Dare To Be Square Weekend 2011, Brasstown, NC - caller interviews

Jim Mayo - interviews

Jim Mayo 1
Early Years of Modern Square Dance

Jim discusses his own introduction to modern squares with caller Al Brundage in 1949. He talks about the early development of modern, showing how this new activity began to separate from its traditional roots.

Jim Mayo 2
Square Thru and Changing Choreography

The call "square through" provided callers with a new tool for moving dancers around on the dance floor. Jim describes how callers experimented with the figure and how he introduced it in many different setups in his classes.

Jim Mayo 3
Start of CALLERLAB

The 1970s saw a dramatic increase in the number of calls, which led to repeated cries from dancers for someone to bring order out of chaos. This led to the formation of CALLERLAB.

Jim Mayo 4
New choreography

New calls such as Wheel and Deal and Swing Thru gave modern square dance callers powerful tools for creating new choreography and patterns of movement. Callers discovered that the sequence "Wheel and Deal, Double Pass Thru, Centers In, and Cast Off 3/4," repeated three times, would get all dances back where they had started—a triple zero, which was a "a whole new way of thinking about choreography."

Jim Mayo 5
Basic Formations, Complex Calls

Jim points out that there are only a few basic formations in modern square dancing. However, within those formations, there are hundreds of figures. One of the distinctive features of modern squares is the way that a series of basic moves are combined into one call. Swing Thru was an early example of this; Ed Gilmore objected to that term, saying that he could call the moves using more basic terminology. Later calls such as Relay the Deucy involved 16 counts of motion moving all eight dancers in a pattern that would be hard to call smoothly with just basic moves.

Jim Mayo 6
Key Elements of Modern Square Dance

Jim discusses features that make modern square dancing different from traditional squares, including the unpredictable nature of the calls, the necessity for lessons, and the club structure that provides an important social element.