In The News

NORTEX Round Up & NTCA Callers Cavalcade 2014

WOW! 2014 ‘LIFE’S JUST A DANCE” Cavalcade and Round Up… What a weekend.   Thanks to all the dancers who came out and enjoyed 3 days of dance, fun, fellowship and shopping.

It was a weekend of color and excitement.  The floor was packed Saturday and the colorful outfits made a rainbow of color on the floor.  We kicked the weekend off Friday night with Callers Cavalcade and danced to the best callers in the area.

This was followed Saturday morning with Line Dancing, Clogging, Round Dancing, Mainstream and Plus dancing.  The students and new dancers were kicking up their heels on the floor and the High Energy squares where humming.    Thanks to our staff callers Ray Savell, Jon Jones and Bobby Willis and our cuer/line dance instructor Chris Farabaugh  for keeping the dancers moving all day long.  Award.   Drew Bramlett’s beautiful voice singing the  Star Spangled banner was the crowning glory.

International caller Ken Bower kicked of the  dance with 32 squares in  Grand Prize.  Ken continued all evening and what a fun caller he is.  He had us all moving and twirling.    Chris Farabaugh Cueing was  top notch.  Congratulations to the the Featured Prizes and the Grand Prize winners.  Thanks also to  the Cloggers for their exhibition, Now that is an energetic group of dancers.  Hopefully everyone won something with the door prizes or at least were able to get that new pair or shoes or just that special outfit they couldn’t live without.

Sunday morning Worship service was a real gift  for those who chose to participate with a special message on releasing our strongholds and following our Lord.  The All Gospel  Dance was lots of fun with surprises such as our NORTEX Presidents Ray and Vicki  and our Past President Kevin Hadley calling a tip.   What  fun it was and they were great sports for being pulled up on stage unexpected to preform.

Cant wait until next October and Round Up 2015.   We are already receiving registrations for the weekend.  Don’t get left out register early and come enjoying the fun.


Planting a seed

Last Friday Night, October 10th, Jan and I had the pleasure of calling a square dance party for Hunters Glen Baptist Church. This was for their young married adult’s class and we had three full squares participating. They cooked hot dogs and burgers on the grill for a pre-dance meal and they hired baby sitters for the kiddos. In addition to the basic allemande left, dosado., right & left grand and promenade, they learned right & left through, square through four, star through and stars, etc. We ended with Amarillo by Morning and big “THANK YOU”.  John and Gina Nichols of Rebel Rousers came as angels – they attend church there. We handed out lesson flyers for Rebel Rousers as the club provided them to me.

I received the following email from Sara – she coordinated the event:

 Thank you Richard!  That was so much fun.  My husband even said to me on the way home, “That was a blast!”  I am so glad almost everyone participated and everyone seemed to have fun.

We hope that we planted a few seeds for future square dancers.

Richard Covington


Square Dance party for the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

One of our local callers Richard Covington had the opportunity last week to call a Square Dance party for the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Roundrock Trail in Plano. There was a square and a half and what a great time was had by all. So much that there was an invitation extended to Richard to come back in the spring. Life’s Just a Dance flyers were passed out to all, so that they can look up our GRaM lessons web-site. One of the local clubs, Rebel Rousers had given Richard lesson flyers to pass out as well. Several individuals interested in lessons gave us their names and email addresses as well. Looking forward to seeing them again in the future. What a great time meeting others and introducing them to this American tradition of Square dance.


Health Benefits of Dance

  • Boost Memory
  • Improve Flexibility
  • Reduce Stress
  • Diminish Depression
  • Help Your Heart
  • Lose Weight
  • Balance Better
  • Increase Energy
  • Make Friends
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Square Dance Night by John Ward

Square Dance Night

By John Ward, Alton, Ks

I visited a Square Dance quite unexpected,
And the things I saw there I never suspected
I arrived at the hall and was happily greeted;
We talked for a while, then were finally seated
When outside the door there arose such a clatter
That I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear
T’was the Caller arriving with all of his gear
With boxes and satchels he was all loaded down,
And some of the things were dragging the ground.
He spoke not a word but to the stage he did race
And hung up big bird boxes all over the place
And when he had finished he turned to us there
And said, “Howdy, everybody, it’s time for a Square”
They rushed to the floor with a leap and a bound,
But I remained seated ‘cause my mind was still Sound
But they saw me a settin’ and grabbed me right there,
And before I knew it I was caught in that square
At first we would circle as we went ‘round the land,
Playing “Ring Around the Rosie” in time with the band
Then they would grab me and give me a fling
And spin me around like a top in the ring
Lake a big rubber ball they bounced me around
‘Till I didn’t know up or I didn’t know down
The caller went crazy before we got through
And the strangest things he asked us to do
He asked us to box with the gnats and the fleas
I looked all around but no bugs did I see
Now this is the part I can’t understand:
He said, “Chain your lady to the opposite man”
Now that is something I never would do
Would you want some lady chained to you?
Then things got much rougher and a bandage I wear.
For allowing myself to get caught in that square
The lady across seemed so friendly and gay
As she extended her hand across the way
But before I knew it with a Half Nelson twist
She twisted my arm and that snapped my wrist
I said, “Why, lady, did you ever do that?”
She said, “You galoot, I was Boxing the Gnat.”
And so, my dear friends, I left them right there
All people are crazy that go to a square;
And I heard them exclaim as I walked out of sight,


Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?

Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?
Dancers maximize cognitive function and muscle memory through practice.
Published on October 1, 2013 by Christopher Bergland in The Athlete’s Way

Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels. Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.

When was the last time you went out dancing? I make a habit of going to my local dance club called the Atlantic House at least once a week. I have been dancing to DJ David LaSalle’s music in the same spot in front of a huge speaker since 1988. Some of my friends make fun of me for ‘chasing butterflies’ and acting like a fool on the dance floor. I don’t care. I know that dancing and spontaneously trying to spin like Michael Jackson is good for my brain.

While researching this blog, I pulled up some old footage of Michael Jackson spinning. He was an incredible dancer. Please take a minute to watch Michael Jackson dance here. In this video you can see how practicing a dance move like ‘spinning’ from childhood reshapes the cerebellum (down brain) and allows a dancer to create superfluidity and not get dizzy while rotating quickly.

Professional dancers don’t get dizzy. Why?

Do you feel dizzy sometimes when you stand up? Does a fear of falling prevent you from exploring the world more? If you are prone to dizziness, a new study has found that dancing may help improve your balance and make you less dizzy. In September 2013, researchers from Imperial College London reported on specific differences in the brain structure of ballet dancers that may help them avoid feeling dizzy when they perform pirouettes. You don’t have to train to become a professional ballet dancer to benefit from some type of dancing.

The article is titled, “The Neuroanatomical Correlates of Training-Related Perceptuo-Reflex Uncoupling in Dancers.” The research suggests that years of training can enable dancers to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear linked to the cerebellum. The findings, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, could help to improve treatment for patients with chronic dizziness. Around one in four people experience this condition at some time in their lives.

In a previous Psychology Today blog titled “Fear of Falling Creates a Downward Spiral” I talk about the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to a fear of falling and impaired balance. Taking time throughout your life to improve the function of your cerebellum through aerobic activity and some type of dance is a fun and effective way to avoid the perils of dizziness.

For this study the researchers at Imperial College London recruited 29 female ballet dancers and, as a comparison group, 20 female rowers whose age and fitness levels matched the dancers. Interestingly, most rhythmic aerobic exercise is going to be a bi-pedal motion or very linear—like rowing. It is interesting to note the benefits to proprioception and balance based in the cerebellum that is enhanced through dance.

The study volunteers were spun around in a chair in a dark room. They were asked to turn a handle in time with how quickly they felt like they were still spinning after they had stopped. The researchers also measured eye reflexes triggered by input from the vestibular organs. Later, they examined the participants’ brain structure with MRI scans.

Normally, the feeling of dizziness stems from the vestibular organs in the inner ear. These fluid-filled chambers sense rotation of the head through tiny hairs that sense the fluid moving. After turning around rapidly, the fluid continues to move, which can make you feel like you’re still spinning.

In dancers, both the eye reflexes and their perception of spinning lasted a shorter time than in the rowers. Sensory input evokes low-order reflexes of the cerebellum and higher-order perceptual responses of the cerebrum. Vestibular stimulation elicits vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) and self-motion perception (e.g., vertigo) whose response durations are normally equal.

I have a section in my book, The Athlete’s Way, which explores the connection to VOR and muscle memory during REM sleep that I will write about more in a future blog. On Page 54 I say, “It became clear to me that creating a dreamlike default state of flow through sport is linked to VOR, too. It is really like REM in reverse. This is my original hypothesis. My father thinks it makes sense, but other scientists have yet to explore this theory.” The new research from London this month offers exciting new connections to VOR and peak performance.

Dr. Barry Seemungal, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said: “Dizziness, which is the feeling that we are moving when in fact we are still, is a common problem. I see a lot of patients who have suffered from dizziness for a long time. Ballet dancers seem to be able to train themselves not to get dizzy, so we wondered whether we could use the same principles to help our patients.”

The brain scans revealed differences between the groups in two parts of the brain: an area in the cerebellum where sensory input from the vestibular organs is processed and in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for the perception of dizziness.

“It’s not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance. Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input. Consequently, the signal going to the brain areas responsible for perception of dizziness in the cerebral cortex is reduced, making dancers resistant to feeling dizzy. If we can target that same brain area or monitor it in patients with chronic dizziness, we can begin to understand how to treat them better.”

“This shows that the sensation of spinning is separate from the reflexes that make your eyes move back and forth,” Dr. Seemungal said. “In many clinics, it’s common to only measure the reflexes, meaning that when these tests come back normal the patient is told that there is nothing wrong. But that’s only half the story. You need to look at tests that assess both reflex and sensation.” In summary, dancers display vestibular perceptuo-reflex dissociation with the neuronatomical correlate localized to the vestibular cerebellum.

Visualizing Movements can Improve Muscle Memory

A July 2013 article titled, “The Cognitive Benefits of Movement Reduction: Evidence From Dance Marking” found that dancers can improve the ability to do complex moves by walking through them slowly and encoding the movement with a cue through ‘marking’. Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and colleagues were interested in exploring the “thinking behind the doing of dance.”

The findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice — allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly. This creates what I call “superfluidity,” which is the highest tier of ‘flow.’

Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking—loosely practicing a routine by “going through the motions”—may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements.

“It is widely assumed that the purpose of marking is to conserve energy,” explains Warburton, professor of dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “But elite-level dance is not only physically demanding, it’s cognitively demanding as well. Learning and rehearsing a dance piece requires concentration on many aspects of the desired performance.” Marking essentially involves a run-through of the dance routine, but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements.

“When marking, the dancer often does not leave the floor, and may even substitute hand gestures for movements,” Warburton explains. “One common example is using a finger rotation to represent a turn while not actually turning the whole body.”

To investigate how marking influences performance, the researchers asked a group of talented dance students to learn two routines: they were asked to practice one routine at performance speed and to practice the other one by marking. Across many of the different techniques and steps, the dancers were judged more highly on the routine that they had practiced with marking—their movements on the marked routine appeared to be more seamless, their sequences more fluid.

Conclusion: Synchronizing the Cerebrum and Cerebellum Creates Superfluidity

The researchers conclude that practicing at performance speed didn’t allow the dancers to memorize and consolidate the steps as a sequence, thus encumbering their performance. This type of visualization and marking could be used to maximize performance across many fields and areas of life.

“By reducing the demands on complex control of the body, marking may reduce the multi-layered cognitive load used when learning choreography,” Warburton explains. “Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers are working to master the most demanding material,” says Warburton.

It’s unclear whether these performance improvements would be seen for other types of dance, Warburton cautions, but it is possible that this area of research could extend to other kinds of activities, perhaps even language acquisition. He said, “Smaller scale movement systems with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one’s accent in a foreign language.”


Dance Your Way to Good Health

 Dance Your Way to Good Health


Submitted by nikegirl24,

Dancing can be a most enjoyable form of exercise. But, what most people don’t know is that it also has a large number of health benefits. Dancing is a great full out mind and body workout. It can make your body and soul feel good in a way that no other exercise can. The benefits of dancing are like no other. It can help you lose weight, strengthen and tone your body, increase stamina and flexibility, improve balance and posture, and produce confidence among other things. Although dancing may appeal mostly to women, in the last number of years the most popular forms of dance have included males just as much as females. Whether it be dancing the waltz, cha cha, or rhumba – dancing can be a great form of exercise for anyone.

Dancing can be used in place of regular low – impact exercises such as cycling, walking, or aerobics. Depending on the form of the dance, you can actually burn a large amount of calories doing it. Who would have thought you could have fun and lose weight at the same time?!? Research shows that a 150-pound adult can actually burn approximately 150 calories doing 30 minutes of social dancing. The best part is you’re not even thinking about losing the weight while doing it.

Researchers believe that dancing can keep your mind and body healthy as you age. Any kind of dancing increases the number of chemicals being produced in the brain to help with the growth of nerve cells. More importantly, dances that require you to learn certain steps can actually increase your brain power and help to improve your memory skills. Dancing has even been known to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Any kind of dance has you using all the different parts of your body. This also means that all the different muscles in your body are being used. This helps to strengthen and tone your muscles without hurting your joints. It also helps to strengthen bones, and tone your entire body. Specific dances also have certain benefits for your body. For example, belly dancing helps prevent lower back problems; ballroom dancing helps keep the heart in shape; and salsa dancing helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. All forms of dance however are known to lower your risk of heart disease, help with weight loss, and strengthen the bones and muscles in your legs and hips. 

Overall, dancing has become a well known form of exercise. Recently it has reached out to both males and females with its new age forms of ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing has become a part of the entertainment industry which has given it its rising appeal. However,
there are many different forms of dance to try out, all of which keep you in good health and are lots of fun. 


Let’s Dance to Health Getting Motivated from

AARP Home»Health »Fitness

» Let’s Dance to Health Getting Motivated from:

AARP, February 14, 2005

Dancing can be magical and transforming. It can breathe new life into a tired soul; make a spirit soar; unleash locked-away creativity; unite generations and cultures; inspire new romances or rekindle old ones; trigger long-forgotten memories; and turn sadness into joy, if only during the dance. On a more physical level, dancing can give you a great mind-body workout. Researchers are learning that regular physical activity in general can help keep your body, including your brain, healthy as you age. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow. And dancing that requires you to remember dance steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills. There has been some promising research in this area, according to Rita Beckford, M.D., a family doctor and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. For instance, a 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week made people less likely to develop dementia. Research also has shown that some people with Alzheimer’s disease are able to recall forgotten memories when they dance to music they used to know. Whether it’s ballet or ballroom, clogging or jazz, dance is great for helping people of all ages and physical abilities get and stay in shape. There’s even chair dancing for people with physical limitations. A 150-pound adult can burn about 150 calories doing 30 minutes of moderate social dancing. Benefits Abound Like other moderate, low-impact, weight bearing activities, such as brisk walking, cycling or aerobics, dancing can help: strengthen bones and muscles without hurting your joints tone your entire body improve your posture and balance, which can prevent falls increase your stamina and flexibility reduce stress and tension build confidence provide opportunities to meet people, and ward off illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression So if you’re tired of the treadmill and looking for a fun way to stay fit and healthy, it might be time to kick up your heels! Dipping and Turning Dancing is a great activity for people age 50 and older because you can vary the level of physical exertion so easily, according to Marian Simpson, a retired dance instructor and president of the National Dance Association. For instance, people just getting back into dance or physical activity can start out more slowly, then “step it up a notch” by adding things like dips and turns as they progress, says Simpson. The more energy you put into a dance, the more vigorous your workout will be. Although some dance forms are more rigorous than others – for instance, jazz as opposed to the waltz – all beginners’ classes should start you out gradually. Ballroom dance, line dancing, and other kinds of social dance are most popular among people 50 and older. That’s because they allow people to get together and interact socially, while getting some exercise and having fun at the same time. Dancers who have lost partners can come alone and meet new people, since many classes don’t require that you attend as a couple. If your doctor hasn’t restricted your activity in any way, you’re ready to rock, says Beckford. If you haven’t been active or seen the doctor in a while, ask yourself the following questions: Has your doctor ever said you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor? Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity? In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity? Do you lose your balance because of dizziness, or do you ever lose consciousness? Do you have a bone or joint problem that could get worse from a change in your physical activity? Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for blood pressure or a heart condition? Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity? Source: Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Inc., 1994 You should make an appointment to see your doctor if you answer “yes” to any of the questions above. Choosing a Groove If you don’t know what kind of dance you might like, the best thing to do is experiment. If you used to dance and are getting back into it, you can pick up where you left off. Some adults decide to resume ballet classes after years of having had them as children. If you take a class, give it some time before deciding you don’t like it, recommends Colleen Dean, program coordinator for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Try going with a friend and keep with it for at least a month. You can find dance classes at a dance school, dance studio, health club, or community recreation center. Some YMCAs, churches, or synagogues offer group dance classes followed by a social hour. Here are some forms of dance you might want to explore: Square dancing Swing (traditional or West Coast, which is more technical) Line dancing, which can be done to country, rock, pop, or salsa music Folk dancing, which can reconnect you to your ethnic roots or introduce you to a whole new culture Ballroom Belly dancing Salsa Flamenco Jazz Tap Modern Clogging (double-time stomping and tap steps) Contra (square dance moves in lines with men and women switching places) Where to Boogie Some dance schools or dance halls hold social dances that are open to the public on certain nights of the week. Often, you can take a class before the dance begins. You also can join a dance club that meets regularly at different places, or join an amateur or professional dance troupe. Jim Maxwell, 61, helped form a dance troupe seven years ago that performs at local retirement communities, nursing homes, and community events in the Northern Virginia area. The 37 members, who perform clogging and Irish dance routines, range in age from 9 to 62. The group gives Maxwell and his fellow cloggers an opportunity to perform a useful community service while having fun and staying fit. “We get the benefits of physical activity, but we also serve our community,” says Maxwell, who started dancing because he needed physical activity but hated to exercise. To help recruit people for the troupe, Maxwell began teaching clogging, tap, and Irish dance to all ages at local recreation centers. He now teaches six classes. “Dancing is a lot of fun, and I like performing,” says Maxwell. “[Plus], we actually do things for people. It’s not just exercising as an indulgence.” Doing Your Own Thing If you’re afraid you have two left feet or are short on time, you can do your own thing just by turning on some music and dancing around the house. Or turn a night on the town into a dance party by finding a hot spot with a good dance band. You also can “sweat to the oldies” or sashay around your living room with dance videos that you can buy or rent from your local library or video store (check to see if they’re available). So crank up the volume and shake a leg. Once you start dancing, you might not want to stop!


Allemende Left and Dosado

 NOW magazine/ Allemende Left and Dosado


Allemende Left and Dosado


By Now staff writer  • on December 31, 2013

 CORSICANA, TX —  When Charlie and Debbie Ray retired and moved to the Lake Richland Chambers area, they were anxious to meet people and get involved in their newly adopted community, so they joined Lakeside United Methodist Church. However, Charlie and Debbie did not anticipate that, following a Barn Stompers demo dance at Lakeside, they would become square dancers. “Lake people are mostly Type A personalities trying to relax and retire,” Charlie said, laughingly explaining how they became the current co-presidents of the Barn Stompers.


“When we first started learning how to square dance, there were 10-12 couples from the lake area,” said Sharon Largent, another Barn Stomper who lives at the lake. Participation by lake residents has continued to grow. “It’s a great way to meet people,” Sharon added. Her dance partner is her husband, Lee. Members also include residents of Corsicana, Mexia, Teague and Fairfield. Barn Stompers enjoy traveling to other clubs located in Athens, Palestine, Jacksonville and the Dallas area and hosting them in return. There are other reasons and benefits to joining this lively group. “It’s a wonderful sport,” Sharon said. However, a dancer does not have to be completely physically fit or especially talented. “If you can get up and move, you can square dance,” Debbie said. “We have all kinds of health situations — hip and knee replacement, heart conditions and surgical rehabs. You can wear a sign saying such things as ‘Do not spin’ if you have a health condition.” Dancers can take breaks, if needed, and line dancing is offered between “tips” (several square dances), just for a change of pace. There are no age restrictions. The club has members ranging in age from 12 years old to people in their 90s. Families and single people are welcome. “Families start their little ones early,” Debbie said. “

The kids learn fast,” Charlie added, “and they are so cute and energetic.” But he revealed what he considers four of the best reasons to join Barn Stompers. “You don’t have to be graceful. It’s inexpensive, only $6 per person for a dinner and dancing. College scholarships are available for members at the state and local levels. And when the girls sit down, their petticoats fly up!” Members sometimes wear traditional square-dancing costumes, where the man’s shirt color matches the woman’s skirt. Women can also wear long prairie skirts, and club members have “club” clothing.

“I said I would never wear a short skirt, but…,” Sharon revealed. “My granddaughter asks me now, ‘Nana, can I have your square dance skirts?’ She loves them.” Square dancing is uniquely American, having its roots in New England. The origins of the dances trace back, however, to the schottische, quadrille, jigs, reels and the minuet — dances that were brought to early America by the first settlers and immigrants who followed. Hardworking pioneers, needing rest and relaxation from their toils, as well as a way to meet neighbors, looked to the barn dance.

Over the years, the needs have been kept simple: music, a solid floor and a caller. No longer just a rural night out, square dancing has evolved with modern times into an urban activity with a Texas organization formed 51 years ago. Barn Stompers is a member of the East Texas Square and Round Dance Association and the Texas Federation of Square and Round Dancers. Members enjoy participating in conventions held by these two organizations annually. Another way square dancing has evolved with the times is the manner in which people can learn the specialized lingo and calls. There are Internet sites that explain the unique vocabulary and demonstrate calls. Saddlebrookesquares. com,, and are commonly used sites. Some of the younger members, especially, have been spotted using their smartphone apps even as they are dancing! “It’s pretty cool the ways you can learn now,” Debbie said. Barn Stompers also provides the traditional “learn from your neighbor” lessons.

Classes are held on a regular basis with one beginning this January. It is a win-win for potential dancers, since there is no charge for the first three sessions. “People can see if it’s something they want to continue to do,” Debbie said. For those who love to line dance, they are led by Carolyn Hinchcliffe. Square dancing lessons start with the basics and “angel” members of the club make up half of each circle to help neophytes. “Having angels gives new folks a lot more confidence. We have a lot of great angels,” Sharon said. “When the call comes, if you don’t immediately see it in your head, someone will help you.” The basic and mainstream call indices include 70 calls, while the plus call index includes another 30 calls. If the square breaks down completely, the caller will notice and straighten everybody out with the next call. “Plus lessons,” which are more advanced, are available to members who wish to try the more complicated calls. “The goal is to get back ‘home’ with your partner. When you do, it’s, ‘Yea!’” Sharon exclaimed.

Callers have danced for a while, and can get advanced training in college- level programs, such as the one located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the Barn Stompers caller, Kenneth Melvin, formally trained. Occasionally, members enjoy guest callers and, of course, callers from other clubs when visits are made. It was a caller, Billy Lewis from Barry, who helped start the Barn Stompers in 1973 by teaching the first lessons to a group of 36 local residents. Billy owns a dance hall in Silver City. “It has a lot of history,” Charlie said. Star Hall, in Corsicana, is an occasional host to the Camping Squares, another group to which some Barn Stompers belong. While live callers are mainly used, square dancing clubs can also use music and callers that are recorded on CDs. This enables clubs to do demo dances at schools, senior citizen centers, churches, assisted living and nursing homes and special events, such as festivals. “We welcome invitations to dance,” Debbie said. Barn Stompers’ dances are held on the second and fourth Saturday evenings each month. Members share a pot luck dinner which fuels them for both the square and line dancing.

True hospitality abounds. Visitors are welcome to eat or just watch and/or try dancing. Debbie added, “We have great cooks. We love people and love to share our passion for dancing.” Editor’s Note: For more information, contact Charlie or Debbie at (903) 874-0069.

Written by Virginia Riddle.