One of the greatest things about calling square dances is that there are highlights all time. It's always a great kick to see first time dancers amaze themselves by "getting" the Right and Left Grand, or the elegant Grand Square. It's a kick watching hot-shot club dancers helping each other through something insanely difficult – like Relay The Deucey, Boys righty, Girls lefty – and letting loose with a triumphant whoop at its successful finish. And then there are all those picture postcards I find myself in, just because I live in Sonoma county – calling to a circle of dancers on a hilltop overlooking a vineyard-covered valley, leading a line dance under a full moon on a farmhouse lawn beside an orchard...

But for special dances, memorable in one way or another...

First would have to be reconnecting with my mentor, Bill Peters and working with him at the first Maui square dance festival I called. I have more about this in my section on Bill.

Charlie Schulz of Peanuts fame danced with me once, at a benefit held at his Snoopy Ice Arena in Santa Rosa. He got up for a large circle mixer, where each man gets to dance with many different women and they progress around the circle. Mr. Schulz danced in true Charlie Brown style, staring at his feet the entire time.

During the same circle mixer at a large family reunion at a resort in Glen Ellen we were hit with significant earthquake (5 point-something) in the middle of the dance. Most of the dancers couldn't tell, but the folks on the sidelines had no doubt. One them checked her palm pilot and announced at the end of the dance, "WE are the epicenter!" It was actually about two miles away.

Then there's the dance I did for an association of rural gay men at a rustic Lake County resort. I knew I was in for something out of the ordinary when I passed a sign on the way in that read "No Nudity Beyond This Point"! Yes, many men in their birthday suits, many in black lingerie, others more modestly attired in western wear, and one quick change artist with his own boxful of frocks.

I did a dance for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra with Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and former Secretary of State George Schultz in attendance. The Honorable Mr. Schultz was my most enthusiastic Virginia Reeler, but he kept taking a series of outrageous front-cuts to position himself and his wife as the head couple after every sequence. I reprimanded him several times, but I think he was having too much fun to notice.

Shortest dance I ever did was for a wedding in Rohnert Park. Scheduled before me on the program was the belly-dancing and hard liquor portion of the event. By the time I went on, only the bride and I were sober enough to stand, much less dance. And she was really ticked off!

The City of Oakland had me call at their 150th anniversary, in a beautifully restored historic section of the city, and then-Mayor Jerry Brown gave a little speech on my microphone. I regret to say I never made a dent in his resolve not to dance, however.

Then there's the dance I do each year for the Star of Sea School on Geary Boulevard, in San Francisco, always lots of fun and sky high energy! But one year, just as we were getting going with the dancing, we were hit with a blackout. Picture the scene: basement lunchroom, pitch black, stone walls, and then the little kids started screaming... No Exit!

I called a 90th birthday party for a friend and long-time club dancer, a very active affair with a folk dance instructor as well as me leading dances, and we discovered that the birthday boy was only the fifth oldest person there!


DJ Capabilities

My Mentor, Bill Peters

Some highlights,
memorable dances

Four newspaper
stories about me