"BETWEEN TIPS" is the official bulletin of the
Bob Ruohoniemi, Editor, 6939 Hwy 1 Ardoise, RR 1 Ellershouse, NS B0N 1L0
phone (902) 757-3884 email:
February 2008    --    NUMBER 142
(Back Issues)                       (Return to Home Index)


Editor's Comments:

This BT has news from the American Caller Association, METRO Association, Fundy Squares, MMM/Ocean Waves, Festival 2008.



- The news from the Winter Federation Board meeting on 26 January will be available in the next edition of Between Tips.
- Please note Email addresses: Russ & Mary Trimper, Treasurers:
Harold & Clara Redden, Historical Archivist & Parade Trailer Officer:



- The F2010 volunteers will be meeting on 16 February to further the plans for FESTIVAL 2010.
- There is still a need to have NS dancers send in their registration forms so that plans for the Canadian National Festival, 29-31 July, 2010, can accommodate their needs. Go to the SRDFNS home page and click on the 2010 button on the right.



Below is an interesting article from AMERICAN CALLERS NEWSLETTER, P.O. Box 2406 Muscle Shoals AL. 35662, ph (256) 383-7585, Email


New Dancer (comments submitted by Barb Tuttle)
I just finished reading your interesting article of February 2007 regarding factors denigrating square dancing. I took square dance lessons a little over a year ago and passed along some observations from a newbie.

These are things that have discouraged me:
(1) When I’m sitting alone and no one talks to me. They all seem to have their own circle of friends. I’m bold enough that I’ll go up and talk to someone I don’t know. But other times I will just sit there and wait to see if any of the old timers will come by and talk to me. I know people are concerned with their friends, but this is how it comes across to a newcomer...ignored and left alone.
(2) Another is people commenting that I should be wearing traditional attire, rather than my long gathered skirt. I snapped at one lady that I had consulted the club president and she said a gathered skirt is perfectly fine. One time I wore nice pants (it was 18 degrees out and I was having some health issues). One lady would not even talk to me but instead loudly said some derogatory comments about my pants to her husband, making sure I heard what she said.
(3) When children and teenagers come almost everyone ignores them.
(4) The one thing that discourages me the most is men telling bathroom jokes that are on a 5th grade boy’s level.

These are things that encourage me:
(1) When people compliment me on my dancing.
(2) When people include me in their conversations.
(3) When couples sometimes don’t dance together and ask singles to dance.
(4) When people introduce me to others.

I try to do my part by:
(1) Inviting friends to lessons.
(2) Constantly look for people by themselves...then go and talk to them.
(3) Now that my husband dances, we sometimes do not dance together and ask singles to dance.
(4) When there are children and teens or any visitors, I make a point to talk to them and make them feel welcome.



The METRO Association won a prize as the "Best Local Entry" at the annual Eastern Passage Natal Day Parade in August. The Federation float was a colourful sight with dancers in full costume.

LEFT: Jim and Pat Briggs, METRO Publicity Chairs, accept the prize plaque. RIGHT: Metro area dancers ready to dance!



During Fundy Squares Christmas Dance held December 12th Ralph and Valerie Brown, Presidents of SRDFNS, Presented "30-plus years dancing" Certificates to Wilfred and Goldie Burns (below: top left). At the same dance "20-plus" certificates were presented to Ron and Lois Barrett (top right), Ken and Lil Morse (bottom right) and Amanda Robar (bottom left). Bill and Gerti Oldford Valley Reps presented a 60 year wedding anniversary certificate from the Canadian Square and Round dance Society to Wilfred and Goldie Burns. Society Representatives, Bob and Inge Ruohoniemi were not available to make the latter presentation due to other square dance commitments. Congratulations to all recipients!


Report from MM/Ocean Waves

Another year!!! Bloomfield Centre was full of music and dance on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 when the MMM/Ocean Waves hosted their annual fund raiser, “The Harvest Moon Dance”. The full moon shone inside and outside the building. Dancers came through chilly temperatures to enjoy the square dance calls and the warm hospitality of the host club. The club President welcomed their guests and immediately made them feel at home.
Three prominent square dance callers, Kerry Fletcher, Mark Savage, and Wade Savage, performed their artistic abilities of music and intricate formations for the dancers. Door prizes were plentiful and kept the dance theme of harvest. They represented homemade baskets of apple jam, jellies, sweet breads, cuptowels, and other harvest goodies.

Bev Payne (MMM/Ocean Waves, shown at left) won the $100 gift certificate to the Halifax Shopping Centre. Christine Dixon (Stardusters) won the 50/50 cash pot. The dance hall was fully decorated with banners, owls, and pumpkins. The Stardusters Dance club, as usual came in full support of the fund raiser dance, and also took the opportunity to reclaim their Club's banner. Their banner had been previously claimed by the MMM/Ocean Waves. Pies, pies, pies, and ice cream were the dessert topping for an evening of great fun, friendship, and great square dancing. We would like to thank each and every square dancer who came to Bloomfield and supported the MMM/Ocean Waves annual fund raiser. Don't miss next year as you are guaranteed a good time. Come visit and join us for Plus any Tuesday evening at the Bloomfield Centre.

Submitted by; Club Historian, Reta Blades.


The Square Dance Pledge

With all my ability I will do my best to help keep square dancing the enjoyable, wholesome, friendly, and inspiring activity I know it to be.

This I pledge in the sincere desire that it may grow naturally and unexploited in the coming years, and be available to all those who seek the opportunity for friendship, fun, and harmony through square dancing.


American Callers Association - P.O. Box 2406 Muscle Shoals AL. 35662
PH 256-383-7585- Fax 256-383-7583 Email Mac
Press Release

A Return to Square Dancing: The ACA Proposal

Today there is an uneasy consensus among dancers & callers which holds that square dancing is neither as it used to be nor what it ought to be. We all agree that, while there are not as many callers as twenty years ago, there are even fewer dancers. The one thing that none of us can deny is that we no longer have the once copious flow of new students into our square dance classes that we enjoyed in years past. The flow has shrunk to a trickle or none at all. The truth is that the one and two square clubs that we have today would not have been considered a good “basement group” in the 1970s. Beyond these areas of accord and mutual commiseration, we began to diverge and quibble. We can agree that something is wrong and in talking to people that have quit square dancing, it’s not hard to figure out. We can agree on what is wrong, but not what to do about it. At the moment we are doing relatively little or nothing about it and the downward trend continues.

The sad truth is that there is a quick fix for the ills that have been building up over the past two decades while we waited for things to improve. It did not happen. Until all of us agree upon, and put into effect, an effective and workable course of action, the decline in square dancing will not only continue, it will worsen.

The American Callers Association (ACA) has applied logic, facts, experience and reason to the problem of our shrinking numbers and has come up with a workable and effective solution. Do away with existing barriers between dancers and return to the days of the undesignated dancer. In other words, we should discard the present Basic, Mainstream and Plus list. We should replace these levels, lists, programs or whatever with a program of square dance choreography that can be mastered in a reasonable amount of time & that will include the very best and most useful calls. By doing so, we can bring all dancers back together on one floor & put the fun back in square dancing.

No longer will dancers be labeled and categorized in a divisive manner. No longer will dancers be forced to spend inordinate lengths of time in classes to become a square dancer and not be welcomed by existing dancers. (This will put 95% of all dancers back together.) We should condense the current list of Basic, Mainstream and Plus into one single, sensible, and manageable program which need be called merely “Square Dancing.” There will always be advanced and challenge, but we do not build from those levels. If we don’t put them in at the bottom, they cannot take them to the top. With no new dancers the top looks very dim.

American Callers Association is not only furnishing the concept, we have also worked out the details. Reviewing tapes of recent dances held in many areas of the country, the information showed that ninety-five percent of the dances were called with 50 or less calls. The calls were in terms of frequency of use and the popularity that dominates our square dance choreography. The determination of these calls was made in an entirely objective manner, with no preconceived bias toward or against any call.

Using these analytical studies as a basis, American Callers has developed a recommended list of calls, including the order in which they can be taught during the learning cycle, that forms the keystone of the “One Floor Program.” Remember this is a recommended list and it can be improved even more. The “One Floor Program” can be downloaded from our web page Obviously, this solution will require a degree of sacrifice and cooperation among callers and dancers that so far has never achieved. Everyone is going to have to give up something in the common cause. The rewards of doing so can be very great. The penalties of not doing so are even greater.

Persons wishing to know more about the “One Floor Program” may contact Mac Letson at or write to American Callers at P.O. Box 2406, Muscle Shoals Al. 35662, or call 256-383-7583. Should you choose this as your program of square dancing (club, association or state), please furnish any caller that you have to call for you a copy of this list. As more input comes in, we may have changes to this proposal.

The dancers we talk with like what they hear. Callers that have been teaching by this list report they keep about 80% of their new dancers. Most of the callers we have talked to say that they think square dancing would better with just one program below advance and challenge.

Some of the Advantages of the Proposal:

  1. Can now have more than one class per year.
  2. Planning a special dance is made easier.
  3. Brings about a better attitude and unifies the activity again.
  4. Makes recruiting and the retention of new dancers easier.

These are just a few advantages of the one floor program, I am sure you can think of many more.

Please feel free to copy or forward this press release to anyone .




The Square & Round Dancers of South Western Ontario are the proud hosts of this Convention that will be held in the heart of downtown London, July 17, 18, 19, 2008. The tentative program includes Squares: Basic to C3 (8 different levels of square dancing). Round Dancing: Phase II & III, Phase III, IV & V, and finally Phase V & VI. Clogging: Basic to Advanced. Contras, Line Dancing and Wheelchair Squares. We will be using the Convention Centre, YMCA and the Ball Room at the Hilton Hotel, which is attached to the Convention Centre. All facilities are fully wheelchair accessible, and are Fully Air-Conditioned. The sound has been checked and was found excellent. Snap-lock flooring is being placed over the carpets for comfortable dancing. The floors at the YMCA are hard wood. Healthy snack food will be available in both buildings.

The Heritage Room:
     This is a very important room as it will have historic displays from all our 51 Clubs. Each Club will have a 2 x 4 foot display board to put their club history on - written history as well as pictures, and much more. There will also be a display of Convention Dolls. These dolls are dressed in the Official Convention outfits representing all of our 16 Conventions. The upcoming 17th Convention Dolls will also be on display. This is a very special room and a must visit for everyone going to the Convention.

     There will be venders selling square dance clothing and shoes, also venders with square dance jewelry and much more. This is also a very popular place for the Ladies and even some of the Men.

The Fashion Show:
     The Fashion Show will be presented in the upscale, tiered 300 seat Theatre of the Convention Centre on Friday July 18, 2008 at 5:00pm. The Committee have something very special planned for this event. If you have a home sewn outfit that you would like to model in the fashion show please look for the entry form on our Festival Web Site: or e-mail Liz Dickens at We welcome families, couples or singles as models. New trends in square dance and round dance fashions are evolving. Prairie Skirts and Peasant Blouses will be included along with traditional square dance attire. We are now accepting entries. All forms must be received prior to June 16, 2008 in order to be included in the show. Tickets will be on sale for those wishing to view the show.

The Worship Service:
     The Worship Service will be held at First - St. Andrew s United Church (just 2 blocks from the Convention Centre) on Saturday July 19. 2008 at 4:00pm. The Church will be open at 3:00pm for dancers who wish to preview this beautiful historic building. Offerings will be given to First - St. Andrew s for their Outreach Programs. All those interested in being part of the Choir, or individual participation, or wishing to play an instrument, please contact Organist & Choir Director Dan Weatherby at e-mail or mail: 260 Winston Blvd., Cambridge, Ontario N3C 1M5. There will be a lower hall available for the organist & choir to practice at 3:00pm. Dan is a Caller in the Kitchener area.

Sewing Room:
     Marylin Bond will be our Sewing Clinic Leader. Marilyn has four clinics planned of 1 1/2 hours each. The Clinics will cover 4 different skirt styles, 4 different skirt layouts, Accessorize ideas and Technique Trivia. Prior to becoming an Authorized Educator for Pfaff Sewing Machines in Canada, Marilyn and her husband Lionel owned and operated a sewing store in Brantford, Ontario for 14 years. Marilyn has conducted many workshops at Square Dance functions in Canada and the United States.

Banner Parade
     We are planning an outdoor Banner Parade which will take place on Thursday Morning July 17th. along with a square dance demo. This will be a very impressive display with the dancers parading in their lovely square dance outfits and carrying their colourful Banners.

Information Websites:

Toll Free Phone Number For Canada & United States: 1-866-206-6696

London, Ontario

JULY 17, 18, 19, 2008

The Square and Round Dancers of South Western
Ontario are the proud hosts of the 16th Canadian
National Square and Round Dance Festival.

This exciting event will be held in the London
Convention Centre, in the heart of downtown
London, Ontario

With a population of over 335,000 people, London is a thriving, commercial and industrial centre. Because of the many parks and pathways, the city has become known as "The Forest City". The area offers many attractions for the young and 'young at heart' - Museums, Art Galleries, and plenty of local History. Enjoy touring London in a Double-Decker Bus, or visit Storybook Gardens where Slippery the Seal made his great escape a number of years ago. You may also wish to try your luck at the Western Fair Raceway and Slots. Visit us in 2008 and enjoy great Dancing, Touring, Friendship and Fun.

Make A Date For 2008

Not only is there a lot to see and do in London, but nearby there is St. Thomas, Port Stanley - situated on Lake Erie, Sparta, and many, many other interesting places. Enjoy driving through the Mennonite areas of Aylmer and St. Jacobs, and browse through their country markets. Visit Grand Bend, the home of the Huron County Playhouse, or travel to Stratford for the Shakespearean Festival. Niagara Falls, Toronto, Windsor & Detroit are only a 2 hour drive from London.


Festival 2008

c/o Lee Cox,
12 Anne Marie Crescent,
Kincardine, ON   N2Z 2M9

Have a question ?    Need Information ?


Phone: 519-396-7228
Toll Free: 866-206-6696

"Canadian Square and Round Dance Convention" sanctioned by:
The Canadian Square and Round Dance Society.

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