"BETWEEN TIPS" is the official bulletin of the
SQUARE & ROUND DANCE FEDERATION OF NOVA SCOTIA
Bob Ruohoniemi, Editor, 6939Hwy 1 Ardoise, RR 1 Ellershouse, NS B0N 1L0
phone (902) 757-3884 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCH 2006 -- NUMBER 128
(Back Issues) (Return to Home Index)
You may download this MARCH 2006 as a PDF file.
Editor's Comments:This edition brings two new features that will continue through the year. It is planned to provideprofiles of Federation members that deserve recognition in this newsletter. Since this is the 70th year of square dancein North America, a series of articles will appear as contributers submit them. Perhaps they will generate memories toinspire others to send in their recollections of Nova Scotia square dance "Historic Moments"? Readers are welcome tosend along ideas and suggestions.
HALIFAX NATIONAL FESTIVAL 2010
Those volunteers who have agreed to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Square DanceConvention to be held 29 - 31 July 2010, in Halifax, got together in February to get acquainted with their duties. Withonly 4.4 years, or 53 months, or 230 weeks until the big event, deadlines will be arriving in short order! Manyarrangements have already been made.
The FESTIVAL 2010 Web-page is up and ready for the world-wide square dance community to visit atwww.squaredance.ns Click on the numbers 2010 in the upper right corner of the first page.
A unique opportunity presented itself this month, with an offer from a British Columbia caller to call a dancewhile visiting here in NS. Brent Mawdsley, from Delta, BC. will be calling at the first FESTIVAL 2010 fund-raiseron Wednesday, 15 March, 8pm., at the Sackville Heights Community Centre, 45 Connolly Dr., Lr. Sackville. Brentbegan calling at the age of 13 in 1979. Since 1988, he has been calling 2 to 4 nights per week in the Vancouver area &in Washington State. He has called at special dances throughout the Canadian & US northwest as well as in Californiaand Hawaii. He has conducted five Caribbean Square Dance cruises & has been an active Leader at Canadian &Washington State Conventions. Brent calls the Mainstream, Plus, & Advanced programs & cues up to Phase II.
We are fortunate to have such a highly qualified caller arrive here in Nova Scotia. Readers are encouraged toget all their square dance friends, throughout the Maritimes, to attend the "Special St. Patrick's" Dance on 15 March. Aflyer complete with directions to the hall is available on the Federation Webpage at www.squaredance.ns.ca TheFESTIVAL 2010 Committee thank Scotia Dancers for giving up their St. Patrick's Dance, donating the use of theirhall, & arranging for the lunch.
This is the final reminder that the deadline for submitting names for the Mayflower Award is 31 March. See BT#127.
FEDERATION SUMMER BROCHURE This is also the final reminder that the deadline for summer brochure submissions is 15 March. See BT #127.
UPCOMING MAJOR EVENTS
48th New England Convention - 28/29 April - Springfield, MA
55th US National Convention - 21/24 June - San Antonio, Texas
15th Canadian National Convention - 13/15 July - Montreal, QE
"Let's All Mix in 2006" - Pink Registration Forms are available at all NS clubs. If not at yours contact the Editor.
This is the closest National Convention before we Nova Scotians will be hosting Halifax National Festival 2010!
Wayne and Dianne Burns saw a square dance demo and decided they would like to try out this activity. So in1998, they joined the Scotia Dancers and graduated in 1999, when they became the club historians. They joined theOcean Waves in 2001 and served as club Presidents from 2002 to 2003. They also began a one year term with theMetro Association in 2002, as Treasurer, and Ocean Waves club Reps. to the Association until 2005.
While serving as Past Presidents of the Ocean Waves, they took up the duties of Vice-Presidents of the Squareand Round Dance Federation of NS from 2003 to 2004. They are current members of the Stardusters & Sail Sets inDartmouth and the Charlottee Promenaders of Port Charlotte, Florida.
The Burns offered to serve as Federation Presidents in 2004 and continue in that position this year. In 2005,they decided that they would see if the province could host a National Convention in 2010. After surveying theprovincial dancers, they found sufficient interest to proceed with a bid to the Canadian Society. They offered tobecome Chaircouple for Convention 2010 and submitted the successful Federation bid to host the Convention. Theirshort career of dancing has been marked by a dedication to serving the activity in a very effective way. They arelooking forward to a busy time for the next four years as they work to produce another successful Canadian NationalSquare Dance Convention in Halifax, July 29, 30, 31, 2010.
Laurence and Alice began square dancing in 1976, when they graduated from Cumberland Twirlers. Theyimmediately took an active interest in the club and have held every position in the club, some more than once. Theiractivity in Cumberland Twirlers continues to this day.
They worked on a committee to update the club's constitution and spearheaded and hosted Al & Norma Mill'sretirement party. They are always eager to recruit and help new dancers and to welcome any visitors. They alsobelieve in attending other clubs and encourage their fellow club dancers to do the same. They have also belonged andsupported other clubs such as; Family Swingers, Breezy Swingers, Hub Trackers and Charlie's Angels. Through theiraffiliation with the CACL, they encouraged two local callers to teach simple square dance moves to the mentallychallenged . In addition to the Cumberland Twirlers, they belong to the Bluenose RV Squares where they enjoycamping, travel, and socializing.
Laurence and Alice were also instrumental in bringing the round dance activity back to the Amherst area whenthey persuaded John & Beth Dickenson to teach and organize a local round dance club called the Border Rounders.
The Harrison's have also taken an active role in the NS Federation. In 1984, they were Cumberland Twirlersfirst representatives to the NS Federation and in that same year they were appointed as Fundy Region Reps to theFederation. From 1986 to 1988 they held the office of secretary/treasurer. They were Publicity Chairpersons from1988 to 1992. While publicity chairpersons, their tenure included a publicity blitz, a TV ad, helping to plan the '94 NSConvention presentation held in Winnipeg, chairing the '94 border greeter committee and many other committees. In1992 they became NS representatives to the National Society and for 8 years they chaired the bursary committee,updating the criteria, the application forms, and lobbying for an increase in the bursary budget. They also establishedthe leader school grant program so that provincial organizations could hold leader schools. It is their firm belief that agood leader instructor base helps keep the dance activity alive. In 2000 they became the NS Federation AwardsCommittee Chairpersons and have been responsible for setting up longevity, service and the Mayflower Awards andthe criteria to go with them. They have also been responsible for advertising and organizing awards presentationceremonies at various dances.
In 2005, the Harrison's retired from the NS Federation and now just enjoy dancing with their own and otherclubs and I am sure, still continue to promote square dancing.
Laurence & Alice - the Federation would like to thank you for your dedication and all the hard work andtimeless hours that you have given and continue to give to square and round dancing.
It is people like you that helps keep this activity together.
|Submitted by: Wayne & Dianne Burns, Presidents SRDFNS|
Marion Lever passed away in Dartmouth on February 8, 2006. Marion and Mel Lever danced briefly with the MetroMerry Makers before joining the Scotia Dancers in 1988. They also joined the Coordinators in 1992 and the Sail Setsin 1996. Marion and Mel served the dance activity for many years both within their clubs and for various otherorganizations. Marion was a staunch supporter of Scotia Dancers throughout their dancing career. She and Mel servedas club Presidents in 1990-91. They worked on the New Dancer Committee for the 1994 National, and were Treasurersof Metro Association. Marion served on the DANS Board for several years. In spite of Mel's failing health, theyfaithfully completed their tasks as both Treasurer and Registration volunteers for Festival 99 held in Halifax.Marion was an excellent and creative seamstress making several elegant outfits for herself and Mel. She also sharedher expertise at various sewing clinics. She was always a pleasant lady who enjoyed the social benefits of squaredancing on all occasions. Her happy smile and positive outlook always delighted those in her square. She will be sadlymissed by Mel, her family, and her many square dance friends in Nova Scotia.
By Dottie Welch
In November and December,2005, we lost a beloved dancing couple who have been part of the Halifax andDartmouth dance scene for over 40 years. They danced with the Gralorne Squares before being founding members ofTartan Twirlers in 1964. They were the first Chaircouple of Metro Association in 1967 and 1968. After Tartans foldedthey joined Lake City Swingers and were founding members of Coordinators in 1989. In addition they were long timemembers of Corte. As honourary life members of Lake City Swingers they continued to dance and join us for specialdinners as long as their health allowed. Perhaps the highlight of their dancing adventures was the Centennial TrainTrip described in this issue by Obee Benjamin. Many dancers have fond memories of social events in their fascinatinghome on Connaught Avenue with its cages of exotic song birds, thriving house plants in their huge picture windows, aburbling fountain and walls covered with their collection of plates and needlework. With their experience as schoolprincipal and teacher and later owner of Knowlton Supply Company (school equipment) they contributed leadershipand competence to all of the groups they joined. We will greatly miss their special qualities of genuine enthusiasm andfriendliness.
By Dottie Welch
1936 is considered by many to be the birth of Modern Western Square Dancing so in 2006 we celebrate 70years of this activity that we all love. So what happened in 1936? The choice of this particular year is a bit arbitrary,but it likely was chosen as the time when a ten-year effort to revive square dancing began to have a widespread effect.
In 1923 Henry Ford visited the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts and there saw Benjamin Lovettteaching dancing. He negotiated a contract with Mr. Lovett to teach dancing and to train dance instructors inDearborn, Michigan. The Ford and Lovett efforts included the publishing of the book Good Morning - After a Sleep ofTwenty-five Years, Old Fashioned Dancing is being revived by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford, newspaper columns, aweekly radio show and the recording of the first square dance records on 78 records by Thomas Edison. In 1937 abook called The Country Dance Book was published in Vermont by Beth Tolman and Ralph Page about "the old-fashioned square dance, its history, lore, variations & its callers, complete & joyful instructions".
The Good Morning book inspired Dr. Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw on his quest to research and revive the Americandance. He found that "the waves that rolled out from Kentucky and New England have washed together and brokenagainst the cliffs of the Rocky Mountains and have now surged back with a new impulse that is apparently felt all overNew England." As principal of the Cheyenne Mountain School he taught this dancing heritage and by 1937 thestudents were giving performances across the country. In 1939 Lloyd Shaw published Cowboy Dances - A Collectionof Western Square Dances describing 75 dances that typified the melding of traditional dance forms and the "survivalof the fittest" into a true American folk dance.
Although most of the dances described in these books would now be considered Traditional, 1936 marked thebeginning of the successful spread across the country of reviving interest in Modern Western Square Dancing. Duringthe last 70 years many events have shaped the evolution of Square Dancing or simply celebrated the joys ofparticipating. We invite you to share some of your memories as we celebrate this anniversary year.
By Obee Benjamin (Written in January 2006)
Dottie Welch has asked me to recall for today's dancers the 1967 Centennial Square Dance Train, and Oh! Howmany happy memories come flooding back!
The Train began as a twinkle in the eye of an Ottawa Square Dance club, the Stetson Strutters. In 1966 manythings were being planned for the next year, and somebody had the idea of going coast-to-coast with "21 cars carrying500 square dancers, stopping at Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria, with dancing andcivic celebrations all along the way." (Quote from ad for Train in January '67 Sets in Order.)
The Stetson Strutters went to work on this ambitious dream, under the leadership of Arthur and Garrie Jackson.The word went out and dancers from all parts of the country responded. Everybody was planning to go some where in'67, even if only to the Montreal Expo - and this was so much more!
This coming trip spurred the formation of the Dancing Shadows with John and Fran Essex teaching basicrounds to those planning to travel, so that they could participate in the expected round dancing.
In the final count 325 dancers from all over the country made the trip. While the majority were easterners, atleast one couple, Charlie and Rolla Ross, came from the Northwest Territories.
Sixty four dancers from the Maritime Provinces and even three couples from Maine traveled by train to Ottawafor June 24th for the official welcome and send-off by John Fisher, the Centennial Commissioner, and other Ottawandignitaries. The motto of the Train was "Friendship from Coast to Coast" and indeed it truly was that - not only did weall make new friends among our fellow travelers, but we were hosted by "buddy couples" in the cities we stayed atalong the way.
We did soon find out that being a special train had its disadvantages. Square Dance Train had to give way toall properly scheduled trains - even the freights! So we spent a good deal of time sitting on sidings in the boondocks ofNorthern Ontario. Some enterprising souls even went swimming in a nearby pond while we were stuck. Theseinterruptions wreaked havoc with the very real schedule the planners had laid down for the dancers. We were to danceon the platforms of several small towns along the route, places like Hornepayne and Sioux Lookout. These peopledeclared a general holiday in their towns to welcome us, and ended up having to wait four hours or more in the hotJune sun because of our tardiness. The trend persisted; in Winnipeg we were so late at night that we all piled off thetrain in our pajamas! In Edmonton we passed through at 2 am and the whole welcome had to be scratched, thoughsome diehards were still on the platform to say Hi!
Other than that, all went well - and how much there was to go well! We were welcomed with open arms andwonderful dances all along the way, our hosts drove us around and showed us the sights (even taking in an afternoon atExpo in Montreal). After dancing on a BC Ferry, we pulled into Victoria on June 30th, in time to celebrate Canada's100th birthday with a monster bash at the Arena there, 1400 dancers in all. Other ceremonies in Victoria included adance at Mile Zero with the co-mingling of Atlantic and Pacific seawater, trips to Butchart Gardens and to Nanaimo.
The Square Dance Train Souvenir Booklet gives these statistics: "We danced 35 times in 23 cities and towns,including the ferries, the ferry dock and on the train. We traveled 6228 miles for Toronto/Ottawa people, and 8108miles for Maritime dancers from Halifax."
Magnificent as the efforts were of the Stetson Strutters to put all this in motion and plan the logistics of theenterprise, much work was done by clubs, associations, callers and civic leaders everywhere especially from Ontariowestward. Looking back it is only now that I realize how lucky we easterners were with the whole trip - all we had todo was to show up and enjoy ourselves. And so we did happily in that carefree year when Canada turned 100. Theygave us steaks and Saskatoon berry pie off paper plates in Saskatoon, pancakes in Hinton, Alberta and cherries fromthe Okanagan were brought to the train as it passed through Kamloops. Twice we were bussed to Canadian ForcesBases for a huge pot-luck supper. Everywhere we were showered with warmth and welcome - indeed Friendship fromCoast to Coast, yet how many hours of hard work and planning behind it all.
It was said at the time that the westerners would reciprocate with a train of their own, but it never came to pass,and probably now could never even be planned; transportation and economics have greatly changed. It was a once-in-alifetime delightful experience.
As a footnote, my husband Fred insists I include the following. Besides assigning the train with the lowestpriority, the CN officials who provided the rolling stock were mindful, it was rumoured, of the many Grey CupSpecials they had made up and had wrecked by revelers over the years. So they gave us the very oldest and worstequipped cars they could find - and laid on a huge stock of alcoholic refreshments, finding to their utter astonishmentthat 325 people could all have the time of their lives for two weeks with no more than tea, coffee and fruit juice! Ah!We hardly noticed the dilapidated accommodation. We were high on the sheer joy of dancing from end to end of thisgreat country when square dance itself was hitting its peak.