HAPPY NEW YEAR TO SQUARE DANCERS EVERYWHERE
I first got involved with Square Dancing in 1978 during a business assignment in Webster, New York, U.S.A. In that year
the Webster Web Spinners Square Dance Club (sadly no more) participated in the 4th July parade through the village and
were seen by my wife and I. We decided to look for a student class and were rewarded when I saw a "Shop Window Flyer"
at the beginning of September. We duly signed up for the '78 - '79 class at Web Spinners (along with 15 other couples) and
graduated in May 1979.
When we left the United States later that year we were honoured with honorary life membership of the club and were
presented with a plaque at a farewell dance in our honour.
During a square dance "Picnic In The Park" I had made my first attempt at calling - "El Paso City" - and the dancers
seemed to like it, so much so that I was invited to do it again at our farewell dance. The seeds were planted!!!
When we returned to the U.K. we continued to dance with various clubs and in 1982 decided to form a club in our home village.
I had been calling "guest" tips at our previous club (under the guidance of the club caller) and I now became the first and only
Club Caller of the Wheelers and Dealers Square Dance Club of Stoke Mandeville, Bucks.
Since then I have become a regular caller on the "Saturday Night Dance Circuit" in England and have called for clubs all over
the country. During business trips I have "guest" called in the U.S.A. (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, Illinois and
Florida), in Germany, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
I have also been the "featured caller" at Square Dance Specials and Week-ends in England (including several National Conventions),
in Scotland, the Isle of Wight, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland.
Major events for me include being one of the Featured Callers at the 2003 BAASDC 50th Birthday Dance, the 2004 SDCCGB
50th Birthday Dance and the 2006 European Square Dance Convention. More recently I was delighted to be a Featured Caller
at the joint BAASDC/SDCCGB 60th Anniversary Dance in Banbury - what a fabulous week-end.
Now I am looking forward to the European Convention in Stratford Upon Avon in July 2016, it promises to be another great event.
In 2010, my wife and I enjoyed attending the 59th National Square Dance Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
What a wonderful experience. Well over 6,ooo dancers having a fabulous time, all under one roof! I had the
pleasure of calling 6 tips during the Convention - GREAT!!!
I have been a member of the Square Dance Callers Club of Great Britain (SDCCGB) for over 25 years. I served on their
Council for several years including a 3-year term as their President and I have been an Accredited Caller for many years.
Nowadays, regular Callers Club meetings are held at a local level at Regional Callers Assemblies (RCA's). Currently
I am privileged to be the Chairman of the London & Home Counties RCA.
Recently I have been involved with two attempts at using the Square Dance ABC program (initiated by Jerry Story and his
fellow callers). Sadly the first attempt, starting a group in our club hall (prior to club nights) had to be scrapped after
just 10 weeks - after a slow but promising start we found ourselves with no attendees. However, at about the same time I
was invited to call for 7 weeks at a local U3A group and this has been far more successful. Generally 2 enthusiastic squares
having a great time and there is a definite desire amongst them to continue after this contract is complete.
I will keep you informed about their progress.
UPDATE: The U3A group started on November 1st 2012 and - - - - - they are still going strong.
Indeed, after their summer break in 2013 they confirmed that they would continue
through to Christmas with a recruitment campaign in September. And - they are still having great fun.
UPDATE 2: The U3A group are continuing into 2014 !!!!!
What started as a 7 week sampler course has developed into a
long term square dance group, still having fun.
UPDATE 3: WOW!!! The U3A group are now continuing into 2015.
Although they are not following a specific Callerlab Program they are
still thoroughly enjoying their weekly sessions of Square Dance fun.
AND - Numbers are UP!!! Membership is now over 3 squares and growing.
Let's see what 2015 will bring.
I was also the first square dance caller to have an entry in the Guiness Book of World Records (between 1985 and 1993).
I achieved this distinction as a result of calling continously at two charity dances - for 24 hours in 1984 and for 26 hours
in 1988. I held this calling record until 1995 when Joey Duhamel of Baskin, Louisiana, U.S.A. successfully completed a
continuous calling record of 30 hours. This record has never (to my knowledge) appeared in the UK editions of the
Guiness Book of World Records, apparently a record such as this doesn't justify a world-wide entry.
Anyway - - - Congratulations to Joey.
I am a firm believer in the traditions of fun and friendship within the square dance
activity and endeavour to maintain these traditions whenever and wherever I call.
I call up to and including the Callerlab Plus programme and I am available to call
anywhere in the Square Dance World.
I am now taking Square Dance bookings thru' 2018
Write to me (e'mail link at the bottom of the page)
or Call me on +44(0)7731776654
In 2006, at the request of several square dancers, I produced my first CD of square dance Singing Calls.
This particular CD was called using the Callerlab Mainstream program. In 2008 several French square
dancers asked me to produce a similar CD using just the Callerlab Basic program and so I produced my
second CD in 2009. Shortly afterwards I completed the "set" with another CD, this time using the
Callerlab Plus program. My latest CD, "By Request", was completed in February 2012. This CD features popular
Singing Calls using Callerlab Basic, Mainstream and Plus choreography. Future plans include a
Christmas CD. A full discography follows.......
Click below to go to the Wheelers and Dealers Square Dance Club web-page
Click below to go to the Square Dance Radio Network
This page was last updated on Wednesday 7th January 2015