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Square Dancing Showcase by the Belles ’N’ Beaus
The Belles ’N’ Beaus were featured entertainment to
showcase square dancing at a recent Chamber of Commerce event called
“Bluegrass At The Blue Barn Cidery” on 9/23/17.
The event was attended by 300 people — a sold out event that included an antipasto bar, a catered dinner, dessert stations, music by Linabelle Bluegrass Band, flowers by Rockcastle, photography by Wayne Panipento, and a showcase of square dancing by the Belles ’N’ Beaus.
It was a wonderful afternoon and evening full of music, dining, making friends, and dancing.
Copy Cats at Tumbling Leaves
Bennington College was the setting for the annual Tumbling Leaves Square Dance Festival. Nine couples from the Copy Cats danced the weekend away and enjoyed Vermont’s fall foliage. Thanks to Phil LaRussa for providing this photograph.
Copy Cats Paint With A Twist
The Copy Cats had a busy summer of dancing and socializing. One unforgettable event was the girls adventure at Painting with a Twist. It was a night of fun for the Copy Cats Girls. Lots of talking, laughing, eating and painting. We brought our own food and drinks to enjoy, and our instructor was very patient with us. Here we are holding our paintings. No, I don’t want you to say whose is best. They are all special. In the back row are Peggy, Mary Jo, Cathy, Kim and Diane, and in the front row are Brenda, Karen, Nancy, Jane, Amy and Sandy
Callers Wanted … Needed!
In researching the Barn Dance article, I received the following note
from Mike Callahan:
“A couple of weeks ago, I did a “Barn Dance” at the City of Canandaigua Fire Department. Six squares of dancers attended, which I thought was pretty good. No less than four people came up to me, expressing interest in taking more lessons … but the nearest classes are in Rochester, Auburn and Penn Yan.
“You would think that a city/area the size of Canandaigua could support a square dance club. There was one there many years ago, called Magic Squares with Bob Ellis calling, but alas, there are no longer enough callers available. Our problem with growing square dancing now is not just getting new dancers but finding callers to call for them.
“When Wanda and I go to Arizona in February and March, many dancers come there for the winter and dance 4, 5 and even 6 times a week. They tell me that when they go back home, there is no dancing any longer because there are no callers to call for them.”
Mike is not the only one who has noticed this trend. With the caller list shrinking from attrition and from the ‘snowbird’ effect, clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their schedules through the winter. We are in danger of burning out the declining number of callers and cuers who remain through the winter.
Dancers and club leaders can help turn this around. The most obvious way is by encouraging new and up-coming callers. Just like learning to dance, the more calling practice you get the better you become.
Helping new and less experienced callers gain experience is easy: All you have to do is Dance. Dance at their dances; Dance at CCR dances (Summer Sizzler and one in March); and Dance in the ‘Open Mic’ session at Dance O Rama in May.
Club leaders and established callers can also help by inviting new callers to share the microphone for a tip at their regular club dances. This has been a strong tradition in our area, and few were more generous with the microphone than Jerry Carmen. Whenever another caller or cuer attended one of his regular club dances, Jerry would offer them the microphone for a tip or a duet. Other established callers traditionally do the same.
Another way for clubs and dancers to contribute is by scheduling amateur caller events like those held from time to time by the Cloverleafs and the Village Squares. These provide a fun and “safe” opportunity for potential callers to try their voice — and let their friends help them get over the trembling knees phase in an atmosphere of fun.
Recruiting and developing new callers is every bit as important as recruiting and developing new dancers — and (almost) all you have to do is dance!
Note: The Flyers section includes one for Ken Ritucci’s Caller School in Sturbridge, MA, October 4–8, 2018.
Barn Dancing in the Rochester Area
Maybe, like me, you remember barn dances in your youth. From the early
1960s, I remember an annual country dance and hayride that was held
for the U of R “Faculteeners” at the former Canute Farm in
Lima. I’m sure it was fond memories from these parties that came
to mind thirty years later, when Harold and Gerry Schwartz introduced
Sally and me to the Village Squares. I’m also sure it’s no
coincidence that our club’s annual dance program nearly always
includes a “Barn Dance” … though without the
A long tradition of barn dancing is still alive and well in our area, though it is constantly changing. In addition to the barn dance theme that various clubs create by decorating their halls, there is also plenty of dancing in real barns.
For many years, Sybil & Fred Northrup and later Sybil & Ed Briggs
hosted square dances in their barn in Bloomfield. Mike Callahan calls
barn dances regularly, mostly for youth groups, that draw 200 to 300
dancers! I’ll get back to that below. The most familiar barn to
most of our readers — also in Bloomfield — is
150 years old and is owned by Alan and Ellen Fish. As you can see from
the accompanying photos, every summer a half-dozen squares of area
dancers enjoy Alan and Ellen’s hospitality at their annual barn
dance, in affiliation with the Grand Squares.
The Fish — Grand Squares connection goes back to the seventies, when Alan and Ellen joined the Lima Grand Squares, where Gary and Alice Bubel were calling and cueing. Alan picks up the story from here:
“It was about 1980 that we had our first barn dance for the club. Clubs were big enough then that attendance from our club alone filled the barn with six sets. A member of the club was good enough to take pictures of the event and they’re fun to go through these 35 years later. We held a barn dance each year for a few years until personal circumstances got in the way and we had to abandon square dancing for about 15 years. After joining the now Grand Squares in 2012, we again hosted occasional barn dances to benefit the club. This time they were open to anyone willing to drive to Bloomfield. There have always been enough dancers in attendance to make six sets which is what the barn will comfortably accommodate.”
As to the barn itself, here’s Alan’s description:
“The barn, built in the 1860s, has become a local landmark and is a treat for city folk who rarely get inside a gambrel roof barn. These barns are disappearing at an alarming rate because of the expense associated with upkeep. For instance, we purchased the barn in 1976 for $4,500 and then put a new roof on for $16,000. The beams in the basement are hand hewn, while the posts and beams upstairs are sawed. It’s a marvel of construction, with huge foundation boulders that were moved into place by the muscle of horses and men. The sliding doors in the back of the barn open to a twelve-foot drop — which is a puzzle. Why would they put doors on that you must be very careful to avoid stepping out of? Come to our next barn dance and find out why.”
The photos accompanying this article were taken at the Fish’s barn dance in the summer of 2017.
For the past ten years, Mike Callahan has called youth dances
regularly each summer at a barn owned by Dave and Joan Beinetti near
Honeoye Falls. Here is Mike’s description:
“These dances have evolved from home school programs which have become huge across the country. Dave and his wife home schooled their 8 children and became a part of the home school movement. As a result, when he started these dances, most of the youth that came were from his family, their friends and a lot of other home-schooled kids. Over the years these kids have grown and gone to college (quite a few to Christian colleges) gotten married and now bring their own college friends and children. Social media is what makes these dances hugely successful. The dances are advertised on Facebook along with other social media and we generally get about 200–300 dancers, mostly high school and college age. Sometimes, there are so many dancers that they have to take turns dancing as the barn won’t hold them all. Along with the dance, Dave has light refreshments and usually a huge bonfire where kids can get together and socialize. He charges $2.00/person and $10.00/family. The last dance that I did for him, I asked him how much longer was he going to do these dances. His answer: ‘They won’t let me quit’.”
Mike continues: “Each year I do about four or five dances like these. They are mostly parties for people who want a one night type of square dance program and are not experienced square dancers. My program tends to involve very basic square dance instruction and dancing, line dancing, a circle mixer and a few traditional (‘Eastern’) square dances. For the most part, folks that attend these are not interested in joining clubs or taking lessons. They want a one night themed entertainment only.”
Elsewhere in this section is a photo article article about a different sort of barn dancing. Rochester’s Belles ’N’ Beaus square dance club were featured entertainment for “Bluegrass at the Blue Barn.” This Chamber of Commerce event called “Greece Regional Chamber Celebration of Food, Music and Spirit” took place in September at a commercial establishment — The Blue Barn Cidery — and drew a sold-out crowd. Admittedly, the square dancing might not have been the main draw, but it was an opportunity to showcase our wonderful activity.
Also in this section is a photo article by Jan Bencic on past barn
dancing by the Batavia Silver Stars, hosted by Leon and Becky Perry
at their farm in Corfu. These dances usually included food and hay
rides on the Perry’s property.
The Cloverleafs invite all clubs to join them every summer for a picnic at Jane Avery’s horse barn near Brockport. Sometimes they dance and sometimes they don’t, but there’s always food and friendship.
The Village Squares hold a barn-free Barn Dance most years, where decorations and “country clothes” provide the barnyard atmosphere. You’ll find photos from the 2017 version of this dance in a separate article in this issue.
In the 1940s, radio music personalities Max Raney and his wife Flossie
established their “Bar-M Ranch” on Gauss Road as a popular
venue for national country music entertainers. Crowds —
sometimes over 20,000 — came to see such stars as Bessie
Smith, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, Minnie Pearl, Burl Ives, Hank Snow,
Gene Autry (and his horse, Champion). Outdoor stage shows were
broadcast on WHAM radio and attracted nationally known musical groups
such as the Hoosier Hot Shots, and musical comedy acts like Lulu &
Scottie. Square dancing and movies took place in the barn, with music
by Max Raney and his famous “High-Boys” who continued to
entertain in the Rochester area and on the radio well into the 50s.
Here is a link to a wonderful article from a special 2011 edition of the East Bloomfield Historical Society’s “Academy Chronicles” from 2011 devoted to Max and Flossie and the Bar-M Ranch. It’s billed as, “A Tribute to and Memories of Famous Entertainers in East Bloomfield, and it’s filled with photos.”
Click HERE for further notes on the Raneys and a sample poster advertising a summer of round and square dancing events at Roseland Park on Canandaigua Lake and Long Point Park on Conesus Lake.
Copy Cats Host Costume Dance on Mischief Night
On October 30, the Copy Cats held a Halloween dance that brought out a
wild array of costumes. Seven squares danced to the infamous Hip Boot
Boyz, and a full circle of round dancers enjoyed Eileen
Webster’s cueing. The snacks colorful and yummy and Rick’s
joke drew a hearty laugh.
Many thanks to Jet Thomas for the wonderful photo record of an entertaining evening.
Barn Dances in Batavia
For many years the Batavia Silver Stars held “Barn Dances”
in Leon and Becky Perry’s barn on Brown Rd in Corfu. The barn is
well over 100 years old, since it was built in the 1800s. The Perrys
started square dance classes in the Fall of 1994 and held the first
barn dance in the Summer of 1995. The reason? Joy (Fincher) Bookmiller
was expecting her first child and the group wanted to have a baby
shower for her.
The barn dances continued until 2009, a year after Leon and Becky sold the farm to their son and moved into a new house across the road. Everyone brought a dish to pass and danced to caller, Bob Meagher. Nancy Fincher cued rounds and line dances. After the barn dance, Leon would take us on a hayride to the pond, stopping at the cabin for a campfire and more songs and stories. Sometimes someone ended up in the pond for a “swim”?
Village Squares “Barn Dance” 2017
Almost every year, the Village Squares hold a Barn Dance — without the barn. It’s one of their monthly special themed dances, where decorations and/or costumes set the scene. This year, even the refreshments counter contributed to the barnyard moo(d). In past years the event sometimes included activities like ducking for apples and a cow-pie toss & catch contest, but those took a little too much cleaning up — even though the cow pies were made with pancake batter.
It’s Time for You to Think About Your DAPHNE-NORMA LEADERSHIP AWARD Nomination!
Your assistance is needed in selecting a person or couple for the Daphne-Norma Leadership Award, which will be presented at Dance-O-Rama in May. The Rochester Area Federation of Round and Square Dance Clubs, Inc. sponsors Dance-O-Rama, but it does not govern, sponsor or present the Daphne-Norma Award. That is governed by and presented by the award’s Selection Committee, based mainly on nominations received from dancers like you. The committee relies on you to nominate people you feel meet the criteria for the Award.
The leadership award was established in 1977 by John Fink and Frank
Salvaggio, in honor of their wives, Daphne and Norma. The purpose of
the award is to show appreciation for EXTENSIVE AND SUSTAINED
LEADERSHIP OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF YEARS in square, round or contra
dancing. Leadership, service and motivation are considered when
evaluating candidates for this award. A candidate need not demonstrate
leadership in all areas, nor is each area given equal
consideration. Areas of leadership may include (but are not limited
to) years of dancing, cueing or calling; membership; committee service
or an officer role in any of the following: Square, Round or Contra
club; Rochester Area Federation; Promenader; Dance-O-Rama; NYS or
national dance associations; promoting the activity through calling,
cueing or teaching, and other leadership roles which benefit the
community through the dance activity; and finally, the candidate’s
attitude and continuing willingness to take on responsibilities in the
dancing community. An individual or couple may receive the award only
once. The award may not be given if the Selection Committee
unanimously agrees no one has met the criteria. Anyone in the dancing
community is welcome to nominate people for the Leadership Award.
Nominations are welcome any time, but must be received by the end of February for consideration this year. Late-arriving nominations will be filed and considered for the next year.
Q: Who is the Selection Committee? The award originators initially
functioned as permanent Selection Committee members. But because the
Salvaggios and the Finks are not active in the dance community
anymore, Frank Salvaggio asked Walt & Sally Baechle, and John & Daphne
Fink asked Andy & Betty Ludwick, to be permanent members on the
committee. (Walt passed away on October 3, 2000.) In 2017, Betty &
Andy Ludwick passed the honor on to Sharon & Chuck Meyer. The most
recent three recipients form the remainder of the committee.
Q: How are people nominated? Anyone in the dance community may nominate a candidate. This is done by sending information about the candidate’s qualifications to the most recent recipient(s) or to anyone else on the Selection Committee, before the end of February. See below for suggested information to include. You may submit your nomination by email or by postal mail. If it’s helpful to you, you may use the nomination form on this website.
For the Nomination Form, click HERE.
For the list of Previous Recipients, click HERE.
Q: What happens to nominees who are not selected? Candidates previously nominated generally stay in consideration for future years. However, there is nothing wrong with “refreshing” a previous nomination with current info, and encouraging others to add their nomination. The cumulative impact of support for a particular nominee carries weight with the Selection Committee.
Please include as much of the following as you are able:
1) Name and address of recommended person or couple
2) Years of dancing, calling and/or cueing
3) Club participation, offices held, etc.
4) Participation in local organizations (both dance and other)
5) Participation in state organizations (both dance and other)
6) Participation in national organizations (both dance and other)
7) Other leadership roles (not only dancing but community service)
8) Miscellaneous information (anything else that might be relevant)
And be sure to include your own name, club, e-mail and/or phone.
Your INPUT is very important! TELL US ABOUT the person or couple you wish to nominate — the sooner, the better!
Please send nominations and any questions to the most recent recipients of the Daphne-Norma Leadership Award:
Bob & Alice Hager
306 Cherry Creek Lane
Rochester NY 14626
(or email: email@example.com)
In Memoriam: Jeannette M. Meagher, October. 27, 2017
Rochester, Oct. 27, 2017, age 88. Predeceased by her husband Robert,
daughter Carol and her sister Marge Ellis. She is survived by her
children, James (Patricia), Patrick (Lynn), and Kenneth (Ellen)
Meagher; 8 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; several nieces,
nephews and sisters-in-law. Jeannette was a loving wife (of 63 years),
mother and grandmother. She enjoyed square dancing and was an avid
gardener with a green thumb for growing flowers and vegetables.
Friends may contribute to Lifetime Care Hospice, 3111 S. Winton Rd., Rochester 14623. Jeannette’s family would like to express a sincere thank you to the staff at St. Ann’s Nursing Home and Lifetime Care Hospice.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Oct. 29, 2017
We met Jeannette when she accompanied Bob at dances he was calling. She always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.
In Memoriam: George Bauerschmidt, October 27, 2017
George Bauerschmidt took his last train ride on Wednesday, November 8,
2017. He passed peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by
family. Predeceased by his beloved wife, Rose, he leaves his children
Diane Campbell, George and Tammy Bauerschmidt; favorite grandchildren,
Danielle (Brad) James, and Andy (Odette) Campbell; 2
great-grandchildren, Henry & Kyra; sisters, Lorraine Brown, Carol
VanAtta and Gail Bauerschmidt; brother, Charles (Carol) Bauerschmidt;
many nieces, nephews, and friends.
His Family would like to thank the staff at Highland Hospital, especially the 4th floor unit, who provided the best “comfort care” anyone could ever ask for.
Donations may be directed to the Parkinson’s Association.
George was a long-time member of the Copy Cats square dance club.