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  • Professional Development

    A little bit about what goes into becoming and being a caller.


    • Square and Round Dance Instructor’s Association of Alberta (SRDIAA) — Newsletter Editor, 2015-6; Callerlab Representative; Roundalab Representative
    • Edmonton and District Square Dance Association (EDSDA)
    • Edmonton and District  Callers and Instructors Association  (EDCIA) - Vice President, 2014-16; Caller Committee Rep; President, 2016-17
    • Callerlab, the international organization of square dance callers


    • Voice Training - Leduc School of Music, 2014-15.  Includes breath control, pitch training, enunciation, vocal control, and and an incredible amount more.  Who'd have thought that "singing" involved so much theory and practice.  A big thanks to Carla (last year) and Shelly (this year) for their support and encouragement.
    • 2000 - Caller School with Andy Pennock and Neil McKnight.   This was my first school and it was fun.   Topics included Mic technique, voice training, an intro to equipment (MP3 was just coming in), and a whole bunch of stuff that went over my head.  I do remember a lot of Chicken Plucker and Windmill.  Shortly after this school,  I had to stop calling for business reasons, so I didn't have much chance to apply what I had learned.  However, looking over the materials now, a lot of it makes sense!Certificate
    • 2011 - Caller School with Lorne Smith and Murray Few.  These popular callers from Calgary (Lorne) and Edmonton (Murray) ran a well-organized school for two levels of callers.  I was in the beginner group, and again did a lot of Chicken Plucker.  The topics were much the same as my first school but the handouts were more modern and the material up-to-date. Caller School 2011
    • 2012 - Caller Seminar with Dotty Welch of  Halifax.   This seminar was sponsored by the Square and Round Dance Instructors Association of Alberta (SRDIAA).  In 2015, Dotty was presented with the Callerlab President's Award for her extensive contributions to Square Dance.
    • 2013 - SRDIAA Caller School with Lorne Smith and Murray Few.   Almost a duplicate of the 2011 school, using the same syllabus.  Going over it a second time meant that I learned a lot more this go-around.

    Caller School 2013

    • Sept. 2013 - SRDIAA Caller Seminar with Thor Sigurdson of Winnipeg.
    • July 2014 - Alberta Callers College  with Jerry Jestin and Joe Kromer (Germany).   These two world-class callers focused on CRAMS-like setups,  teaching how to maneuver dancers around the floor in regard to Relationships.  It was starting to make sense when we had to return home due to a health situation with my parents.
    • March 2015 - EDCIA Seminar with Jerry StoryA look at his Club 50 program, designed to train dancers in a shorter time with fewer moves.
    • July 2015 - SRDIAA Caller School with Tim Marriner (S. Carolina) and Lorne Smith (Calgary).   At this school I was in the "advanced" group.  That just meant that I was more advanced than all the ones in the "beginner" group!  Still, the stuff Tim covered really made sense and for the first time I felt that I had really caught on to what calling was about.Caller School 2015
    • Sept. 2015 - SRDIAA Seminar with Barry Clasper, Toronto.   Barry is former Chairman of the Callerlab Board of Directors and another world-class caller and we had the privilege of hosting him and his wife Pam.  His session on memory and pattern recognition, and how they affect both dancer training and caller development, fit in well with that Tim Marriner had taught.  My confidence grew when I realized that identifying patterns on the floor was now surprisingly easy, and grew more when I knew what to call to move from one pattern to another.


    I've been mentored by some excellent local and international callers and have had the opportunity to work with many more.  Particular thanks and credit to: Neil McKnight, Spruce View; Andy Pennock, Edmonton (deceased); Bob McMillan, Red Deer (deceased); Murray Few, Edmonton; Lorne Smith, Calgary; Norman Demeule, Camrose; Gary Winter, Edmonton; Wayne Russell, Edmonton; Dotty Welch, Nova Scotia; Thor Sigurdsson, Manitoba; Johnny Preston, Alabama; Bronc Wise, Denver; Joe Kromer, Germany; Jerry Jestin, Yuma; Jerry Story, Iowa; Tim Marriner, South Carolina; Barry Clasper, Toronto.


    • Trail-out dance, Yuma Square Dance Festival, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
    • Fountain of Youth SD Club, Indio, California, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
    • Trail-out dance, Yuma 100th Anniversary Festival, 2012
    • 29 Palms RV Resort, 2014
    • 43rd Annual Convention, High River, 2012
    • 44th Annual Alberta Convention, Lacombe, 2013
    • 45th Annual Alberta Convention, Leduc, 2014
    • USDA West, Helena MT, July 2015
    • 46th Annual Alberta Convention, Lacombe, 2015
    • Trek 2014, Cherry Grove, Saskatchewan
    • Trek 2016, Wainright, Alberta
    • 47th Annual Alberta Convention, High River, 2016


    • Sandholm Crossroads Dancers former member
    • Leduc Happy Homesteaders - member, 2009-16; Club Reporter, 2011-12; Treasurer, 2011-2013
    • Devon Derrick Dancers - Club Caller and member, 2014-16

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