Ralph Sweet was one of my all-time favorite callers, and--up until
disease took its toll in the last couple years or so--one of the
sharpest, most perceptive guys you could hope to meet. Among my
peak dance experiences was dancing to Ralph at the 2011 Northwest
Passage weekend, his last west-coast dance camp gig, where his
performance, at the sprightly age of 82, was simply superb.
I recently sat down and re-watched my DVD of _Sweet Talk_, the
delightful interview/documentary that David Millstone recorded with
Ralph in 2004. Starting about ten minutes before the end, there's
a segment titled "Advice for Callers", where Ralph says, among other
The other most important thing [Ralph had just been talking
about teaching so that dancers "have fun from that first night
so they'll come back the second night"] is your personality.
... They've got to like you. If they feel that you're being
critical of them, or something, they're not gonna come back
even if you do a good job in the calling per se. ...
From all my experience with Ralph (too little, since we lived on
opposite coasts), he had a mighty likable personality, on mic and
off. Condolences to Carol and the rest of the Sweet family.