Paul Place and Traveling Hoedowners Update

July 17, 2008

Paul PlacePaul Place CallingPaul being wrapped

Paul Place Photo's courtesy of Michael and Alice Craft of the Traveling Hoedowners.

Click on photo to see enlargement.

Traveling Hoedowners News
by Alice Craft

Some of you may be familiar with Paul Place & The Traveling Hoedowners’ Mainstream and Plus Reference DVDs which were reviewed in this magazine recently (

Two of the Traveling Hoedowners couples traveled to Germany to attend the European Square Dance Convention in Hocheim, Germany on June 6-8, 2008.

We also attended the Die Hard Square Dance Club’s 30th Anniversary Dance on May 31, 2008 in Schweinfurt, Germany.  Paul Place, the caller for The Traveling Hoedowners, founded this club when he was in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany 30 years ago.  Paul was scheduled to be the caller at this Anniversary Dance, but was unable to attend due to poor health.

This spring Paul was diagnosed with incurable cancer.  This is a terrible loss to us, his loving family, his local clubs, and to all square dancers.  Paul has given up his 5 square dance clubs in the Central Florida area, and has moved back to Alabama to be close to his family.

During the week of July 6, Paul returned to Central Florida to record his last DVD with The Traveling Hoedowners.  Paul’s Square Dance Party DVD will be available soon on our website

While in Central Florida, Paul called his final two square dances at the Whirl & Twirl Square Dance Club on July 9, and July 11, before permanently retiring from square dance calling.

Paul looked great and his calling was top-notch; he did not even miss a beat of “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems”, while being wrapped in toilet paper onstage by enthusiastic dancers.  Both performances were outstanding, although heart-breaking for all those in attendance, especially when Paul ended Friday’s dance with “The Cowboy Rides Away”.

On Wednesday we had 15 squares of dancers, including 16 first time visitors to Whirl & Twirl, 6 visiting callers, and many more repeat visitors.  On Friday we had an additional 16 first time visitors making over 18 squares of dancers, the most I have ever seen in that hall.  After Paul’s final dance, a long line of callers and dancers formed to wish Paul well, thank him for coming, and to bid him a fond farewell.

We love you Paul!

Photos of Paul’s final two dances are posted on the Whirl & Twirl website  Click on “Michael’s Pictures” on the right hand side.

Armidale Spring Square Dance Festival 2008

July 16, 2008

Armidale Spring Square Dance Festival

OCTOBER 17, 18, 19 2008




The Armidale Eights invite you to their 32nd spring festival for another exciting experience of dancing, fun and friendship.

There will be squares, rounds and clogging. Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening dancing is at the University. First class facilities ensure a great atmosphere for dancing. Sound is excellent and the floor is beaut. And, of course, we have outstanding leaders. Supper is provided on both nights.

On Sunday morning we move to a local woolshed for more dancing and a BBQ lunch. This will be followed, at the woolshed, by a time for socializing & where we discover the musical talents of dancers, callers and cuers. Afternoon tea is provided.

We have made two changes to our weekend. Because of the increasing cost of the marquee we will not be having the Sunday wind down in the evening but will have it at the woolshed following the BBQ lunch. Following problems at the University Bistro there will not be a Saturday evening meal there.

The leaders will be Steve Turner and Mike Davey. This is our 32nd festival and we expect about 300 dancers will attend.
There is an entry we had in the Review that gives an overview of the program. There was also a registration form in the June Review or dancers can get one from our web page or from me
972 Rockvale Rd Armidale 2350  or 02 6775 1707

There are two good van parks in Armidale
Pembroke  02 6772 6470
Highlander  02 6772 4768
They are about 10 mins from the dance venue; nothing is very far from anywhere in Armidale.

Armidale is usually colourful in spring and there are quite a lot places of interest for tourists in Armidale and surrounding areas. The Visitors Information Centre 1800 627 736
We hope some TAWS members can come along and enjoy the weekend.

David Williams
Armidale Eights Square Dance Club

European Square Dance Convention 2008

July 16, 2008

Grand MarchSquare DancingOpening Ceremony

The European Square Dance Convention – 2008
by Michael A. Craft

The European Square Dance convention was held June 6-8, 2008 in Hocheim, Germany.  My wife Alice and I attended along with 11 other Florida dancers, most of whom belong to the Whirl and Twirl Square Dance Club in Orlando, Florida.  Although it was a European convention our group was permitted and proud to represent the United States by carrying the U.S. flag in the convention’s grand parade.

The opening ceremonies began with performers presenting a history of the dances that lead to square dancing as we know it today, with an emphasis on the United States Civil War period.  It was fascinating to see European men in Union and Confederate Civil War uniforms complete with muskets, dancing with ladies in full length period gowns.  Music included “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, and “The Bonnie Blue Flag”.  The ceremonies then followed the progression, through costume, music, and dance, to square dancing as we know it today.

20 callers and 16 cuers from Europe called and cued to packed halls; 16 nations from 346 clubs were represented by approximately 1,650 dancers.

In Germany air conditioning in halls is very rare and there was none in the convention halls.  It was extremely hot but that did not prevent everyone from having a great time.  German dancers learn Dancing by Definition (DBD) from their first lesson, and consequently German dances are often challenging for Americans who routinely dance in standard positions.   Also, the European dancers used many flourishes which may be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, but they are easy to learn, or can be ignored without difficulty.

The next European Convention will be held in Sweden in 2010.

Photos courtesy of Michael and Alice Craft. Click on a photo to see it enlarged.

Steve Turner To Call at Woolgoolga

July 13, 2008

Steve Turner (squares) and Corinne Brodshaw  (rounds) will call at the 2006 Gala Weekend Festival in Woolgoolga 23rd - 24th August 2008.  Take a look at this flyer (click on image) to register:

Woolgoolga Registration