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ePromenader Editor’s Message

Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of the Promenader.

In This Issue

Roving Reporter Dick Halstead’s article in the Photos and Features section of this issue recalls John and Daphne Fink, co-founders of the Daphne-Norma Award. The Roving Reporter has been out of circulation since last spring, but you can catch up on Dick and Irma by reading his open letter. Meanwhile others are beginning to take up the slack.

Honors were presented to Shirley Barnum (Silver Squares), who received the Circle of Service Award from Russ & Ruth Uhrenholdt, and to Sharon Meyer, who received a Lifetime Membership from the Cloverleafs.

RAF area dancers traveled to Canada, braving the autumn chill to help the Napanee Pioneers celebrate their 50th year of square dancing. Closer to home, the Village Squares — and many visitors from other clubs — put on their best costumes and laid out their scariest snacks for Friday Fright Night. Reaching back to last spring, take a look at the wonderful Dyngus Day dance put on by the Batavia SIlver Stars in March.

Too many of these articles are by me. Please help us get photos of your club’s activities published here by taking pictures and sending them with a description of the activity to promenader@rochester.rr.com. I know there are interesting dance-related things going on that others would like to hear about. So, for example, if you are involved in the “troop-on” program or if you square dance while traveling in far away places … please send us a few pictures and tell us something about them. If your club hosts a special dance or has a special caller, send us a few photos and tell us the story.

In the Federation section, RAF President Warren Olson encourages new dancers to visit other clubs and encourages all dancers to make use of the wealth of information on this website. Click HERE to read his message. He also encourages anyone scheduling a dance to look at the online calendar and make sure the date is available. One of the primary goals of this website is to make schedule information accessible for planning by area clubs and callers. Schedule conflicts hurt both events and cause unnecessary stress — financial and otherwise.

In Memoriam: In this issue we remember John Fink (Boots ’N Slippers) and Don Ellinwood (Cayuga Cut-Ups).

Website Additions

Any club participating in Banner Stealing is now identified as a “Banner Stealing Club” on our “CLUBS” page, and the updated Banner Stealing rules may be accessed by clicking the words “Banner Stealing Club” wherever they appear on that page.

Here is the list of Banner Clubs registered so far:

  • Batavia Silver Stars
  • Cloverleafs
  • Copy Cats
  • Grand Squares
  • Silver Squares
  • Village Squares

I hope that more clubs will join this group and that banner stealing will return as an active part of the square dancing scene. It’s a great way to get to know dancers from other clubs and to boost attendance at your club’s dances.

We will also begin listing the RAF representative(s) for each club.

The quarterly newsletter of the United Square Dancers of America (USDA) is now the lead-off item in our Ads & Flyers section, so readers can browse for news on the national scene.

Also, don’t forget that our RAF Home Page carries “useful links” including the Finger Lakes Area Council (FLAC) for news from our Upstate NY neighbors to the southeast.

Friendship Ball Follow-Up

September’s Fall Friendship Ball in Canandaigua was a lot of fun and drew 87 dancers, of whom 82 stayed for dinner. This was planned all along as an RAF-subsidized “dancer retention” event, keeping the cost low to encourage attendance by experienced dancers and to welcome new dancers. The RAF subsidy amounted to about 48% of the total cost. Based on feedback from attendees, the RAF is looking for a larger hall for next year.

Editorial Comments

Judging from the dances I’ve attended so far this season, it feels like the push to keep last year’s graduates dancing and welcome them into our clubs has been successful. I don’t have accurate numbers to go on, but I do see many familiar faces from last May’s Parade of Graduates.

The Cloverleafs have taken the step of changing their beginner class to the “Club 50” program, which reduces the number of calls taught to 50 and starts a new group of beginners every 12 weeks, with the previous session’s graduates returning as angels — for practice and to help the new recruits along. This way it’s possible for new dancers have more than one starting data to choose from each year.

At the other end of the scale, there is discussion going on about how to facilitate bringing national callers to our area. One idea is for the RAF to subsidize the extra cost, so that clubs don’t have to take the risk of falling short on attendance and losing money. Please let your RAF representative know if this is something that your club might take advantage of.

Peter Emmel