The Square Dance Caller

Harry and I met today in the most unlikely of places.

I was shooting pictures for the day as a volunteer at Sidney’s third grade field trip.

Harry was the square dance caller.

One smile from Harry and I knew I had to get to know him better.

He’s charming, energetic and  87.

He’s been calling square dances for 40 years.

“I tried to retire last year but they called me at the last-minute to do a pioneer day at a local school and since then I can’t seem to stop”.


Today Harry called square dances for almost 6 hours with only a short 30 minute lunch break.  After 2 hours of following 80 third graders around I was pooped. But, there was Harry standing before me full of enthusiasm for the job he loved.  “I love this job!” he told me.

He cajoled all of those 8 year old boys into holding the hands of the 8-year-old girls beside them. None of the kids complained in fact they loved every minute.

The common refrain in this day and age seems to be that kids of this generation just don’t get it. They are disrespectful and maybe even lazy.

Harry shared with me that over the last 10 years he can count on one hand the number of times he has had to tell a child to leave. He finds them to be engaged, completely respectful and down right excited to dance around a barn while he calls the commands.

Maybe, we just need to learn to talk to kids more like Harry does.

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