy a wish, it will help our dreams of a great Convention
come true by helping to pay for the flooring. We will have colorful paper and
other materials to choose from, and you can decorate them any way you fancy.
Make a wish, say Hi to that special someone, or share whatever philosophy
happens to move you at the moment. Put anything you want (that would not be
bleeped on broadcast TV) on the card, and we will display it for the duration of
the Convention. Also, be sure to look through the wish trees during the
Convention, because, who knows, there might be one for you! Here is an example:
We have mentioned the Blast Class before, and we would like to remind you of the
opportunity that is available for new dancers and dancers who will be taking
classes in February. Wizards Bob and Keith are preparing a great weekend of fun
and learning for folks who are new to square dancing. The class is intended for
people who are completely new to square dance, and for people who are already
taking lessons. The goal will be to teach about half of the mainstream program,
but the focus will be on a fun weekend and a chance for learners to get some
good floor time.
In the past, there was really nothing for people to do at a Convention until
they had completed Mainstream classes. This class will give your friends a
chance to experience the fun of dance as well as the fellowship and excitement
of a whole convention of dancers. Please let your non-dancer friends know about
this opportunity, and please ask your caller to announce it when your fall or
winter square dance classes begin. Also, at the Convention, please stop by the
class from time to time to be angels. Ribbons for Blast Class students will be
$35 no matter when they register.
Lastly, I have a few words about the dress code. Some folks have actually asked
me what “clothing required” means. Many of us love getting all gussied up in our
Square-Dance Finest. Nothing beats the sight of folks in their fancy outfits,
skirts whipping and bolos flying. And some folks are a little put off by it.
Wizard Linda and I frequently go out in square dance outfits, and never, not
once, ever, has anybody told us “I just have to learn to square dance so I can
dress up like that too!” So, what kind of clothing is required, you might ask.
Go ahead, I’m listening.
Funny you should ask, because I actually have several answers for that: Dress as
you wish to be remembered. You will be dancing with 6 or 7 hundred of your best
friends, and they will remember. If you would wear it to the shopping mall, you
can wear it here. If you would wear it to the gym, maybe not. Most important,
don’t let clothing choices be a problem. Be comfortable. Be stylish. Be
outrageous. Be traditional. Be unique. Be whatever makes this the best
Convention that it can be for you! Any questions?
Until next time, be nice to the dragons. Summer is hot enough already!
Summer is in full swing, and and the wizards are enjoying the
cool ocean breezes and the 79 degree ocean temperature at Daytona Beach. Alas,
when we all converge on Daytona for the Convention, the ocean will be more like
59 degrees, so we don’t expect any but the stoutest square & round dancers to be
spending much time in the water. Thankfully, there will be plenty to keep us
busy on dry land.
Our Program Book and Ways and Means Wizards would like two moments of your time.
Firstly, we need people and businesses willing to support our convention by
buying ads in the program book. These could be businesses in Florida who might
like to attract some business, vendors looking for that select audience, or even
personal ads.That brings us to: Secondly, the Convention Chair-Wizards have a
special request. Please don’t congratulate us on a job well (or poorly) done.
Flattery will not get us to do this again in the foreseeable future. Instead, we
would like to see what is magical for you about your dance club, caller, cuer,
etc. Maybe you would just like to point out that your snack table has many forms
of chocolate each week, or that your caller is absolutely the best in the known
universe. Perhaps you know a “Square Dance Hero” who deserves acknowledgement,
or an upcoming special event. Whatever makes dance magical for you, is what we
would like to see in the ads. We are requesting that each dance club rustle up
at least 2 advertisers. You can download the ad form from the Convention
website, or talk to Ways and Means wizard Aileen Picheco.
We know that some of you have been wondering about when to bring your Passports.
The simple answer is every time you dance. Every square dance, round dance,
convention, festival, demo, hoedown, barn dance, etc.. For multi-day events, get
it initialed each day. Any state, county, country, district or neighborhood. Any
season, month, phase of the moon, or time of day. If you dance, take the credit.
Lastly, a reminder that the drawing for the Google Home and Chromecast is coming
up soon. The drawing will be in November at the NEFSARDA Fall Festival. Lots of
folks have asked me what Google Home is, and why they should care. Home is the
Google Assistant in a little round box. It responds to your voice, answers
questions, plays music, plays games, and lots of other things. With Chromecast,
Home (or your smartphone, tablet, or computer) can broadcast movies, TV,
slideshows, and other media on your TV. New features are added to Home all the
time. It recently learned how to talk you through a recipe step by step, and it
can help you manage your shopping list. All you need is WiFi, and a smartphone
or tablet to set it up, and there are no monthly charges.
Until next time, feel the magic when you dance!
It’s summer time in the enchanted forest, and the dragonflies
are frolicking among the sage and lotus plants. The wizards have been busy
finding a venue for the Trail-End Dance. Wizard Lewis divined that the best
location is the Nova Community Center in Ormond Beach. It is located at
440 N Nova Rd, Ormond Beach, FL 32174
and has plenty of space with a wood-floored double basketball
court. Clarence the Misguided Magician offered to visit, but Wizard Linda smiled
sweetly and cast a forgetting spell so he would not remember where the place is.
If you happen to find yourself strolling through the Enchanted Forest, and come
upon Clarence, please be sure NOT to mention that the Trail End Dance will be at
the Nova Community Center in Ormond Beach on Thursday, 2/22/18. And certainly do
not let him know that there is no carpet in the place. You know how Clarence is
We have heard from some folks who are having trouble getting the discounted
rates at the host hotels, because they are filling up. While the wizards work
with the host hotels to increase room availability, some of our apprentices are
working to find a couple of other hotels you may wish to try. We do not have
group rates, but their regular prices are pretty reasonable. We will have
further information in the next newsletter. If you know a good place near the
Ocean Center, please let us know, and we will make you an honorary apprentice!
When you arrive at the Ocean Center, you will probably want to park your car.
Wizard Don wants to save you some money, so here is what you do: Ask for an
“Exhibitor Pass “ when you park for the first time. It is $5 a day for in/out
parking. The secret is that anyone can get these passes. You don't actually need
to be an exhibitor, but you do have to use the Magic Words “Exhibitor Pass.”
Remember to bring your Dance Passports with you and get them initialed each time
Until next time, Happy Independence Day, keep dancing and share the magic!