Feeling like you are in a square dance caller rut? Are you caught in the same calling habits without realizing it?
What can you do about it?
Lots of things. When we as human beings slip into a rut, it is a very frustrating place to be. We want to groove, but sometimes too many things in our lives can bear down upon us and make everything that we do less gratifying and fulfilling. This is difficult to deal with and the distraction can make what you contribute as a square dance caller – in what you can impart to others through entertaining and all the other elements that sum up to calling can bring you down.
Choreography – music – personality – these are all elements that contribute to a successful square dance and they are your responsibility as a caller. If you are losing enthusiasm, here are some great suggestions to get you refocused and turn things around for you and get your personal perspective back on track:
Meet With Other Square Dance Callers
Get together and talk to some other caller that you have met at a square dance event or you know personally and chat work for a while. Talk about anything, from casual conversation to a deeper discussion about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way. Share ideas and square dance experiences, problems you have encountered and how you might overcome a particular problem. You can discuss equipment, choreography and anything else that you want.
Attend a National Convention
One of the great things about attending the National Square Dance Convention is the opportunity that is offered through seminars that typically take place over the course of those few days that involve cooperative discussions, knowledgeable speakers, and individual opportunities to combine perspectives and issues relating to square dance calling. Attending any of these panels and learning sessions has numerous benefits, including improving your use of choreography, gaining expert knowledge and insights, networking with other square dance callers and renewing your motivation and confidence. Interrelating with new people within your field. Make opportunities to share your ideas and get immediate feedback from other credible individuals who share your vision and goals.
Attend a Caller School
Continuous training, education and exposure to new people and ideas in the activity of square dance can lead to continuous personal improvement, self motivation, and better engagement. Workshops, seminars and panels add to your skill set and competency as a professional who calls square dances on a higher capability level. Caller schools need to be a part of your improvement schedule, and guess what? They are a lot of fun to attend. Social networking, having the guidance and oversight of an experienced and supporting teacher, and reveling in the positive energy that is part of a caller school make attending well worth your while.
Work With a Caller Coach
Perhaps if you are continuously getting in a rut with your square dance calling progress and improvement, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward. Think about why you are doing this in the first place, and what you are doing it for? What is the ultimate goal that you have in mind? Make that as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s something that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. A caller coach can help you reassess your goals and what you want to get accomplished. Further, a square dance mentor will help you achieve those goals by giving you the means and materials to push you to your next level upward and advance your ability.
Upgrade Your Calling Style
And that is what is so great about enlisting someone who can teach you the right things to work on. Callers do not normally stop and ask themselves, “Does this really matter to me?” And that is a shame, because slowing down and giving yourself fewer to-do’s leaves more room in your brain and time on your schedule for various new ideas to sprout — so you have more energy to focus on the rest of your life. Keep in mind if you have someone else coaching and teaching the things that you focus on then those things will not feel like have to’s – if you get help managing things and you upgrade your attitude toward them. You can make have to’s become want to’s. You will return to your practice and improvement recharged and ready to start. You will feel as if you have taken your calling to a new level with the help of a square dance caller trainer, and contrary to popular belief, the square dance world will not end from you taking a short break from it if you need to. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after you have recharged and learned some new square dance tricks. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I pull back and take a short break.
Ease Up On Yourself
If you are in a creative and performing rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes. Fit some square dance education slots into your calendar. Before long a little trickle of ideas and inspiration will come to you. And then it will build up with more ideas and inspiration. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas. Throw in some guidance and you are on your way. This approach is stress free and presently it may be the pace that you need to take.
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 coaching information provided here serves as a source for square dance calling 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.