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Garland Smith Calling at The Woodlands Stars on Friday, March 17, 2017

garlandsmithcaller-bq4a2144-5760x3840-transparent-withcaptionHello Friends,

I will be calling at The Woodlands Stars next Friday (March 17, 2017).  As always, I plan to call a great dance.  I would love to see you if you can make it.  Lately, I’ve been using some of the old Rhythm Records singing calls.  Over the years, Wade Driver has produced some of the best Square Dance music that there is.  There is so much great music from which to choose, I NEVER use music that I don’t absolutely love.  Hope to see you at the dance.

Happy dancing!

Garland Smith

 

 

 

 

An Alarming Trend

There is an alarminGarlandSmithCaller-Transparent-600X400g trend that seems to be increasing over time related to the number of Square and Round Dancers who are independent and don’t belong to clubs.  Membership is the lifeblood of Square and Round Dance clubs.  Without members, Square and Round Dance clubs cannot flourish.  Taken to the logical conclusion, if all Square and Round Dancers were to go the independent route, there would no longer be a basis for clubs.  Clubs need members for financial support (to pay the rent, expenses such as Caller and Cuer fees and other sundry expenses).  Similar to businesses, clubs need their income to exceed their expenses in order to continue to exist.  Of course, if the club has money in the bank, they can exist until their funds are depleted.  In order for a club to be viable for the long haul, it needs to be self-sustaining.  Ideally, that means that the club has enough members to cover its expenses.  Some of the slack can be taken up by door fees from visitors, however, clubs that must rely on visitors are at risk during periods when they don’t get enough visitors and have to pull money out of the bank in order to pay their expenses.  Clubs that don’t have enough members to pay their expenses and therefore must rely on visitors are in jeopardy of going under.

If the number of nonaffiliated dancers continues to increase and club roles continue decrease, we are in jeopardy of losing the activity.  Logically, the less clubs there are, the less opportunities will be available for dancing.  Taken to its logical conclusion, if this trend continues, Square and Round Dancing will be in a death spiral.  Of course, there are Caller-Run and Cuer-Run clubs that may thrive in this environment.  However, these are few and far between and most attempts for Callers and Cuers to organize such groups tend to fail.  In the Greater Houston area, I’m only aware of Three successful Caller/Cuer-Run clubs:  The Prows and Tammy Lee run a successful Round Dance groups and Bob Baier has a successful Advanced Square Dance group.

In addition to paying expenses, membership in a club brings a sence of belonging.  The whole premise of a club is that a group of like-minded individuals band together in order enjoy some activity or common interest.  If you enjoy Square and Round Dancing and want to see Square and Round Dancing continue to exist and ultimately thrive, consider joining or sustaining membership in a Square or Round Dance Club.

HSRDC Crisis Looming – Leaders Needed

hSRDClogoThe Houston Square and Round Dance Council, Inc. [HSRDC] serves as an umbrella organization for the Square, Round, and Clogging Dance clubs in the Greater Houston, Texas area. HSRDC’s purpose is to promote, educate and encourage the art of American folk dancing within its membership and the public.

The HSRDC serves as a liaison between the Texas State Federation of Square and Round Dancers and Houston area clubs. The TSFSRD provides educational material to HSRDC and can be obtained by any member club dancer desiring same. TSFSRD also provides liability insurance and portal-to-portal coverage for accident or death for all square dancers when participating in square dancing activities.

Most dance facilities require a COI. Our COI is valid for one year and renews each year on October 1st. HSRDC member clubs can request a COI from the HSRDC for their regular dances as well as for new location for special dances.

The HSRDC needs officers in order to function.  Without a steady stream of folks stepping up and taking these leadership roles, the HSRDC could dissolve.  That would be a shame.  At the very least, it would be disruptive to insurance.  I’m sure there are lots of other things that would be impacted.  The Hoedown comes to mind.  While the Hoedown is not essential, it serves as a yearly celebration that we all enjoy.

Have you considered taking a leadership role in the HSRDC?

 

It’s Rodeo Time! Why Not Plan A Square Dance?

RodeoTimeSquareDanceSquare Dancing makes for great entertainment at rodeo events!  Your guests will be buzzing about the entertainment for weeks to come!

Modern Western square dance





Modern Western square dance (also called Western square dance, contemporary Western square dance, modern American square dance or modern square dance) is one of two American types of square dancing, along with traditional square dance. As a dance form, modern Western square dance grew out of traditional Western dance. The term “Western square dance”, for some, is synonymous with “cowboy dance” or traditional Western square dance. Therefore this article uses the term “modern Western square dance” to describe the contemporary non-historical dance which grew out of the traditional dance.

Modern Western square dance, like traditional square dance, is directed by a square dance caller. In modern Western square dance the caller strings together a sequence of individual square dance calls to make a figure or sequence. These calls are the building blocks of the choreography that is danced by the individuals, square dancers, in the squares. There are eight people (four couples) in each square; at a dance there may be many squares. Generally speaking, each of these squares dances independently of each other, with the exception of specialty or “gimmick” dances, where there might be some crossover of dancers from one square to another.

Modern Western square dancing is danced to a variety of music types, everything from pop to traditional country to Broadway musical to contemporary country music—even rock, Motown, techno and hip-hop. The music is usually played from recordings; the tempo is also more uniform than in traditional dancing, as the “perfect” modern Western square dance tempo is 120–128 bpm. At this speed dancers take one step per beat of the music.

Modern Western square dance is an international movement that has moved into the 21st century, welcoming new generations of dancers, and accepting international influences more clubs and associations are encouraging a variety of dress, from casual jeans and T-shirt, to “square dance attire,” to prairie skirts, and all styles of dressy and casual clothes. It is very common, particularly at event dances, for dancers to wear a club badge showing their club and personal name.

The square functions as a “dance team” for the duration of a square dance tip, a group of dances usually separated from the next tip by a pause during which the dancers regroup into new squares. A square dance tip is usually composed of a combination of patter calls and singing calls, the two types of square dance calls. The logos shown on the right are the international square dance logo and the modern Alliance of Round, Traditional and Square-Dance logo.

Modern Western square dancing is non-competitive activity. There are no dance competitions, and apart from fun events, no prizes are ever offered or sought for best dancer or best square. Particularly at the challenge levels there is large degree of personal satisfaction to be gained from the problem solving element of completing a dance. At all levels the main elements are to enjoy the dance, and to exercise.

Modern Western Square Dancing is found in many countries across the world. The main centres are where United States servicemen spread the dance during the 1950s until the 1980s. Modern Square Dancing is found in such diverse cultures as Japan, Denmark, The United Kingdom, Taiwan, Spain, Germany and Australia. While all calling is in English, local traditions are beginning to develop, as the influence of the American home of Modern Square Dance becomes more distant. It is common to meet many international dancers at large gatherings of dancers. Once a person learns the Callerlab defined calls, the dancer can generally dance internationally. However, as may be expected, there are style and call title variations throughout the world. For example, the calls “Yellow Rock” and “Stack the Wood” both instruct a dancer to hug the next person; in Australia, a tip is called a bracket; at the start of a tip in Northern Europe it is common for each dancer to greet every other dancer in the square with a handshake – a practice that is uncommon elsewhere.

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

The Birdie Dance – Garland Smith Caller

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Garland Smith:  Square Dance Caller & Entertainer
GarlandSmithCaller@att.net
(713) 557-0518

 


The Birdie Dance

 

Dances like The Birdie Dance (A.K.A. The Chicken Dance) are the bedrock of a Square Dance party.  They never cease to delight children and adults of all ages.

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Health Benefits of Square Dancing

Excerpt from Dr. Oz’s site.

Still, there are things you can do to keep your mind sharp. The most important one is to get plenty of exercise, starting now. It’s true that brain volume shrinks as we get older, but several thousand new cells are created every day, and research shows that regular aerobic exercise jump-starts the process, slashing your risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. My advice? Take some dance lessons. Dancing hits all the areas critical for healthy aging: You’re exercising, learning new steps, and socializing.”

Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD, chairman of the NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center in McLean, Virginia, and director of the Johns Hopkins Memosyn Neurology Institute in Lutherville, Maryland

You can find the entire article here: http://www.drozthegoodlife.com/healthy-lifestyle/body/a566/doctors-talk-about-aging/

Submitted by Em Satterwhite

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Square Dancing Is Good Healthy Fun

Remember in high school when the gym teacher announced, “Today we are going to learn square dancing!”? You picked out a partner, usually of the same sex, and then the teacher went on to teach you the commands, also known as calls, such as “dosado” and “swing your partner”. Eventually, the teacher would put on a record of country music and test your square dancing skills by yelling out the calls in random order. Well, square dancing has changed a lot since then.

Have you seen square dancers twirling, laughing, and having fun at the state fair or at a dance convention? Do you want to meet people that will turn into life-long friends? Are you looking for more fun in your life? Would you like to have fun while exercising? You are invited to get fit through square dancing. Find out how much fun square dancing can be. Did you know that one and one-half hours of square dancing equals 30 minutes of aerobics and a 3 mile walk? Square dancing keeps the mind active and the body fit without strenuous workouts.

Submitted by Barbara Veres

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

 

Health Benefits of Square Dancing

I want to address a crisis in America. The crisis is that too many Americans are overweight, stressed out, and have very little fun. I would like to bring awareness of an activity that addresses these three issues. It is America’s best kept secret, and I want everyone to know about it. I am talking about Modern Western  Square Dancing, and it is not the square dancing you learned in elementary or junior high. It’s good for mind and body. With all its moving, twisting, and turning, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering all the calls — from “do-si-do” to ‘alemand’ — keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. And the companionship that regular square dancing offers is an antidote to depression and loneliness. According to a 1994 Mayo Health Care Clinic Health Letter, “in one study researchers attached pedometers to square dancers and found that each person covered five miles in a single evening.” People want to exercise more but find it difficult to motivate themselves. Square dancing combines fun, socializing, making friends, and exercise.

Submitted by Barbara Veres

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Free Food Anyone?

QUESTION: Where can you dance 7 nights a week AND get free food? ANSWER: Try a square dance! Houston boasts (#??) clubs, offering opportunities to dance all week long. Square dancing offers great exercise (with or without the snacks) equivalent to two hours of brisk walking! As square dancing is a “social dance”, a majority of clubs offer free refreshments for your price of admission to the dance, to encourage dancers to meet and mingle. In addition to the simpler refreshments available at most club dances, almost every club also hosts a series of themed “specials” throughout the year. These can range from ice cream socials, to chili dog feasts, rice harvest festivals, “souper” bowls, cheesecake specials, or holiday events. So whether you come for the dancing, the socializing, the free food—or all three—square dancing offers something for everyone. To learn more about clubs near you, and current specials happening this month? Houston Square & Round Dance Council.

Submitted by Ann Bugh

Garland Smith: Square Dance Caller & Entertainer

Square Dancing is a great activity for any kind of social event. Square Dancing provides a synergy and team-building experience that is unlike any other activity that I know of. Garland Smith specializes in providing square dance and line dance entertainment for parties and social events. Garland uses Square Dancing, line dancing, circle mixers, contras, and other specialty dances to provide a unique party experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.