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Square dance calling as public speaking

I’ve found that, over the years, being a square dance caller is very much like being a public speaker. You have to know what you’re going to say *before* you open your mouth. Some people have to read their notes. Think teleprompter. That’s not me....

It’s a dance, not “A Night at the Improv”

While I know how to call square dances, I also know that I am still learning my craft. I learn something at every dance I call as well as every dance I attend as a dancer. One of the lessons (I think) that I learned early on in my calling career is to “shut up...

Shorter tips make better dances

If you come to my dances, you may or may not notice that I have a certain philosophy about the length of my tips. In general, they’re between 10-12 minutes long. No more. Sometimes, less. There are a number of reasons for this. (In no particular order.) –...

Degrees of Difficulty

I once met a caller that *said* he used every call on the Basic and Mainstream call list every night that he called. I did my best to make some small talk around this discussion and then, when I could I politely excused myself and moved to another conversation...

Language, Dance Programs, and Levels

Language is, and always has been, important to me. I try not to argue with people how words should (or should not) be used but it is difficult to suffer through incorrect usage. The word “level” is square dance land is the worst. (The word egregious is...

Why learn to be a caller?

If you’re learning to be a square dance caller because you want to sing in front of people, take up karaoke. You’ll have more fun, a larger audience, and people (like me) won’t have to suffer through your lack of understanding about what it means to...