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UCLA Leadership Conference - 1964

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UCLA Leadership Conference - 1964


Photograph of participants in 1964 square dance leadership conference organized by Bob Osgood at UCLA, along with a roster of participants. Jim Mayo describes this event in his 2003 book, Step By Step Through Modern Square Dance History:

"Bob Osgood recognized that caller interaction and leadership would be of crucial importance as the modern square dance activity developed. Whatever information was available was published promptly in his magazine but he knew that it reached a very small segment of the exploding dancer and caller population. He had brought together several of the most active and respected callers of the day who served both as friends and leaders. One or more of them appeared on the staff of most of the festivals, conventions and dancer institutes throughout the country. Between them they had contacts with a large share of the active callers of the day. With this advisory group, which included Ed Gilmore, Lee Helsel, Bruce Johnson, Arnie Kronenberger, Bob Page and Bob Ruff, a Leadership Conference for callers was held at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in July 1964 just before the National Square Dance Convention, held that year in Long Beach, California. About fifty of us gathered there for a two-day discussion about square dancing and our responsibilities to it.

"This leadership conference was not and did not pretend to be a school for callers. It did, however, include a significant share of the callers who were actively teaching others to call. It helped raise our awareness about how widespread the activity had become and the extent to which we could all benefit from increased cooperation and coordination. Most of those present at that meeting would also be present at the first CALLERLAB Convention a decade later. A repeat of that meeting was held the next year but, because the National Convention had moved to another location it did not have the broad representation from outside the area that was present at the first conference."

Mayo adds (2013): "It was a unique and impressive collection of those who were leading MWSD as it roared through a huge growth period. The event was a very significant one for MWSD. The group in the front right of the picture is most of those who 6 years later would be called together by Bob to start the formation of CALLERLAB. (The obvious missing person is Les Gotcher but he was not an organization man.)"


Square Dance Foundation of New England

Date Created

July, 1964


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Item: Bob Ruff - Teaching Can Be Fun! is related to This Item