We were fortunate to have Mike Seastrom on hand to present information on smooth, enjoyable dancing and the seldom-mentioned need to breathe deeply while dancing to prevent exhaustion. Handouts provided information on success enhancers, the methods of selecting music, and teaching tips. Most intriguing was the dancing of the Grand Square to Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Mike is a past chairman of Callerlab, The International Association of Square Dance Callers and is a prolific recording artist on several labels.
The presentation was recorded for future study.
Visiting us in August from Northern California was Bob Elling, owner and producer of Riverboat Records. His presentation covered a wide range of topics with emphasis on square dancing in the schools, creative choreography (including some interesting variations on the Grand Square), and the use of upbeat music.
July gave us a bonus access to a Callerlab-accredited Caller Coach, Ed Foote. Engaging and informative, he brings a wealth of information to his meetings. That includes the Breakthrough Dieters Plan that starts with a simple breakfast of melba toast (dry), proceeds to lunch with a small pizza, and culminates with dinner consisting of meat, potatoes, cheesecake, and the entire container of Rocky Road ice cream. After the presentation, everyone was offered "mike time" for insightful and caring evaluations to help improve skills and technique.
A sign announcing the square dance helps visitors find the hall and it informs passers-by that square dancing is alive and well in town.
In January the Grossmont Work Training Center became available for meetings and dances after months of construction.
Unfortunately, it is scheduled for additional work beginning mid-year that will leave it closed until mid-2012.
Ron Nelson, Andy Allemao, and Steve Woodard may be spotted at the main entrance.
In August, the social attracted a great number of callers from nearby Orange County, even Palm
Springs! It was a great time to meet and mingle, and see how others are doing.
Ken Bower presented a workshop of choreographic ideas emphasizing smooth flow and unique yet easy maneuvers to make an event interesting and fun.
One promising experimental call is "Retain Your Lane". Starting in parallel ocean waves, the centers do a Remake (single hinge, centers trade, cast off three-quarters) while the ends Circulate two positions. He credits Bob Elling as the originator of the call, but Bob says "Nope, not me". Ah, the vagueries of experimental calls!
Afterwards, Ken headed a discussion on the challenges facing the
dance community including increasing hall rents, the ratio of dancing time to
non-dancing time during the evening, retaining existing dancers, and new dancer recruitment.
Special thanks to our hostess, Donna, who was instrumental in arranging the meeting place!
At the June meeting, John Marus performed a surprise quiz to demonstrate recent Callerlab changes to the Basic and Mainstream lists.
Complicating the quiz was the fact that some of the calls were formerly Quarterly Selections or had been on the Plus list for a long time before they were moved. Fortunately, some members correctly remembered that higher levels incorporate all of the lower levels. Thus answers of "Oh, Challenge" were correct, if unexpected.
Overall people did well on the exam, even when Acey Deucy (from the Plus list) was presented.
At the April meeting, stars were investigated at length: two couple, four couple, same gender, and "head man with your corner make a star".
Robert Woodard, Ron Nelson, Carl McCullough, John Marus, Jane Marus, Jimmy Akin, Steve Woodard, and Dave Heffron participated in the review and Q&A.
At the January meeting, the existing slate of officers was thanked for their service over the
past year. Dick Neumann, Jimmy Akin, Steve Van Keuren, Carl McCullough, and Buddy Weaver (not shown) did a great job! Dick, Jimmy, and Steve were
railroaded returned to office.
John Marus is the new Program Chairman, George Crissman is the new Vice President. Now George will
HAVE to give us a picture!
At the October and November meetings we had plenty of time to sift through donated music from Ann Walker. Many favorite hard-to-find and out-of-print tunes were available. Thank you, Ann!
Pictured are Jimmy Akin, Steve Woodard, Robert Woodard, and John Marus against a Christmas background.
At the September meeting, Ken Ritucci (Callerlab accredited caller-coach) presented a clinic on choreography, presentation, and music. Each member present was allowed microphone time for evaluation.
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