Caller Ian Craig describes how Silver City Squares in Oregon experienced a sudden influx of new dancers by connecting with the home schooling community in their area.
American Square Dance is a monthly square dance magazine published in both printed and digital forms.
Caller training handouts: a collection of handouts used in caller training presentations on various topics
CALLERLAB Code of Ethics
Type Document Author Allan Hurst (allanhurst at gmail dot com) Date 2023-09-30 Links Intro Night PDF Description When Allan Hurst was faced with the prospect of doing an Intro night for his club, he induced Andy Shore to let him record one of his intro sessions. Allan then transcribed it – pretty much word for … Read more
This collection lists educational audio recordings about Leadership from past CALLERLAB conventions.
This item contains a collection of pointers to educational recordings about voice topics (mostly audio) from CALLERLAB conventions.
Arden Hopkin was an acclaimed vocal coach who delivered both general sessions and one-on-one coaching sessions at a large number of callerlab conventions from 1981 through 2011. This article contains a collection of pointers to the audio recordings of the sessions.
This document provides information on how to connect music sources such as laptops, mini-disc players, phones, etc. to various Hilton sound systems.
In this paper Clark defines and categorizes a number of types of gimmick and provides numerous examples of each.
Type Idea Submitter Eastern District Square & Round Dance Association (EDSARDA) Date 2023-02-24 Links EDSARDA Tips and Ideas Description These ideas and tips were published on a private Facebook group for Eastern District Square & Round Dance Association, U.S., formed to exchange practical tips and ideas on promoting and advertising our activity. The material includes … Read more
A collection of media articles that discuss the health benefits of dancing.
As part of CALLERLAB’s effort to encourage Social Connections, a section containing information about Games, Gimmicks, Interacting Squares and other related ideas has been added to the CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource.
The CALLERLAB Marketing Committee teamed up with Sleight Advertising of Omaha, NE to
create a new professional web site and series of videos available to callers, clubs and local
associations in efforts to aid the promotion of square dancing.
Don Beck has been calling since 1964 and is widely known for his expertise in the mental image system of calling. However, he is also knowledgeable in a wide variety of other square dance topics and over the years has written many articles and tutorials. The link above will take you to his document collection.
Don Beck has posted an eclectic collection of instructional videos on his YouTube channel. Check it out.
Mental Image is a calling technique that allows the caller to mentally track dancers and successfully resolve without visually checking the square. Of course, callers must observe the square to ensure proper timing and successful execution, but the advantage of mental image calling is that successful resolution does not depend on error-free execution by pilot squares. This collection lists a number of items containing information about mental image calling. The vast majority of this information was created by Don Beck who is perhaps the foremost authority on mental image calling.
Ever wondered how a couple of theoretical physicists might go about communicating their love of square dancing to their colleagues? Well, by explaining some of the underlying mathematical structures of MWSD of course! But even if you’re not a math virtuoso you’ll enjoy this enthusiastic and entertaining 1-1/2 hour presentation by Karin Rabe and Greg Moore.
Daryl Clendenin is an Accredited Caller Coach who has taught scores of caller schools. In the attached document, Daryl discusses the elements of formation management: moving smoothly and intentionally from one formation to another to maximize dancer enjoyment.
Claudia Littlefair provided this useful information about using QR codes on posters and websites. It describes what a QR code is and how you can generate them for free. This article was published in edition 2022-6 of Claudia Littlefair’s Alberta Chatter Newsletter.
The collection contains over 60 galleries of Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated square dance artwork. There are well over 500 images in the galleries. They may be downloaded for free.
This article by Mike Seastrom was published in edition 2022-6 of Claudia Littlefair’s Alberta Chatter Newsletter. Mike provides numerous ideas for keeping new dancers enthused about coming to lesson nights and minimizing dropout rates.
Caller’s Help is a music management program for callers.
Ray Owens established the squaredancetech.com website to help callers and clubs put together websites, marketing materials, and videos that look professional and use the latest technologies. He provides website design and maintenance services, creation of promotional videos, and online payment processing services.
Type Resource Owner Christie Lane Enterprises Links Christie Lane Square Dance Collection Description This collection of square dance videos and CDs is designed to help teachers entertain children with square dancing. Most of the material was recorded by Pat Carnathan from California.
This 5-minute video was produced by WTIU Public Television from Indiana University. It presents Do Si Squares of Noblesville, Indiana. It contains interviews with dancers, club officers, caller, and cuer. Lots of footage of people dancing.
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.
USDA News is the National square dance Newsletter of the United Square Dancers Of America and is published quarterly.
Claudia Littlefair describes how she drummed up 30 new people for their club using Facebook. She gives chapter and verse on her strategy and the Facebook facilities she used to accomplish it.
Type Presentation Event Narrated Slideset Date 2022-06-11 Presenters Daryl Clendenin (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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.
Type Presentation Event Narrated Slideset Date 2022-03-27 Presenters Daryl Clendenin (email@example.com) Links Download: For The Newbie Caller (Narrated Slide Set) View/Download: For The Newbie Caller (PDF) Download: 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 … Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dave and Bonnie Harry of Lynnwood, WA tell the story of how a program called First Friday Fun Fests, sponsored by their Whirlybird Square Dance Club, has worked to attract hundreds of dancers in its decade or so of operation. The Fun Fests are no-experience-necessary dances that the club runs once a month.
This 12 minute video shows the unique world of the square dancing community and the passion participants have for dancing. It features the story of a blind dancer in Calgary, Alberta.
Looking for ideas on how to make an event a bit different or introduce some “out of the square”-type fun? These educational recordings discuss the use of games and/or gimmicks to spice up an evening.
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.
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
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
A collection of education recordings from CALLERLAB conventions that deal with modules.
This the documentary equivalent of an “elevator speech” for SSD that quickly outlines the benefits, explains the approach, and directs readers to further appropriate information. It’s an excellent introduction to SSD in a single page.
The CALLERLAB Foundation’s purpose is to support the funding of projects that will preserve and promote square dancing and other associated dance forms.
This article contains a register of documents and materials that CALLERLAB has published for external distribution and usage.
The linked page contains information about the benefits and responsibilities of being a CALLERLAB member.
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.
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.
The following education session recordings from past CALLERLAB conventions deal with the social aspects of square dancing, encouraging sociability and socialization.
These education session recordings from past CALLERLAB conventions deal with the subject of Styling, and the teaching of Styling in MWSD.
When planning for a class, regardless of program, one of the earliest decisions is to determine the order in which calls will be taught. This article collects information about a number of teaching orders and some tutorial information on the principles of building an effective teaching order.
Ian Henzel is the creator of the Henzel Plan, which is a multi-phase, multi-armed approach to recruiting new people to join square dance clubs.
Cal Campbell has organized a collection of singing calls and documented them in the form of three Excel spreadsheets: Basic Part 2, Basic Part 3, and Mainstream. In all there are over 400 singing call figures.
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.
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.
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.
The Mainstream Caller’s Notebook is collection of choreographic ideas designed to help you provide more entertaining dances at the mainstream level. The material is meant to be most useful anytime after the dancers
have completed a full set of mainstream square dance lessons.
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.
Dottie Welch has amassed a large collection of singing call figures on her website. They are organized by level (Community Dance through A2) and housed in individual PDF files. Within each file, most are organized by the CALLERLAB recommended teaching order for the level.
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.
The pandemic spawned a multitude of online tutorial sessions for callers. In this video presentation Clark Baker discusses the theory and practice of hexagon dancing.
The pandemic spawned a multitude of online tutorial sessions for callers. In this 20-minute video Don Beck discusses the elements of smooth dancing and how to create it.
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.
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.
At the virtual Annual General Meeting held in March 2021 Mike Seastrom delivered an inspiring keynote address focusing on the importance of making sociability a more prominent element of our square dance activity.
Kip Garvey, a world-class caller, caller coach, and recording artist presents three documents discussing various elements of FASR (Formation, Arrangement, Sequence, Relationship).
This booklet is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to partners and their individual responsibilities.
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.
The Metropolitan Chicago Association of Square Dancers (MCASD) hosts a “toolbox” page that lists a variety of items that are useful for promoting square dancing and recruiting new dancers. They offer these tools to help all clubs better promote and increase our activity.
This presentation handout contains details from the education session delivered by Mike Hogan and Justin Russell on strategies for rebuilding.
This article contains a link to the inspiring keynote presentation Ted Lizotte and Paul Cote gave at the 64th NSDC in 2015.
This panel will discuss SqView – how to get it, how to use it, and how to fix some common problems you may encounter with the program.
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.
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.
This article points to information about the CALLERLAB Board of Governors (BOG) and the Executive Committee (EC)
The Sets In Order Yearbooks each compile a year’s worth of the technical information about calls, choreography, and round dances into a single document. They differ from the monthly magazine editions in not containing social information, cartoons, sewing tips, advertising, etc.
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.
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.
Useful resource for all callers that includes singing call figures, modules, articles on sight calling, and other miscellaneous information on learning to call.
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.
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.
This story by two of SSD’s most prominent practitioners goes over the rationale and usage of the system and how it has been shown to address square dancing’s most prominent problem: recruitment and retention.
This book is an authorized biography of a true square dance legend: Marshall Flippo.
This is the story of some people who wanted to hone their dancing skills, and formed a club to help them do it.
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.
This article collects in one place documentation and materials that support the use of the SSD system. Some were created by the CALLERLAB SSD Committee while others were created by people using the system in the field.
This article points to editions of Jack Lasery’s Notes For Callers note service. This publication had a focus on choreography and teaching tips. The list below covers editions from 1969 to 1990.
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.
The linked page shows a list of all the people who have served as Chairman Of The Board of Governors and their years of service.
Each year CALLERLAB holds a convention that provides great opportunities for education and networking. The linked document shows a list of past conventions and their locations.
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.
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.
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.
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.