The Phantom*

Number 12
December 2017

Editor: Gary Welch


This is the newsletter of the Nova Scotia square, round, and contra dance community.
Please send news of events in your corner of the dance world to the Editor at the address above.

Festival 2017: Celebrating Canada's 150 years

This year Nova Scotia's biennial summer special was held in Truro at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel, on Saturday, July 22. The ladies of St. Andrew's United Church put on an excellent and well-attended lobster (or ham) supper.

Thanks to the leaders from Nova Scotia, as well as New Brunswick and Ontario, who gave us all a good time!


Poking around in the US Midwest between conventions

For several years your editor and his wife have spent the latter half of June attending the AACE Convention and, on the following weekend, the US National. Although the two venues are usually widely separated, in 2017 they were only an easy half-day drive apart - in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio, respectively. That provided an unusual opportunity for some leisurely sightseeing in between.

After flying to Cincinnati the previous day, we meandered north to reach Fort Wayne in time for the AACE trail in dance Wednesday evening. One of the things that makes AACE special is that Dottie isn't on staff. We can dance together for the whole weekend!

After an exhilarating three days in the AACE C2 Hall we spent the next two restful days returning to Cincinnati for the US National. There the pressure was on: Dottie had a busy schedule, with sessions in the Contra Hall as well as Plus, Advanced and Challenge squares, and a memorable tip in the Plus Singing Call Hall backed up by the Ghost Riders band - a group which has become a mainstay at US nationals.

Wednesday, 14 June

Looking up the Ohio River towards Cincinnati from the dike protecting Lawrenceburg, Indiana

We had lunch near this view in Franklin County Park, near Franklin, Indiana.

An impressive American persimmon tree near our picnic table

These Quaker abolitionists lived in Fountain City, Indiana.      Visitors Center, Limberland State Historical Site, Geneva.

Sunday, 18 June

Relaxing in the Butterfly House in the Botanical Conservatory across the street from the Fort Wayne convention hotel.

The Conservatory's Tropical Garden (right) and Desert Garden (below) are large temperature-controlled greenhouses.

The Courtyard Marriott Downtown Fort Wayne is the AACE convention hotel.

Monday, 19 June

The Armstrong Air and Space Museum is located in Neil Armstrong's home town of Wapakoneta, Ohio. The Museum pays homage to the life and achievements of the first man to tread on the Moon.

A few minutes at the Simulator convinces most folks that they're not astronaut material.

Engines like this powered some of the Gemini Program's rockets.

A one time stop along the Miami and Erie Canal, New Bremen features a reconstruction of one of the Canal's many locks. During the last half of the 19th Century the Canal enabled waterborne commerce between Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico by connecting the Lake with the Mississippi River system. It was eventually doomed by the rise of the railroads.

Below: The Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen was an unexpected treat. Sadly we didn't have nearly enough time to enjoy this fascinating collection of human-powered machines, new and old, strange and wonderful, and a few downright bizarre.

Tuesday, 20 June

Munching a picnic lunch at the site of early 19th Century Fort Jefferson

Below: We arrived in Cincinnati in time to savor a memorable midwest rush hour. What fun!

Thursday, 22 June

Dottie and the Ghost Riders entertain an enthusiastic floor.


Dancing in the Dog Days

In June an Email inquiry from BC was the spark leading to what might become a tradition - who knows? Tyler Wagner, an accomplished Elvis impersonator and caller in Surrey, BC, was going to be visiting the Maritimes in August. Tyler asked about the possibility of calling at a dance in the Metro area.
No dance was on the books for the period in question. After a bit of scurrying around, however, space at North Woodside Community Centre in Dartmouth was booked and the word spread. Thus it was that the first Dog Days Dance took place on the last day of August.

Dottie warms up the floor. Right: This fresh zucchini chocolate cake was later demolished.


The 2018 Canadian National: London, Ontario

We've registered. Have you?

Convention home page


Charlottetown PEI: MCCA's 2017 Convention

Friday, 27 October

The Confederation Bridge aims directly at Borden, P.E.I.

The first of three huge farm machines slowed TCH traffic heading for Charlottetown.

The Rodd Hotel provided dance halls, accommodations, and a welcome touch of elegance.

Convention Chair Réal Caron prepares to open the weekend.

The Hotel dining room (left). Free coffee and fresh apples available every morning in the lobby (right).


Above and following two: the roof of the Rodd offers a striking panorama of Charlottetown.

The Friendship Ring concludes another successful convention. See you in Fredericton next year!


The Shore Road (Rte 116) Extension provides easy access to the beach.

Victoria Harbour on a sleepy autumn day

South Shore United Church from across the Tryon River on Rte 10


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!