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DOR 57, Rochester's Annual Dance Festival, 2 to 9:45 p.m. Sat., May 2, 2015

[Roving Reporter]

The idea was conceived over 50 years ago: Get all the dancers, from all the clubs, and have a day of dancing together! … And get the best callers and cuers around to make it happen.

Over half a century of rich history behind us. Now it is your turn to preempt whatever else will be necessary to GET IT ON YOUR CALENDARS!

Please note the CHANGE OF VENUE this year!

This year we are dancing at the Perinton Rec Center, 1350 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, N.Y., and it is AIR CONDITIONED, so you don’t have to “Sweat the Weather”!

Our Callers, Mike Callahan, Jerry Carmen, Dave Eno, and our newest phenom, Gil Porter, together with our two awesome cuers, Alice Bubel and Mark Thone, are guaranteed to tickle your feet and your fancy. So don’t come alone, call some friends, get some cars full, and have a “HAPPENING”! Bring your own square and make sure … and be sure and work the new dancers in too! You can make new life-long friends with that simple act of kindness.

The price is just $10 at the door, but bring a few extra dollars, for the BASKET RAFFLE! Over its brief history, the money from this project has funded many of the activities that let us give back to you! The 50/50 this year will feature ONE MEGA DRAWING, and you could go home a winner. No matter, you will all feel like winners, just from the fun you will have had.

The Daphne Norma Award will be featured during the opening ceremonies, and this year the Circle of Service Award may also be presented. You definitely do not want to miss this!

I am including some pictures, some of past Daphne Norma recipients, but many candid shots from past DANCE-O-RAMAS. Check them out, I may just have caught YOU!

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Our Inspirational Friend and Fed Reps at Cayuga Cut Ups

[Roving Reporter]

My inspirational friend and cancer survivor, Kay Anderson, told us on the way to a dance two nights ago that she has been doing 5K (3.5 mile) power walks, trying to get her time down to one hour, which works out to be pretty much exactly 17-minute miles.

Of course, this is not just for fun and vibrant good health. Have you ever heard of “The Myrtle Beach Marathon”??? Well, Kay plans to fork up $38 for this great benefit, and get the FREE T-Shirt awarded to all who finish in less than an hour!

Well, that is where we happen to be, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and for me that was like “flinging down the proverbial gauntlet”! I am just 10 or 15 years older than Kay, and as luck would have it, from our place here at 1210 N. Waccamaw Dr., Garden City Beach, S.C., to the Surfside Pier, it is exactly 1.8 miles, and two times 1.8 = 3.6 miles. I have a built-in beach walk of the required distance.

Of course, I have done that walk before, but never trying for a 17-minute mile. There was a “youngish” lady well ahead of me yesterday, who had passed me as I was photographing Irma up in condo 1009 at the Royal Garden Resorts, and as I looked at my watch and turned to set out, the thought occurred to me to try to keep up with her or maybe catch and pass her. The thought also occurred to me: “Man, we also want to go dancing tonight (Wednesday) with the Dixie Diamonds, and Thursday (tonight) with the Grand Strand Strutters…then Friday and all-day Saturday the South Carolina Festival, their version of DOR!”

I point out to you in Rochester Area Federation land that Kay and Andy Anderson are not just long-time joined-at-the-hip friends, they are, for those of you that frequent RAF Board meetings, the long-time Cayuga Cut Up reps … driving over an hour to get there.

I am also including a picture here of Kay and Andy Anderson, and also Phil Eno and Marjorie Hill, and of Irma and me at that dance Monday night, with Joel Spivey, his wife in the center of the picture, all at the Monday Sand Dollar Squares.

So, did I make it??? Yes, but did I make it back in less than an hour?

Watch the news in early April for the results. Hugs all around!

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Former Daphne Norma Award Recipient Ron Brown Continues to Earn Honors

[Roving Reporter]

One of the criteria for receiving the Daphne Norma Leadership Award is an expectation of on-going service. Reading the following article about one of our area’s most outstanding square dance callers and teachers, Ron Brown, whom I personally nominated for this award two or three times before he was selected … suggests the abundance of outstanding leaders we are so fortunate to have in our Rochester Area Federation.

Before you continue to the article, let me remind you that all nominations for this award should be sent to Irma and me because we are the most recent recipients. Our address is:

Dick & Irma Halstead
2900 Harris Road
Palmyra, New York 14522

We are currently in South Carolina; however, mail to our home address will automatically be forwarded here. We plan to be back into the Rochester area by the 1st of April, to begin the DOR 2015 Daphne Norma Selection process … together with the former recipient committee members … and to get the silver plate appropriately engraved for the new recipients.

Irma and I are thankful to have had the honor of bringing the candy dish to as many clubs as possible this Honor Year, and proudly representing this group of outstanding leaders.

URGENT — The deadline for nominations has been extended to March 15, 2015. Look around you, and don’t worry about details; the person(s) you are nominating may no doubt have previous “votes”/nomination letters, and you may add yours by simply explaining why you feel as you do. But it is important that you do it promptly! (There are more details in the AWARDS link on the RAF home page.)

If you want to save a stamp, you may email us at:, and I will print your note for inclusion. Indeed, the most direct way to send in nominations is by emailing, so we encourage you to do so!

Thank You … and read on about Ron … quite an accomplishment … and a well-deserved recognition.

Ron Brown

[Roving Reporter]

In September 2014, Ron Brown attended the State Convention for Knights Templar of the State of New York (part of the Masonic fraternity) held at Lake Placid, N.Y., where he addressed the convention as Chairman of the Trustees and Grand Historian. He has served this state body for the past 38 years and has been a member for 48 years, and has written two books of a three-book series on the 200-year history of this fraternal organization.

He was honored by the Grand Commandery of New York and was presented by the Grand Master of the United States of America with the title of Right Eminent Past Grand Commander of the State of New York. The title of Grand Commander is the highest title one can achieve in the state. It should be noted that only five members have been given this title in the past 201 years (since 1814). He is in good company with Gov. Dewitt Clinton and Jerome Cheney (Vice Pres. Cheney’s cousin). The photo shows Ron being received with Grand Commander honors at his home Commandery in Pittsford, N.Y., in December.


Village Squares Ruby Anniversary Dance

On New Year’s Eve, the Village Squares celebrated their 40th anniversary by welcoming 2015 with the Hip Boot Boyz playing to a hall filled with happy friends. Since ruby is the 40th anniversary gemstone, dancers were encouraged to wear red and, from the stage, the room looked like an ocean of bobbing cardinals.

The evening began with Peter Emmel welcoming the dancers and recounting the history of the club from its beginnings in 1973 as the “Rough Edges.” After six months of dancing with Dick Casper, the edges were no longer rough, so in 1974 the club changed its name to the Village Squares. From its inception, Village Squares have been known for their theme dances and the themes have ranged from Hobo Nights and Barn Dances to Easter Parades and a formal dress Prom.

Between tips, Tom Powers led a Village Squares version of “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” with questions like, “At which of the following venues did the Village Squares put on a square dance demo: Lollypop Farm, Strong Museum of Play, Burger King or the Pittsford Credit Union at Mendon?” (Answer: All of them!)

Next, George Dormer reminisced about some of the high (or low) points of 1974. Appropriately, one of that year’s top songs was, “The Way We Were.” In August, President Nixon resigned; and in October, Ali defeated George Foreman at the Rumble in the Jungle. Gas was 55 cents and postage jumped from 8 cents to 10 cents.

Throughout the evening in the front foyer a continuous slide show gave glimpses of the various activities and characters that have kept the Village Squares lively through the years.

Acey and Deucey, the club’s traveling pandas, watched the festivities from a corner of the food table and particularly enjoyed keeping an eye on the luscious anniversary cake.

As the ball dropped at midnight everyone celebrated the New Year with hats, horns and noisemakers and wished the Village Squares another 40 years of dancing.

Sally Emmel 1/29/2015

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The Day of Dance — Spirit of Women Program

The Day of Dance, Spirit of Women program, started five years ago in our area, sponsored by Thompson Health as a way to make more women aware of their heart health as well as health in general. It was held three years ago at the Canandaigua Primary School, and they charged admission for the screenings they performed. Our square dance community participated. Last year it was moved to Eastview Mall in Victor to attract a wider segment. We were invited to participate again to show how exercise can help both your mind and your body.

This year it was held at Eastview Mall again and Wanda Miller was the emcee. There was a fairly good crowd considering all the cold wintery weather we’ve had. Two squares participated, comprised of mainly Cloverleaf Squares, Copy Cats, and Village Squares. Tee-shirts were handed out along with many souvenirs from different participants. If you wanted to sample what acupuncture is, you could do that as well as talk to a Personal Trainer or have your blood pressure taken and have a cholesterol screening done.

Sharon Meyer

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In Memoriam: Bob Platt

Bob and Nancy Platt met at the Swinging Singles in 1977 and married seven months later. It was as is true in many love stories: “love at first sight.” And judging by the look in Nancy’s eyes in the photo seen here, that love had only grown in their almost 40 years together.

The same could also be said for many of us, in our admiration for them, as we watched Bob and Nancy deal with Bob’s post-cancer diagnosis and treatment regimens. They were both inspirational as they continued to dance…and with never a complaint.

We danced for many years with Bob and Nancy at the Emerald Squares, one of the earlier DBD clubs, and subsequently with them at the Southern Tier Wheelers, the Copy Cats, the Village Squares, and the Shamrock Squares. I know their history also included the Web Spinners and the Star Spinners. Nancy also mentioned how much Bob enjoyed festivals, and the abundance of friends. I for one will surely miss the special dimension Bob brought to dancing, and pray that our dance community has not seen the last of Nancy and her wonderful smile.

Of course there was much more to Robert N. Platt and the extensive and loving family that he and Nancy produced. He also proudly served his country as a member of the US Coast Guard — and subsequently retired as an engineer at Kodak…finishing off his working years driving a school bus for the Williamson School District.

Bob, to quote the official published obituary, “Entered into his Eternal Rest: on Dec. 29, 2014.” I personally do not see it that way. I know our Heavenly Father loves us, but an “Eternal Rest” is the last thing I would want or expect for Bob: with all that talent and energy, I am certain God has enough in store for Bob, as He does all of us, to keep us challenged and very busy … even for an eternity.

Let’s resolve to make sure that Nancy continues to feel loved by all of us.

God Bless and God Speed Bob.

Dick and Irma Halstead

Your “A” Square Dance Friends


In Memoriam: Bill Owen

Long-time Cloverleaf member Marion Kelly is responsible for most of the kind and loving memories found here. They are typical, I suspect, of the dancers and others who note the passing of Bill Owen with sadness, and thankfulness for his life of service to our dancing community and to mankind. For full details, see Rochester D&C for December 28.

Marion Kelly remembered how Bill’s strong leadership and motivational skills rescued the Cloverleafs from dire financial trouble when he was in the first of his two presidencies, and was indeed instrumental in establishing precedents that now have established this premier club in our midst as a model for long-term success. He also hosted many social events at his Lake Road home, which he built in 1954. He enjoyed square dancing, round dancing, especially with Mark and Marlene Thone, boating, and fixing things. Bill was also active in his church and was a scoutmaster. He attended the picnic Cloverleaf Squares had following the car rally last fall.

Bill graduated from Cornell University in 1949 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He worked at Eastman Kodak for 37 years. He had four children, and was predeceased by his oldest son, also named Bill.

Marion Kelly summarized her memories of Bill with this observation: “He was a kind man and would always help everybody in any way that he could. He will be missed.”

Dick Halstead and Marion Kelly


In Memoriam: Bob Ellis

If you have been dancing for more than just a few years in and around Rochester, just the mention of the Name Bob Ellis will conjure-up a host of fun memories, and probably a number of “tips” he gave you on how to remember some less-frequently-heard calls, like: “Turn-and-Left-Through”! When questioned as to what list that was on, I can still hear Bob saying: “I don’t know what list it is on, but when I call it, everybody just does it…and if they can’t…read up on it.”

If you happened to have difficulty with this, or even just plain old Right or Left Turn Through, Bob would be quick to teach you that, “The Operative Word Here is through…and if you don’t take a full step through after doing the arm-turn part…you are probably going to have difficulty with the call.”

Well, our dear friend won’t be teaching us here anymore, nor will he in Zephyrhills FL.; his last heart attack on the morning of 16 February, 2015 ended this dimension for this wonderful caller, husband, father, grandfather, and all the other things he was, known only to him and to his Creator…but the good news is, as God’s children, I believe we yet have an eternity to continue learning and doing…and I look forward to sharing it with an ever-expanding list of people that I have come to know and to love.

I pray that his beautiful wife Nancy takes comfort in this also, and especially all the good friends we had in the Emerald Squares. That was the club Bob got our square-dance week started off right with on Monday nights at the Masonic Lodge in Webster. Thanks again to Nick and Fran for their years of service there making sure the lodge was ready for us.

Sadly we will still be away when his life will be celebrated locally at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 1 East Main Street in Clifton Springs, NY, on the 7th of March 2015…but I intend to send an email to all of my many friends that hopefully can make it and help pass along our condolences.

Love you and miss you, Bob; and consoling hugs for you, Nancy!

Dick & Irma Halstead