Caller - Cuer
Club caller and cuer Elizabeth Hohner.
Elizabeth graduated from square dance beginner's class in 1976 under the guidance of Norm & Mary Graham and the Travelling Squares Square Dance Club in Nanaimo. She stayed with the Travelling Squares for about 10 years until the necessity to move locations for work stopped her from carrying on.
She took time out to raise a family and to pursue other interests. 23 yrs later!! . . . after the passing of second husband in 2008, she returned to square dancing to fill a void.
Since she expressed an interest to try calling, her father (a pro after 34 yrs of calling) said he would delay his retirement from Square dance calling for 1 year to teach her how to do it. This started her apprenticeship under the fantastic tutelage of her father and mentor, Mike Groenendyk. Added to the lessons on learning how to call, she also learned how to cue Round Dances under the able direction of her mother, Lena Groenendyk, who had been doing the cueing as long as her father had called.
She shared duties with them for the Circle Eights Club in Qualicum Beach for one year before taking over as caller the following year when they both retired from calling and cueing.
She became a member of the Upper Vancouver Island Caller Teachers Association and also the Victoria and District Caller Teacher Association to ensure she was able to call anywhere on the Island as a Club Caller in those areas.
She called for Circle Eights for two seasons 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, until the club folded for lack of active dancing members. During the same 2 seasons, she was also hired on as caller-cuer for the Frontier Twirlers in Victoria, remaining active in both clubs from 2010 through the 2012 seasons.
A year off for oral surgery and recuperation put her out of calling for the following season, but as soon as she was able, she picked up her microphone and got right back to practicing, taking in a week of training under Darryl Clendenin at the Circle Eight Ranch in
Cle-Elum Washington as a boost to get her going again.
The 2013-2014 season had her filling in as guest caller for anyone who was unavailable to call a dance, as well as sharing some calling duties with Garry Dodds for the Frontier Twirlers for the 2014-2015 season. Given her work schedule, this was sometimes a daunting task!
She has been keeping active promoting square dancing and following through with promotional events such as fundraisers, and a demo dance for Canada Day along the Gorge waterway.
The Promenaders were pleased to welcome her as the club caller starting September 2015!
The 2015-2016 season Beginner Dancer Class, saw 6 new dancers join the Club. It was a great start!!
During the 2017-2018 Dance year, we saw the introduction of a half hour of Plus 'Teach", which had those wishing to learn the advanced moves from the Plus Level on the floor each week to add another move to their rapidly growing list of moves learned.
By the end of this year, the group had made their way through all the moves in the "Plus curriculum' and were dancing at the Plus level.
The 2017-2018 Season saw a noticeable decline in new dancers, with some classes being cancelled due to insufficient numbers. The campaign posters continued to be put out however, in the hopes that another class could be started up after the Christmas Break. What a joy to see another 7 new dancers join the Club and the dancing community in April of 2018!
The hard work continued, and unfortunately there was not enough interest within the club membership for the executive to carry on with new faces. It was therefore decided by a vote at the AGM, that the Promenaders would turn the leadership of the Club over to the Caller as of July 2018, thus becoming a "Caller-Run" club. Many good wishes came from all across the Island.
The Club continues to add new members by way of the Beginner Group, with another 8 dancers joining by end of classes in May 2018.
A new dancer class was begun in January of 2019 with hopes of catching those who missed the September start up dates. Out of the eighteen dancers who began in the class, 12 carried on to graduation and were welcomed into the dance community.
Elizabeth continues to do a fabulous job of keeping the Club alive, motivated and very active. There has been much in the way of promotional posters, advertising, public demonstrations, fundraisers, and special occasion events, all geared for audience participation, which is a great way to bring awareness to the square dance world.
Continued success as the year unfolds.... and an eye to the future!
Classes are again scheduled to start in September 2019 - watch for the advertising posters to come out.