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You’ve learned to dance, what’s next?

New (or newer) dancers that dance all summer after "graduation" tend to stick with the activity. Those that don't dance fade away along with the skills they didn't keep sharp. What activities do you have planned for new Square Dance graduates? If you live in (or near)...

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More thoughts on Dance Preparation

In my previous post, I talked about Left Touch 1/4. If you don't know where this call ends, you have to wait and see what it looks like and depend on the dancers to *all* get it right. (Not only get it right but get it right the *first* time.) Instead, you, as a...

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Thoughts on Dance Preparation

Sometimes new(er) callers or dancers will ask me how I prepare for a dance. There's a lot that happens behind the scenes. My club dances have different requirements than my guest appearances. Both dances get something special. Each gets a unique treatment. First off,...

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Learn how to Cue Round Dances

Every caller should learn how to cue Phase 2 Rounds. (Of course, this means that every caller should learn to Round Dance.) Learning to be a Round Dance Cuer (not necessarily be able to teach it) will improve your calling. When you cue a Round Dance (of any...

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Study dancers as much as the definitions

Callerlab's definition documents were written by callers for callers. While they can be used as a teaching reference (as they contain a lot of excellent information) it is not in your best interests to simply print out the documents and give them to your new students....

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Great singers are made, not born

Something that I learned from a voice teacher, long ago, is that people sing off key to be heard. If you sing well, you blend in with the music. People that sing slightly off pitch (flat/sharp) often do so because, subconsciously, they think they aren't being heard...

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Good touching

There's an old saying, "You have a choice; you can be right or you can be happy." Likewise, in square dancing, you have a choice, you can touch hands as often as possible or your square can break down. Yes, *you* might know how to do the calls. However, does everyone...

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Know your value and know your price

On the subject of money, I know my value and I know my price. (They are not always related.) I also know what I like and what I don't like. The less I like a job, square dancing or not, the most it costs. Just because I can do just about anything I put my mind to...

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Be mindful, be present

I can't remember where I was. There were a bunch of dance leaders in a room and they were complaining. Not just callers, mind you, club presidents were there, along with other VIP types. Complain. Complain. Complain. Why bother? Instead, I have another philosophy....

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Learning from Failure

I have probably failed at everything I really wanted to do in life. When it comes down to it, I have found that successes and failures feel about the same. The important thing is that I tried. Sometimes, I kept trying until I learned how to be successful. You see,...

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Serving dancers, first

Not too long ago, I helped teach a callers' school where one of the coaches was working with one of the men on the stage. After his tip was over, the coach asked what it was he was attempting to do. The answer, "I was selling it." The coach thought for a moment,...

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Dancing with your Eyes

I've said (like many callers before me) that square dancing is the art of dancing with hands. Something that isn't in our definitions, but probably should be, is that that every call can be made easier if you look into the eyes of the dancers around you. It makes...

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