From 2011 to mid-2016 the COCDC ran a series of articles highlighting the dance leaders who called or cued in Ohio or at dances and dance festivals in neighboring states. A different person was featured every month and this page contains the collective sum of their stories. While changes in status, such as retirements and deaths, have been noted where known, and bios occasionally updated, we have purposely elected not to remove old entries in order to preserve them for the historical record. Please feel free to browse through the writeups that follow, or use the index at the top of the page to locate a specific individual quickly. We are indebted to Velma Doyle who invested countless hours of her time to make this project happen.
Introductions are always the hardest part of just about anything, and with me it proves out. Someone once said “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step” and so it is with Western Square Dancing...
I am called “Tom” but my real name is George Thomas Alexander. I have always gone by a short version of my middle name. However, if it was correct it should be “Thom”. I have been involved in many forms of dancing from my teenage years forward. In the “70’s” if you acted like you grabbed hold of an electric cattle fence and made the same gyrations, it was called dancing.
I had studied six forms of martial arts and the practice portions are called “forms” or “kata” which translates to “dance”. I did not pursue this farther than my military career and after retiring from the US Army, I retired it also.
During my military career, I had to march soldiers from point A to point B and timing and movement where essential to completing the task. I spent several years in Central America and decided to learn how to dance the “Meringue” so I took formal ballroom dancing lessons.
In the year 2005, my sister wanted me to learn “Western Square Dancing”. I took a few lessons and gave up, not because of instructor issues — Joe Chiles was a great instructor — but because I needed a partner, I didn’t have one, and it seemed to me that I was burdening the club with getting me one.
In 2007, I married Holly and my sister asked us to learn “Western Square Dancing”. We attended a dance in Lima, Ohio, at the “Sues and Ques” Club where Sam Dunn was calling that night. We began our lessons in the fall of 2008 with the “High Point See-Saws”. It took a lot of practice, attending dances that allowed beginners, and a lot of patience, but in 2009 we graduated. During one of the dances, a Caller by the name “Ed Laudenschlager” and his wife “Faye” invited us to their club, the “Bucks & Does Singles”. Their club hadn’t finished their lessons, so we decided to take more lessons from them.
While at the 2012 Ohio State Convention I saw novice callers. I thought if they had the courage to try to be a caller, so would I. I sought the advice of several callers on how to begin; I entered an Amateur Night for Callers dance and attended “Hash’em Up” Workshops. I was soon offered opportunities to do demos, call guest tips, and soon clubs began taking a chance and having me call their dances.
Due to my ever changing work schedule, I have not been able to attend Caller Schools, but the future looks promising to that end and I am always seeking to improve myself. I have joined the Central Ohio Callers Association, and currently am serving as their Treasurer. I also am a member of the American Caller’s Association and have BMI/ASCAP licensing to perform copyrighted music.
You can have fun and meet some of the world’s best people at a “Western Square Dance”. It is not a form of dancing where you can “grab the electric fence” and take off; It takes patience and time to learn. But for your efforts you will be rewarded with a great time. I hope to c-u-n-a square. Tom.
Hello everyone, this is Rich Johnson. Since my high school years I’ve always been interested in dancing. The problem was no one could tell me how to dance, where to put your feet, etc. They would just say “go out there and just move around”. Well that wasn’t good enough for me. Over the years of seeking out classes, learning from anyone with the patience to show me steps, I am now teaching others to dance and cueing Rounds.
Eventually I ended up taking Square dance and Round lessons at the same time from Jerry and Bobbi Hadsell in 1988. In 1995 Jerry passed away and I assisted Glenna Coleman in teaching Rounds. With the assistance of Marianne and Jim Senecal on Roundalab dancing technics I became a member of Roundalab and started cueing. Most of my rounds are Phase II and III with a few Phase IVs. Occasionally I will do a line dance when cueing.
My son and daughter took square dance lessons at ages 9 and 10. They were very good and could dance circles around anyone both high and low level squares. We all joined up with the Wyandot Squares in Upper Sandusky and had a blast at all of the dances. I was Treasurer for several years and eventually President of the club for many years until the club folded.
My home town is Bucyrus, Ohio and, because I am working a regular job in Delaware, Ohio, it is difficult to get around to some of the dance clubs in Ohio. I generally take contracts for the North Central Ohio area. A few of the clubs have been Tiffin T-Squares, Delaware Little Brown Jugs, Marion (now Mt. Gilead) Hicks and Chicks, Shelby Cloverleafs, Mansfield Johnny Appleseeds, Upper Sandusky Wyandot Squares, Norwalk Fads, Westerville Promenaders, and the Canton Swing-A-Lings.
Looking forward to seeing you ‘round-a-square, be safe, and may God bless.
Dave Van Dyk started square dancing in 1978 while living in Charlottesville, Virginia. A co-worker took him to a local club dance in January, and he was hooked. At that time there was a caller nearby who was starting a new class in February. It didn't matter that "nearby" meant driving over a mountain pass in the dead of winter. Dave graduated in the spring. He joined two clubs in the Charlottesville area, one that danced on the first and third Friday, the other on the second and fourth. Dave thought he had it made because he could go dancing every weekend. Not until he moved to Columbus did he find out that this hobby could keep you busy ten nights out of eleven! A member of Bucks and Does named Colonel Wise (yes, that was his name, not his rank) got him started on amateur calling in the 80s and the die was cast. Dave has unofficially coordinated amateur caller nights in this area ever since, sending e-mail notices to new and amateur callers about upcoming events and encouraging clubs in the area to have more amateur caller nights.
Dave has been an active member of Bucks and Does since moving to Columbus in 1980, and over the years has served as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, on Bucks and Does' Executive Board. He is currently the Council Representative for the club. He attended the Grand Square International callers' school at the Detroit national convention in 2011, and got his caller's BMI/ASCAP license when he joined the American Callers' Association earlier this year. He dances most Wednesdays with the Daylight Dancers at the Janis Center, where Mark Johnson is nice enough to let him call a tip each week. He worked with Bucks and Does' Nest program during the 2014-15 dance year, helping to train new dancers. Dave is also an active member of the Central Ohio Callers Association, serving currently as Secretary and as the Sunshine Person, sending out cards to those who are ill or have lost a loved one. He has served on committees that revised the Constitution and By-Laws for both the Orbiting Squares and the Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs (COCDC). He also participates in the monthly Hashing It Up Workshop to further improve his calling skills, and he intends to continue dancing and calling as long as he is able.
Cheryl took lessons with Bucks and Does in the fall of 1988, where she met Dave and quickly became his favorite student. After she graduated, they danced together for several years and were married in April of 1991 in the same church where Bucks and Does held their dances. They had a traditional ceremony and a square dance reception, with the "BADS" Dick Loos calling squares and Jan Cohen cueing rounds. Cheryl has supported Dave in both dancing and calling, encouraging him to dance with solo dancers so that everyone has a chance to dance. She and Dave joined Orbiting Squares in 2010, where Dave has served as that club's Cues and Tips reporter since 2012. Cheryl's dancing has been curtailed recently by a lung ailment, but she still encourages Dave in his square dance activities, which also include contributing to Bucks and Does' monthly newsletter.
Hello, we are Ives & Carol Pruett. We live in Bedford, IN, which is about 80 miles south of Indianapolis. We were married in 2001. Together, we have 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. We have a house full when we all get together. Ives is a native of Southern Indiana, Daviess County area and Carol lived in Troy, Ohio before moving to Indiana about 35 years ago. Ives is retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana, after 32 years as a Quality Assurance Supervisor and a Project Manager in the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. Carol is retired from Indiana University as a Departmental Secretary.
Ives had heart by-pass surgery in March of 1989 and later decided he needed an exercise program. A friend recommended Square Dancing. So, he took square dance lessons that fall and the next summer, he took round dance lessons. A couple of years later, Stone City Squares' club cuer passed away and we were unable to replace her. Having several members wanting round dance lessons, Ives and another member decided to try teaching rounds. After a couple of lessons, it was decided one of us had to learn to cue. So, I attended a cuer training session in Tennessee with Charlie Proctor as the instructor.
Square dancing has been our "hobby" for several years. We were Presidents of the Stone City Squares & Rounds of Bedford for the past 13 years. Ives was President for 5 years prior to 2000. We are Past Presidents for 4 years of the Indiana Dancers Association. We have worked on the board of the Indiana State Convention for 6 years. Ives is a 3 year Past Chairman of the Southeast/Southwest Rebel Area of the Indiana Dancers Association and currently holds that position.
We are members of the Indiana Dancers Association, the Indiana Dance Leaders Association and Ives has been a member of the Kentuckiana Square Dance Association for the past 20 years and Carol for the past 15 years. Ives has attended 15 National Square Dance Conventions and Carol has attended 7.
Ives is also a Past President of the Indiana Moose Association and a holder of the Pilgrim Degree.
When not working for the betterment of the square and round dance community, Ives enjoys sports, mostly basketball and football. Carol spends her time sewing, knitting, keeping a neat/clean home and cooking.
We are also round dance cuers/instructors, BMI/ASCAP licensed through Round-A-Lab and have had classes or workshops over the past several years. Carol is also a Line Dance Leader. At our previous home, we converted our 24 X 40 garage into an area for round dance classes/workshops, etc.
We felt it a great honor when asked by Ron & Cindy Schoen, General Chairman, to be the Social & Special Events Chairman on the board for the 59th National Square Dance Convention that was held in Louisville, KY in 2010. We were very fortunate in acquiring capable members for our committee, which totaled around 90 dancers from Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. It is a huge endeavor to host a national convention, but while preparing for this event, we met a world of wonderful people.
In 2004, John’s daughter Caitlyn was invited to join and learn how to square dance from the Geauga County Cloverleafs, the local 4H youth square dancing club. Wanting nothing to do with it, John turned to his wife Becky and said “You’re taking her.” It was after two years of watching Becky and Caitlyn come back from multiple dancing adventures with huge smiles that John decided he might be missing out on something good. He was convinced to start coming to their Sunday evening 4H sessions.
Two years later John began performing “singing calls” with the Cloverleafs. He didn’t have any understanding of choreography or timing, he just learned the calls as lyrics and belted them out. It worked great with the kids because they could dance at about 150 beats per minute. It was also about this time that John was asked to take over teaching the kids, as their dance leader was going to move to Florida. Hesitantly John accepted knowing that the current advisors and other adults in the club would be handling the finer points of teaching the calls.
In February 2008 everything changed. John was involved in a car accident where he received a concussion and bruising of the frontal brain area. For the next year and a half, John was unable to call, let alone dance. In April of 2010, John began attending some local workshops that were preparing dancers for the upcoming state convention. Attending these lessons made John realize that not only was he re-learning the calls, but that he could envision where everyone else was supposed to be in the square too. It was at the end of that summer that he made the decision to become a “real” caller. I guess you can’t be a caller unless you get knocked on the head!
In 2010, John was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Tom Rudebock, who graciously accepted the challenge of becoming John’s mentor. Along with helping with the 4H kids, John began teaching for one of the local clubs, the Buckeye Squares of Lake County. John was learning week by week as every Wednesday he observed Tom teaching lessons. (John has about three notebooks filled with every call for every tip that Tom did during that year.
Going into 2011, John had gained enough confidence that he felt in about five years or so, he might be able to call a dance and maybe perform at the state convention in 2016. Those plans quickly changed when representatives from the Crosstrailers in Warren approached John and asked him if he would become the teacher for their lessons. Their current caller was moving out of state and they needed to find a replacement. John nervously accepted. This same caller also taught lessons for Salem Square Wheels, and John was asked to become their dance leader as well. But wait, there’s more....
The phone calls started coming in from clubs that needed to find a replacement caller for the dances that they had scheduled, and all other callers were already booked. John started accepting calling dates, hoping that in the next year he would be able to learn enough to put on a reasonable performance. That’s not all, one more club, the Brookfield Cloverleafs, (not affiliated with the 4H Cloverleafs) also hired John to teach their lessons. For those of you keeping score at home, in about two months John became the teacher for 5 clubs and had booked about twice as many dances, just slightly ahead of schedule in his five year plan!
With the opportunity to teach so often and being lucky enough to know so many other great callers who were willing to help, John’s confidence grew and he performed at his first state convention in 2012. John has continued to perform at each of the state conventions as well as at dances throughout Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
Hi! I am Amanda Skidmore, a caller from Lexington, Kentucky. I am super excited to be able to introduce myself to y’all! I started square dancing in 2011 because my friend heard about lessons, but didn’t want to go to alone. I was hooked by the end of the first lesson! I took Mainstream through Advanced 2 in a single year which I now realize was a little crazy for a full time college student!
Once I graduated Mainstream lessons, our caller asked me if I would be interested in learning how to call. I loved trying to figure out the how the calls fit together, so I said sure. Little did I know that it would change everything! If I thought dancing was the best thing ever, learning the ins and outs of calling has been even better.
I am currently booking mainstream and plus dances and finishing teaching my first set of mainstream lessons. I absolutely love teaching people how to dance and getting people excited about our activity.
When I’m not calling or dancing I am a full time graduate student at the University of Kentucky (Go Cats!). I graduated with a BS in Entomology and Sustainable Agriculture (aka bugs and organic farming) in 2013. I graduated on a Saturday afternoon and the next Monday morning I started my research for my PhD in Entomology. When I complete my degree I hope to work in agriculture extension and food security.
Everyone has been so helpful and encouraging that I feel like over the past four years I have gained a whole family. I want to say thank you to all the callers who have taken extra time to mentor me and help me out (y’all are awesome!). I also want to thank all the dancers: I wouldn’t be able to do this without you! My goal is for you to have fun and love dancing as much as I do!
I can’t wait to see everyone in Columbus in May! See you across the square!
Gene Hammond grew up in Bluefield, WV. He knew of square dancing at an early age because it was a big part of the culture in that area at the time. However he was more interested in athletics, so he pursed his dream, by participating in multiple sports. While in high school he earned several letters in different sports, but suddenly knee problems ended all of that. Gene went into the construction business, and then moved to Ohio at a young age. There he worked in steel construction for over 40 years. When he retired it was to devote more time to square dancing.
In 1982, right after Gene completed square dance lessons in Youngstown, a caller was putting together a big benefit dance. This was for the Heart Association and Cancer Society. This caller insisted that Gene be a part of the staff. Gene was really nervous about this venture, but decided to go along with the wish. As it turned out, several thousand dollars were raised that day. Then several callers said Gene should keep working at being a caller. Among those early supporters were Gary Brown, Ernie Johnson, Frank Gatrell, and Bob Cadman. Gene was hooked. He then attended Jack Lasry’s caller school twice. Gene believes Jack, along with Lee Kopman, are the greatest creators of choreography in square dancing.
Over the years Gene has called and taught for many clubs. Just to mention a few, there were the Steel Valley, Star Promenaders, Salem Square Wheels, Crosstrailers, Aok’s, A Sharps, and Arky’s clubs. He enjoys instructing classes as much as calling dances. He states: “The satisfaction you get in watching new dancers learn to dance is such a great thrill. Whether it’s a class or dance, just knowing you were a part of making someone’s day better is a great feeling.”
At the present time Gene teaches for the following clubs: Broken Wheel, Friendly Squares, Western Whirlers, and A Sharps. Teaching classes and calling dances on most weekends in Ohio and surrounding states keeps him busy. Gene calls Basic thru C1. He also calls party dances and leads line dances. He is a member of CALLERLAB and is BMI and ASCAP licensed.
Gene lives in Hubbard, Ohio, with his wife Frankie. He says that finding Frankie was the very best luck he’s ever had. Gene and Frankie have been married 48 years. They have four wonderful children, some of whom used to go to dances when they were younger. A lot of the time Frankie cues line dancing at his dances. She also helps out at the classes and dances by doing the man’s part or whatever is necessary. She has even helped him call some dances.
The motto Gene uses is: Every dance should be creative, exciting, and full of fun. It’s not a good dance if all three of these are not done.
Our Featured COCDC Caller for December 2015 is Travis Cook. He and his wife Dorothy live in Goshen, KY, just outside of Louisville. Travis started dancing around 2002, with the promise of great meals at dances, and met Dorothy there just a few years later. They've been inseparable ever since! They both originally hail from the mountains of Eastern KY — Knott and Perry counties respectively.
Travis started calling at the behest of his square dance instructor and first mentor Joe Lowe, a caller from West Virginia, shortly after graduating from classes. Travis became the caller for their group in Hazard, KY, when Joe retired around 2005 until he left the mountains to attend the University of Louisville. While not traveling much during his college years, Travis graduated in the autumn of 2010 and started calling actively again soon after. Travis is now blessed to travel all over the region calling nearly every weekend. He became the caller for Bluegrass Squares in Louisville after the retirement of his friend and mentor Kenny Jarvis. He now calls through A2 and is studying challenge dancing with Lloyd Sparks. He belongs to CALLERLAB and is BMI and ASCAP licensed.
Travis spends his days enjoying a career as a SQL Server Database Administrator and, when not dancing, he thoroughly enjoys shooting, fishing, and playing bluegrass music on his guitar.
Darrin Henry started dancing in 1975, and began calling in 1980 at the age of 15. He danced originally with his mom Betty who later became a round dance cuer.
Darrin met his wife Tammy at his mom’s square dance attire shop when his mother volunteered him to be her partner for square dance lessons. Darrin and Tammy celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in October and have been dancing together for 35 years.
Darrin is the club caller for the Madison County Promenaders and Footloose Dancers, in Anderson, Indiana, and the Quakertown Shakers in Plainfield. He belongs to the Indiana Dance Leaders Association where he has served in many roles, including President. He has been a Callerlab member his entire calling career. He is BMI and ASCAP licensed.
Darrin calls throughout Indiana, eastern Illinois, western Ohio, and Kentucky, and is a regular caller at the Indiana Square and Round Dance Convention. Darrin teaches Basic through A2 and calls dances almost every weekend that he and Tammy are not spending time on their houseboat in Tennessee.
Dancers from Central Ohio will have the opportunity to dance with Darrin when he calls at the Orbiting Squares Spring Special Dance on April 10, 2016, from 2 to 5 PM at the Gahanna Community Congregational Church, 470 Havens Corners Rd, in Gahanna.
Sheila Terhune of Mooresville, IN, calls Mainstream through Plus. She has been calling since September, 2010. She is a member of CALLERLAB and is BMI and ASCAP licensed. She is also a member of the Indiana Dance Leaders Association (IDLA) and Indiana Dancers Association (IDA). Her philosophy is, "Do what you like, like what you do, and have FUN doing it!"
Sheila grew up on the west side of Indianapolis, graduating from St Agnes Academy in 1970. While in school, Sheila learned to play the accordion, piano, and guitar. She also studied voice, which proved to be wonderful training for her future in calling.
After graduating, Sheila went to work as a drafter inthe Engineering Department at Indiana Bell (a part of AT&T) where she worked for 30 years. During those years, she met and married her husband, Conard, and raised a family of five children.
She also continued to pursue her love of music by participating in the Indiana Bell Choir. Children raised, and now with 12 grandchildren being welcomed into the family, Sheila retired from her job, and she and Conard took square dance lessons under the tutelage of Larry Weekley. Upon graduating, they joined the Laughing Squares Dance Club in Indianapolis, IN. She caught the calling bug at the National Square Dance Convention in 2010. Watching the caller have so much fun moving the dancers around the floor, Sheila thought, "I can do that!" She confesses that she had "no idea how hard it was!" She started her caller training in 2010.
Sheila is currently a Co-Club-Caller for Yellow Rockin' Squares in Scottsburg, IN.
Cathy and Fred Fisher began square dancing together in 1985. Cathy was finally able to drag Fred (kicking and screaming "NO!") into round dance lessons in 1987. They have been teaching rounds since 1998 and in their hometown of Conway Arkansas have formed the Conway Rounders as their home club. They cue and teach phases I through IV. In 2013, they choreographed their first dance, Arkansas Traveler, for the 62nd National Square Dance Convention® (NSDC®) in Oklahoma City to promote the 63rd NSDC® in Little Rock in 2014.
They are members of ROUNDALAB and have attended six ROUNDALAB conventions and one Mini-Lab. They are presently members of the ROUNDALAB Phase III Round of the Quarter (ROQ) Committee and past members of the Phase II ROQ Committee.
They have attended eight NSDCs® and have showcased, taught, and cued at the NSDC. Fred served at Program Chairman for the 2014 NSDC in Little Rock. At the same time, Cathy served a Program Chairman of the Round Dance Committee. The fishers have been Round Dance Chairman for the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation since 2006. They are also the editor for the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation's Modern Square. They are members of the Louisiana Round Dance Association. They have been on staff for many conventions and festivals, including Arkansas and Louisiana state functions and two National Singles Dance-A-Rama events.
Cathy is the Parts Department Manager for a Hyundai car dealership and is presently serving as a Master Sergeant in the Arkansas Air National Guard. Fred is retired from 35 years of retail store management. He states that retirement is the hardest job he has ever had and he is not succeeding at it.
[ Our thanks to Dance-A-Rama for allowing us to use this writeup. ]
As you'll soon find out when you dance with Ken, this is not your "Daddy's" square dance.
Ken Burke notes that his profession is not "square dance caller", but rather "entertainer." Square dancing is simply the medium by which he accomplishes this.
Ken is a real entertainer who combines smooth and innovative choreography with his vocal talents. Those that dance with him have a great time. Ken's widespread appeal can be attributed to his distinctive styling as well as his offbeat sense of humor.
Ken has been featured at many festivals, weekends, and conventions across the country.
He also reaches out to the public in exhibitions and in teaching lessons. Ken maintains that one of his biggest thrills is from conducting "one night stands," introducing our great activity to people of all ages.
Ken calls through the A-2 level and is currently on staff at Chaparral Records. He has also recorded on the Four-Bar-B/Quadrille label. Some of his hits include: Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine, Small, Small World, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Back in the Saddle Again, Streets of Bakersfield, and Livingston Saturday Night.
[ Our thanks to Dance-A-Rama for allowing us to use this writeup. ]
On a dare, Tim started calling in November of 1973. The club he was dancing with conducted an amateur night, and members persuaded him to sign up for a slot. After that evening he was hooked; records couldn't be made quick enough for him to learn. He started conducting "Dance Parties" for local organizations, and soon thereafter acquired his first club, another step into the world of square dance calling.
In October of 1987, Tim decided to devote all his energies toward square dance calling on a full time basis, touring extensively across the United States and into Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden. He is on the staff of various resorts and currently records for ESP Records. Even with his busy travel schedule Tim still maintains a strong home program at Sun City Hilton Head [?] in Bluffton, SC. He conducts new dancer sessions, various workshops, Mainstream and Plus Program dances establishing Sun City Squares as one of the largest square dance clubs in SC.
There's more to it than just calling dances; a lot of professional training and education is needed to maintain his calling abilities, which range from Basics through Challenge 1. Currently Tim is a member of the Metrolina Callers and Cuers Association, a dedicated group of leaders with a goal of promoting Square, Round, and Line Dancing within the region. Tim is also an Accredited Member of CALLERLAB, the International Association of Square Dance Callers. He serves on the Board of Governors, is part of the Executive Committee, and is a Past Chairman for the organization. Tim is also an Accredited Caller Coach for CALLERLAB working several full curriculum schools across the country. Tim and his wife Donna reside in Rock Hill, SC where they enjoy their solitude amongst nature in their home on the edge of the woods. When they aren't traveling they are usually in the yard enjoying the outdoor retreat. Moss doesn't grow on rolling stones but it does on brick walkways through wooded gardens.
Tim Marriner is not just a caller; he is an entertainer. Having performed in several jazz choirs in college, he has trained and developed many twists to his singing routines. His enthusiasm is overflowing! He is a regular at the Single Square Dancers USA Dance-A-Rama festivals.
Tim passed away unexpectedly in August, 2016.
Tim Tyl grew up in a squaredance family and began dancing in his early teens. In 1974, at age 15, Tim began calling and has been actively calling ever since. Tim calls and teaches lessons at all levels through A-2. He has called throughout the United States and in Germany.
Tim is currently on staff at Kirkwood Lodge and has served on staff for many years at Fun Valley and English Mountain square dance resorts. Tim hasbeen a featured caller for numerous national, state, and regional conventions and festivals. He is a charter member of the East Texas Callers Association, member of Texas State Callers Association, and has been a member of Callerlab since 1980.
Tim is known for his highly energetic and exciting style of calling while using a wide variety of calls and musical styles. He is able to make the simplest choreography interesting and is also able to successfully move dancers through complex and unusual choreography. Tim is known for his quick wit, humor, and ability to keep dancers laughing at all times and for his unique performances of specialty songs. He specializes in calling for youth square dance groups, one night stands, and square dance parties for non-square dance groups, plus old time and traditional calling.
Tim has served on numerous panels and clinics at Callerlab and National Square Dance Conventions. He currently serves on Callerlab's Youth Committee and is also the training committee chairman of the East Texas Callers Association. He has conducted caller schools, seminars, and clinics on a variety of topics for square dance clubs and associations. Tim currently serves as secretary of the Texas State Callers Association.
Tim and his wife, Sissy, also round dance and are former clogging instructors. Tim and Sissy began square dancing together in high school and were charter members of the East Texas Teen Twirlers, a teen square dance club, of which Tim was also co-club caller.
Ray Wiles began Square Dancing in September, 1972, when he was just 15 years old. He was a partner for his younger sister (Joanne), because she wanted to join her parents (John & Ruth) who began dancing in 1967. Ray was himself totally against taking lessons, but his Mother insisted he "try it for 6 weeks and if you don't like it then you can quit." With much hesitation he agreed to "try it." Fortunately, Ray found it more fun than he had expected. His lessons began at the Sam Clark Modern Squares Barn in Livonia, MI, which featured square dancing six nights per week plus Sunday afternoons, in addition to a round dance class on the 7th night. Ray and his sister joined the Sunday afternoon group at "The Barn" called the Teen Wheelers.
About six weeks into the class the club hosted a Halloween Party, and the club callers (Bruce Light & Ken Miller) informed Ray about a Thanksgiving party the club was having, along with another for Christmas. By this time Ray was hooked. After graduating, both Joanne and Ray would join their parents on numerous square dance outings. One Saturday afternoon, Ray played the singing call Summer Sounds on his parents' stereo and called alongside the caller on the called side of the record. He thought to himself, "Gee, this is fun. I think I can do this myself," and so it began.
Ray began working with other callers in the Detroit area with whom he had become acquainted and was soon hooked on calling. His first teaching experience was on September 10, 1975, with another caller, because at that time Ray had no sound equipment. He was eventually able to locate some used equipment, and in January, 1976, began calling on his own. His first class later became known as Canton Wheels of Michigan.
In 1984 Ray recorded Hello Dolly on the TNT square dance record label. At the time, Ray was a member of the Michigan Square Dance Callers Association. He took calling clinics from several local callers (Dick Bayer, Rip Riskey, and Larry Prior). He currently teaches 2 different Advanced classes in Metro Detroit, and has attended eight national conventions, numerous Michigan State Conventions, as well as several in Indiana and Ohio. He has traveled as far North in Michigan as Petoskey, as well as into Ohio and Indiana. Ray also calls for many local clubs in the Metro Detroit area.
Ray has a 26 year old Son (Kevin) and has been married to his wonderful wife Ilidia since 2009. Ray is licensed through Callerlab and is available for calling Mainstream, Plus, and Advanced dances.
Twin brothers, Doug and Don Sprosty began calling in 1972 at age 12. You could say they have square danced their entire lives as their parents, Leonard (deceased) and Mae, began modern western style square dancing in 1958, the year before Doug and Don were born.
Doug & Don call an average of 3-5 nights per week. They are the club callers and instructors for the Solo Steppers in their home area of Davenport and Bettendorf, IA. Don is also the club instructor for the Grand Squares of Morrison, IL and the Maple Leaf Squares of Geneseo, IL. The twins travel throughout the Midwest calling mostly in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as well as many of the surrounding states. Doug also cues the rounds at many of their dances.
Doug & Don have called at every National Convention since 1973. The same is true for the Iowa State Convention. They have called at all but two Wisconsin State Conventions since 1976 in addition to calling at many Illinois State Conventions and other state conventions as well. Doug & Don also have been on the program at two Canadian National Square Dance Conventions.
Over the years, Doug & Don have been the featured callers and/or staff callers for weekends and festivals in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania. For many years they were active in the square dance camping organizations calling at countless National and State Camporees all over the U.S. and Canada.
In 2001, Don & Doug were inducted into the Iowa State Callers and Cuers Hall of Fame. The twins record on Solid Gold Records of Burlington, IA. Their latest release is titled Blessed Be The Day.
Doug is employed as the Administrative Assistant at their parish, Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport and lives in Davenport as well. Don and his wife, Natalie, live in Bettendorf. Don works part-time as a bookkeeper at St. John's United Methodist Church in Davenport which allows him to continue to be "Mr. Mom" before and after school for their two sons, Roman (age 11, 6th grade) and Andrey (age 10, 5th grade). Roman and Andrey were adopted by Don and Natalie in 2006 from an orphanage in Siberia.
Known for their smooth interesting danceable choreography, as well as their melodic harmonies, Doug & Don look forward to seeing you on the dance floor.
Natalie Sprosty learned to square dance in 1983 while attending the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. After graduating from college and moving back home to the Chicago area, she quickly found a singles' club to join and discovered round dancing. While dancing with Al and Jane Krol's Carousel Club, Natalie tried cueing, starting with Maria Elena (Phase 5). She cued for many years for various clubs in the Chicago area and taught lessons, both beginners and a Phase 4-5 class.
In 2000, Natalie moved to Bettendorf, IA and started working for John Deere at the World Headquarters in Moline, IL as a CPA. In 2001, Natalie married Don Sprosty.
Natalie continues to cue for various clubs in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. She also teaches an occasional accelerated format beginners' class. Natalie has been the featured cuer/instructor at the last eleven Solid Gold Records (IA) Weekends, the Spring and Fall (IA/WI) Hoedowns, the Dairy Barn (IA) Round Dance Retreat, the East Central Iowa Spring Spectacular, the Illinois State Federation May Festival, the Friendship Squares' Watkins Glen (NY) Fall Weekend, the Omaha (NE) Spring Festival and the Kansas State Square Dance Convention. She has been on the staff at the 2009 and 2013 National Singles Dance-A-Ramas. In addition, Natalie has taught and cued at numerous Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin conventions as well as being on the program at many National Conventions.
Natalie's teaching partner is her brother-in-law, Doug. He is a square dance caller and round dance cuer as well.
Jimmy called his first dance on April 1, 1989 (April Fool's Day) wondering whom the bigger fool was, him for trying to call or the dancers who attended that dance. Jimmy calls through the Plus DBD program. He started a caller run club in 1990. Annually Jimmy calls throughout Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana for over 30 different clubs, conventions, festivals and campouts, traveling over 10,000 miles by car. He is an Accredited Member of Callerlab and enjoys teaching new dancers every chance he gets.
Jimmy started singing in church and gives credit for any special talents to God and the encouragement he received at church growing up. He started his calling career believing that it was not up to him but up to the dancers if he was to be a successful caller.
It is a pleasure to hear Jimmy sing. He has recorded square dance singing calls under the Grand label: His first recording was I’m Going Back to Indiana (Grand 201). He also recorded Grand Ol’ Square Dance Time (with co-artists Grand Staff, Tim Carman and Kevin Robinson, Grand 401) and Ring Around Your Neck (Grand 202).
Jimmy's non-dancing job is as an engineer with Raytheon Systems Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has been married to his wife, Jan for 40 years and lives in Larwill, Indiana, a small farming community.
Tom Davis is an excellent nationally known caller who has been calling for the past 35 years. He belongs to the American Callers Association (ACA) and currently is their President. He is BMI and ASCAP licensed to use recorded music. He is a local and regional traveling caller, calling at dances and festivals throughout most of the Eastern United States. He calls for beginners through C1.
Tom enjoys teaching classes and doing 1-day workshops/blasts. Tom has been the featured caller for many state conventions. He is presently one of the staff callers for several weekend dance festivals within the region.
He also is an Accredited Caller Coach who teaches other callers the basics of square dance calling and the qualities of leadership needed to promote the activity. He has conducted numerous caller schools and workshops at state festivals and conventions.
Tom and his wife Bernice and step-daughter Madison live in Dayton, OH. In 2014, he relocated from the Chicago area where he had lived for six years. Tom has been working in the insurance restoration field for the past 36 years. He currently is the Senior Large Loss Project Manager at the A. E. Fickert Company in Dayton.
Brian Fellows, along with his family, lives in Shelby, OH. He has been married to his wonderful wife Tammy for 20 years, and he really enjoys their nine year old daughter Bree. Brian works full time as a machinist at Arcelor Mittel Company in Shelby. His hobbies (along with square and round dancing) are Model A Fords and Cushman motor scooters. He owns a Model A, which belonged to his grandfather and has been in the family since 1946, and two Cushman scooters.
Brian and Tammy owe thanks to Dick Reed, their typing teacher in high school, who finally talked them into taking square dance lessons while they were dating. They tried it and liked it. They took their lessons in 1993 from Jerry Hadsel of Crestline. After dancing for a year and even square dancing at their wedding, they had to take a ten year hiatus from dancing. The reason was that Brian took a new job working a 4:00 p.m. to midnight shift. Never giving up, they took lessons again in 2004 with Danny Beck at the Shelby Cloverleafs.
A few years after getting back into dancing, Brian asked himself how hard it would be to call and decided to give it a try. He is thankful to the Shelby Cloverleafs for their help while he has been learning to call. He is especially thankful to Danny Beck who has served as his mentor and has answered his countless calls and questions. In 2006 Brian attended the Allegheny Callers School which provided four days of instruction. After a lot of practice, he started booking dances. Brian is currently in his third year as the class instructor for the Hicks & Chicks. He has called dances for Dixie Squares, Hicks & Chicks, Cloverleaf Squares, Gnat Boxers, Tiffin T-Squares, and Norwalk FADS.
Brian says “Thank you” to everyone who has been helping him to get started as a square dance caller.
Scott began square dancing while still in High School at age 16. After graduating in 1984, Scott joined the Pittsburgh Area Callers Association and began learning to call. In 1986 he attended his first National Convention in Indianapolis. Scott soon went on to learn Rounds, Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Clogging, and Country Western dancing.
While attending California University Of Pennsylvania, Scott met his first wife and competition dance partner, who became the mother of his only son, Shawn Brown.
After graduating from the University in 1996 with a degree in Science, Scott returned to calling square dances and founded Gold Rush Square Dance Productions in 1997. While working as a chemist in the Pittsburgh area, he began producing square dance music with the help of a good friend and fellow caller Ed Mitchell, who has since retired. Scott continues working as a local entertainer, musician, DJ, and square dance caller to this day.
In 2007, while working with Bud Merrihew to develop a new round dance format, Scott began producing square and round dance music in multimedia Karaoke formats for callers and cuers around the world.
Scott now calls full time and continues to produce music with the help of his 18 year old son and fellow caller Shawn Brown. Scott and Shawn can usually be seen calling together during the summer months at the West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and National Square and Round Dance conventions.
Scott is a Past President and founder of the Pittsburgh Area Callers and Cuers Association, and is a CALLERLAB member. Scott calls beginner through A2 square dances, progressive squares, and cues rounds.
Tony and Penny Kincade of Louisville, KY, got into square dancing 30 years ago in 1984. They learned to dance under Don Coy's instruction and became members of his club, the Highlanders. During a square dance weekend in 1986 at Cumberland Falls they met Big and Little Enis (Wes Dyer and Kenny Jarvis) and would eventually become members of their club, the Bluegrass Squares and Taps. Penny became ill and they had to leave square dance for a few years. In 1992 Tony's brother-in-law introduced him to Jack Schroeder who was the instructor for the Motivators [Ed's note: This is not our local Motivators club of Buckeye Lake]. During lessons with sneaky maneuvers from Jack and Penny, Tony was lead into the wonderful world of calling. Not long after that Tony found himself in a callers class lead by Wes Dyer and he received his diploma in 1993. Tony has enjoyed calling square dance for the last 21 years. Over the years he has had several clubs and at present calls for the Sunnyside Solos in New Albany, IN, and the Hardin County Fair Squares in Hodgenville, KY.
Tony has taught mainstream and plus for the last 21 years and says he enjoys the instruction part of the calling experience as much as the dance part. He says he loves to see people accomplish something they never believed they could and finds it very rewarding. Tony says his favorite things about square dancing are the many, many, many (and always adding) friends that he has acquired along the way. He also enjoys the great fun and fellowship that square dance provides. Be on the lookout because he says you never know where he will turn up next.
Bob and Janice have been married for 48 years and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They are both retired and spend most of their time square dancing and calling. Bob will go anywhere, anytime to call a square dance. He travels from southern Michigan to northern Kentucky and from West Virginia to Oklahoma.
In the mid 80’s, a group of seven people graduated from a lesson class taught by Jess Fugate from Sidney, Ohio and ventured out into the square dance world calling themselves the “Magnificent Seven”. They decided the club scene didn’t fit their style of dancing. During this time, the men wore “Stetsun” hats as part of their square dance attire. Their philosophy of fun, laughter, and fellowship soon spread over a 3 state area and influenced them to change their name to the “Stetsun Traveling Squares”. Their group grew rapidly and was widely becoming known for the enthusiasm they generated at the club dances they attended.
In the late 80’s, Bob, became interested in the calling aspect of the square dance activity. With the help from Ron Everhart’s Caller’s School he became a new (rookie) caller. Soon he was calling guest tips at some of the dances he attended. Off and running, he joined CALLERLAB and has attended many CALLERLAB Conventions. He is also a member of Indiana Dance Leaders Association (IDLA) and is BMI-ASCAP Licensed. He will soon be a member of the local Ohio Callers Association. During the early 1990’s, Bob, took lessons from Larry Cole’s Square Stars Callers School in Marion, Indiana. In the 10 week course he was introduced to technical and choreography of calling.
BOB IS VERY PATRIOTIC. For 20 years he has started all his dances with the National Anthem and ends with a patriotic song as well. You will often see him dressed in Red, White and Blue attire along with his trademark, the “Cowboy” hat. His most requested singing calls are “Rocky Top” and “Long Black Train”.
For 15 years, Bob worked with Jolly and Alice Baldwin, of Winchester, Indiana and cuers, Judy and Dave Mouton, of Hartford City, Indiana as part of the staff of The Bearcreek Getaway Weekend at Bearcreek Farms in Bryant, Indiana. Great food, fun and dance was had by all.
For 12 years Bob has been a Board Member of the Indiana Square and Round Dance Convention and currently chairman of the Sound Committee.
Bob has been part of the calling staff on two Cruises. One to the Caribbean and one to the Mexican Riviera. On the first cruise, he met Fred and Pat Trujillo of Andover, Kansas. Bob and Fred have been sponsoring a “Dancin N Branson Weekend” in Branson, Missouri. If you are in the Branson area on July 4th weekend in 2015, look him up.
Bob is currently teaching lesson class at Double H Squares in Huber Heights, Ohio. He loves to teach as much as he loves to call dances. Bob believes in keeping the fun in dancing and does so by entertaining the dancers with skits and jokes and is quite a prankster.
Johnny Preston is internationally known for his enthusiastic style and wonderful singing voice. He is a recording artist for Dessert Gold, Royal, Square Tunes, and Grand Records.
Born in California, Johnny began calling in 1976 while attending Wayne State University in Michigan. He is a full-time caller who travels across the United States and is often featured at festivals and resorts throughout the world — Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sweden. Johnny was featured as a square dance caller in a national television ad for Ameritrade. He calls Basic through C-1.
Johnny is also the founder of Hoedowns for Humanity, a foundation created to raise friends and funds for local affiliates of Habitat for Humanity as well as an awareness of the square dance activity throughout the country.
Danny Beck took square dance lessons from Harry Gordon in 1966 and joined the Firelands Area Dance Squares (FADS), where he remains a member to this day. Danny received his Western Square Dance Callers diploma from Stan Burdick May 15, 1969. He began calling that same year. Danny also attended callers school in Fort Wayne Indiana under the direction of Bob Cone.
Danny started teaching classes in 1979. He became the club caller for the FADS in 1979 after Harry Gordon retired. Danny became club caller for Tiffin T-Squares in 1984, and club caller for Solo Squares in Berera in 1986. He presently is instructing for four clubs — the Norwalk FADS, Tiffin T-Squares, Mansfield Johnny Appleseeds, and Shelby Cloverleafs. Danny has taught Basic through A-2. He has also taught clogging and round dance classes.
Danny has been a member of the Toledo Area Western Dance Leaders Association since 1984. He has served as president of the organization for several years. Danny joined Callerlab in 1990 and has been a member of the American Callers Association since 1993.
Danny has called at various events, such as the Toledo Promenade Jamboree, the State Convention in Cleveland in May, 1986, and since that time numerous State Conventions. He called his first New Year Eve dance in 1977 and has called every New Year Eve since.
Danny served as the Chairman of the 43rd Buckeye State Convention in Toledo in 2003.
Danny and his wife Coletta ("Teddi") were married June 6, 1959. They have three children, Cindy, Shelly, and Scott. They are blessed with six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Danny is employed as a farm equipment salesman at Wellington Implement and farms 750 acres with his son and grandson.
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.
Ken Bower was first introduced into square dancing in 1961 and within one year started calling. By 1965 he was traveling full time. Since them he has called in every state in the United States along with Australia, China, England, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Sweden to name a few. Ken has recorded for Chaparral Records since 1975 and has CD's available on several recording labels. His website lists 86 different square dance music recordings under such labels as Chaparral Records, Dance Ranch, Eagle Records, Blue Star, ESP, Rhythm Records, Chinook, Wagon Wheel Recordings, Global Music, Crown Records, and Riverboat Records. Duringthe summer months Ken travels throughout the United States calling one night stands and working square dance weekends and week institutes.
Ken and Dee grew up and lived part of their married life in Iowa before moving to California in 1973. They have three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Ken Ritucci has been dancing and calling since 1975. He has 37 years of calling experience and has expertise at all levels. He has conducted hundreds of fun nights and party nights, but also calls through the C3B Level. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Canada, and many other countries calling for clubs and festivals. In 2013 his travels as a caller took him to Germany, Australia, England, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia as well as all over the United States. Ken calls several times a year for the Times Squares in New York City. Ken is a recording artist for Gold Wing and Fine Tune Records.
Ken is a member of CALLERLAB and is also a member of the Board of Governors. He has held several positions as Committee Chairman throughout the years including chairman of the Plus Committee. Ken is an Accredited CALLERLAB Caller-Coach, receiving his accreditation in 1991. Ken has trained literally hundreds of callers to call in our activity. He is the owner of five Callers Schools, one in Manchester, New Hampshire; one in Sunnyvale, California; one in Fultondale, Alabama; and one in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also teaches a yearly school in Russia. Ken's schools have the most comprehensive curriculums of any school in the country. His staff at each school is among the most professional and competent in the field of teaching callers known throughout the world. Additional information can be found on his website: kenritucci.com.
EARLY CAREER: Rick began calling and teaching Square Dances in 1974 while still in high school. He began his career in the Philadelphia area inspired by his Uncle and Aunt, Henry and Lydia Vendor (deceased), who were avid Dancers and Round Dance Cuers. Rick's parents Dave and Shirley (deceased) were also very supportive of his calling career.
Co-founder of the area's first solo Square Dance Club where he served as the club caller from 1976-85. His friends at that club – the Lone Rangers, which is still in existence – helped and supported him is the early days of calling and he is still very grateful to them.
Rick became very busy calling and teaching in the Philadelphia area in the late 70's and early 80's and at the same time worked full time in a retail business with his father. He began traveling out west to Arizona and Colorado in the mid 80's and began to expand his career to part time traveling calling. He fell in love with Arizona and in the late 1980's began spending part of the year in the Phoenix area.
MOVING WEST: In 1990 he gave up his retail career, moved to Phoenix and began to pursue a full time career in Calling and Teaching Square Dancing. He soon became busy calling all over Arizona and expanded his travels to California, New Mexico and Colorado. He changed his home base to Tucson in 1995 as he became the club caller for Diamond Squares, Tucson Twirlers and started a Caller Run Advanced Club, the Rick A Shays.
RECENT CAREER: Rick is well known for his creative choreography, great sense of humor and singing voice. He currently keeps busy nearly every day of the week as he is the club caller for: Tucson Twirlers, Swingin' Singles, Rick A Shays, C1nders, T-Squares, and Green Valley Squares. In Fall-Winter season he teaches daytime classes and workshops in Green Valley and evening classes in Tucson. Since 2004, teaches Youth Square Dance 3rd through 8th Grade at Desert Springs Academy in Tucson. He also keeps busy guest calling over Arizona. He calls beginners through C1 and is strong supporter of calling and teaching non-standard applications.
Rick travels all over the United States. Does a major tour that covers over 10,000 miles of driving, calling for several clubs in Colorado, New Mexico, the Midwest, and the East Coast every Aprili, May, and early June. In the summer and fall he frequently calls in California.
RELATED ACTIVITES: In Phoenix Rick was the President of the Central Arizona Callers Association. He is the current President of Southern Arizona Callers Association and has been for over a decade. He is the Chairman of the Tucson Area Square Dance Festival held every January. Recently Rick has been a caller coach, most recently at the Tucson Callers College this past winter, 9 new callers attended. Rick has been a CALLERLAB member since 1981.
RICK THE WRITER and BACK TO SCHOOL: Rick's other passion is writing: fiction, lyrics, poetry, and journalism. He returned to college in the fall of 2011 to pursue a degree in writing/liberal arts. He has written for several Square Dance publications and is the current editor of the Dancing Cactus in Tucson. Rick hopes to see you at one of his dances soon.
Imagine being 10 years old, driving down the road with your parents and hearing your mother saying to your father that the family should get into square dancing. Even though they had met and married through Hoedown square dancing, Dad was against getting involved...Until... from the back seat, you, the oldest child that had zero interest in square dancing said, “If you go, I’ll go.” Immediately, the stage was set and off the family went to learn square dancing that fall.
Back then, lessons were only 20 weeks. By midway through the lessons Eddie was inviting the same lesson class over to his basement to review all that had been taught each week by that professional caller, Bill Burnside. Bill even encouraged Eddie by loaning him records and steering him to Sam Rader, who was selling an old Newcome turntable and amplifier. Taking a small loan from his parents, which he promptly paid back from future square dance gigs, Eddie was on the road as a caller with mom and dad driving him to the dances.
Harry Koppenhaver, Hal Posey, Bill Spangler, Jim Wilber, Hugh Johnson, and many others provided mike time and encouragement. Bill Thurman took Eddie under his wing to mentor him and really shaped his calling style. Cecil Albery and Sam Rader sponsored Eddie into the Central Ohio Caller’s Association where he served as Vice President, Chairman of the Snowball at Beightler Armory, and a scheduled caller at the Greenlawn Summer Dances. Jerry Story, Jerry Hagg, Jerry Helt, Dick Baer, Deuce Williams, Marshall Flippo, Keith Rippeto, Chuck Meyers, Ed Laudenschlager, Fred Endsley, Joe Chiles, and others teamed with Eddie throughout their careers.
Eddie founded Reynoldsburg Promenaders, Roundtown Square-A-Rounds of Circleville with rounds cuer Velma Bertner, and The Expressers advanced club of Dayton. He served as Club Caller for Lake Choctaw Twirlers of London, Whirlaways of Toledo, and taught lessons for all of these clubs for many years along with traveling nationally. He has called Specials, Festivals, Weekends, Weeks, Fairs, Festivals, and other events including such highlights as Canada, Andy’s Trout Farm/Square Dance Resort, National Square Dance Conventions, Ohio and surrounding states’ conventions, even Advanced and Challenge Weekends.
Eddie has always focused on marketing the square dance activity. He wrote a feature column for The Columbus Dispatch called Around Square Dancing. He created and hosted The Eddie Powell Square Dance Show for radio. He even taught square dancing to future physical education teachers at OSU and brought square dancing into the homes of many Central Ohioans via programs on Warner-CUBE. Demo’s and activities including street fairs, AmeriFlora, the Ohio State Fair, and many festivals throughout Ohio featured Eddie’s calling.
Eddie attended Caller’s School with Jack Lasery, Al Brundage, and Earl Johnson at the age of 13. Later, he taught his own Caller’s Schools – some with Ron Shaw, wrote the caller training manual So You Want To Be A Caller, created choreography which is included in Burleson’s Square Dance Encyclopedia, recorded on his own label – Cherokee Records, wrote many articles for American Square Dance, Sets In Order, and many other publications which were republished internationally, then operated Cues & Tips – Central Ohio’s Square Dance Magazine founded by Dewey Hart, operated by Paul & Ellie DeBald, then Eddie & Denise Powell, and now in the hands of Mark & Jody Johnson.
Eddie belonged to Callerlab for many years then became one of the earliest members of American Caller’s Association, of which he is still a proud licensed member. He believes it is vital to the activity to encourage and train new caller’s and has helped many caller’s better themselves. Some actually got their start or got introduced to Central Ohio at the Summer Dance Fests held for a dozen years at Tree Haven Campground in Westerville. In fact, both Edward and Sarah Powell, Eddie and Denise’s two children, have been Amateur Caller’s at the summer dances.
Eddie called and served on training committees, sound, and other steering committees for national conventions, state conventions, and more. Ask him about the 6 hours he and several callers & dancers spent stuck in the elevator in Detroit..wow.. or the 40,000+ dancers at the National in California in 1976. He and Denise served as General Chairman with Cecil and Dottie Albery as Co-Chairman of the 1997 Ohio Square Dance Convention earned over $60,000 profit for COCDC, a feat that was unexpected by many.
Eddie’s Square Dance Radio Show lead him into a successful radio career as an on-air personality with WWWJ Johnstown, WLGN Logan, WMNI / WMNI-FM, WMGG, Columbus. From backstage at the Grand Ole Opry with Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, The White’s, Roy Acuff, and many others to promotions for Dolly Parton, concerts with Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakum, Eddie Rabbit, T.G. Sheppard, Janie Frickie, Louise & Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Jim Stafford, Tony Orlando, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash, Waylon Jennings, Tiny Wellman, McGuffey Lane, and more. Followed by General Manager of Radio Sound Network – Satellite Radio, syndication from Branson, MO The Radio Café with The Radio Café Hour, a national award winning ad agency and RadioWriters Copywriting Service, Group X Marketing, and Shared Resource Network, Inc. This parlayed into a ten year host of Shared Resource Network Television and hosting Planet Business Radio.
Eddie also lent his talents to teaching K-12, Adult Education at Career Centers, then as a College Professor, teaching business, marketing, computers, career development, business training, and more. His success in workforce and business development earned him honors as the U.S. Small Business Administration 2007 Journalist of the Year, Region V (Entire Midwest – Highest Possible Award), a U.S. Congressional Order of Merit, and a U.S. Presidential Commendation. He is included in Who’s Who In Entertainment, Who’s Who In Colleges and Universities, Who’s Who In Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, andWho’s Who In The World. He holds an MBA-Marketing and a Doctor of Divinity.
Eddie had taken a hiatus from square dancing due to Denise’s passing after 30 years of marriage. He is now delighted to be calling again, creating a new email newsletter for New Dancers available by subscription; developing The Complete Square Dance Marketing System© which he is licensing to clubs, councils, and callers focused on gaining new members and growing the square dance activity; putting together an email list of dancers, callers, and sponsors that want to share in multiple ways of enhancing the square dance activity’s engagement with the public; and, taking some time to introduce Shirley Evans, a professional photographer, to Square Dancing: The Original Social Network©.
Remember Eddie’s motto: Together, we can do great things!
Tom Strickland began square dancing at around 12 years of age. His parents started square dancing when Tom was a child and Tom, along with his sister and brother, went with them to dances. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, the children learned to dance. Tom was dragged by his sister to get up and dance. He went through square dance instruction and then started calling at age 13. He said music came to him naturally. Tom received formal instruction for new callers at the Auburn Callers College in Auburn, Indiana, graduating in 1988. He taught his first class in the family living room. Tom graduated from Firelands High School, Class of 1993.
Tom has taught square dancing every year since 1988. In the past, he taught for Tappan Squares in Oberlin and for Medina Squares of Medina. He currently teaches new dancers for Lake Erie Squares of North Olmsted (where he has taught off and on for approximately ten years) and for the Solo Squares of Berea (where he has taught beginner dance lessons since 2000). Since 2010 he has also taught the Solo’s Advance Square Dance workshops.
Tom is the club caller for Funshop Squares of Greentown and has his own club, the Northcoast Squares of Berea, which provides opportunities for new dancers to dance at their level. He has been involved with the All Callers Special Dance in Norton, OH (the largest annual new dancer dance in Ohio) since the eighth year of its 32 year existence. He has been in charge of this dance in recent years since Scotty Sharrer moved to Florida. Tom has called along with Dick Mackey and Cuer Phyllis Burdette at the Island Dance special dance weekends which have been held at Kelly Island and at Put-in-Bay.
Tom has been a member of the American Callers Association since 1991. He is a skilled and popular caller who appears regularly at many different clubs in Ohio . He has danced and/or called at 18 of Ohio’s State Dance Conventions since 1988. In 1999 he served on the Convention Sound Committee, and in 2008 and 2010 he was the Chairman of the Sound Committee, a position which he will hold again at the 2015 Convention. He served as the Assistant Vice Chair of Seminars at the 60th National Dance Convention in Michigan.
Tom enjoys people. “You can see it in their faces, when the light finally comes on” (for a new dancer learning a new step). He shares their joy of accomplishment. Making square dancing fun, he has become well known and much sought after as an entertaining caller.
Tom lives in Kipton, Ohio where he has his own computer graphic design business, Phantom Graphix. He has done custom embroidery of shirts for various dance clubs and will be doing the shirts for Ohio’s 2015 State Dance Convention.
Kristy Williams lives in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with her husband John, who is the backbone of all she does. She began square dancing in 2005 but has had a love for it since elementary school where she learned and danced a tip for a school festival. John was a former dancer, which Kristy discovered while they were dating, and eventually they took lessons. She began learning to become a caller in September of 2010 and has thoroughly enjoyed every second of this activity on both sides of the microphone. She loves to travel when she calls as that is when she gets to meet a whole set of new friends.
Kristy calls beginners through plus, and also does one night dance parties. She is BMI and ASCAP licensed. She is a member of Callerlab as well as the Kentuckiana Square Dance Association, Kentucky Federation of Square Dancing, Indiana Dancers Association and Indiana Dance Leaders Association.
Kristy also duos with Sheila Terhune of Monrovia, IN, as "The Call Girls". Sheila and she are the club callers for the Yellow Rockin' Squares which dances at Light's Dance Barn in Scottsburg, IN on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Kristy also calls at various other clubs in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, and has called at State Conventions in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio.
Tom Miller lives with his two daughters in a small community in western Pennsylvania. He is a full time modern western square dance caller who has turned his favorite hobby into a full-time operation. Tom calls the CALLERLAB list, Mainstream through C-1.
Tom has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, averaging 50 thousand miles per year. He works locally calling for the Killbuck Squares of Patton, an A-2/C-1 club in State College, the Thinking Caps DBD group in Altoona, and the T Squares in his home town of Chest Springs.
Tom has recorded for Lou Mac Records, Kalox Records, Eureka Records, Hi Hat records, and is currently recording with ESP records. He is a member of the Appalachian Callers Association of Western Pennsylvania. He is a member of CALLERLAB and serves on the Board of Governors.
Tom's hobbies are hunting, fishing and camping.
Tom is regularly featured at major dance events including:
Tom has called numerous times at Single Square Dancer USA Dance-A-Rama Festivals, including in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and is scheduled again for 2014.
Tom has called for three jointly sponsored dances by Bucks & Does Singles and Friendly Ties: Liberty Bell Balls on 5-20-12 and 5-19-13 and the Fall Festival of Leaves on 10-20-13.
Tom regularly calls for party dances, demos, and high school physical education programs. He is also available for caller seminars and schools.
SusanElaine Packer, our featured caller of the month, began dancing in 1965 and calling in 1966. Her first years were spent calling for the St Cloud Jr High and the teenage club The Phantom Squares. She travels all over Florida and the eastern US and presently calls for the Young and Restless in Kissimmee, FL, and the Curliques entertainment group.
As well as being a traveling caller, SusanElaine and husband Harry own and operate a mobile badge company Suzie Q Creations. Harry recently retired from a long time position as an electrician at Cape Kennedy.
SusanElaine participated in and called for the Comp-USA Citrus Bowl halftime show featuring the Gatlin Brothers. Shortly after Walt Disney World opened, her square dancers of central Florida began performing in many televised Easter and Christmas parades and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Shows. For ten years, SusanElaine organized a square dance festival in the Magic Kingdom, TV specials with Dolly Parton and New Years eve specials with Ricky Skaggs and Janie Fricke. She, and her dancers, participated in TV commercials and the grand opening of EPCOT at Walt Disney World, including a dance routine with the NY Rockettes.
She also choreographed a special square dance for the Lee Greenwood Desert Storm TV Special, seen around the world. The show is now available on video.
SusanElaine is a charter member of the Central Florida Callers Association and has held each office several times.
In 1996, she became the newest recording artist for Eagle Records, with songs that include Never Going to Tampa With Me, I Love You Honey, They Call The Wind Maria, Can’t Have a Good Time Without Me, Left, Right, Out of N.Y., Heart, Sweet Nothings, Beautiful Life, Crazy Over You, and Wandering Star.
Our featured Caller of the Month is Michael Sumpter. Michael started square dancing in 1969 when he was in 7th grade. He began going to a lot of dances with his caller/teacher Bud Fisher. He first picked up the mic in 1971 on a dare and says he began calling in 1972 after his first official paid dance. He currently calls Basic thru A-2 in Ohio and surrounding states.
Michael is the caller for the Acey Deucy Advanced square dance club in Norton, OH. He teaches an Advanced class each year in Norton starting in September. He has also been the teacher for the Norton Grand Squares club also of Norton since 1974. Michael has been calling at the Ohio State Convention every year since he started calling. He has been part of several weekends and specials over the past 40+ years. He is currently part of the staff for the Broken Straw Camping Weekend in Loudonville, OH and the 3 Guys & a Gal Dance in Norton, OH.
Michael is the manager of an HVAC/R wholesale supply house. He has been married to his wife Connie since 1990. Connie graduated from Gnat Boxers square dance club in 1988 and loves helping Michael promote square dancing by telling everyone she meets about our activity. She enjoys quilting, and is a member of the My Fair Ladies Quilt Guild. They have four children (Jason, Jennifer [JOEL], Jon, and Brenda [JOE]) and six grandchildren, Justin, Morgan, Alyssa, Ashley, Dylan, and Ethan. They also have four cats to round out their family.
Michael and Connie feel that a huge part of the continuation of our activity is to realize that we have to change with the times. This would mean being able to relax dress codes, use more current styles of music, and be willing to listen to what the future generations are saying. We have a Great Activity that just needs to adjust to the times.
Addendum: Michael retired as a square dance caller on July 1, 2017.
Dan & Diane have been married almost 22 years and live in Apple Creek, Ohio. Dan began dancing in 2002, as he promised Diane he would once he retired from the Wooster Police Department. Diane loves to ask him what he said at the end of that first night of lessons; he said, "That was fun!". This was music to Diane's ears because she had been attending lessons at the Gnat Boxers in Wooster every year since 1986.
Dan Austen is new to calling, but not singing. Dan and some of his high school choir friends produced an album and he sang for many years in a quartet around the Ashland County area. As young girls, Dan’s two daughters enjoyed singing many Statler Brothers songs when riding in the car with Dan and Diane. The oldest daughter, Kathryn, is an RN in Orrville and the youngest daughter, Rebekah, is a teacher in Wooster. Diane works as Clerk at the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
Dan never thought of being a caller, but one day almost two years ago, Caller Dick Mackey's wife overheard Dan singing while dancing in a square together and told him he should try doing a singing call. He did and as fate goes, shortly after that, Caller Bill Meese of the Nuhall Dance Club in Denison, Ohio, happened to be holding a free one-day new caller event open to anyone who wanted to attend. After a few more sessions with the generous help and encouragement of Bill & Becky Meese and the Nuhall dancers, it was time to try calling a few tips in other places. Dan was able to do this thanks to Dick Mackey obtaining permission for Dan to call a tip during some of his dances and even help fill in with a few workshops at Gnat Boxers last year.
Jeff Metcalf of Nuhall provided another opportunity for practicing calling by offering the use of his extra large garage in Wooster to hold workshops over the Summer for recently graduated dancers and a few others. This gave Dan and Jeff an opportunity to practice calling and turned out to also provide a great chance for everyone to get to know each other.
In between, Dan found time to attend the Jubilee Caller School in Alabama and the Heart of America Caller School in Kansas. Diane even took the classes with Dan, as she has a strong desire to help teach and make learning easier for new dancers. Dan & Diane both have a deep love of music and look forward to keeping the fun and friendship in dancing.
Nathaniel Arnett, along with his entire family, started square dancing in the fall of 2002. He knew right away that he was interested in calling. Upon graduation from high school, his parents hired Jason Raleigh to entertain at his open house. Jason has been his mentor since then.
Nathaniel grew up in a close knit family on a small farm north of Brookville, OH. He was home-schooled. His parents, grandmother and sister were very supportive as he learned to call, often attending his dances. His mother, Renee Arnett, is currently President of Brookville Curli Q's Square and Round Dance club, Past President of the Miami Valley Dance Council, and also serves as the Miami Valley Dance Newsletter Editor. His sister, Mary Beth, has been involved as a line dance instructor. He and his sister have tried to encourage other young people to get involved in square dancing.
Nathaniel lives in Eldorado, OH, in a house he purchased from his great great Aunt. (yep that's right...great great) He works as a landscaper and as a server for Texas Roadhouse. He went through Basic Combat and AIT Training, returning as PFC Nathaniel E Arnett in August 2012. He is continuing his military service in an Army Reserve Fuel Transportation unit based in the Dayton area. He just recently received a promotion to Specialist. Nathaniel enjoys singing and has volunteered at Richmond Civic Theatre in many musical productions along with his family.
Nathaniel is a guest caller at many different clubs in Ohio and Indiana. He is scheduled to teach square dance classes this fall at the Curli Q's Square and Round Club in Brookville, OH, and also at the Hoosier Corners Square Dance Club in Richmond, IN.
Addendum: Because of time constraints due to his military involvement, Nathaniel is currently no longer calling.
Pam Courts began calling in February, 1990. She is BMI/ASCAP licensed. She calls Basic through A2, and cues Easy through Phase II rounds. She is the caller for Zagnuts Advanced Square Dance Club, and is a co-teacher for Frontier Squares and Venus & Mars. She loves to travel, yodel, and call for a variety of levels including one-night events, kid functions, classes, square dance club functions, conventions, weekends, and festivals. Her motto: Fun is contagious – let's start an epidemic!
Ken Roberts started square dancing in Russell, KY, in 1969. He started calling square dances in Dayton, OH, in 1985. He has called at every Ohio State Convention since 1987. He has called at 24 of the last 25 National Conventions. Ken has been the club caller for the Gem City Squares since their beginnings in 1986. He has taught a class for Gem City Squares every year since 1986. Ken has served as the club caller for the Clinton County Country Squares and for the River Squares of Miamitown, Ohio. He enjoys calling an annual "One Night Dance Party" for a number of groups.
Ken is a member of CALLERLAB, an accredited member of Miami Valley Callers Association, and a member of the Mid-Western Ohio Callers Association.
Ken has worked in the construction industry from 1967 to the present. He is the President of ClearVue Home Inspections, LLC, where he also works as an inspector. He is the owner of Starburst Property Group.
Ken was born in Lawrence County, Ohio and has lived there for 26 years. He is the youngest of five children. He attended Ohio University in Athens, OH, and has 2 children, 2 stepchildren, and 12 grandchildren.
Ken's mission is promoting a longer, happier life through square dancing by getting as many people as possible involved in the activity.
Homer Magnet has been calling and teaching square dancing since 1979. Presently he instructs for the Wagon Wheelers in Jackson, Ohio. On weekends, he calls dances for clubs in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. He has been a staff caller at the Ohio, West Virginia, and Hawaii State Square Dance Conventions. He has called for National Square Dance Conventions in Birmingham, Detroit, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. He is also a staff caller for several festivals though out the year. He and his wife Sue have hosted group cruises to the Eastern, Southern, and Western Caribbean, plus Alaska. They have taken several groups on bus tours to special dances in Gatlinburg and Nashville. During the summer months they have the pleasure of combining two of their favorite activities — camping and square dancing — calling several weekend events each year.
Homer officially retired from the chip business as of May, 2011. He hopes to spend future Januaries and Februaries in the warmer climates of Texas, Arizona, or Florida, where there is lots of dancing. (And where, of course, he hopes to be calling while there.) He will continue to call the other ten months for clubs here in the north for as long as they will have him.
Homer has been married to Sue for 43 yrs. They have one daughter, Stacy Clarkson. She and her husband, Cale, have given them two beautiful granddaughters, Teegan, age 9, and Danica, age 4. Homer and Sue enjoy spending time with them and spoiling them as much as possible.
Dick began calling square dances and teaching in 1965. He liked the activity and wanted to try calling as a challenge. People in Rittman wanted to start a square dance club and needed an instructor. They asked Dick to teach and he agreed to do it. It was quite a challenge for him as a new caller with new dancers, but the Wooster club stepped up to help him with angles. The Rittman club is now the Norton Club.
On average Dick calls two to three times a week. He has traveled to Hawaii three times to call and has called on four of the islands. (That is the farthest he has called.) He has also called in Canada, New Hampshire, Tennessee, New York, Indiana, West Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and of coarse Ohio. He has called at numerous National and State square dance conventions.
For over 20 years Dick taught young people in his home for free, twice a week. Dick was honored with a Meritorious Award from 4-H for doing this. Many trophies were won at Ohio State Fair both for calling and dancing by the young people he worked with. Dick was very proud of the youth of Wayne County.
The Mackey home is filled with many trophies for winning floats from the parades Dick has called.
Dick is also a supporter of the Relay for Life program that helps to support research to help cure cancer. If you see a box when Dick is calling; usually it is candy bars that go towards their goal for raising money for this charity.
Dick belongs to the American Callers Association, Gnat Boxer Square Dance Club and participates in the Akron Federation. In 2002 Dick was honored by the Akron Federation as caller of the year.
From a caller’s prospective if Dick could change one thing it would be to have more young people involved. Also he would like to keep square dancing fun and less professional. Dick's favorite thing about square dancing is the people he meets and becomes friends with. He and his wife Nancy have wonderful long time friends and each year they meet new friends.
Dick and Nancy have two living children (daughter Denise and son Matt), five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Their daughter and son have both called square dances and two of the grandchildren have done singing calls. Square dancing has been a family activity. When Dick is not calling he likes to work with tools. Dick collects rocks, NASCAR items and frogs.
(Thanks to Vicky Sawyer for allowing the use of major portions of her article about Dick & Nancy Mackey, which was originally published in the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of Cleveland Tip Topics.)
Jack began calling in 1982 while serving as a member of the US Air Force. During an assignment at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan, he launched his calling career in his off duty time with two local clubs. Upon moving to Dayton, Ohio in 1983, Jack called regularly for an Advanced and three Plus clubs. It was in Ohio that Jack had the fortune of meeting Chuck & Bobbie Myers. Chuck became Jack's "mentor" and helped him learn the craft of calling not only from the technical aspect but also from the importance of being a positive influence and striving to better the activity as a whole. Jack attributes his success and accomplishments 100% to the role modeling and teachings of Chuck & Bobbie.
Jack moved to Utah in 1989 where he again worked regularly for an Advanced and three Plus clubs. Jack retired from the Air Force in 1992 and relocated to Ohio. He and Sherry were married July 14, 1995. Together they spend the week managing a very busy home program calling and teaching for A-Sharps, the Frontier Squares, the Skirts & Shirts, and the Venus & Mars Square Dance Club. In addition, they staff several weekends and travel regularly in the eastern half of the United States. He has taught beginner lesson classes every year since he started calling in 1982. He is currently teaching two beginner classes, an A2 class, and a C1 class. Jack believes the existence of Square Dancing is solely dependant upon all callers staying passionate about the craft and activity and dedicated to always teaching new dancers every year.
Jack works as the Materials & Logistics Manager for Pioneer Automotive Technologies of Springboro, Ohio. Collectively, Jack & Sherry have six children and twelve grandchildren stretched out from Ohio to Florida to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Jack has traveled and called extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, the Middle East and Europe. He has been on staff of the World Convention in Austria, the Hawaiian State Convention, the International Singles Convention in Canada, Fontana resort in North Carolina, English Mountain resort in Tennessee, and is currently on staff at Pride Resort in North Carolina. Jack and Sherry also call for and administrate several weekends and festivals yearly including Ohio's Smokin' In Rail City, Indiana's Spring Extravaganza, and the Florida Winter Festival.
Jack recorded with Chicago Country Records. He is a member of the Miami Valley Callers Association, the Cincinnati Callers Association, and CALLERLAB. He has served terms as President of the Miami Valley Callers Association and the Northern Utah Callers Council. Jack has worked on education panels at CALLERLAB and National Conventions and has conducted many caller training seminars and clinics. He serves as the Central US Leader for Grand Square, Inc., and aspires to obtain his caller coaching accreditation through CALLERLAB.
Jack and Sherry reside in the small community of Indian Springs nestled between Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio just off Ohio State Route 4. Jack calls and very much enjoys teaching Basic through C1 Square Dancing. He also excels at presenting easy teach squares, lines for private “one-niter” parties.
Our Cuer of the month for February, 2013, is Richard and Linda Bishop. In 2008 Linda vacationed in Spring City, Tennessee, and had her first two square dance lessons from Johnny Chambers. Upon returning home, Richard and Linda started taking square dance lessons in January, 2008, with Ray Beavers and the Cardinal Squares in Springfield, Ohio. They also took some lessons with Ed Hyker and St. Mary's Tri-Squares. Later that year, in August, they started taking round dance lessons from Elaine and Bud Wintrow at Ralph's Place in Yellow Springs.
In August of 2009 and 2010, Richard and Linda held a Fall Round-Up at Indian Lake, with the help of Callers, Cuers, and Line Instructors all volunteering their time. This was in an effort to show the public how much fun we have each week — that squares, rounds, and line dancing was a fun and healthy activity for mind, body and spirit. Fall Round-Up was also held to help encourage enrollment in the fall square dance lessons. Fall Round-Up attendees were featured on the front page of two newspapers and an article in a third newspaper informed the public when lessons were starting and the benefits of dancing.
In 2010, at the Fall Round-Up, the Wintrows loaned Linda some equipment. This gave Linda a chance to try cueing and see if it was for her. By October, Linda cued at her son's wedding. In July of 2011, Linda cued at her first full dance at Concord Cloverleaf Squares in Urbana. Linda was asked in October, 2011, to become the Club Cuer for Grand Squares of Vandalia, replacing Gay Chevalier, who retired at the end of December, 2011.
Linda has now cued at the Kentucky Federation Convention, and the National and Ohio State Conventions. She has also cued in Michigan, Tennessee, and Indiana. In February, Linda and Richard will start teaching Two-Step classes at St. Mary's, and they love it when they see the smile on a student's face that says they understand what they are teaching.
Richard and Linda are members of Cardinal Squares, Grand Squares, Buckeye Round Dance Council, Midwestern Ohio Callers Association, Miami Valley Callers Association, and Roundalab. They have been married for 36 years and have a home in Lakeview, Ohio. They have four children: Alisha, Andy, Princess, and Patches. (The last two are still living at home and are purrfect.) They are also the proud grandparents of Joey, Leann, Hailey, Owen, Kaylee, and Megan.
To quote Linda: "I want to thank everyone who has given me direction, including my mentors, Bud and Elaine Wintrow."
Tom has been calling since he was a freshman in High School. He did not call much until after he graduated, and started counting after he got paid $10.00 for calling a dance with a square dance band in 1961. Tom became interested in calling while dancing and learning to call with a 4-H Jr. Leaders group.
Tom and Bev celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011. Bev has been the church secretary at the First United Methodist Church in Lisbon for over 20 years. They have two sons, David and Mark. David and Cathy live in Perrysburg, Ohio, and David is a staff attorney for Lucas County Children’s Service. Cathy is an investigator for Lucas County Children’s Service. David and Cathy have 3 children: Kate, and Jacob and Jessica, who are twins. Mark and Jody live in the country about 10 minutes away from Tom and Bev. Mark is a truck driver while Jody is a manager of a local Dairy Queen. Mark and Jody have 3 children; Cheyene, Madison, and Olivia.
Tom was selected by the Akron Round and Square Federation as Honor Caller in 1995 and again in 2001. He writes a monthly music review of all the new and re-released square dance recordings for American Square Dance Magazine and Northeast Square Dancer for 9½ years.
Over the years, in addition to calling square dances, Tom has had several learning and job opportunities. He was a dairy farmer with his father for over 20 years and worked as an Agriculture Loan Officer and Bank Branch Manager/Loan Officer for 22 years. Tom also had the opportunity to work as a County 4-H Assistant for 18 months when Columbiana County did not have a 4-H Agent. Tom also supports the 4-H Cloverleafs by calling at their local fair, or assisting the youth with demos. Tom has served his local community in the past as a school board member for 12 years, a director of the Columbiana County Fair for 21 years and later hired as treasurer for 4 years.
Tom has recorded several records during his time calling. He recorded on the Buckskin / Rawhide Label (no longer in existence): "Thank Goodness It's Friday", "Cruising Down the River", "Patriotic Medley", "Hasta Manana", "I'm Walking The Floor Over You", "Take This Job and Shove It", and "There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere".
Tom’s favorite thing about being a caller is helping people have a good time and bringing some joy into their lives. If he could change one thing in the square dancing community he would change getting non dancers to understand how much fun it is. Tom teaches for 3 clubs and usually calls at least two nights a week. In 2011 he called/taught 191 dates. Tom averages over 30,000 miles a year to bring us his wonderful calling. Not counting the National Conventions, the farthest he has traveled for a dance is 350 miles. Tom has called at every Ohio Convention since 1984. He has attended and called at 19 National Conventions and has been a presenter for one of the Education Sessions at several of those 19 National Conventions.
Tom has been a member of CALLERLAB since 1989 and has attended 15 annual conventions. He has been a panelist at several of those conventions. There is no local caller's organization. Tom and Bev are members of Acey Deucey Squares. He is a member of the CALLERLAB Board of Governors which is elected by the membership. Tom is a member of the CALLERLAB Executive Committee and Vice Chairman elect for 2013-14 which is elected by and from the Board of Governors. He is the past Chairman of the Marketing Committee and Past Chairman of the Mainstream Committee. In 2007 he was presented the CALLERLAB' Chairman's Award for his efforts in Marketing.
(Thanks to Vicky Sawyer for allowing the use of her article about Tom and Bev Rudebock, which was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Cleveland Tip Topics.)
Addendum: Tom retired as a caller in October of 2016.
Cindy is from Quincy, Illinois. She began square dancing in 1967 and started her calling career in 1980. In 1988, she became a full time traveling caller, calling in a 5-state area. By the 1990’s, besides being club caller for four clubs in her home state, she was calling and entertaining square dancers nationally, traveling in over 35 states as well as the countries of New Zealand and Canada. Cindy has also called for several major festivals throughout the United States, Canada and New Zealand. She has also called at various square dance resorts and square dance cruises.
Cindy has been a staff recording artist for Eagle Records, MarLet Records, and since 1993 with Mountain Recordings (PMDO Recordings). Her hits include “Volcano”, “Oye”, “Rock Me Gently”, and most recently, “Lean On Me”.
Besides calling herself, Cindy also teams up with fellow square dance caller Mark Clausing to call at National conventions, clubs, and major festivals in the United States.
In 2003, Cindy and Mark formed a caller run club in Columbus, Ohio, for which they call weekly. They have also released several duet singing calls which have included many hits, such as “Wear My Hat” and most recently “Thank God for the Radio”.
After 10 years of being on the road full time, Cindy went back to college and finished her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education. She has been teaching since 1999, first in resource 7th and 8th grade in Rockford, Illinois, then since 2001 in the math resource room setting at Edgewood High School in Trenton, Ohio. She specializes in working with autistic, learning disabled and behavioral disorder students, as well as the visually impaired. She still calls square dances throughout the United States and at National and State Conventions in the summer.
Cindy created and manages the website for PMDO Recordings, which can be found at www.pmdomusic.com.
Cindy is a member of ACA (Americans Callers Association) and calls Mainstream through A2, including DBD Plus. Her hobbies include reading, fishing, singing, treasure hunting, and crocheting.
Mark’s calling career started in 1972, while stationed, as a member of the U.S. Navy, at the Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1987 he retired as a Chief Petty Officer with 20 years service and has since been calling on a full time basis both nationally and abroad.
In 1981, Mark signed as a recording artist with Mountain Recordings, part of PMDO records, a major recording company which specialized in the production of square dance records. This proved to be a major contribution in launching his full time calling career, as many of his records, such as Smokey Mountain Rain, Mountain Music, and Fisherman’s Luck, to name only a very few, became major hits, spreading his name throughout the world. Mark now owns the PMDO recording company, as well as, Mar-let records (another smaller recording company) and is extremely busy producing new square dance music.
Mark has been featured at numerous special dances, Square Dance Resorts and weekend festivals throughout the United States and abroad. He has called at many National and State Conventions which affords him the opportunity to give something back to the dancers who have been so supportive to him over the years. He has been employed by major corporations to perform in country western shows and has hosted many square dance tours and cruises. One such cruise to the Bahamas brought on board more than 600 dancers from 12 states and Canada. In November 1992, he was a featured entertainer with Roy Clark from Hee Haw fame on a fabulous cruise to the Western Caribbean sponsored by Dolphin Cruise Lines and North American Travel Company. Mark has also been employed as a performer by Holland America Cruise Line and has entertained along the Alaska coast line many times.
Included in his international travels are his favorites, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, where he has been featured at numerous International Weekend Festivals and is looking very forward to return engagements.
Throughout Mark’s 41 plus year calling career, he has continually conducted classes for new dancers, workshops for experienced dancers, and served as club caller for local square dance clubs wherever he has resided. He takes great pride at being able to provide a fun and interesting dance at any level from basic through A-2. Mark has also teamed up with Cindy Whitaker, a great caller/recording artist in her own right, and have become a dynamic calling duo. They have called many festivals and dances together and have released many duet singing calls. They presently call for the Hi-Timers Square Dance Club in Columbus, Ohio.
Throughout the years, Mark has been employed by many caller associations to conduct custom designed caller seminar weekends and training classes. Because of his showmanship abilities he is constantly sought after to orchestrate and conduct special square dance events and public dance demonstrations. His Navy career gave him in depth experience in electronics, instructor techniques, personal counseling techniques and management. He has studied sound techniques for many years and presently operates a professional sound studio in conjunction with the record companies. Continually striving to improve his knowledge about the activity, he firmly believes that if you take care of the activity, the activity will take care of you.
Mark is ASCAP/BMI licensed and is a member of ACA, the American Callers Association. His hobbies include fishing, golfing, singing, treasure hunting, various collections and sight seeing.
Tim Hellinger got into western square dance lessons because his mother needed a partner. He took lessons with mother, Doris Browning, under instructor Danny Beck at the Clover Leafs of Shelby, Ohio. He was told about the February Snow Ball Dance in Central Ohio so he made the drive to Columbus where he met Lynn LeMaster, now his fiancé. Tim graduated in April, 2006.
His interest in music, singing, and rhythms quickly drew him into calling the activity. Under the mentoring eyes of Mark Clausing and Cindy Whitaker, he debuted his calling at Hi-Timers Grillin’ & Chillin’ event in July, 2007. Tim has also called with Velma Doyle and Mark Johnson at the Summer in the Park Program in 2008 and 2009.
Tim called his first dance at Shelby, Ohio on October 31, 2009. Bob Shover cued for the Halloween Special. Four squares attended and enjoyed the evening immensely.
Tim started the Hashing It Up workshops in January, 2010, at Whitehall Community Park and then found a new location at the Clinton Heights Lutheran Church with the help of Jim and Dorothy Frashier. This program is giving New Callers a place with dancers to develop and improve their hash on a monthly basis.
He attended Callers School at the June 2010 Louisville National Convention; then he got to call at that convention. He has called at the West Virginia State Convention for the past 3 years. Tim has been a member of The American Callers Association (ACA) since 2008.
With help from Lynn LeMaster, in 2010 Tim started the Maple Leaf Squares in Granville, Ohio. They teach workshops every Sunday at the Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Granville and have regular dances on the 4th Sunday of every month.
Most people think of Velma Doyle just as a square dance leader in Central Ohio, but she is also a square dance caller. Velma normally calls one tip weekly at the Martin Janis Senior Center on Wednesday afternoons, and calls the entire dance (and leads line dances) when Mark Johnson is not available. She occasionally calls a full Western square dance at other clubs. She calls (and encourages others newer callers to work on enhancing their skills) at the Hashing It Up workshop once per month (during most months). She mostly fills a niche, calling educational demos (at regular and special needs schools and at scouting events); recruitment demos (such as at the Ohio State Fair, the Country Living Fair and the Pataskala Street Fair); and community service demos at nursing homes and other care facilities. She especially enjoys performing one night dance parties (for birthdays, graduations, hog roasts, etc.) where she gets to call a mixture of traditional Eastern dances, beginner Western dances, contras, mixers and lines.
Velma has always loved to sing, and her calling career started out innocently enough back in 2002 when Fred Moore gave her some square dance records and encouraged her to do a singing call at a Bucks & Does Amateur Caller Night. For a number or years she did nothing but singing calls. Seeing the need to learn the patter calls also, she began attending caller training, including six caller schools through Grand Square, Inc. (2006-2011) and assorted seminars through the Miami Valley Callers Association and the Indiana Dance Leaders Association. She has called at all of the Ohio State Dance Conventions and most National Square Dance Conventions starting in 2006, and also called four times at the Indiana Square Dance Convention (2007-2010). She taught a ten week square dance class for the Delaware Center for Senior Citizens in 2008. She has been a member of the Central Ohio Callers Association since 2006, and has served as their Secretary since 2008. Velma has been a member of CALLERLAB since 2009. She maintains her ASCAP/BMI license to play copyrighted music.
As a club leader, Velma has held multiple offices in three different local clubs, the Circle Eighters Club (which no longer exists), the Bucks & Does Singles, and the Orbiting Squares. She has been President of the Orbiting Squares since 2006. She has been the President of the Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs since 2009, and is the Vice Chairperson for the 53rd Ohio Dance Convention. She has been active in Single Square Dancers USA (SSDUSA), including being in charge of the Dance-A-Rama Festival in Columbus in 2005 and serving as SSDUSA President (2008-2009). She coordinated the Singles Room for the 60th National Square Dance Convention. She serves as an "angel" weekly at two different clubs, dancing either the lady's or the man’s position as needed to help get as many dancers as possible on the floor. She keeps the Central Ohio dance community informed about dance activities through use of email contact lists and contributing information weekly to the COCDC website: www.cocdc.org. Along with her partner Fred Moore, in 2006 she received the Honoree Award from the Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs.
Jason Raleigh began his career as a caller in 1992 in the Dayton, Ohio, area under the instruction of Sam Dunn. He started his signature yodeling in 1997. He is a long time accredited member of the Miami Valley Callers Association (MVCA) and is a Past President of that organization. Jason is also a former member of the Central Ohio Callers Association (COCA) where he held the office of Secretary. He is a member of The American Callers Association (ACA). Since November of 2004, he has been a Certified Caller/Instructor through ACA.
In the past, Jason served as the club caller for the Kittyhawk Squares in Kettering, OH, and Tracktown Shirts & Skirts in Grove City, OH. He was one of the instructors for the 2011-12 year for the Bachelors & Bachelorettes in the Indianapolis, IN, area and is currently their club caller. He has called for the YES Wheel Chair Square Dancers and also done choreography for Opera Columbus for one of their operas (Suzannah). For a number of years prior to his move to Indiana Jason taught at least three classes per year in the Dayton and Columbus areas. In 2003 he learned to dance and call at the Advanced level. He not only calls frequently in Indiana and Ohio today, but also travels all over the USA, calling levels from beginners through Advanced.
Jason and his wife Kathleen have two sons, Lakota (age 3) and Makyah (age 2). Jason is employed in Winchester, IN, and the couple has homes both in Winchester and in Grove City, OH. Kathleen is a line dance teacher and leader.
Gary Kincade graduated from square dance class in 1974. He was taking round dance classes in the same week of his square dance classes and called his first singing call at his round dance graduation. He taught his first square dance class and founded his first club in 1978. He has been calling and teaching continuously since that time.
Gary has held various positions of leadership in local callers associations, and is currently the Vice President of the Central Ohio Callers Association. He has also served on education panels at state and national conventions. He has recorded on three record labels and called at numerous state and national conventions. He has called at past Single Square Dancer USA Dance-A-Rama festivals, and is one of the callers featured this coming Labor Day Weekend at the Dance-A-Rama in Des Moines, IA. Gary has also sponsored square dance cruises, weekend getaways and other special square dance events.
Gary enjoys dancing as much as calling and his motto has always been “if the dancers are having a good time, then I will too.” Gary lives in the Dayton, OH, where he stays fully involved in the square dance activity, as well as frequently calling and dancing in the Central Ohio area.
Don and Dollie Conrad started Western Square Dance lessons in September, 1966, at a class taught by Jim Teal. They graduated the following February and attended their first club dance with the Do Si Dos in March. The caller was Jack Lasry from Florida. In June, 1967, they attended their first National Square Dance Convention, and for the next nineteen years they maintained a perfect record of attendance at the National events. Don called his first National Convention tip in 1976 in Anaheim, CA.
In May 1967, the Conrads served on the Hospitality Committee for the Columbus State Convention. they have volunteered for all State Conventions held in central Ohio since that time, many times serving as Chairpersons, and Don has called at most of these events.
In September, 1967, Don was elected Vice President of the Do Si Dos. He became President the following January when the elected president moved to Florida, and continued in that role until September, 1970. At one point, Don and Dollie were members of seven mainstream clubs.
In June 1969, the Conrads attended their first National Challenge Convention, which they attended almost every succeeding year until the Challenge Convention folded. Don called at every Challenge convention they attended since 1976.
Also in 1969, Don began a local tape workshop for Challenge dancers, and in 1974 he started calling at the workshop himself. Don joined the Central Ohio Caller’s Association in 1975, serving as an officer there during most of his tenure. In 1976, he joined Callerlab and in turn has served on several of its committees.
Over the years, Don has taught several classes throughout Ohio, ranging from Mainstream to C-4 Challenge. He is presently teaching C-2 lessons.
Don became the club caller for the A-2 club, the Roadrunners, when Fred Ensley gave the position up. Don started his first challenge club (Step ‘N’ Stones) in 1976. When Callerlab subdivided the Challenge level programs, he split his club into three: the Step ‘N’ Stones (C-1), the Touch Tones (C-2), and an unnamed tape group that danced to C-3A, C-3B and C-4, and for which he occasionally called himself. Today, the Roadrunners and Step ‘N’ Stones remain active.
Don has called at Challenge clubs in Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, Cincinnati, and several clubs in Kentucky. He still calls Advance and Challenge level dances from the basement of his home in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Doug & Phyllis started square dancing in 1992 and round dancing in 1993. Phyllis cued her first song at a camp-out in April, 2002. They are members of Round-A-Lab and have served as Treasurer for the Buckeye Round Dance Council for three years. Doug and Phyllis also belong to the Dixie Squares of Fredericktown, Ohio, and Doug serves as Representative at Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs. Doug and Phyllis were the Buckeye Round Dance Council 2009 Honor Couple.
Doug & Phyllis cue for several clubs in Central Ohio. They teach rounds four nights a week from Basic to Phase III-IV+ classes and have formed the Burdette's Belles & Beaus Round Dance Club at Shelby, Ohio. They Host and Cue for several week-end events — Dancers/Delight Week-end at Baylor Beach, All Round Dance Week-end at Baylor Beach, Broken Straw Week-end at Loudonville (new location this year), and a Week-end at Marietta. They also cue and teach at the Ohio State Convention, the West Virginia State Convention, and had the honor of cueing and teaching at the Singles National Convention held in Columbus, Ohio, in September, 2005, and in Washington D.C., September, 2010.
They have been married for 23 years. Doug is a retired School Principal, but still teaches full time at the Knox County Career Center. Phyllis is a retired Assistant School Treasurer and has returned to work part-time (5 hours a day).
Doug & Phyllis keep a very busy schedule — working, teaching, and cueing. When they take time off from their busy schedule they still enjoy attending the local club dances.
Mark & Jody Johnson are our featured cuer/caller for March, 2012. Jody Purtee took Western square lessons in 1985 from Bucks & Does and LBJ. (Her uncle and late husband both called Eastern). Mark Johnson took lessons from LBJ in 1990 at the urging of co-workers who belonged to Westerville Promenaders. Mark & Jody met during his lessons, began dancing together in spring 1991 and got married in April 1993.
Mark had enjoyed calling at Amateur Nights, but decided to become a round dance cuer so he could dance some of the squares with Jody. His first paying job was in 1998. Since he danced the whole dance on stage while cueing, he bought a wireless microphone and became known as the dancing cuer.
Somewhere along the way he called some demos and began calling a little. He started to fill in at the McDowell Senior Center when Eldon couldn't be there and inherited the job full-time after Eldon's passing. That led to teaching at Bucks & Does for one year and then teaching squares and rounds at Friendly Ties for two years.
Mark & Jody have taught rounds in Delaware for 10 years, and Mark has cued for clubs from Columbus to as far north as Tiffin and as far west as Dayton. They also have cued at every state convention since 2001. Mark has called and cued a couple of times when the caller didn't show up.
Mark & Jody took over publishing "Cues & Tips" in 1999 just to fill their spare time. The two had square dancing at their wedding reception and hosted dances for their 2nd, 5th, 10th and 15th anniversaries (and 20 is coming right up). They danced on stage at the Ohio Theater with conductor Eric Kunzel, were Yellow Rock Experts, and were Central Ohio Honorees in 2003. When they married, Mark inherited 2 daughters and 5 grandsons, which has since been augmented by one great-grandson and 4 great-granddaughters.
Our Cuer of the Month for February, 2012, is Chuck and Shirley Berry of Zanesville, Ohio. Chuck and Shirley began square dancing in 1986 and shortly after became interested in round dancing. They graduated in 1988 and promptly started workshops in 1989.
In 1990 they inaugurated the first round dancing in Zanesville with the Zanes & Janes Square Dance Club. What began as a volunteer effort to assist and encourage new dancers became a nearly full time job. They had built a large enclosed porch onto their house which they began to utilize for personal lessons for couples who either wanted to improve or expand their dancing skills. They even held picnics and club parties at their farm where Chuck would cue and call squares.
This endeavor expanded in 1994 when Chuck started giving round dance lessons and introduced round dancing to the square dance clubs of Mt. Vernon, Beverly and Caldwell, To date he still teaches Round Dance at Levels II through IV weekly for Valley Rounds in Wheeling, West Virginia and every Tuesday at the Senior Center in Zanesville. He also regularly cues for the dance clubs noted above as well as numerous other clubs throughout Ohio and West Virginia. In addition he cues during camping weekends for the Country Campers club and for other various square dance clubs throughout Ohio and West Virginia.
Chuck and Shirley have been dedicated to promotion of Square and Round Dancing not just by teaching but also by being actively involved in numerous exhibitions at various fairs, festivals, malls and nursing homes, both as dancers and cuers. They have attended and cued at numerous Ohio and West Virginia Conventions and have also attended and cued at the National Conventions. During the past 15 years Chuck has been involved in sponsoring a full round dance camping weekend in June, first in conjunction with Emma Lou and Dan Risley and later with Phyllis and Doug Burdette. During this weekend they teach and cue dances for individuals from all over the Ohio and West Virginia region. Since 2006 he has been teaching and cueing at Lima for Smokin In Rail City.
Chuck and Shirley are members of: Zanes & Janes Square Dance Club of Zanesville, Ohio (which is now a social club rather than a dancing club); Valley Rounds of Wheeling, West Virginia; Calico Pairs of Newark, Ohio; Round-a-Lab since 1994; BRDC (Buckeye Rounds Dance Council); COCA (Central Ohio Callers Association); and Country Campers of Zanesville, Ohio.
Shirley worked for 32 years at United Technologies and Chuck had a long career as a dispatcher and supervisor with a trucking company. Both are now retired, though they do not follow the Webster’s Dictionary definition of “retirement.” They live on nearly 100 acres which in itself is a big job to tend. But, during any given weekend in the winter season, you will not find them at home, but on the road traveling around the states of Ohio and West Virginia to either attend or cue a dance. In the warmer months, they somehow find time to fit in lessons, cueing, dancing and camping, along with mowing and baling hay on their farm for the 20 head of cattle that currently reside there.
They have been married for 55 years and have always lived in and around the Zanesville area. They have two daughters — Debra and Kim. Debra is a Chief Financial Accountant with Norwegian Cruise Line and works most of the year on a cruise ship. Kim is a medical transcriptionist in Oregon.
Our Cuer of the Month for January, 2012, is Bob & Winnie Shover. Bob & Jan Shover took lessons in Round Dancing from Dick & Gail Blaskis and started cueing and teaching in late 1978. They formed a club that was called the Star Dusters. Bob cued at many clubs around Ohio, Conventions, Camp outs, and was the club cuer for the Bucks & Does. Jan Passed away in 1986.
Winnie assisted Bob in teaching phase III at Park Street School in Grove City. Most of the dancers were from up north, so they moved their teaching and cueing to Mingo Park in Delaware in 1987 and formed a club called Rainbow Rounders.
Bob and Winnie were married in 1988 Then came a really fun move to the "Barn" at Marion, Ohio. The club name was changed to Twirling Rainbows. They also took on the job of cueing for the Hicks & Chicks with Hugh Johnston on squares. The Twirling Rainbows Club was presented a plaque for dancing at the Ameriflora in 1992.
Bob was content in having a dance for the phase II, III dancers, so with the help of Dick & Gail Blaskis and the Twirling Rainbow Club, the April Fantasy Dance was founded in 1996. Later the name was changed to Spring Fantasy Dance.
Bob & Winnie took a vacation from cueing and teaching for a few years, then started back cueing and teaching again in 2005 at JC Summers School in Grove City.
In 2006 they taught and danced at the Parkview Methodist Church and their dancers voted to call the club Capital City Rounds. They have continued with that name and have cued and taught at State and National Conventions in Ohio and West Virginia and at several week end Festivals.
Currently they hold Basic classes in Two Step & Waltz and Phase III Plus in Cha and Rumba and a Step up class in Waltz and Foxtrot, at the Grove City Senior Center.
Bob and Winnie enjoy cueing and teaching and have been doing it for over twenty seven years. They are members of RoundaLab, BRDC, COCA, and COCDC.
Our Cuer of the Month for December, 2011, is Sue Powell and Loren Brosie of Newark, OH, who are great dancers and excellent cuers. Sue began square dancing in 1970 and was a member of the Bloomin Buckeyes Square Dance Club during the 1970’s. She started round dancing in 1971, and belonged to the Marlers Round Dance Club. She began cueing rounds just one year later, in 1972. Loren started dancing with Emma Lou and Dan Risley and Charlie and Carolyn Hearn in 1989. He started dancing with Sue in 1995.
Sue cues round dance at Levels II through V. She has been the cuer for Calico Pairs in Buckeye Lake since 1981. The Calico Pairs hold dances twice per month on Sunday evenings. Since 2002 Sue has also been cueing rounds weekly on Tuesday evenings for the Starlites/Satellites who currently dance in Gahanna. Sue also regularly cues at square dances for most of the square dance clubs in Central Ohio. Periodically Sue and Loren teach rounds classes in Gahanna, Newark and Buckeye Lake. They also sometimes teach beginning ballroom dancing at the local career center.
Sue and Loren are members of Round-a-Lab and are ASCAP/BMI licensed. She has been a member of the Buckeye Rounds Dance Council (BRDC) since that organization was formed.
From 1990 to 1992, she served as President, Secretary and Treasurer (one year in each office). Sue & Loren also belong to Dixie Round Dance Council and the International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association.
Sue and Loren have choreographed dances and taught them at numerous Ohio Dance Conventions and several National Conventions. She has cued at numerous BRDC events, including Harvest of Rounds, Spring Fantasy and Snowball dances. For a number of years she has been the chairperson in charge of the Harvest of Rounds festivals. Sue and Loren host two square/round dance weekends each year at Baylor Beach Campground in Navarre, OH.
Sue has been retired from DSCC since 2007. Loren is employed by the City of Columbus. They have been married since 1997.
In 1975, while Sam was busy driving trucks around Ohio for a living, he and his first wife Barb decided to take square dance lessons under the tutelage of Bill Spangler. Bill was the caller for a Newark club, the Blooming Buckeyes.
To Sam, square dancing was something that just came naturally, and by late 1977, he had picked up a microphone and successfully given calling a try. Sam was hooked. In order to hone his skills, he taught a class out of his garage. The class was held on Sunday evenings so as not to conflict with a Blooming Buckeyes class that was being offered on Wednesdays. Sam's graduates were funneled to the Blooming Buckeyes.
Concurrently, Sam and Barb continued to grow as dancers. In the early 1980s they took Advanced lessons from Web Mills. The possibilities of Advanced dancing intrigued Sam, and taking a cue from his earlier entrance into calling, Sam offered to instruct his own Advanced class at the Granville Baptist Church. Its graduates became the founding members of the Motivators square dance club.
In the mid-1980s, Harry Reed, the owner of the Lazy "R" campgrounds (now Lazy River), approached Sam about calling at a facility on the site. The campground had an enclosed hall which, although it had a cement floor, was suitable for dancing. Harry had previously approached Web Mills about the endeavor, but Web, already the club caller for the Newark Circulators, was not interested in founding another club. Since the campground was only a mile from Sam's house, Sam accepted Harry's offer, and his second club, the Bunkhouse Reelers, was born.
The Motivators continued to dance at Granville Baptist Church, and the Bunkhouse Reelers at the Lazy "R" campgrounds, until 1992, when the Harmony Hall facility in Buckeye Lake was completed. The Bunkhouse Reelers christened the hall on new year's eve, 1992, and both clubs then moved into the new facility, a structure built explicitly with square dancing in mind. Later on, Sam formed a third club, the Harmony DBD group. The Motivators and Harmony DBD clubs continue to dance at Harmony Hall today. Unfortunately, the Bunkhouse Reelers disbanded in 2012.
Sam turned 80 in 2012. He noted he originally intended to retire when he reached this juncture in his life, but he later concluded his square dance calling kept him young, and thus he continued to call dances throughout the central Ohio area.
Addendum: Sam passed away on October 3, 2014, after a brief illness. He remained active as a caller until the month preceding his death. He died at his home in the same room in which he had been born nearly 82 years earlier.
Our Caller of the Month for November, 2011, is Bob & Nancy Daye. They started square dance lessons in September, 1974, with the Rhythm Reelers Square Dance Club. Bob told Nancy, “This is not going to be my bag. I really don’t care for square dancing.” Who knew that 37 years later they would still be dancing and Bob would be calling.
Bob's adventure started when he and Nancy were taking their lessons: George Seis from the club asked him if he would like to call on amateur night. Bob had no idea what he was getting himself into. For about six weeks he drove his family nuts while he practiced “Don’t Worry About the Mule, Load the Wagon.” The night he called, when he was coming off the stage, several people said “You have your calling. You should become a square dance caller.”
Bob says: “Looking back, it has been a great ride to take for my family and myself.” In 1975 Bob started working with Hal Posey, who was a great mentor. Bob angeled two or three classes that Hal was teaching. He asked Hal what he needed to do to become a caller, and he said, “TEACH A CLASS.” Bob started teaching his first class in Hilliard, OH, and after graduation formed the Hilliard Star Promenaders. The club grew very quickly, but folded after ten years.
In 1975 Dick Loos sponsored Bob to join the Central Ohio Callers Association (COCA). In 1976 he was brought in as a full member, and he continues to be an active participant in this organization. One of his biggest thrills was the first year he and Nancy were chairpersons for the Snowball dance which was held at the state fairgrounds. That year there were over 100 squares dancing.
In 1977 Bob attended a caller school in Erlanger, KY, that was held by Johnny Davis and Dick Jones. This was great fun and gave him the tools to be a square dance caller.
Bob called for Allemanders Square Dance Club (an Eastern Group) for 18 years. He also gave lessons and danced at the Hilliard Senior Center for five years. Bob has taught lessons for the following clubs: Cali-Ho Squares; Country Swingers; Dudes & Dolls (18 years); Roundtown Squares; Sundowners; Wheeler 969; Rhythm Reelers (Club Caller & Instructor for 15 years to the present); Little Brown Jug Singles (15 years); and Westerville Promenaders. He is currently teaching lessons at Grove City Squares, Rhythm Reelers and Westerville Promenaders.
Bob has called in several different states: Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas.
Bob and Nancy have volunteered their time at various charity dances over the years, including Bucks & Does Singles’ Bethlehem on Broad Street Dance, Little Brown Jug Singles’ People In Need Charity Dance, and the Toys for Tots Dance.
Bob says “I have always gone by the rule of the four F’s: “Fun, Fellowship, Family and Friends, and I hope I can continue doing what I love.”
The involvement of Ed & Faye Laudenschlager in the square dance world goes back many years. Ed was introduced to square dancing during the days of his youth. While in high school, he had a band that played music for Eastern “hoe-down” square dances. He first took Western square dance lessons in 1973 or 1974 from Harry Coppenhaver. He knew on the first night that he wanted to be a caller. He received further instruction from Ted McQuaide and from Bob Daye. Wes Taylor was the first caller to give him a microphone and let him call at a dance. Ted McQuaide was the first to introduce him as a caller and put him on a stage at an Ice Breaker Dance. Bob Daye initially loaned him records. He taught his first class in 1977 to a small group of dancers at the Kingswood Apartments party house, but the group soon outgrew their space and moved into a space at a school. The graduates of this class became the Classic Steppers in January 1978, with him as the club caller and instructor.
Faye took square dance lessons from Bill Burnside in 1971, and has been dancing since that time. This couple was married on July 15, 1978. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch featured the event in an article, noting that there were fifteen squares dancing as part of the festivities. Caller Wes Taylor was the best man and his wife Carol was the matron of honor. Photos in the couple’s wedding album show many dancers and callers including a very youthful Dave Stuthard.
Ed and Faye have contributed much to the square dance community as a whole. Ed has been a full time caller since retiring from his day job in 2007. He is an excellent caller and teacher and has been the instructor for the Bucks & Does Singles since 2004-2005. This class is so successful that there often have been six and even seven squares of dancers on the floor (including the angels). He also has been the instructor for Orbiting Squares since 2009-2010. (Friendly Ties has also joined Orbiting in bringing new dancers to the classes at the Whitehall Community Center class.) Ed also taught lessons in the past for the Classic Steppers, Roundtown Squares, Vandalia Circle 8, Washington Court House Squares, the Country Swingers and the Cardinal Squares. He taught square dance classes from 2002 to 2004 and again in 2006 in Groveport. He has called dances at many different clubs in Ohio and surrounding states, and has also called in Florida. He has called at most State Conventions since 1977 and at nineteen National Conventions. Faye usually accompanies her husband wherever he calls. She often does the driving while he sleeps, carries equipment and helps out at dances and classes when needed by dancing either in the lady’s or the man’s position. She even helps with singing calls occasionally. It is a real treat to hear the special version of “Jingle Bells” that the two call together. He has been a member of the American Callers Association since the time that organization was founded. He has been a member of the Central Ohio Callers Association (COCA) since 1977, and has held the positions of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Acting Secretary. He has been president of the COCA for the past eleven years. Ed and Faye were the 2007 COCDC Honoree Couple
Ed has volunteered his services numerous times to call demos for various clubs and for COCDC, generally receiving little or no compensation. He has called at Fourth of July parades, the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival, the Obetz Zucchini Fest, the Groveport Apple Butter Days, the Circleville Pumpkin Show, the Columbus Arts Festival and the Millersport Corn Festival. In the summer of 2005 he called with the Scioto Valley Brass Band on three occasions as part of their “Wild West Show.” For many years he has donated his time to call at Bucks & Does “Bethlehem on Broad Street” charity dance. During the summer of 2011, Ed donated his services to call at the three fund-raising dances for the 53rd Ohio Dance Convention which will be held in Columbus in 2013. Most recently he called without compensation at the Mid Ohio Foodbank charity dance on August 28, 2011.
Ed and Faye contributed a significant amount of time and effort during the eight or nine years that they worked with the YES Wheelchair Dancers. They had helped out earlier, but took over the group in 1991. They not only met weekly with the group, but also took the group to perform at all of the state conventions and four national conventions during that time period. For the past four years, Ed and Faye have been working with the Happy Squares, a special needs square dance group in Chillicothe, OH, including meeting with them weekly and taking them to the National Handicapable Square Dance Convention.
Ed started teaching Advance level square classes this summer of 2011 and in 2012 founded the A-level club, the Scrambled A's.
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