Dayle Hodge, Columbia, MD
Spring break, 1981 I attended a square dance in PA with my parents. They said "Doesn't this look like fun?" I said "Sure, but I like that guy, the caller. He gets to tell everyone what to do!!" First I had to learn to dance. 3 days later, done.
Now back at college, I was befriended by a local square dance caller. The next 3 years, for 4-6 nights/week, we would ride together into Pittsburgh. We'd talk calling the whole way there, at the dance, he'd let me call a tip, then he'd critique me the whole way home. Honest immediate and direct criticism was very motivating.
Late 1984, I moved to the Washington DC area and decided to give up square dancing. Well, after attending one dance, I was hooked again. Within a year I was the club caller for 2 clubs. I'm proud to still be with Chesapeake Squares, more than 33 years later.
In the ensuing years, things continued to move steadily forward as I called dances, fly-ins, weekends, festivals, and conventions. I strive to never rest on my laurels and try to continue to improve at every dance.
Now, 36 years after that fateful spring break, I am loving my 5 clubs, the chance to entertain the best people in the world, and make wonderful, deep lasting friends.
See you on the dance floor!!
Ett McAtee is affectionately known as "Just Ett, Hon!" to many who know her, and as "Ettila the Hon!" to her new Plus, Advanced and Challenge graduates. She started square dancing on January 13, 1987 with Chesapeake Squares, and first picked up the microphone to call in the summer of 1989. She soon was a regular instructor and caller with both Chesapeake Squares and DC Lambda Squares. In addition to currently calling her own club, Ettseteras (C1), she also called for the Offsets (C2) and Fifth Wheelers (C3A/C3B) clubs in the past. Ett has called in Canada, Sweden, Germany and Japan, and calls various weekends around the country every year. She is a member of Washington DC's association of callers (NCASDLA), as well as of the Gay Caller's Association (GCA) and Callerlab, the international "club" of callers.
Ett's love of square dancing shows from either side of the microphone, as anyone who dances with and to her well knows. The idea of sharing a common language between dancers and callers appeals to her, especially on the international scene. When Ett says, "Square up!" she means it! Parlez vous square dance?
Kent started square dancing as a teenager (when, contrary to popular belief, the calls were not in Latin). He took a twenty-year break, inspired by knee problems, and returned in 2000. Those same knee problems then influenced his decision to start calling a few years later, as a way to stay involved if the day came that he couldn’t dance any more. He fell in love with calling and has been working on it ever since.
Chesapeake Squares was one of the first clubs he ever called for and he has been one of their regular callers for more than ten years now, as well as having called from Oregon to Pennsylvania. He lives in a complicated home in Silver Spring, MD.