Challenge: Transcend Your Square Dance Calling Hurdles

Some — if not all — methods of square dance calling offer different ways to move your calling forward, however, there are built-in restrictions, walls beyond which we cannot easily move through. Whether it’s the fixed number of beats that make up a singing call, the rules of tonal harmony when you are singing, or the need for better calling equipment, we often think of these as obstacles to creativity.

We always deal with limitations or restrictions, even if they are put upon ourselves, and this can be a big challenge for an artist, any artist, even if you’re a modern western square dance caller. I do not like being told that you can’t use that fast music, or you can’t step out of this box, or you can’t use a certain creative idea on a square dance call. What I do like is the creative tension that is brought on by this limitation and how to rise above that.

For this month’s square dance calling challenge, remember and write down on a piece of paper about a time when you had to deal with an obstacle in your calling, whether it was a choreography problem, a timing problem, or perhaps a teaching obstacle you had to confront in the past at a dance, workshop, or class. Did you manage to transcend the obstacle, or did you ignore dealing with it?

Of higher importance, did you find a solution that brought you to a higher place or initialized an improvement in your calling? What did you learn about yourself and your ability in the process?

Now take that one thing and look for a way to springboard and improve that for yourself. If you need a challenge and you cannot think of one, try this:

I offer these excellent tips on this square dance caller website for other callers to improve. And, since I’m a seasoned square dance caller coach, these informative articles are all beneficial points for me to offer to others to get started and they can serve as a calling roadmap to becoming a seasoned square dance caller. It’s fun learning, but without the proper direction and guidance, it can be difficult to improve and advance yourself in some ways.

Hurdles in life will force us to first create a goal, then focus upon it, and ultimately succeed.

Be free. Expand your horizons and dare to go where you have not set foot before. Be creative and strive to call better. Put together a formula for succeeding and you will.

Have a great day. Call if you need square dance caller instruction or any general question about calling!

Shaun Werkele




Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller education training and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.


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