Metro was founded in 1968 as the Metro Square and Round Dance Council. (Usually called "Metro Council" and still referred to that way by some "old-timers".) The name was changed in 1979 to be the Metro Square and Round Dance Association in order to conform with the guidelines of the Canadian Square and Round Dance Society. (National level is "Society", Provincial level is "Federation", Regional level is "Association".) In 1987 the membership area was enlarged from metropolitan Halifax and Dartmouth to include all of the Central Region of the province making us one of six regions recognized by the provincial Department of Tourism and Culture and used by the Square and Round Dance Federation of Nova Scotia.
Prior to about 1982 meetings were usually held in the home of the chairman and always includeda lunch. One of the most contentious issues of the early days was the formation of clubs dedicated todancing the "higher levels". The first version of the Plus Program was agreed upon by CALLERLAB about1978 but the idea that some dancers might want to be challenged more than others was only acceptedgradually.
Each spring for many years Metro hired a "big name" caller from outside the Maritimes to call for the First Year Round Up (Friday evening) and Atlantic Jamboree (Saturday workshop and dance). Several times these were held at Saint Peter's High School in Dartmouth. Eventually the number of dancers declined making it financially impossible. The last was held in 1986. BACK
After the 1982 National Convention in Halifax, Metro fell on hard times because the dancer leadership was tired. We had several tiny meetings at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church hall while we revised the constitution and struggled through a year with no chairman. (Necessary actions were dealt with by Dottie and Gary Welch who were then chairman of the Federation.) We organized a Phoenix Dance, held at Oxford Street School in November 1986, to rise from the ashes. That dance involved all the local callers and cuers and the concept proved to be so popular that it eventually became, in 1988, the January Jig which continued annually until 2001. Since 1987 the meetings have been held at Saint Mary's University and, thankfully the size of the Executive has returned to a comfortable operating level.
Metro Matters was first printed in November 1988 under the editorship of Judy Caborn Skaling. Dottie Welch became editor in January 1992.
We have always sponsored Summer Dances to encourage new graduates to hone their skills. Initially they were held in the Halifax Shopping Centre in front of Eatons. Later they moved to Penhorn mall by Woolco (now Walmart), then to St. James Church Hall and for one summer on the Dartmouth Waterfront. In 1985 we began using St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Hall. In 2002 we moved again to the Dartmouth Sportsplex to gain air conditioning, and in 2004 to Cole Harbour Place.
Two other projects have been on the agenda every year and sponsored by Metro whenever there was sufficient interest. These are the presentation of a float in the Natal Day Parades of Halifax and Dartmouth and the sponsorship or support for club sponsorship of a New Year's Eve Dance. BACK
Our chairman's gavel now contains a long list of dedicated dancers who have wielded the power. Several of these couples are still dancing and surely deserve a word of thanks.
|67-68 Ches & Ferne Knowlton||82-83 Brian & Joyce MacDonald|
|68-69 Joe & Ruth Doucette||83-84 (no chair)|
|69-70 John & Mary Manning||84-85 Ron & Dot Connell|
|70-71 Bill & Bea Walsh||85-87 Elmer & Rose Caborn|
|71-72 Don & Jean Shanks||87-89 Gary & Dottie Welch|
|72-73 Chuck & Fran O'Leary||89-91 Frank & Thelma Wiens|
|73-75 Ron Lockwood||91-93 Ed & Ethel Ryan|
|75-76 Eric & Jeanette Romkey||93-95 Barry & Dyanna Bendle|
|76-77 Norm & Evelynne Cuthbertson||95-97 Ken & Jewel Spence|
|77-78 Wilfred & Ethel Logan||97-99 Norman & Debbie Lee|
|78-79 Shirley & Art Heartz||99-01 Bob & Inge Ruohoniemi|
|79-80 Don & Joan Cameron||01-02 Barry & Dyanna Bendle|
|80-81 Ron & Lillian Trites||02-04 Pauline & Junior Arsenault|
|81-82 Gerry & Rosemary Switzer||04-17 Don & Carol Scott|