[Callers] What makes a caller a great caller?

barb kirchner barbkirchner at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 11 07:41:06 PDT 2011

also flippant, but true:
good teaching and an open mind.  
best comment i ever got "she can holler so pleasantly to get us to do what she wants!"
so - learn to holler pleasantly.
and it's absolutely true that a very mediocre caller can have a fabulous night with a good band, but it's darned hard for a caller to overcome a bad band.  so don't forget that the musicians are more important than you are.  working WITH whatever they want to do will almost always lead to the best experience.
good luck!

> Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 08:54:00 -0500
> From: grant at grantgoodyear.org
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Subject: Re: [Callers] What makes a caller a great caller?
> On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 3:13 AM, Will Kruse <sideways at wcrews.net> wrote:
> > Hello from Seattle! I'd love to hear your thoughts on what separates
> > good callers from great callers? Is it their selections of dances?
> > That they call their own dances? Their ability to compose an evening
> > of dancing? Their personal charm? Their connection with the band?
> > Their intimate knowledge of how the dance, the music, and the dancers
> > all flow together?
> >
> What makes a great caller? A great band.
> Okay, that's the flippant answer, although there's a certain amount of truth
> to it. If the band is awesome, the caller can just get out of the way, and
> everything will work for an awesome evening. (That's even more true if
> there's a great crowd, as well. The special event that brings out all of
> the experienced dancers, and greatly increases the ratio of experienced to
> beginner dancers, is easy to call.)
> I'm a good caller, but not a great one. The great callers I know (Lisa
> Greenleaf, Chris Kelly, Linda Leslie, and Joseph Pimental, to name just
> four) can (seemingly) effortlessly fix a set that's just starting to fail
> with a few gentle words over the microphone. They can miscall a dance (even
> the great ones are human) and fix it on the fly. They're not only good
> teachers of the dances, style, and etiquette, but also in tune with the
> crowd to know both when and what to teach. And then there's usually
> something extra special about each one. Chris Kelly exudes calm, even in
> the midst of a train wreck, without reducing the energy level of the dance.
> Joseph has a program for the evening, a backup program, and a mental set of
> safety-net dances, but the dancers never know because he'll make the night
> awesome fun regardless. Etcetera.
> -Grant-
> -- 
> Grant Goodyear
> web: http://www.grantgoodyear.org
> e-mail: grant at grantgoodyear.org
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