Introduction to Social Media

The internet provides myriad opportunities to promote dances, clubs, and our square dance activity in general. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are some of the more popular ones. But how do you launch yourself into this world? It seems so complicated. The documents linked above provide an introduction. The first, “What Is Social Media?” by Brian Elmer provides an overview of some of the platforms and explains how they can be used. The second, “Facebook Primer” by Scott and Erin Byers goes into more detail about Facebook in particular. The third describes how clubs in Williams Lake, BC use social media both to promote their groups.

Round Dance Cueing For Callers

Type Presentation Event Narrated Slideset Date 2022-06-11 Presenters Daryl Clendenin (yloroc@comcast.net) Links Cueing For Callers (Narrated Slide Set) (View Online)   (Download) Description Daryl Clendenin is well known caller and Accredited Caller Coach who has taught countless caller schools. In this narrated PowerPoint presentation Daryl provides a brief course for square dance callers in cueing … Read more

Live Recordings of Legends Calling

This is a collection of nearly 300 evenings of modern square dancing, recorded live at the events. Most of the files come from the 1950s through the 1980s. The collection includes many well-known New England callers (e.g., Al Brundage) as well as others from elsewhere in the U.S. (e.g., Pancho Baird, Les Gotcher). This is a good representation of the traveling callers from the first 50 years of MWSD.

Caller School In a Box

Type Presentation Event Narrated Slideset Date 2022-03-27 Presenters Daryl Clendenin (yloroc@comcast.net) Links For The Newbie Caller (Narrated Slide Set) For The Newbie Caller (PDF) Mental Image For The Girls (Narrated Slideset) Description Daryl Clendenin is well known caller and Accredited Caller Coach who has taught countless caller schools. Many newer callers find the sheer volume … Read more

TV Video Promoting Square Dancing

This six minute video was broadcast on an Ottawa community service channel to promote a new dance series being presented by Wendy VanderMeulen. While done in an interview format, it also includes some great clips of young people dancing. Wendy does an outstanding job of explaining what square dancing is about, how it works, and what its benefits are.

British Columbia Library of Promotional Materials

This page includes a large collection of promotional materials gathered or created for the BC Square & Round Dance Federation. It includes posters, brochures, videos, music and instructional materials, and more. It also includes 2 complete lesson plans and guides to help newer callers teach SSD, one in the normal 12 week format, the second in a longer 21 week format.

Breaking Bread and Building Connections

As square dancers, we know that food unites. Breaking bread together is one of the oldest forms of community interaction. It provides a valuable time and place to socially connect and bond through conversation and laughter. In this Alberta Chatter article, editor Claudia Littlefair documents some Winning Ways stories showing how you can use the power of food to make your club more successful.

Ideas For Club Activities From Social Connections Contest #1

In late 2021 the Social Connections Committee ran a contest to solicit ideas to promote social connections and bonding in the square dance activity. The responses often included many valuable thoughts and ideas covering a range of topics. This document contains ideas for club activities that foster sociability and social bonding.

Ideas For Group/Club Interaction From Social Connections Contest #1

In late 2021 the Social Connections Committee ran a contest to solicit ideas to promote social connections and bonding in the square dance activity. The responses often included many valuable thoughts and ideas covering a range of topics. This document contains ideas for interactions between club members that foster sociability and social bonding.

Ideas For Dances From Social Connections Contest #1

In late 2021 the Social Connections Committee ran a contest to solicit ideas to promote social connections and bonding in the square dance activity. The responses often included many valuable thoughts and ideas covering a range of topics. This document contains ideas for things that can be done at dances to foster sociability and social bonding.

Ideas From Social Connections Contest #1

In late 2021 the Social Connections Committee ran a contest to solicit ideas to promote social connections and bonding in the square dance activity. The responses often included many valuable thoughts and ideas covering a range of topics. This “omnibus document” contains all the ideas submitted during the contest.

Long Distance Calling

Tom Kaiser tells the story of his summer in rural Michigan where he wound up teaching beginners for two different clubs in the area. When it was time for him to return home to California one of them asked if he could continue calling for them remotely. This story describes how it all came about and how it worked. Zoom dancing during the pandemic has demonstrated that remote calling is technically feasible. In the future we can expect that groups that have no callers near them might be interested in using a “remote” caller. If you would like to see what is involved, this article is for you.

It’s Not Square To Dance

This 10 minute video produced by Andrea Long provides an entertaining synopsis of the square dance activity. A little bit of history, some of the square dance culture, and video snippets from around the world, as told through interviews with square dancers and callers. If you’ve been trying to explain square dancing to your friends, you could show them this.

Tim Marriner’s Caller Education Materials

Tim Marriner was a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach who created and published a large quantity of caller educational material over the years. Tim generously made this wealth of informative articles available for free download in PDF format. Sadly, Tim died suddenly in 2016, depriving square dancing of one of its most knowledgeable and articulate advocates.

Tony Parkes On The History of Square Dancing

Type Presentation Event Newbie Callers Zoom Presentation Date 2021-09-18 Presenters Tony Parkes Links Video Handout Description During the pandemic Dan Lyke and Don Beck hosted weekly presentations and discussions aimed at serving newer and beginning callers. This presentation on square dance history is one of them. Here is Dan’s description of the content: Tony Parkes … Read more

Square Dance Foundation of New England

Type Resource Owner Square Dance Foundation of New England, Inc. (SDFNE) Links Website Description The Square Dance Foundation of New England (SDFNE) was founded in 1973 by caller and editor of The New England Square Dance Caller Magazine, Charlie Baldwin and his wife Bertha. It has a membership of individuals, clubs, and organizations who continue … Read more

Promotional Materials

This collection contains pointers to a variety of ready-made promotional materials, such as posters, flyers, and brochures. Some are generic, some are more specific to a club or dance. Some are in an editable form, others are PDF or image. All can be mined for ideas.

Education Recordings About Singing Calls

The following education session recordings from past CALLERLAB conventions deal with Singing Calls. Topics such as musical presentation, singing with others, and singing call choreography, etc. The selections included here focus on one or more of these singing call areas as their primary topic. Related and overlapping topics such as Showmanship and Voice have collections of their own.

Cal Campbell’s Square Dance Potpourri Page

Cal Campbell has an archive page where he has been posting a large collection of square dance documents and materials. Items include various Sets In Order Yearbooks, articles and books he has written over the years, collections of modules and singing call figures, party dance material, and more. Some of the documents and books have been long out of print. An extremely valuable archive page.

Social Square Dance (SSD), an Introduction and Overview by Barry Johnson

In this one hour video presentation Barry Johnson provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of the Social Square Dance (SSD) program. He draws on his own personal experience, the observed experiences of other groups in his area, and stories from around the US. He discusses not only the benefits of using the program but also the obstacles that may have to be hurdled and strategies for dealing with them. The presentation provides a practical guide to using SSD successfully.

Sounding Like A Caller

Daryl Clendenin is well known caller and Accredited Caller Coach who has taught countless caller schools. Daryl has long felt that more emphasis should be placed on the skill of patter calling with the music. That is what is commonly referred to as “sounding like a caller”, or sometimes “chanting”. Daryl has created some recordings that new callers can use to learn how to practice making that sound. The main recordings can be downloaded at the link above. Below is a sample clip to give you an idea what they sound like.

Teaching Beginners on Zoom

Have you wondered if it might be possible teach beginner dancers via Zoom? Ray Brendzy has been doing just that during the pandemic. He has made video recordings of his lessons available online. Using these recordings you can brush up on your own dancing, or lead non-dancer friends through the lessons. The videos show a group of 4 dancers doing the calls.

CALLERLAB Certified Square Dance Teacher (CSDT) Program

The CALLERLAB Certified Square Dance Teacher (CSDT) Program has been created to provide a credential to callers who are square dance teachers. The program evaluates education, experience, knowledge, and skill pertaining to square dance teaching. The program is designed to give the well-qualified square dance teacher an actual credential that could be recognized not only by the square dance community but educational and recreational institutions as well. The CSDT program is meant to be voluntary, challenging, credible, and fair.

Square Dance Hall Of Fame

This website honors the 34 nominees to the Sets in Order American Square Dance Society Hall of Fame. Dorothy Shaw was the first person named, in January 1961, and successive nominations took place through 1983. The site includes the Gene Anthony portrait of each inductee, along with biographical information, audio files, links to interviews and awards, and additional photographs.

Hookup Chart for Zoom Calling

Lorne Smith from Calgary, Alberta is one of the most prolific Zoom callers. He has supplied a cabling diagram describing how the various sound and computer components need to be cabled together for calling over Zoom. He shows two options: the first shows running Zoom and your music player on the same computer; the second shows running Zoom on one computer and the music player on another.

Newbie Callers Zoom Discussions

During the COVID-19 pandemic all callers suddenly found themselves with lots of time on their hands. Jeremy Butler and Ted Lizotte decided to use some of that time productively and provide a series of online lectures to further caller education. A wide variety of topics and speakers were covered.

Planning To Implement SSD

During the pandemic a long series of online seminars called the Corona Learning Assistance Seminar Series (C.L.A.S.S) was presented. One of them, delivered by Jeremy Butler, explained the planning and process they went through to introduce the Social Square Dance (SSD) system to their club.

History Of Computer Choreography Programs

During the pandemic a number of Zoom discussion groups emerged dealing with a variety of square dance topics. One was aimed at new callers and was hosted by Don Beck and Dan Lyke. On October 31, 2020 their guest speaker was Clark Baker who delivered a fascinating presentation on the history of computer programs designed to assist callers in creating choreography. As a person who developed one of the first – if not the actual first – such programs, Clark brings a unique, well informed insight to this piece of square dance history.

SSD FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Those who are considering use of the Social Square Dance (SSD) system usually have many questions about how it works, the best way to implement it, and the issues they may have to address along the way. The Social Square Dance Committee has published the SSD FAQ document to address these questions.

The How & Why of New Basics

This paper by Paul Hartman appeared in American Square Dance magazine in 1974. It describes how square dancing evolved to become what we now call Modern Western Square Dancing during the period from just after World War II to the early seventies. This period was marked by changes in the style and philosophy of square dancing and the influx of many new calls. These new calls were called new “basics”, hence the title of the paper. The paper describes how the process of introducing these new calls shaped the dance we know and culminated in the formation of CALLERLAB with the explicit mission to provide some management and control of the process.

Caller Tutorial and Discussion Sessions

During the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Zoom caller groups emerged. These sessions typically provide tutorials and/or discussion on topics of interest to callers. The Orange County Callers Association website is hosting a collection of recordings of such sessions. A wide variety of topics and speakers are covered.

Two-Person (Minimal Phantoms) Square Dancing

Bob & Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love, in Nanaimo, BC created a whole series of videos they titled “Dancing In The Garage”. They are aimed at people who can’t assemble an entire square – or maybe not even another couple. This story explains how they went about creating the series and designing their choreography to provide a dance experience for one couple – or even individual people. Their objective was to minimize the use of phantoms, which differs somewhat from many other offerings that assume at least 4 real people.

Welcoming Dance Environment Documentation

Square Dancing is an overwhelmingly social activity. Therefore, it is essential that square dance groups create a social environment that feels welcoming, engaging, and safe. Events in recent years have caused shifts in social norms that raise questions about what “welcoming, engaging, and safe” actually means. CALLERLAB has acted to provide guidance in this area. The result is two documents, one providing an overview of objectives and a handbook of procedures, and a second containing a template process that clubs could adapt for handling instances of inappropriate behavior.

Cuesta Squares: A Social Success

This is the story of Cuesta Squares which is an LGBTQ club that dances in San Luis Obispo, CA. It is different in that it is told by a new member and relates his experiences learning to dance with the club. It is an excellent example of the importance of the social environment of the group to the success of the club.

Milestone Award Winners

The Milestone is one of CALLERLAB’s most prestigious awards. To be eligible for the Milestone one must have worked in an uncharted field of square dancing and effected positive change that has stood the test of time. Additionally we look for unselfish contributions, professional leadership, and having had broad influence in the square dance activity. The link takes you to a list of Milestone winners.

Notes For European Callers Note Service

This article points to editions of Notes For European Callers originally produced by Al Stevens and later taken over by Lorenz Kuhlee. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to European callers. The list below covers editions from 1988 to 2001. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. Earlier pdfs are not full-text searchable but later ones are.

News ‘N Notes Caller Note Service (Advanced)

This article points to editions of News ‘N Notes (Advanced) produced by Ed Foote. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to callers. The list below covers editions from 1984 to 1989. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are not full-text searchable.

News ‘N Notes Caller Note Service

This article points to editions of News ‘N Notes produced by Al Brundage, Earl Johnston, and Ed Foote. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to callers. The list below covers editions from 1984 to 1989. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are full-text searchable.

Checker Cheats

Before the days of computers callers would write or work through choreography using “checkers” or “dolls”. The checkers were usually colored pieces of plastic to represent the 8 dancers. The caller would push them through the various call actions by hand. This procedure was tedious and error prone. So most callers developed “checker cheats” to simplify moving the checkers and reduce errors. The sources below are collections of some of these checker cheats.

United Square Dancers of America (USDA)

The UNITED SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA, INC. (USDA) was formed on June 26, 1981, during the National Square Dance Convention held in Seattle, Washington, and has grown to the size that approaches the representation of 310,000 dancers throughout the United States. USDA is an organization formed by dancers, for dancers, and is under the operational control of dancers.

USDA COVID-19 Letter

The United Square Dancers of America published this open letter with guidance on handling dances during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

CallerToolBox

CallerToolBox is a Windows program callers can use to organize their choreography and make it easy to find sequences for specific purposes. Callers can enter their singing call figures, modules, zeros, getins, getouts, or full patter sequences into the database. It is delivered with a database preloaded with many useful sequences.

Corona Learning Assistance Seminar Series (CLASS)

During the COVID-19 pandemic all callers suddenly found themselves with lots of time on their hands. Jeremy Butler and Ted Lizotte decided to use some of that time productively and provide a series of online lectures to further caller education. A wide variety of topics and speakers were covered.

Virtual Square Dances and Recordings

There have always been pockets of people who find themselves unable to assemble a whole square, or sometimes even another couple, but who want to dance anyway. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole square dance population into such people. This article provides a collection of recordings specifically aimed at people dancing by themselves. Some are in the form of a “virtual dance” where you can see other couples dancing along with you in their living rooms. Some are more in form of a demo couple showing you the moves.

Ed Foote – All Things Considered

Ed Foote is a well known caller who has been calling since 1965. He was a founding father of Challenge dancing and served as Chairman of the CALLERLAB Challenge Committee for 30 years. He created the National Advanced and Challenge Convention which for decades was a highlight on the calendar of most challenge dancers. He is a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach and has run or served on the staff of hundreds of caller schools across North America and around the world. In 2008 he received the Milestone award, one of CALLERLAB’s highest honors. He writes prolifically and has published articles in most of the major square dance magazines, often as a regular monthly columnist. He currently writes a column for American Square Dance called All Things Considered. Below are pointers to a number of these articles as well as some education material from his caller schools.

Sample Radio Ads From Montana

Hunter Keller voiced four professional radio spots to advertise his beginner classes in Montana. Their first usage generated about 25 new dancers and a second round an additional 16. Each 30-second spot featured a different music style and a slightly varied message. Click on the button below to see links to the MP3 files so you can hear what they sounded like. If you’re considering doing radio spots, they provide a terrific example.

Square Dance History Channels on YouTube

There are two YouTube channels that collect videos related to square dancing and square dance history: squaredancehistory, and squaredancehistory2. The first (squaredancehistory) contains 100 video clips recorded at the November 2011 Dare To Be Square weekend held at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.. The second (squaredancehistory2) includes videos illustrating the many styles of square dance and some interview material explaining the evolution of MWSD.

Lee Kopman on the Phil Donahue Show

Lee Kopman created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, who calls for a group of young dancers, Kopman provides lucid responses to the host’s questions, and he provides clear demonstrations of the differences between traditional and modern square dancing.

Buddy Weaver Square Dance Music Podcast

This podcast is for the purpose of square dance education.
These are audio files that have been digitally re-mastered from albums and videos previously released on the various music labels owned by Buddy Weaver. Listeners are welcome to listen (stream) or download any of the podcasts. Use the podcasts for dancing in your home or for research – it is provided to you at no charge.