Editor's note: Until a new editor takes over Between Tips we're going to have to make do with The Phantom. It will exist only in CyberSpace - I don't plan to distribute paper copies. Updates will be broadcast monthly if I receive new material, otherwise on an irregular basis.
I ask you, dear reader, to occasionally send a short summary of recent events in your part of the Nova Scotia square and round dance world. Images are welcome; I will crop and enhance as needed. Send your contributions to "firstname.lastname@example.org". Messages with attachments sometimes don't get past my spam filter, so please send a separate "heads-up" email advising me to expect your contribution.
Editor: Gary Welch
After two storm cancellations, Metro Association finally got lucky with its New Year's celebration last December. A small but friendly crowd feasted on an ample supper and then mostly worked it off dancing to caller Dottie Welch and cuer Lionel Crowe. During a mid-dance break three teams competed in a game of charades based on the names of Christmas carols - including some rather obscure ones! The arrival of midnight brought a scene of much noisemaking and general merriment, following which the first tip of 2010 became history. After tidying up the hall, dancers made their way home to a continue celebrating in their dreams.
The F2010 Executive Committee is meeting once per month while subcommittees also meet regularly.
Prepared by: Bob Ruohoniemi
Vice Chair Marketing
Halifax Festival 2010
During the September 9 dance Valerie and Ralph Brown presented a 50th Wedding Anniversary certificate on behalf of the Society to Martin & Hazel Hebb, whose anniversary had occurred over the summer on July 24.
This and the pictures below were taken during the October Halloween Dance. Pretty scary!
Collected by Gerry & Marion McLellan, January 30, 2010
Early in Sept, Club Caller of 15 years, Ken Eagles announced his plans to retire this year – May 2010 at latest, earlier if replacement found. We were lucky enough to gain the services of Faye Germon; she became our new Club Caller effective Jan 5th. Members feel very fortunate to have her join us. Faye in fact, relieved for Kenny, who was out sick for several weeks during Sept & Oct, including our Halloween party on Oct 27th; during this period she had a chance to meet all members and us her.
Kenny was back for our annual Western Night on Nov 17th; we were joined by guests from Cobequid and Tantramar Twirlers clubs. This popular party has guests sporting western wear – blue jeans, cowboy hats, vests etc. The evening begins with a meal of baked beans, potato scallop, chili, homemade rolls, biscuits etc; topped off with pies and cakes for dessert. Following is a tootin’ good time of dancing.
Cumberland Twirlers took part in a Senior Christmas party sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary Joggins Fire Dept. Event is held annually on a Sunday in early Dec; club has been involved for many years now, we are treated to a potluck extraordinaire and great fellowship. Attending guests & organizers show such appreciation for our ‘performance’ - always with an invitation to return.
Thirty-six of forty club members were on hand for our Christmas party Dec 8th and Kenny’s last regular night of calling; it was with a note of sadness that he and Fran said their goodbyes to each one present. A retirement party for this popular couple will be held in the spring of 2010.
We continue our fund raising 50/50 draws in support of 2010 National Convention at all regular club dances.
(Sid & Eileen Glennie, Club reps)
The Border Rounders celebrated the season with a delightful Christmas party. Forty-plus club members and guests enjoyed the wonderful pot luck supper, followed by an evening of dancing, games & prizes. In a time honoured tradition each couple brought a gift for a child to help out the local "Christmas for Kids", either in Amherst or Sackville. It was Sackville's turn this year.
Six couples also attended the New Years Eve dance put on by the N.B. South Eastern Association. Held in Sackville, the evening featured a delicious roast beef dinner with dessert and beverage followed by a square and round dance program shared between caller Terry Hebert and cuer Beth Dickinson. All this for $38.00 a couple! What a bargain. Our club would like to wish everyone a happy 2010.
(Beth & John Dickinson)
Cobequid Twirlers ran into difficulty this fall when an alternate weekly dance location had to be found, resulting in a substantial rental increase. It was evident, after 3 months that membership numbers did not support the expense of the new facility; consequently their Dec 9th Christmas party was a club closing dance.
(Ed & Kitty Giles)
We started dancing Oct.19/09 and held 2 open house nights, but no new dancers came. We have combined our M/S & PLUS levels together on Mon nights, alternating tips.
Held our Christmas Party with a good attendance by both members and guests. The New Year's Eve gathering included a pot luck supper followed by different card games or dominos and a little dancing. Just after midnight we opened our time capsule; it was very interesting to see the many changes in our club and our world since the start of the Millennium.
Some who have been off for surgery or sickness are returning and numbers are up this month. We still celebrate birthdays one night a month; that night we dance to all singing calls. The club still volunteers at the nursing homes around the area 1 - 2 times a month.
We were sorry to hear about Cobequid Twirlers closing their club, especially since we first started dancing there 22 years ago. We have had one couple join us and hope that any others who would like to continue dancing will come also.
(Bob & Phyllis Fiddes)
The two clubs in Highland Region have had a good fall season.
The Highland Squares of Stellarton has a class of 2 1/2 couples who add to the fun on club nights. The club had a very successful Halloween party with three visiting couples from the Truro area, and a Christmas Party which saw eleven guest couples from clubs in Halifax, Truro and Antigonish. During the winter months, we miss our “snowbird” couples but continue to enjoy a good turnout each Thursday night.
The Mapleleaf Whirlaways of Antigonish have had a fun fall with two class couples and one couple of experienced dancers moving into the area. We hosted six couples from Highland Squares at our Christmas party and enjoyed our doubled size that night.
(Ralph & Barbara MacDonald)
The Dice Hill Squares have retained two of the five Solo ladies that started in September. The club has 28 regular members and 3 new dancers, one of which will graduate soon! Two of the couples are Snowbirds away until the Spring.
The regular and special dances have had from one to 2.5 squares dancing with Caller Bruce Savage. Painting of the hall caused one Thursday night dance cancellation.
The second session of dancing began on 7 January. An Open House for New Dancers is scheduled for 14 January. Advertising has been placed in the local newspaper, community newsletters, on the local radio station, and cable TV channel. A special dance in Pyjamas is planned for 28 January. Warm “woolies” will be the order of dress!
All Nova Scotia dancers are welcome to visit the Dice Hills Squares on Thursday nights for dancing from 8 to 10 pm at the Ardoise Community Hall, School Road and Highway 1 Ardoise.
(Bob & Inge Ruohoniemi, Co-ordinators, Dice Hill Squares)
The Bells and Beaus are dancing only once a month this year. Reduced members in the last few years have caused the cutback.
West Kings has a seven member dance class this year. They all seem to be really interested, and thanks to instruction from Laurie Illsley they have really progressed since October. Since Nelson has been in hospital Laurie has been going full time calling and teaching.
West Kings treasurer has advised that 27 cook books have been sold for a total of $270. The club has also spearheaded the 50/50 draw at Morden which has raised $250 over the last two years. Proceeds have been donated to the 2010 Festival.
We hope weather is fine for 30th January for Meeting and WKT's Winter Wonderland dance. There will be four callers for the square and round dances. [Ed. note: the WW Dance was a great success despite frigid temperatures and fresh blowing snow.]
Fundy Squares have been having a good turn out this season. Tommy Collins was hospitalized early this season, and former Fundy Squares caller Cordell Levy filled in. Fundy will be looking after the Valley Heart Dance to be held February 20th at the Waterville fire hall. Other valley clubs will assist, as well as all Valley callers. A real treat will be the anticipated performance of Mary's Islanders.
Apple Valley Dancers dances Plus every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Barry Walker, one of our callers, also has a class of 8 dancers from West Kings. Three to four squares of dancers attend most nights. Terry Lewis and Laurie Illsley take turns calling with Barry.
It is with sadness that we report the passing of the "Grande Dame of Nova Scotia Square and Round Dancing". Most of the life of Gloria Rios Roth was dedicated to teaching, calling, and cueing both square and round dancing. During more than 40 years she has been an influential leader in Nova Scotia. Her energetic and enthusiastic calling, comprehensive and competent teaching of dancers and callers, and guiding leadership based on extensive experience and encyclopedic knowledge has had a lasting impact on the quality of square and round dancing in Nova Scotia.
During the last several years she struggled with various health issues culminating in her 2007 diagnosis of breast cancer. Unfortunately, treatments provided only a brief period of remission and she passed away peacefully in the North Hills Nursing Home on January 23rd, 2010. Her "life long love affair with square dancing" is now a special memory to be held in the hearts of all who knew her.
The following information comes from personal memories, a May 1974 Sets In Order article, a 1995 DANS News article, a 1997 interview with Bob Brundage, the 1999 Milestone Award presentation, and her Obituary.
- About 1934 Gloria Ferne Ramey climbed up on an ivy trellis to peer through the coach house window at her home in Needham, Massachusetts. She watched their Baptist Minister and his wife square dancing to records on a Victrola. She often recalled how she "thought that was the most beautiful thing ... and to think that the minister was dancing and laughing and have such a wonderful time."
- In 1946 while attending Needham High School in Massachusetts, Gloria used an Ed Durlacher square dance record album to teach the football team and the cheerleaders.
- In 1949 she began modern western square dance lessons with Westfield's Pioneer Valley Club and was almost immediately encouraged to begin calling. By the third class a square came back to her house to practice. In the 1950s, she started calling with a band and by 1952 was teaching others to call.
- While in college she met and married Mido Rios and began her family of five children: Torry (Rob) Sullivan, Randy (Lee) Mattson, Gwen Atkinson, Leslie Ann Rios, Tiger (Denise) Roth. Gloria and Mido divorced in 1965.
- In 1952 Gloria graduated from Westfield College with a BS in Education.
- She and her husband built The Woodlands in Westfield Massachusetts and began a Children's Camp. This she continued for 38 years moving it in later years to The House of Roth in Clementsport. The camp included the teaching of synchronized swimming and gymnastics.
- While living in Massachusetts she was instrumental in organizing the Springfield Area Callers Association and was involved in the formation of the New England Council of Callers Association.
- In 1968 she and her second husband, Johnny Roth, came to Nova Scotia by ferry from Bar Harbour to Yarmouth and drove north. They saw "this huge, massive, place from a distance, it looked like a chateau sitting there nestled in the trees and everything across the water". This long-vacant 16-room house with its two red chimneys had been completed but never occupied. They soon saw that 7 squares could dance in the three rooms on the first floor. With good memories of summers spent in Nova Scotia with her Canadian parents, it was a dream come true to settle at the House of Roth in Clementsport.
- In 1970 Gloria and Johnny organized the Maritime Callers Clinic Association and chaired the first Maritime Convention at the Lord Nelson Hotel. This organization was later renamed the Maritime Callers and Cuers Association, but has always been known as MCCA.
- She produced a one-hour square dance radio program for 10 years on AVR - Digby, and "called" numerous times on television.
- By 1974 she had been listed in "Who's Who of American Women" for work in the educational field.
- In 1975 Gloria became active in Callerlab and continued to attend the meetings until 2007. In typical fashion she drove across the country alone to attend in Colorado Springs. She served on several committees and made numerous presentations. About 1980 Gloria was the first person to go through the official Caller Coach testing process recently created by Callerlab. She became the first woman Accredited Caller-Coach one year after the Board approval of the initial nine men.
- In 1982 Gloria's Black-light Dancers entertained at the 3rd Canadian National Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This included her special "Kaleidoscope Square" creation, which was also featured at the Calgary Olympics opening ceremonies in 1988.
- By 1997 Gloria had been calling for 50 years and, at the Portland, Maine mini-meeting of Callerlab, was the first woman to receive Callerlab's Half Century Award.
- In 1999 at the Dallas, Texas meeting, Gloria became the second woman to receive Callerlab's "Milestone Award". This is Callerlab's highest award and goes to Callerlab members who are deemed by the Executive Committee to have displayed leadership and professionalism while making unselfish contributions in uncharted fields that have stood the test of time and had a broad influence on the activity.
- In 2002 Gloria was inducted into the Square Dance Foundation of New England Hall of Fame for her actions over the years that advanced the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of the square dance activity.
- In 2005 Callerlab awarded Gold Card Life Membership to Gloria at their Louisville, Kentucky Convention. This special honor is bestowed upon members who have served CALLERLAB in an outstanding and meritorious fashion. She was the first Canadian and (in 2010) is the only woman to have received this award.
- She is the only caller to have owned a square dance center for her entire career (first The Woodlands and then The House of Roth). Over the years she started six square dance clubs and it is estimated that Gloria taught more than 1,800 people to square dance.
- Gloria started Camp and Dance Weekends at The Woodlands in Massachusetts, continuing them at The House of Roth. Many Nova Scotians and visitors from across the continent have wonderful memories of those glorious summer days camping on the beautiful grounds around the House of Roth.
- She called at, and had her exhibition troupes at, numerous New England Square and Round Dance Conventions, Maritime Square Dance Conventions, Canadian and US National Square Dance Conventions, and local festivals.
- Gloria called square dance demonstrations at schools and colleges, nursing homes, shopping malls, town celebrations, local fairs, and benefit dances.
- For 37 years she taught and called square dances for teen square dance groups.
- She also formed a dance troupe of senior women without partners named LORETTES - Ladies of Retirement. They perform soft shoe, country western, ballet, drill marching, and round dancing for their pleasure and to entertain others. They continue to dance even now.
- She belonged to Caller organizations in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
- For more than 40 years Gloria conducted her own caller training schools in Massachusetts, Canada, Florida, Georgia, and New Zealand. Many Nova Scotian and Maritime callers attended one or more of these intensive weeklong "Colleges" at the House of Roth.
- "Sets In Order" and "Round Dancer" magazines published her articles several times.
- Gloria recorded on Top, Blue Ribbon, Grenn, HiHat and on the Sets In Order documentary records.
Calling for 55 years, the legendary Gloria Rios Roth established a reputation for vitality, enthusiasm, and maintaining her special square dance calling style, as well as keeping control of the floor and everyone dancing.
My memories of Gloria will always echo with "Galena" called in drillmaster's cadence. Compiled by Dottie Welch, student of Gloria, caller from Nova Scotia, member of MCCA and Callerlab.
* Want to dance the next tip but can't quite make a square? Experienced dancers know the solution: ask a phantom (or two) to fill in! Phantoms are spirits who come when needed, and do their part of the action so the real folks can dance. They are, however, quite mischievous, and their antics can cause all sorts of hilarious bloopers by real dancers! Thankfully, phantoms disappear when no longer needed. Like its namesake, this newsletter has come when needed. It's antics will be harmless. Hopefully it will soon disappear when Between Tips returns. Meantime, watch out for the latest contributions!