The Phantom*
The Newsletter that Comes When Needed

Editor's note: This is the newsletter of the Nova Scotia square and round dance community. Issues appear whenever the Editor has received enough material, but only after he has also secured the proverbial and much coveted "round tuit". The Phantom exists mainly in CyberSpace, although a printer friendly version will be produced whenever additional round tuits come to hand.

Material for new issues, dear reader, must come from you. I ask that you occasionally send a short summary of recent events in your part of the Nova Scotia square and round dance world. Images are welcome, but please include brief descriptions as well. Send your contributions to the address shown below.

Number 8
May 2014
Editor: Gary Welch

Canada Dances in Ottawa, July 2014
Esther Promenades into Century Number Two
Your Federation at Work: The 2013 AGM
Maritimers Help a Deserving Couple
MCCA 2013
The Bazaar World of Square Dancing
Celebrations at Lake City Swingers
Winter Wonderland 2014
Metro's 2014 Heart Dance





Esther Promenades into Century Number Two

A spry lady promenades with her partner.

Club caller Tommy Collins is ably supported by Don Scott, Laurie Illsley and Nelson Labor.

Cutting her birthday cake

Photos kindly supplied by Carol Scott and Bob Ruohoniemi.


Your Federation at Work: The 2013 AGM

While it might lack the splendor of the Roman Senate the Federation Annual General Meeting does grapple with important issues. In recent years the AGM has taken place in the afternoon of the Lake City Swingers Swing into Fall Dance (which includes live music and yummy strawberry and blueberry shortcake!). Check out the minutes of the last AGM, October 19, 2013. You can also read the complete reports from the various committees and regions. Your Federation's first priority is to improve the health of our activity in Nova Scotia. You can help by attending the next AGM, by giving some time to support the activity we all enjoy.


Maritimers Help a Deserving Couple

On Sunday afternoon following the MCCA Convention folks from across the Maritimes put on their dancing shoes to assist Laurie and Wilma Illsley through a difficult time. Laurie's main income as carpenter and general handyman had been put on hold for several months because of a detached retina. Admission to the dance was "by donation", and our community came through big time - another example of Maritime generosity. More help came from the proceeds of a raffle for a beautifully crafted quilt rack donated by Marshall Dunn.

Laurie on the mic

Tension mounts before the quilt rack draw, won by Dorothy Faught.

Federation President Couple Paul and Cathy Langille present the proceeds to the Illsleys.

No reason to leave this dance hungry!


MCCA 2013

This year's Maritime Callers and Cuers Association Convention was held at the Old Orchard Inn in Greenwich Nova Scotia. Fourteen squares of dancers spent the weekend of 1,2 November enjoying the calling and cueing of Maritime leaders. Next Convention: 24,25 October 2014 at the Best Western Plus Glengarry in Truro!

Wilma Illsley and Melonie Wood are happy to take your money.

Barry Walker and Chris Ayres

Gerry O'Hara and Christine Belanger

Dottie Welch and Ron Lowe

Kerry Fletcher and Terry Hebert

The Friendship Ring closes the Convention.

Surprise! At the end of the evening Terry pops the question to Melonie - with a ring.


Welcome to the Bazaar World of Square Dancing!

Cumberland Twirlers held our first “Bazaar” on October 15, 2013 and it was a great success. Thirteen members of a class that started in January all returned in September after a three-month break so we wanted to equip them for a future in square dancing.

At our regular dances three and two weeks in advance an announcement was made to please bring any square dance clothing and accessories that could be spared to our dance one week in advance. Absent members were contacted. It was easy for me to take all contributions home and to air them as I was still living at our cottage. Meanwhile, recently retired members were contacted and arrangements made to pick up their contributions. Marion McLellan washed and hung out to dry on windy days all donations she had been accumulating.

The evening of the Bazaar, Durline and June Stiles had our club coat racks and hangers set up by 5:30. I brought clothespins. Gerry and Marion McLellan, Durline and June, Jim DesBarres and I had everything unpacked and on display by about 6:30. The shirts, one pair of pants, and then blouses, skirts and dresses were all hung up, matching outfits side by side. There was a table for crinolines and three for patterns, ties, collar tabs, petit pants, shoes, pantyhose, belts, etc. Plus instruction went on as usual from 7:00 to 7:30. The class had been invited to arrive early and were urged to start choosing items.

At 7:30 the following instructions were announced:

  • men’s outfit - shirt, collar tips, neckers/bolo ties and slider
  • women’s outfit - skirt, top, belt, crinoline, petit pants (demonstrated), pantyhose, shoes, sometimes overskirts
  • club colours were pointed out
  • matching outfits can be separated
  • tape measures available
  • leave hangers and clothespins
  • bags available
  • don’t hold back - think in terms of six outfits at least
  • class only until 8:30, then club

Perhaps something should have been said about many outfits having been freshly washed but no guarantee. At any rate the ladies’ washroom was a flurry of crinolines, bright colours, laughter and compliments.

At the end of the evening, items remaining were moved to the regular coat racks so that the club coat racks could be dismantled. All items were divided in three groups: the most attractive were saved for next year and taken home by me, perfectly good square dance clothes were packed up to give to another club, and the rest was to be delivered by Marion and Gerry to an upcoming church rummage sale.

It was fun. And several dancers turned up in their new finery the very next week.

Submitted by Clare Christy and Marion McLellan


Celebrations at Lake City Swingers

On November 28 club caller Dottie Welch was treated to a surprise birthday party at the regular Thursday night dance, celebrating one of life's milestone birthdays (see below) as well as 30 years as a square dance caller and 40 years as a dancer. Where does the time go?

Photos kindly supplied by Bob Ruohoniemi.


Winter Wonderland 2014

A warm welcome at the sign-in table

Guest caller Kerry Fletcher keeps things moving.

Checking Barb MacDonald's winning 50/50 draw ticket

Door prizes await collection.


Metro's 2014 Heart Dance

Caller Dottie Welch and the Metro Fiddlers entertained with traditional favourites.

Tonight's donation to The Heart and Stroke Foundation was $540.


* 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 first came when needed - to fill in for it's predecessor Between Tips. It's antics have been largely harmless, and it was expected to "go poof" when a new Between Tips editor was found. Such editors, however, seem to be rare birds; expect The Phantom to haunt the SRDFNS web site for awhile yet!