Our Side of the Mic
by Bob Riggs
The callers and cuer’s of the Denver Area Callers & Cuers Association wish all our friends in our dance community the very best for Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year. Attend and enjoy the holiday parties of this very special season.
Recently, I was thinking of what thoughts would help our square dance community. I wanted to express an opinion that has evolved from our years of being engaged in the Denver square & round dance community, the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, an organization named Legacy, Callerlab and Roundalab. Some have said that the square dance activity is dying. I say NO, it continues to evolve in the way of most folk activities. Throughout our history folks have gathered to enjoy each other’s company, compete in sports like horse shoes, three legged races or other group activities, dance with a special person or in groups and most of all to enjoy foods prepared for our nourishment by our friends.
Every year we have the honor to call for many groups that gather for the kind of enjoyment described above. The dances we hold in the Denver community include modern square dances sponsored by clubs, contra dances sponsored by organizations, traditional square dances sponsored by various dance leaders and many dance parties sponsored by churches, schools, communities and a variety of other organizations. All gather for the joy of the dance, fellowship and food.
Our activity is changing as it should. Lloyd & Dorothy Shaw spoke of the folk process, evolution of an activity, a dance form or a single dance as influenced by those that lead and participate in it. In our experience we have seen it change and know that it will continue to change. Some of you joined the activity a long time ago and join me in remembering the way it was in the “good old days”. Some of you are new to the activity and only see the joy of the last year or so.
So how might our activity evolve? We will continue to see clubs that don’t hold classes and don’t work to bring younger dancers to the community age out, i.e. members leave the activity due to health, family or other life events, and finally the club ceases to exist. We will see groups that work together with a strong vision to promote our activity to all that would enjoy the friendships and fellowship of the activity. We will see new groups of friends join together to create new events, clubs or dances. These new groups will create great joy for their participants and will carry on the legacy of the activity.
Happy New Year!