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Is change needed?

 I don't claim to be much of a writer, but I will do my best.  So please bare with me.

  I have been Dancing and Calling since 1967 and am acquainted with many folks that have been in it much longer than me.  Remember the days when you could post a flier up and a little ad in the paper, and 100 or more people would show up for you first Square Dance Lessons?

  What has happened?  We brag when we get 2 squares now.  Pretty sad for an American tradition that is really fun and affordable.

  What has changed?  Not us! We continue to set up dances and lessons just like we have always done, on weeknights when people are working 10 hour days (Men and Women), we continue to think children will like our old time music, and we insist on making modern day women wear square dance dresses that take up half the car when driving.

   We still charge $5 to $10 dollars per couple and the door, when you can't even spend under $10 at McDonalds.  We tell folks to bring food to potlucks each dance, when they hardly have time to get the family fed with the demanding schedules that many modern day folks have now.

   Then we expect our Callers and Cuers to have the latest music and equipment which cost thousands, and only pay them $25 to $100.00 per dance, if their lucky.  

   I know that tradition is important.  But what does that mean if the Square/Round Dance Halls are empty?  Why can't we look at the business side of things, and the modern American family habits.  I know I Call a dance to a woman in comfortable slacks, or music written from a modern rock group, or getting paid for my actual expenses.  That would make me want to keep on investing my money in the latest and greatest for may dancers.

  Preteen and Teen groups are probable our worst downfall.  We truly need Callers and Cuers to address this issue, and develop a modern plan that would keep the interest of preteen and teens.  They want challenge, up-to-date music and activities that fit their peer groups expectations.  That may require letting our hair down, Call to rock music and square dance dresses only as a option.

  Would these simple changes really hurt us?


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