Square and Round Dance Federation
of Nova Scotia


Organizations Overview

Alguire School

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Clubs, as we all know, are made up of dancers and one or more callers and / or cuers for the purpose of dancing and having fun. They are either Leader run or Executive run or some combination of the two. The main sources of funds are usually the profits from special dances run by the club and member dues.   BACK

In Nova Scotia each of the six provincial regions recognized by the Federation has the potential to form a regional association. Most of the regions have loosely formed associations that function only when there is a clear need, such as the organization of a Federation Festival within the region. Each region elects a representative couple. This couple attends the Executive Meetings and acts as the liaison between the clubs in the region and the Federation.

New Brunswick is divided into three zones and each has an association. They are the Southeastern, Southwestern, and Central New Brunswick Square and Round Dance Associations.   BACK

Metro Association is the local organization that coordinates square and round dance events within the Central Region, which is Halifax County. It is composed of representatives from each of the clubs in Halifax County and meets 3 - 4 times per year. Its main activities are organizing one or two fund-raising specials each year, coordinating summer dancing, organizing local demonstration dances, coordinating publicity for new dancers, and encouraging cooperation between its member clubs.

Metro Association has been in existence since 1968 which was well before the formation of the Federation in 1975. When the Federation formed, Metro took on the responsibility for the Central Region and changed its name from "Council" to "Association" to conform with the guidelines established by the National Society. See the separate article on Metro for more information on its functions.   BACK

The Nova Scotia Federation is composed of all of the square and round dance clubs in Nova Scotia who wish to join. Currently it has about 30 clubs as members. Its main purposes are to facilitate provincial communication between clubs and dancers by maintaining a Website including a page for potential new dancers and a Calendar of Events; to coordinate the collection of dues for the National Society including the liability insurance; to encourage and coordinate the marketing of square and round dancing across the province; to ensure that tourist information is available about summer dancing; and to attempt to assist clubs to find solutions to problems and thus better the activity for all. The web page is at []. Each odd numbered year the Federation sponsors a Festival. These are intended to rotate through the six regions in the province. Those held in the past and currently scheduled are listed below.

1983 South Shore Shelburne
1985 Cape Breton Sydney
1987 Central Mount Saint Vincent, Halifax
1989 Valley Acadia University, Wolfville
1991 Fundy Glengarry Best Western, Truro
1993 Highland Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish
1995 South Shore Bridgewater
1997 Cape Breton Sydney
1999 Central Mount Saint Vincent, Halifax
2001 Valley Old Orchard Inn
2003 Fundy Glengarry Best Western, Truro
2005 South Shore Yarmouth, Burridge Campus of NS Community College
2007 Central Cole Harbour Place
2009 Fed. Executive Cole Harbour Place
2011 ANSSRDT Cole Harbour Place
2013 ANSSRDT & Highland  NSCC Pictou, Stellarton, NS
2015 ANSSRDT Old Orchard Inn

The Federation business is run by an Executive made up of representative couples from each region plus couples with specific tasks such as President or Marketing Officer. There is an Annual General Meeting during the fall of each year when representatives of all clubs are invited to attend. The main source of funds is the interest earned on the investment of the profits from the 3rd, 9th and 17th Canadian National Conventions held in Halifax in 1982, 1994 and 2010 respectively. Yearly club dues provide an additional source of income covering some of the annual operating costs.   BACK

DANS is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to embrace all forms of dance in Nova Scotia. It is devoted to promoting dance activities in Nova Scotia and serves the amateur, recreational, and professional dance communities. In addition to offering resources and assistance to dancers, teachers and administrators, it is the official liaison through the Cultural Federations to the Provincial Government. Policy and direction is determined by a Board of Directors elected by the members at its Annual General Meeting. Square and Round dancers and leaders attempt to have at least one Board Member elected from our organizations at all times. The DANS contacts are web page [], phone (902) 422-1749, and e-mail

The main sources of funds are Provincial Government grants, and profits from various ventures. Its funding is sufficient to pay the salaries of an Executive Director (now Megan Matheson Hamilton) and an Administrative Assistant (now Bonny Lee) and to maintain an office at 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, B3H 4P7.   BACK

All Canadian square or round dancers, callers, cuers, clubs, associations and federations may become members of our National Society by paying yearly dues. The main purposes of the Society are to coordinate dancing nationwide including insurance, to assist with publicity at a national level, to maintain the Society web page at [], to liaise with the Federal Government, and to choose sites for our biennial National Convention (see list below).

The Society is run by a Board of Directors made up of provincial representatives nominated by the provincial federations. Its main sources of funds are 15% of registrations from National Conventions and individual dancer and organization yearly dues.   BACK

1978 Edmonton1992 Winnipeg2006 Montreal
1980 Ottawa1994 Halifax2008 London
1982 Halifax1996 Edmonton2010 Halifax
1984 Winnipeg1998 Ottawa2014 Ottawa
1986 Calgary2000 Vancouver2016 Regina
1988 Hamilton2002 Saint John 
1990 Vancouver2004 Calgary 

The ARTS is an alliance of ten nationally recognized dance organizations with the goal of increasing the number of dancers.

Its current members are: All Join Hands Foundation Ltd, CALLERLAB, CONTRALAB, International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, National Square Dance Campers Association, National Executive Committee, ROUNDALAB, Singles Square Dancers USA, United Square Dancers of America, and USA West Policy Board.

The goals of ARTS are:
-- provision of an attractive and comprehensive 'acronym' (The ARTS) for use in advertising, publicity, public awareness and education programs.
-- cooperation between the member organizations.
-- negotiation of collaborative projects with groups already working in the dance, leisure, recreation or physical education fields.
-- public education on recreation possibilities and the health and fitness benefits of the related dances.
-- function in an advocacy roll as a central voice representing all dance groups directly or indirectly associated with round, traditional and square dancing.
-- collaboration in obtaining corporate sponsorships to further the ARTS goals.   BACK

ANSSRDT is made up of Nova Scotia callers and cuers who wish to join. Its main purposes are to encourage and assist callers and cuers through workshop sessions; to liaise with the Square and Round Dance Federation of Nova Scotia and, when requested, to coordinate leaders and programming for provincial events. It is run by an executive elected from and by the members. Until recently, its only sources of funds were profits from special dances and member dues. In 2002 it took over the Alguire Memorial Fund with the understanding that those funds will be used to help provide quality caller education to active and new callers in Nova Scotia and the other Maritime provinces.   BACK

Alguire Callers Memorial Fund
A committee of ANSSRDT administers the Alguire Callers Memorial Fund and organizes the biennial Alguire Memorial Callers School.   BACK

MCCA is made up of Maritime (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland) callers and cuers who belong to their provincial associations and wish to join MCCA. Its main purposes are to organize the Maritime Square and Round Dance Convention each fall (see below) where qualified members have an opportunity to obtain convention experience; and to hold a self-improvement workshop during the second weekend in June which is a "must attend" for callers and cuers intending to call at the November Maritime Convention. Other leaders are also welcome to participate in the workshops. The Association executive is elected from and by the members. Its only sources of funds are profits from the Maritime Conventions and member dues. For the last several years, the November conventions have rotated between Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick. The maximum attendance was 1977 - 1979 when we had about 1000 dancers.

1970 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1993 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1971 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1994 Saint John, Market Square T & CC
1972 Fredericton1995 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.
1973 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1996 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1974 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1997 Saint John, Market Square T & CC
1975 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1998 Halifax, Westin Nova Scotian
1976 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel1999 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1977 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel2000 Saint John, Market Square T & CC
1978 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel2001 Halifax, Westin Nova Scotian
1979 Moncton, University 2002 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1980 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel2003 Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, NB
1981 Halifax, Lord Nelson Hotel2004 Old Orchard Inn, Greenwich, NS
1982 Fredericton2005 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1983 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.2006 Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, NB
1984 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel2007 Old Orchard Inn, Greenwich, NS
1985 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.2008 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1986 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel2009 Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, NB
1987 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.2010 Old Orchard Inn, Greenwich, NS
1988 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel2011 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel
1989 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.2012 Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, NB
1990 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Hotel2013 Old Orchard Inn, Greenwich, NS
1991 Saint John, Market Square T & CC2014 Best Western Glengarry, Truro, NS
1992 Halifax, World Trade & Conv. C.2015 Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, NB


CWDIA was formed at the Edmonton National Convention in 1996 in response to a need to deal with SOCAN issues and Cross-Border calling and cueing issues. SOCAN is the Society of Canadian Composers, Artists and Musicians that controls the rights to the use of music in public places. Cross-Border issues involved the need for fair laws controlling the legal questions and customs fees imposed when crossing the international border between Canada and the United States for the purpose of calling or cueing in the other country.

CWDIA is composed of Canadian Western Dance Instructors involved with "modern western square dancing" in the broad sense, which includes square dance callers, round dance cuers, contra dance prompters, line dance teachers, and clogging prompters. At the 2000 Vancouver National this organization was put in a dormant state until it is needed to deal with another national leader issue.   BACK

There are three international organizations of leaders -- one each for square dance callers, round dance cuers and contra prompters. The members in CALLERLAB, ROUNDALAB and CONTRALAB each have had extensive leadership experience in their activity. All three organizations are based in the United States where the majority of their members reside. Their purpose is to coordinate their respective dance activities world wide. Our standardized lists of moves and definitions are the most obvious result of their activity. Once each year the organizations meet to share expertise, to discuss current trends, to attempt to resolve differences, and to search for new ideas to improve the activity. Each is run by a Board of Directors elected from and by the members. The main source of funds is member dues and foundation donations.   BACK

CALLERLAB is the International Association of Square Dance Callers. It has been in existence since 1974 with its primary goal to improve square dancing. Its members are leaders dedicated to recruiting and teaching new dancers to appreciate the joys of square dancing, to taking an active role in promoting and perpetuating our square dance activity, and to maintaining and preserving the square dance activity as known by those involved during that last 60 years. Callerlab’s mission is “To foster the art of square dance calling, and improve caller skills”. Callerlab also maintains a suggested list of dancing programs, from Mainstream through C-3A with definitions and other supporting material. The website is [].

ROUNDALAB is a non-profit educational organization for round dance leaders world-wide. In 1976 round dance teachers established Roundalab to provide a framework for standardizing various aspects of the activity including dance figures, cue terms, cue sheet format and teaching methodology. Roundalab also serves as a platform for the dissemination of information pertinent to the round dance activity. The website is [].

CONTRALAB was founded by a group of concerned contra dance leaders from both the folkdance and western square dance movements. The charter meeting was held in Indianapolis, in June 1986. The purpose of the organization is to promote and improve the contra dance activity by providing education and guidance to the leaders of our activity. The website is [].   BACK