There are several opportunities for mainstream and plus level square dancing in Central Ohio this week:
Sunday, July 20 – Little Brown Jug Singles Summer Fling, Eagles Lodge #376, 127 E Williams St, Delaware, OH 43015. Plus & Advanced, 2:00 to 5:00 PM (Two halls). Callers: Ben Purkett & Ed Laudenschlager. Cuer: Elaine Wintrow.
Sunday, July 20 – Friendly Ties 2nd Annual Luau at Pickerington Senior Center, 150 Hereford Dr, Pickerington, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM. Caller: Danny Beck. Cuer: Chuck Berry.
Wednesday, July 23 – Daylight Dancers at the Gillie Senior Center, 2100 Morse Centre, Columbus 43229 from 3 to 4:45 PM. Caller and cuer: Mark Johnson. (LOCATION CHANGE FOR THIS DATE.)
Wednesday, July 23 – Summer in the Park Dance at Whitehall Community Center, 402 N Hamilton Rd, from 6:45 PM to 8:45 PM. Callers: Tom Rudebock. Cuer: Linda Bishop.
Friday, July 25 – Bucks & Does Ice Cream Social at Gahanna Community Congregational Church, 470 Havens Corners Rd, Gahanna from 8 to 10:30 PM. (Early rounds at 7:30 PM). Caller: Eddie Powell. Cuer: Mark Johnson.
Saturday, July 26 – Grove City Western Squares at the Evans Senior Center, 4330 Dudley Ave, Grove City, from 7:30 to 10:30 PM. (Advance 6:30 to 7:30 PM.) Caller: Tom Strickland. Cuer: Chuck Berry.
Sunday, July 27 – Maple Leaf Squares at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 309 W Broadway, Granville, from 4:30 to 7 PM. Caller: Sam Philipps.
Do you believe in fate? I bought a raffle ticket at my local lodge, not to win the prize, which was free square dance lessons, but to help out my lodge in a money making function. I did not win! By a strange twist in the road, the man who did win; his wife became ill and they could not attend. He gave the ticket to me. My wife Carol was excited; me, not so much. After attending lessons the first night, we were hooked big time. We started taking lessons at 3 clubs, and upon graduation, we traveled and danced all over. We became involved with the club we graduated from, holding Vice-President, then the following year, club President and also booking callers. I listened and watched the callers while dancing, and thought I would like to try that. I had always loved music and liked to sing. Because we were so active with dancing, we became friends with, and knew several callers. One night I mention casually to Cecil Sayers, a local caller, that I would like to learn to call. Next time I saw him he had a box of 5 records, and he told me to learn one of the singing calls, and the next time he called locally, I was to do one with him. True to his word, that is what happened, and to my surprise, the dancers liked it.
Would you believe fate stepped in again? It just so happened that another one of the local callers was giving up two clubs that he called for. To my shock, representatives of both clubs had plans for me. They had asked me, that if their clubs helped me learn how to call, and if I got to the point I could teach lessons, would I be interested in teaching for both clubs? Wow, this was a dream come true. That summer we all met in a garage, with dancers painstakingly willing to go very slow for me, so I could figure out how to get the head man back with his corner. I also decided that I needed extra help, so Carol and I went to Reno, Nevada to Caller School West. This really helped, because of the basic fundamentals, plus being with like minded people in the same boat I was in. By fall, both clubs thought I had learned enough to teach classes for them so they hired me. I taught for both clubs, plus helped out other local clubs with their lessons, when they needed me. I also did a free clinic in the summer months out of my neighbor's building for any dancers who felt they needed more work on any calls they needed. This helped both me and dancers alike.
My first dance I called was in Dayton, Ohio. At that time in my life Carol and I were traveling, showing Quarter Horses, and when we were at a show, out of town, we would try to find a square dance in the area we were showing in. It just so happened that while we had been in Dayton at a show, we found a dance close by and Jim Urbau was the caller. He let me up to do a tip and they booked me right there. About a year later, I called the dance for The Dayton 8’s, and luckily, 5 couples from home went with me for support. That gave me a good square to cue off of. From there things just seemed to snowball, and I started to get booked everywhere. I have called in numerous State and National Conventions, and have called in about 15 different states.