"BETWEEN TIPS" is the official bulletin of the
Alex Ritchie, Editor, 58 Oakdale Crescent, Dartmouth, NS B3A 2L8
phone (902) 469-1492 email:
DECEMBER    2003     --     Number 115

You may download this issue as a PDF file.

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          As our final year as Presidents of the Federation comes to an end, Inge and I would like to share some of ourthoughts regarding the Federation and its future.

          The past year has had its share of chills and thrills! Following the last AGM, we forwarded a letter to theCanadian Society expressing concern regarding the status of negotiations with SOCAN for dance licences. ThisSummer we received the news release from the Society that more clearly outlined the criteria for SOCAN licences. Unfortunately, an increase in the fees was also agreed. This trend to increased fees appears to be inevitable, so clubsand callers/cuers should be prepared to deal with them. Unfortunately, the Society had to increase their dues as well,mainly because of the universal increase in insurance fees. For Federation members, this liability insurance is one ofthe few bargains available today.

          We were pleased to be able to produce the first edition of the Federation Board of Directors Guidelines. Although not yet complete, it should help new members of the Board to take up their duties. Another step forward thisyear was the acquisition of the Web-page site name "". This easy name should increase thevisits to our excellent site. We need to thank the generous "anonymous" donor who provided the funds for ourdonation to the Web-provider. Another generous donor contributed all the funds for Award certificates and theirframes at the FESTIVAL 2003 presentations.

          The first-ever selection and presentation of the Federation's MAYFLOWER award to two most deservingrecipients was a thrill for everyone at the ceremony. We want to thank Alice and Laurence Harrison for all their workto successfully develop this project for the Federation. Our visits to clubs during the year to make longevity awardswere a special pleasure for us.

          Another success this year was to be able to provide training grants to three callers. As everyone is aware, wedesperately need replacements for those excellent leaders who are retiring!

          As we reported last year, we had an aim to have Board meetings in all the Regions. This was progressed withmeetings in the Central, Valley, Highland and Fundy Regions this year.

          This year's survey of new dancers yielded similar responses to the previous ones, ie friends of current dancersare the best source for recruiting. It therefore is essential that current dancers have all the necessary informationregarding classes, open houses, and especially on how much fun we all enjoy even when we are in classes!

          FESTIVAL 2003 was an example of the fun we all share in this activity. Although the Fundy Region hadhoped to have more dancers in attendance, it was very evident that their hard work and preparation provided awonderful dance experience for everyone there. The organizing committee deserve our thanks for putting on such ahospitable event. One of the highlights at the Festival was the "Heritage" display prepared by our FederationArchivists - Glen and Betty Leck.

          One of our regrets as Presidents is that we haven't been more successful in our efforts to connect more closely with theHeart & Stroke Foundation of NS. Although the annual Heart Fund dances do raise good sums of money for theFoundation, we feel that a more co-ordinated arrangement would be beneficial to both groups.

          The Board's efforts to promote dancing throughout the province saw increased use of the Federation parade trailerin several Regions. This form of advertising creates awareness within our communities, but it also needs follow-upwith the citizens. To that end, the creation of the "Regional Promotions" grant should help clubs and leaders reachpotential dancers.

          The METRO Association project to introduce square dancing to school children is a positive move in this timeof dwindling numbers in our regular classes. It is to be hoped that once the "pilot" projects are completed this effortwill acquire government backing for introduction throughout the province.

          These three years have been full of surprises, laughs, and fun. We thank all the members of the Board withwhom we've had the privilege of serving the interests of this Federation. We look forward to sharing in thediscussions and projects that will be undertaken in the coming years.

          Having enjoyed, and sometimes endured, eleven Board meetings and two AGMs as your Presidents, we have afew recommendations to offer to the new Board members, provincial dancers and leaders:

  1. The Federation should closely monitor the arrangements with SOCAN and be prepared to express any concernsto the Society.
  2. The Federation should continue to encourage the training of new callers and cuers by supporting the efforts ofANSSRDT and by awarding training grants.
  3. The Board of Directors should try to hold meetings in all the Regions to make dancers more aware of its workon their behalf.
  4. The Federation should encourage and support promotional campaigns in the regions with grants for use of theParade Trailer and for the regional demos.
  5. The annual survey of class members should be continued not only to monitor the success of recruitingcampaigns but also to establish Federation contact with the new dancers.
  6. The Federation should continue to hold biannual FESTIVAL, preferably in each Region, even if the format andduration are changed to suit either the facilities or the number of dancers.
  7. Efforts to establish a more close working relationship with the Heart & Stroke Foundation should be pursuedwhenever possible.
  8. The Federation needs to closely monitor its funding to ensure that the excellent revenue source is maintainedfor the benefit of future dancers. We feel confident that our activity will continue, although it may be in somealtered form, despite the current trend. Our Grandchildren deserve the chance to enjoy the heritage we can handto them.
  9. The Federation should encourage and financially support, whenever possible, the efforts of leaders and dancersto recruit new dancers from all age-groups in our province. Projects targeted at school children have greatpotential for future years.
  10. We encourage every dancer who enjoys our activity to seriously consider offering to share their skills, in anyway possible, with the dedicated volunteers who now work on behalf of Federation members.
Bob and Inge Ruohoniemi, 2000 - 2003 Presidents, SRDFNS

Festival 2003 Chair Couples Final Report
August 23, 2003

          The Festival was hosted by the Fundy Region clubs at the Best Western Glengary, Truro on August 1st & 2nd.Piper Heather Tooker led a procession of Fundy Region club representatives with banners, callers and cuers,the Festival executive, and guest speakers to Grand Ballrooms C, D, and E at the Glengary for the opening ceremonies.

          Tony and Diane Fleck, chair couple, welcomed dancers and friends to the Festival, and Lubin and CarolBourque co-chair couple introduced the guest speakers. They were MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, the Honourable JamieMuir, Minister of Justice, DANS representative Dianne Milligan, and Bob and Inge Ruohoniemi, Presidents of theSRDFNS.

          Entertainment was provided by a local group called "Fiddle Works"- Lauren Purdy, Andrew Morrissey andAndy Crosan. This talented group with their music put the dancers in the proper frame of mind to enjoy the remainderof the Festival.

          The callers and cuers who made the Festival a memorable weekend were: Pat Alguire and her good friendLarry Terriault, Ken and Fran Eagles, Bob and Phyllis Fiddes, Kerry and Heather Fletcher, Beth and John Dickinson,Larry and Margie Clark, and our special guest caller Jim Lee and his good friend Shirley.

          All dancers gathered in Grand Ballrooms C, D, and E for the closing ceremonies where the Square and RoundDance Federation presented their Longevity and Mayflower awards to a number of deserving and dedicated dancers.

          We had a drawing for a handcrafted wooden table and lamp that the Festival committee sold tickets on as oneof our many fund raisers. The winners were Tina Thompson from Enfield, Nova Scotia, who won the table and JuneNixon from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who won the lamp. An earlier draw was made on a handcrafted wooden mirrorat our Trail out Dance for Festival 2003 at the Colchester Legion Stadium in Truro, Nova Scotia and the winner wasMary Ripley from Nappan, Nova Scotia. Also there was a draw made on handcrafted snow people, donated by PatMercer, at the Masstown Market and the winner was Patty Frank of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. There were two specialdoor prize draws made, a Digital Camera donated from Carsand-Mosher Photography Ltd. of Truro won by LeonaMacEachen and a handcrafted wooden clock donated by Harold Redden won by Ken and Arlene Fleck. Phyllis Fiddes said shewould shave her hair off if we raised $150.00 extra at our winter weekend and then the challenge went out to haveTony Fleck shave off his goatee if we raised an extra $50.00. The total raised was $239.00. The Strathmor Strutterheld three special weekends of dancing and fun to help raise money for Festival 2003. Appreciation goes to Bob andPhyllis Fiddes for hosting these events and all their time and effort they put into them, along with all the othervolunteers, who helped make these weekends successful.

          The Order of Good Time Membership Certificates were mailed to the "out of province" dancers, withrecognition given to the "from furthest away" dancer at the Festival.

          Saturday at 10:30 pm all the dancers had one last chance to strut their dancing skills with Jim Lee.

          The Festival Committee is a dedicated group who are co-operative, pleasant and efficient in their approach tothe job. As their chair couple, we are extremely proud of them and we would be thrilled to have an occasion to workwith these individuals again. So you will know who contributed to the success of the Festival the committee membersare:

Chair coupleTony and Diane Fleck    AdvertisingEric and Priscilla Jennings
Co-chair coupleLubin and Carol Bourque    HospitalityCarl and Glenna Barry
SecretaryLubin and Carol Bourque    Fundy Region RepsMurray and Jean Berry
TreasurerFraser and Susan Keirstead   
Program and
RegistrationKen and Arlene Fleck    Caller coordinatorsBob and Phyllis Fiddes
DecoratingDurline and June Stiles    Cuer coordinatorsJohn and Beth Dickinson

          Our meetings were a time for business but always filled with good humour. We followed and updated ProjectStatus reports at every meeting to ensure all matters were covered and on track. The meetings were held at Bob's Hallin Lower Onslow, followed by a pot luck supper at times.

          The draw for the free early bird registration was won by Reid and Brenda Currie from Fredericton, NewBrunswick. Reid and Brenda also happened to be the first couple to register for Festival, so I guess it pays to registerearly.

          There were three different halls for square dancing available, mainstream, mainstream singing and plus halls,on Friday evening and Saturday morning, afternoon and evening. Friday afternoon there was an early bird mainstreamdance with Ken Eagles. Round dancing was available during the same hours as square dancing.

          It was just before my time to bring the Festival to a close that I realized it had been an extremely successfulweekend. This was due to the committee's hard work, the excellent calling and cueing and the wonderful facilities andmaintenance staff provided by the Best Western Glengary, Truro.

          The dancers who joined us made this truly "A Dancing Spree in 2003". The Festival closed with the FriendshipRing by Jim Lee.

Tony and Diane Fleck, Chair Couple Festival 2003


          Once a year (or more often if caller couple Pat and Nelson feel like it) Apple Valley Dancers in Aylesford havea dance with a difference. We have had a Mardi Gras Dance, Nautical Night, Alphabet Night, Blues in the Night,Hobo Night and others. This year, in view of the fact that February was getting rather dreary, we decided to have aSilly Season Dance. Dancers came dressed in T-Shirts with interesting and funny sayings and Pat and Nelson chosemusic that was fun and up beat. The bubble gum blowing contest was a real bust (1!) as many had forgotten this childhood skill but the limerick contest produced the following gems:

There was a young lady named Lizzy
Who said swinging made her feel dizzy.
Nelsie turned her around til she fell to the ground
What a dizzy tizzy was Lizzie.
There was an old guy from the Valley
Who went dancing each Tuesday with Sally
The night it was cold, and so I've been told
She wound up in bed with O'Malley.
I know a young lady named Dot
Who thought "Box the Gnat" meant to swat
So she did just that and her partner he laughed
'Cause he couldn't do diddley squat.
A Round Dancing Couple named Finkle
Laughed so hard when instructed to "Twinkle"
They maneuvered the box, went into some locks
Laughed so hard they started to tinkle.
There was an old couple of note
Who were anxious to do "Load the Boat"
They went to the pier to gather their gear
In their hurry they fell in the moat.

Relax.. it's the

Everyone seemed to enjoy the foolishness and the evening ended with a
novel lunch of Downside Up Cakes!!!!!


  1. Fee for callers and cuers be $150.00 and 2 nights accommodations.
  2. Avoid having Festival on a long weekend.
  3. Banner across the road should have an addition that can be changed each Festival, for having the place and date of the Festival.
  4. June suggested that dances end at 10:30 instead of 11:00 as many dancers are getting older.
  5. If space is available there should be a singing call hail as it was well attended,
  6. Festival may be held in the fall when it is cooler. (Alguire dance has been cancelled)
  7. Make sure the dress code is put on the registration forms.
  8. Between Tips and other journals and clubs should have some information of early bird dances, workshops etc.,
  9. After hundreds of registration forms and promotion kits had been sent to 49 clubs, none of the clubs seemed toknow what happened to them. Was this a waste of time?

Report of Publications Office, Editor of Between Tips, Webmaster to AGM

For the year October 2002 to October 2003, Nine (9) "Calendar of Events" and five (5) issues of "BetweenTips" were published and distributed to Clubs and Subscribers.

Both the web site and the usage of web site have continued to increase. This past September there was anaverage of sixteen people per day looking at a total over the month of 7,448 pages.

I wish to thank those individuals who have supplied me with information, articles, and pictures for the abovepublications, and I hope that you and others will continue to submit such items.

Yours in the love of dance, Alex Ritchie, October 25, 2003

Valley Report - October 25, 2003

The Valley clubs resumed their dancing season in late September or early October with the exception of theFour Seasons Squares who are dance active all year. Classes seem to be smaller this year and many clubs don't have a class at all.

Four Seasons Club Members gave an early Birthday celebration to Wayne Iles on August 8th. They gave anhour demonstration of Square Dancing at the Bear River Exhibition on 21 August. Also they were visited byBob/Donna Chase of Colorado who was a part of the dance demonstration on the previous night in Bear River. OnSeptember 5th they were visited by West Kings Twirlers and their "Bear" was returned. It is of note that he returnedwith a "Bear Partner" and to date she still needs to be named. On October 10 the Four Seasons Squares held a ClubHarvest Theme Dance.

Fran & Roger Archambault attended the Alguire Memorial Callers School and she shows great ability forSquare Dance calling.

Apple Valley dancers are enjoying the Tuesday night dances with 5 and 6 squares in attendance.

Submitted by Valley Reps, Wanda & John MacInnis

South Shore Region Report - October 25th, 2003

The LaHave River Ramblers began their dance season on the 18th of September. They are hopeful that the six newcouples showing interest in dancing will join their club. Over the summer, the dancers took part in joining other danceclubs, including the Festival 2003 in Truro. One of the highlights was when eleven couples from LaHave River Ramblers and four couples from Timberlea Twirlers enjoyed a wonderful day in July of dancing outdoors, deliciousfood, great hospitality, and adventurous ferry ride to Little Tancook Island. Barry Bendle is the caller for LaHaveRiver Ramblers.

The Bluenose Twirlers started their fall season of dancing on September 16th. This is the 38th year for the BluenoseTwirlers. Our first request for entertaining was at the Veteran's Place in Yarmouth. It is always a pleasure to dancefor them. They are very happy to see the dancers and hear the music. We have two couples showing interest injoining. Congratulations to Wendy & George Michaels for completing their callers school this past summer. WhenElmer Lennox is away, George and Wendy always take over the calling. They have taken over the calling at theDanseurs Acadian Club. Our sympathy goes out to Dorothy Marshall and her family with the passing of Warren onSeptember 1.

Shirley's Shipmates have not started back dancing this fall but is hopeful to continue as soon as some of the dancersare back from holidays. Two couples are not returning because of illness. The numbers are down, but Shirley is stillconfident the club will be able to have the Wednesday night dancing.

The Double Dory Dancers are dancing Saturday in Roseday New Horizons Hall in New Germany, with caller NeilDorey. The Sunrise Squares have class & Mainstream on Fridays in the Marc Hall in Dayspring. Neil Dorey is thecaller for this club.

The Federation approached the South Shore Region about hosting the Festival in 2005, after the Highland Regiondeclined. Dan & I approached the clubs and because it was late in the summer, we decided to wait until fall. We hadtwo meetings, one in Clyde River and one in Shelburne. We formed a tentative committee at the first meeting, andeveryone was willing to give it a try. We found the Community College in Yarmouth was willing to let us use theirschool. It is not air conditioned but it is undergoing renovations and the Principal assured us it will be completed soon. Yarmouth has plenty of excellent hotels, B&Bs, and 2 campgrounds. The restaurants are very easy to get towith great food. We are a little nervous about taking this big event on, but all the South Shore Clubs have agreed tohelp and we are very confident having Paul & Carol Conrad as our Chair Couple. We also want to thank RalphMacDonald from the Highland Region for offering his help.

Submitted by South Shore Reg. Reps, Jeanette & Dan

Strathmor Strutters Ouarterly Report - 23 October 2003

          The club members are anxiously looking forward to another year of dancing. They registered 30 couples forthe club this year and have 4 new couples in their beginner's classes. The mainstream classes are still on Mondayevening from 8 pm to 10 pm, the plus on Wednesday evening from 8 pm to 10 pm with the new class dancing onThursday evening from 8pm to 10pm. With the great social time after the dancing the members usually get away by 11pm.

          The club is still dancing at least once a month in the seniors' homes in and around Truro. When it isinconvenient to get dancers their caller Bob and his wife Phyllis entertain the seniors with an hour or more of hissinging. No matter which type of entertainment the senior get it is always enjoyed by all.

          Submitted by Fundy Region Representatives.


          This report will deal with the change of officers, the caller's school and Alguire fund, and as this is our lastofficial report after many years as ANSSRDT/Federation liaison, a personal footnote from us.Our new slate of officers is as follows: Pres.- Larry & Margie Clark, Vise.- Barry & Clair Walker, Treas.- Laurie &Wilma Illsley, Sect.- Ralph & Barb MacDonald, Square dance coordinator - Nelson & Pat Labor, and Round dancecoordinator - John &Valerie Pinks. Due to the Oct. meeting being cancelled no new liaison has been appointedhowever ANSSRDT will definitely have someone present to take notes at meetings and report to each organization sothat there will be continuing ties between the two groups.

          The callers' school sponsored by the Alguire Callers Memorial Fund and under the guidance of ANSSRDT wasconsidered an outstanding success by all eleven trainee callers. It was followed by an equally successful andwell-attended dance. The featured caller/teacher was Norm Wilcox who was ably assisted in the school by DottieWelsh and Kerry Fletcher. It was quite a financial undertaking and the fact that its effect on the fund was no morethan the cost of two bursaries is a tribute to the organizers. Because it was a Nova Scotia school our local callerattendees had a 50% reduction of their registration fee. ANSSRDT plans to continue to support the Alguire CallersMemorial Fund with different fund raising activities and we hope that clubs and/or organizations will make this apriority as well. ANSSRDT and the directors of The Alguire Memorial Fund thank the individuals and the clubs whohave made donations to the Fund and made this Callers School possible. If you would like to make a donation to TheAlguire Callers Memorial Fund for future funding and sponsorship of similar projects for the development of Nova Scotian Callers, please send your contribution care of Alex Ritchie, treasurer of The Alguire Callers Memorial Fund.

          Our final thought as liaison couple is that ANSSRDT and the Federation continue to work together to promote ouractivity of square and round dancing especially in those areas of Nova Scotia where there is little or no involvement.There are so many people who are missing out and so much potential there.

          Thank You, Beth & John Dickinson , ANSSRDT

Parade Trailer Report

          The trailer was requested and used 6 times this past year. Regular maintenance has been carried out and neededrepairs completed and it is ready for storage. New laws required reflective tape and clearance lights on the side andfront corner in order to pass inspection. Total expenses were $91 .23 and itemized bill has been submitted to treasurerfor this work. [$ 64.33 reflective tape & side lights; $18.85 tail lamp kit (to replace broken one); $8.05 yearlyinspection; $ 91.23 in total].

          The trailer can be stored at a neighbours place near us for $100.00 including tax, for approximately 6 months ofthe year.

          Harold Redden, Parade Trailer Chairman


          The past year has been one of recovery for Dance Nova Scotia or DANS. The government slightly increasedthe funding for this organization so that they could return to some of their cancelled programs. Unfortunately, they have been unable to revive their quarterly newsletter which kept all dancers "in the loop" during the year.

          For those of you who are not familiar with DANS, here is a brief summary of their goals:

          DANS is primarily a service organization dedicated to the promotion and development of dance as cultural,educational, healthful, social, and recreational activity.

          DANS serves all forms of dance and works to increase the availability of dance to all Nova Scotians of allages, backgrounds and abilities.

          The Square & Round Dance Federation of NS has been a member of DANS for many years with arepresentative designated to attend their Annual General Meetings. Through the years there have been severaloccasions when DANS has made award presentations to both leaders and dancers for either longevity or for excellencein their service to this activity. These awards continue to be available and should be arranged through the FederationDANS Representative.

          As well, a square dance volunteer serves on the DANS Board. At the present time that is Lorna Webber whochairs the Awards committee.

          Inge Ruohoniemi, DANS Representative

Square Dancing in Metro Schools

In the spring of 2003 Metro introduced Square Dancing to several schools in the metro area. Dottie Welch & KerryFletcher have taken on the task of bringing square dancing to the younger members of our community. They havebeen very instrumental in the development of the square dance program now in progress at George Bissett ElementarySchool in Cole Harbour.

Metro Square & Round Dance Association coordinated a pilot project at George Bissett Elementary last spring and theprogram continues as an after school dance program on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm. We have also scheduledintroductory sessions at Admiral Westphal and Brookhouse Elementary schools to take place in December. There willbe more introductory sessions scheduled in the next few months with the possibility of more after school danceprograms in the respective schools.

We have been fortunate to receive financial support from DANS through the Performing Artists Program of TheatreNS, Health NS, the Square & Round Dance Federation of NS, and some schools. The schools are providing thefacilities at no cost to Metro.

Metro Square & Round Dance Association is scheduled to take part in the Teacher's Association of Physical andHealth Education 2003 Provincial Conference on October 24, 2003 in Antigonish. We will be presenting the squaredance activity to the physical education teachers in hopes that they will be encouraged to use a newly released CD setdesigned to introduce square dancing to school children.

Metro Square & Round Dance Association's first goal is to promote square dancing to the community and to createpre-teen and teenage groups of dancers. Our second and longer- term goal is to create a program for the pre-teen &teenage dancers to pursue the art of Calling.

We thank you for your assistance and trust that we can continue to count on your support for this project.

          Submitted by Pauline Arsenault, Metro Chairperson

Canadian Square and Round Dance Society Representatives Report

          We have enjoyed our year as your representatives for Square and Round Dance Federation of Nova Scotia, asTreasurer for the Society and also as members of the Society Awards Committee. Besides attending one AnnualGeneral Meeting in Calgary, we have also participated in two conference call meetings and have been in constantcontact with the various committees which were active during the year. We will highlight a few items which will be ofinterest to our members and encourage you to get in touch with us with questions or problems which may arise fromtime to time.

          Certificates of Recognition: If any of the following conditions apply, please contact us and we will arrange forpresentation of the CSRDS Certificates of Recognition.

  1. To Clubs, Associations or Federation on 20th anniversaries and at 5year intervals
  2. To callers, Leaders and Instructors on 20th Anniversaries and at 5 year intervals
  3. Wedding Anniversaries starting at 50th and every 10 years thereafter
  4. To recognize contribution to the Square and Round Dance Society and the activity
  5. Other special occasions as may arise
          Membership and Insurance: The cost for membership in the Society has increased to $1.00 per member, CallerClub, Association and Federation this year. With membership comes liability insurance to protect all members in atime when legal suits are becoming more common. It is hoped that every dancer and club will take advantage of thisinexpensive coverage offered through the Society.

          Awards: The Society offers 2 prestigious awards to those dancers who have made extraordinary contributionto the dance community. Undoubtedly, we have couples in our province who deserve such recognition and we would encourage you to look within our province for those we should support for either the Award of Excellence orthe Long Service Award.

          National Conventions: Festival 2004 in Calgary promises to be a great event. It is very well organized and thefacilities are wonderful. They really need people to register as soon as possible so that they can ensure theirprogramming will take care of everyone who shows up. While at the Annual meeting, we had the good fortune to viewtheir facilities , see the flooring they will have installed on the dance floors and to meet many of the enthusiasticworkers who are well prepared to show us a fine time.

          Convention 2006 in Montreal is three years away and the organizing committee is busy making plans for agreat dance event.

          Do you need more information? If you have internet service, check at should be able to find answers to your questions. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact us andwe will do our best to provide the information you require.
          Ralph and Barb MacDonald
          Box 16
          Goshen, NS   B0H 1MO      (902)783-2731


          In spite of a slow start our committee feels that we have gained a measure of success in meeting the goalsestablished at the January 2003 meeting.

  1. Co-ordinate the presentation of all Federation Awards.
  2. Publicize the availability of the Awards - Longevity, Service, and Mayflower.
  3. Encourage dancers to nominate eligible candidates.
  4. Update the Awards criteria
  5. Collect the names of dancers, clubs, callers and cuers who have received awards in the past so as not toduplicate them in the future.

          The committee organized an Awards Ceremony for eligible dancers in the Fundy Region, which was held inTruro at Festival 2003 on August 2nd. Longevity awards were presented to 20 dancers and 3 clubs. Beth & JohnDickinson received a service award in recognition of 20 years of round dance leadership. The Fundy Regionpresentation was followed by the first-ever presentation of the Mayflower Awards to two outstanding candidates, bothof whom have worked tirelessly to promote square dancing in Nova Scotia - Ron & Dot Connell and Harold & ClaraRedden. Citations were read and plaques were presented by the Federation President. It was a very well attendedevent followed by a photo session and extensive publicity in BETWEEN TIPS.

          Our committee has met once in person and hopes to meet again in the near future. Meanwhile wecommunicate by e-mail and the telephone.
          Laurence & Alice Harrison, Awards Committee Chaircouple

by Ron Connell

A great many opinions have been put forward as to why Square Dancing seems to be disappearing. We've all heardthese: the dress, classes too long, old fashioned, the levels, many other attractions, etc, etc.

Why did it seem to grow in the 50s, when a lot of these reasons existed even at that time. More than one of thesecould be the problem.

The original promotion of Square Dancing by Henry Ford and Pappy Shaw envisaged a dance function which wouldbe standardized so one could dance anywhere, in contrast to the old traditional barn dance, where one could not dancetwenty miles from home. This was because each caller had his own package of calls. In order to avoid this problem, itwas proposed that new dancers would attend classes to learn the standardized calls. Much support was given byexperienced dancers to encourage the newcomers. Everyone danced at the same level. The callers could providechallenge by varying routines and calling a move from an unexpected position. First class callers still do this today.

The next step in the evolution of the movement came with the introduction of Plus and later Advanced, etc. "levels". A1ot of these moves were not difficult but just different. These levels are very enjoyable to the individual dancer, buthave some adverse side effects on the movement. One side effect is that some dancers tended to think that they were"better" than the Mainstream dancers that they had just left. The Mainstream groups remaining now consisted of notonly new graduates, but a smaller percentage of experienced dancers. Of course, the solution to this undesirable sideeffect is to continue to support the new dancers and make them welcome.

Another side effect is more difficult to control. Additional classes are necessary. Separating clubs at different levelscreates the situation that Henry Ford was trying to avoid. We can dance many places in the world to standarized calls,but we can't dance at every club. We now can't dance twenty miles from home, we don't know the new calls. We havemoved the full circle to the same problem that old fashioned Square dancing ran into. This keeps the clubs small, andcontinually decreasing in size.

Dancers have been advised by some to wait about two years before attempting Plus, in order to astablish a firm base inmainstream. 0ther clubs, notably in the U.S. have partially solved the separation of clubs by level by continuing withclasses after mainstream graduation, and added Plus during the summer. Of course, this upset the new dancers whoalready thought the classes were too long. When do we get to the "fun" part?

A group of American callers has broken away from Callerlab and have attempted to produce standard, one levelSquare Dancing. This would envisage mostly mainstream and some plus calls, and no other levels. As you can wellimagine, they are having a hard time selling it to all dancers.

We'll probably just go on enjoying dancing at all levels in smaller and smaller clubs, until we realize that we need tohonestly actively support and welcome new dancers, from recruitment to graduation and beyond. They are our onlysource of dancers for the future.

What did you do last year to support the movement you enjoy so much?


Square dancers have known for a long time how beneficial this activity can be. One of the major benefits is the joy ofjoining with other square dancers for an evening of dancing and friendship. The social benefits of being with friendlypeople who also enjoy our activity are tremendous. Now we have a medical study which provides even moreammunition to the discussion that square dancing is good for you. The following article provides information aboutthis study. Please read it and make copies of this Press Release for your friends. Let them know how much squaredancing can benefit them.

WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Mentally challenging activities like playing chess or bridge can significantly reducethe risk of developing Alzheimer's disease according to a new study. Seniors who engaged in pastimes like playing amusical instrument or even checkers lowered their risk of developing dementia by as much as 75 percent, theWashington Post reports, compared with those who didn't exercise their minds. Citing a study lead by Joe Verghese,a neurologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, the results add to an increasing body ofevidence. "I see a lot of elderly patients -- They have so-called senior moments -- they go in a room and forget whythey are there. One thing I advise is for them to increase their participation in cognitively stimulating activities." Such benefits are widely available and inexpensive and seem to benefit all levels of education and intelligence. Unfortunately, the Post reports, watching television doesn't count.


As reported in an earlier CALLERLAB Press Release, the 2003 Biennial Review of the Mainstream and PlusPrograms has been completed. The following is the result of that review:

Additions to the Mainstream Program -
   Additions to the Plus Program - None
Removal from the Mainstream Program - None    Removal from the Plus Program -

All callers and dancers are reminded that the call EIGHT CHAIN THRU has NOT been part of the MainstreamProgram since 2001. It is recommended that dancers be provided a walk-thru or review of the call before it is used atan open Mainstream dance.

The revised Mainstream and Plus definitions and program lists have been updated and are now available from theCALLERLAB office or on the CALLERLAB web site at:

In addition to the changes resulting from the 2003 Biennial Review, the following changes have been approved by theMainstream Committee and have been incorporated into the revised Mainstream definitions:

Change the name of the call "ALL AROUND THE LEFT HAND LADY" to "ALL AROUND THE CORNER".

Change the definition of "SEE SAW" so that it can be used in conjunction with "ALL AROUND THE CORNER".

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