64th Florida State
Square & Round Dance Convention

With only a few months to go, your Convention Wizards have been hard at work getting ready for a magical Convention. Clarence the Misguided Magician has been quietly tending the trees in the Enchanted Forest and generally staying out of trouble. There has been some talk among the wizards of reinstating Clarence’s wizard status if he does a good job and behaves himself.
 
The 2018 Convention has a lot of new features, and I am delighted to tell you about yet another. Challenge-level dance is coming to Daytona! The program will include ten hours of C dance. Bobby Keefe, Jack Lewis, Chris Phillips, and Keith Stevens have agreed to call  C-1 and C-2 dances. Please let your friends and callers know about this opportunity.
 
Wizard Bill of Chesnut, our Chief Caller Wizard, would like to make sure you understand what we mean by Introduction and Workshop. An Introduction is lessons on one dance level for people who dance at the next lower level. So, an introduction to A-1 would be attended by people who dance at least at the Plus level, and any A-1 material introduced will be taught as though you have no A-1 experience. A Workshop is intended for dancers who dance at the advertised level and wish to improve their skills at that level. Dancers attending an A-1 workshop will be expected to know the complete A-1 program, and will get practice with some of the trickier calls, for example, or explore calls from unusual positions or less common choreography.
 
We promised you more than just a Trail End dance, and we are delivering. Wizard Susan will be doing a Round Dance teach in the afternoon, followed by a pizza dinner, and then a 3-hour dance to get you all revved up for the Convention. Prices are $8 for dance (either or both sessions) and $7 for dinner. Please plan on telling us in advance if you plan on coming for dinner, because we will need to know how much food to order. We will tell you how next month.
 
Trail End Dance and Pizza Party, Feb. 22, 2018
Nova Community Center, 440 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, FL 32174
3:00 - 4:30 Round Dance Teach with Susan Snider
4:30 - 6:00 Pizza Dinner.
6:00 - 6:30 Early Rounds
6:30 - 9:00 MS / Plus Squares and Rounds
 
We have heard from the enchanted forest that, due to Clarence’s efforts and a little behind-the-scenes magic from a fellow named Bob Bahrs, the floors will assemble themselves, and we will not need volunteers to help put them down. After all, we do not want to give away all our magic secrets, do we?!  We still need dancers to help keep them down -- by dancing on them!
 
Finally, a reminder that the price of ribbons goes up year-end. Save five bucks and get your ribbons now!
 
Until next time, be yourself. Unless you are a unicorn. Then, be a unicorn!
 
-- Lewis

 

I am afraid I got a little behind on the newsletter last month. I would love to blame it on the hurricane … in fact, I will. It was the hurricane. Really. Anyway, sorry about that, and the rest will definitely get out on time … unless there’s a hurricane.
 
Some folks like to give you Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) lists. But we figure you already have questions, and you don't need more. So we present our FQA (Frequently Questioned Answers) list. Hopefully this will answer some of the questions you already have.
 
64FSRDC FQA List:
 
YES, there will be hardwood floors in ALL dance rooms at the Convention.
 
YES, there will be enough hotel rooms. In fact, Wizard Randy worked some real magic, and they are building a new hotel JUST FOR US! The Fairfield will open in October, and it will be just a spell-throw away from our host hotel, the Homewood Suites. We will send a special email when it opens, in case you still need a room. There are also still rooms available at the Hilton, right across from the Ocean Center.
 
I also heard from a fellow dancer that rooms are still available at:
Best Western Daytona Inn Seabreeze Oceanfront
730 N Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach
(386) 255-5491
 
YES, if you stay at the Hilton, there is a pedestrian bridge direct to the Ocean Center, so you won’t risk getting squished crossing the street.
 
YES, if you return your ribbon, you will get a full refund, BUT you must return it before the Convention starts. Anyone who returns an unused ribbon after the Convention will receive our most sincere thanks for the generous donation.
 
YES, now would be an excellent time to talk to your friends about the Blast Class. Be sure to let them know that the class is open to anyone, regardless of experience, and we would be delighted to have a few Mainstream dancers there to serve as angels. We expect to teach the new dancers about half of the mainstream program, with an emphasis on fun, fitness, and fellowship; mostly FUN! You do not have to have a dance partner to attend the Blast Class.
 
YES, the blast class is $35 for the weekend, no matter when you register.
 
YES, simple First Aid supplies will be available at the registration desk, BUT we will not have an EMT on site. Any emergency will be referred to local 911 services.
 
YES, the Convention is considered a "private event." This means that everyone attending, even volunteers, must be fully registered. We welcome folks who no longer dance to volunteer. They will receive a complimentary Staff ribbon.
 
YES, there will be a Trail-End dance on Thurs. Feb. 22 at Nova Community Center. The schedule will be announced in a future newsletter. Be sure to watch for it, because we are planning more than just a dance!
 
YES, Wizards Lewis and Linda are bringing their passports to all the dances they attend, and YOU SHOULD, TOO! Don’t worry, though, because Wizards Lewis and Linda are not going to enter the drawing, because they already know THEY WOULD WIN! They are trying to get to all the clubs in Florida to dance. But if they don’t make it to your club, please understand that Florida is BIG!
 
YES, Wizard Lewis sends out two copies of this newsletter each month. One for publication in regional newsletters and Bow & Swing, and another copy for all dancers registered for the Convention. That's why some of you get two copies of the same newsletter every month.
 
The wizards hope that this answers all your questions. If not, please email your question to Wizard Lewis, and he will include it in a future IQA (Infrequently Questioned Answers) list. lewiswasserman@gmail.com
 
Until next time, have fun dancing, and keep an eye on the weather!
 
-- Lewis 

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. lewiswasserman@gmail.com
 
Be a Wizard! We are still trying to find the best wizards to fill the following positions:
Dangle Dances
Grand March
Hospitality
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. lewiswasserman@gmail.com
 
Until next time, dance like nobody’s watching (except your corner!)
 
-- Lewis 

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:
 
https://www.travelblog.org/Photos/4064835
 
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!
 
-- Lewis 

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!
 
-- Lewis

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 about carpet.
 
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 you dance.
 
Until next time, Happy Independence Day, keep dancing and share the magic!
 
-- Lewis


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