Entertainers
Caller and Cuer Biographies

Caller Photo Janice Alexander [VIC-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo DI ASHTON [TAS-RDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo SHIRLEY BATES [SA-RDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo Tony Bowring [NSW-SDC]

I started dancing in May 1969 with Ron Mennie's St Peters SD Club in Box Hill Victoria

The first club I opened was C-City Squares in Croydon Victoria in 1975 and Red Hot Plus in the late 1980's (probably 1988).  After 23 years of club calling, we retired to concentrate on family and other interests.  After several years we returned to dancing and relief calling as required.

After our move to Port Macquarie in 2011 we opened Riverside 8's SDC in April 2013 to cater for a void in Square Dancing in the area.

The first National Convention I attended was in Adelaide in 1974.  My first National Convention Calling opportunity was at the 1975 National Convention in Melbourne.

Since then I have attended 20 National Conventions and called at 19 of these.  I was the Publicity Officer for the 1991 Melbourne (Broadmeadows) convention.

We also had demonstrations at 2 Nationals, a quadrille in 1983 (Melbourne Showgrounds), and a children's set at the 1991 (Broadmeadows) National Convention.

Now retired, and not subject to work constraints, Christine and I are looking forward to being able to attend more National Conventions in the future.

Caller Photo GARY CARPENTER [NSW-SDC]

Started dancing in 1974 with Ted Sams at Tuggerah to spend time with my then girlfriend, now wife. Dancing progressed to "guest calling" with Ted and calling in the 1st NSW Convention (Junior Hall) in 1975.

A callers school with Bryan Hotchkies in 1976 followed with me getting lifts with David Cox and Jeremy Weedon as I was too young to hold a drivers license....

The license followed and in 1977 with David Cox we started the Spatiores club in East Gosford (then Gosford)...

In 1979 I moved out on my own with the Carpenter and Co. club in Tuggerah which has been operating ever since. In 1980 David Cox, Jerremy Weedon and I convened the NSW State Convention at Gosford. Not bad for 2 x 22 and 1 x 20 yr old. I followed this up by convening the 1990 and 2016 State Convention. From 1989 I was the President on the NSW Caller's Association and from about that time I have spent a number of stints on the ACF Board, currently the treasurer, and have assisted national programs by being on the Program Advisory Panel. Also, I was the Program Manager for the 1995 National Convention in Sydney. I was first able to call at National Conventions in 1982 and have attended and called at over 30 so far and I'm looking forward to calling in Goulburn.

Caller Photo HOWARD COCKBURN [VIC-SDC]

I began square dancing at Westgate Square Dance club in October 1979 at the insistence of my wife Brenda.  By April 1981 I had become a trainee caller with Frank Kennedy and in July 1982 Brenda and I began Crossroad Squares in Werribee.  In 1990 Brenda & I opened Southern Cross Plus and in 1998 we opened Southern Cross A, all three clubs are still running.

I have attended 38 National Conventions and called at 37.  I have served on 7 National Convention Committees.  In 1987 I was Publicity Officer, 1991 Venue Manager, 2000 Program Manager, 2005 Convenor, 2010 Board Liaison, 2017 Co Program Manager (with Janice Alexander) and I am Program Manager for the Goulburn 2022 Convention.

I have held the positions of President of the Victorian Callers Association (VCA) & Australian Callers Federation (ACF), Treasurer of VCA & ACF, ACF Callerlink Editor and ACF State Coordinator.  I am currently the VCA Treasurer and the ACF Chairman.   I have received a Life Membership from VCA, Roll of Honour from National Society of Australia and a Life Membership of South Australian Square Dance Society.

When I am not square dancing Brenda & I spend a lot of time with our two daughters Meagan & Rachel and the loves of our life, our grandchildren Logan, Ruby, Stella and Charlotte.

Caller Photo Laurina Collyer [VIC-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo Mike Davey [VIC-SDC]

I started calling when I was 18.  My first call was to an empty supper room because I was so nervous that I was too scared to look at the dancers! It got easier after that, and I found that I really enjoyed calling.  I am co-caller for Jaybee Square Wheelers with Laurina Collyer and I also run Mike's Plus on a weekly basis.

I have called in all the Australian states and territories, as well as New Zealand, England and Japan.  I was Convenor of the Australian National Square Dance Convention, held in Bendigo in Easter 2017 and I am now a program manager for the 64th National which will be held in Darwin in 2024.

In my spare time, I volunteer as a puppy-raiser for Guide Dogs Victoria.  Lorraine and I are currently looking after Crystal, who is a pure white Labrador with a mischievous nature.  I also take people on tours of the Guide Dog campus in Kew when COVID allows.

Caller Photo GRAHAM ELLIOTT [SA-SDC]

Graham's introduction to square dancing came in the early 1970s when his family were encouraged to come along by neighbourhood friends.  In the late 70s, whilst at Adelaide University, he joined the square dance club which operated there.  It was here that he met his wife Dawn.  During this time, he also had the pleasure of dancing in the late Colin Huddleston's demonstration team.  A few years later Graham tried his hand at calling at a couple of Adelaide clubs, being no stranger to the stage having been involved in public speaking and plays during his school years.

In 1985 Graham & Dawn started a learners' class which became their own club - the Adelaide Outlaws.  Operating in the western suburbs of Adelaide, it maintained a healthy membership and in 1987, a Plus club was formed operating on the north side of Adelaide.  Both clubs are still going strong today.

Graham has been actively involved in the calling field having served as various executive positions on the State callers' association, taken various positions on the Australian Callers Federation Board and still serves there.  He is a member of Callerlab and is on the Mainstream and International Advisory committees.  He has been feature caller at many interstate and overseas festivals and conventions.  Graham and Dawn are also both life members of the South Australian Square Dance Society and in April 2015 were Convenors for the 56th Australian National Square Dance convention held in Adelaide.

Not satisfied with that exertion.  Graham has again volunteered to run the 63rd National in Adelaide with another great committee.  Plans are well under way and all we invite you to "Rock On" in Adelaide in 2023!

When not square dancing, Graham is a mechanical engineer retired from the oil and gas industry and is a regular jazz presenter on community radio 5MBS in Adelaide.  Dawn is a primary school teacher.

Caller Photo CHRIS FROGGATT [NSW-SDC]

Chris started square dancing in 1970 at Corrimal and had his first call in 1972.  For around six months Chris called for the south Coast Country Music Association, before starting his own club "Ghost Riders" in 1974.  This dance ran in the Wollongong area for nearly five years.

In early1978 Chris was approached by the Rockdale Airforce Memorial Bowling Club to call for their first Saturday of the month dance, which had previously had Tom McGrath as the caller.  This was the first square dance Chris and Linda ran together.  In late 1978, they opened their first weekly club "Knee-Deep Squares" on Wednesday nights, teaching beginners and dancing Mainstream.  Several years later they also opened a fortnightly Plus dance at Jannali Community Hall.  Over the years they have introduced hundreds of people to square dancing, many of whom dance today in other parts of Australia.  Chris not only taught many people how to square dance, but more importantly, he strove to include fun and fellowship.

Chris and Linda also ran the Southside Cabaret for many years, which became known as the premier event on Sydney's square dance calendar.

Joining CALLERLAB in 1983, Chris served on the Mainstream and Plus Committees for several years.  He served as President of the NSW Callers Association and was awarded Life Membership for services to Caller Education.  He was also an NSW Board Member of the Australian Callers Federation and in 2000 served as Vice President.

Chris has called at many Australian National and State Conventions and has featured at festivals in every state of Australia.  He has also been invited to call in New Zealand and the USA.  In 1988 Chris Co-Convened Australia's largest National Square Dance Convention, heading up the Programming, Sound, and Decoration Committees.  In 1995 Chris called and choreographed the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney National.

For five years Chris contributed a monthly article in the South Pacific Square Dance Review called "This Square Dance World", striving to share opinions and to stimulate thoughts of the readers.  He has also run many Callers Schools and has written four books on calling to help new callers with their choreography and enhance their calling skills.

Chris and Linda took a break from full-time square dancing in 2001 after running Knee-Deep Squares for 23 years.  In 2012 they returned and are now back at Jannali Community Hall, running Knee-Deep Squares on Friday nights, and enjoying it as much as ever.  In 2017 Chris & Linda also opened Knee Deep Plus at Miranda, dancing Monday nights.

In 1994 Chris began recording for the Silver sounds label, releasing several top selling singles.  In 2017, Chris started his own record label "Knee Deep Melodies" and produces a wide spectrum of Square Dance Music for callers.

Caller Photo Anne Glazier [NSW-RDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo FRANCES HICKSON [NSW-SDC]

In 1989 I started square dancing with the Alstonville Summerlanders, later this club merged with the Lismore Larrikins to become the Alstonville Summerland Larrikins with Wilma Flannery as caller and my mentor.

I started calling in 1991, and attended many callers schools in Casino with instructor Brian Hotchkies.  I stopped square dancing for 4 years, but came back to it again.  

I was the caller for clubs in Ballina and Lismore.  I became caller for the Alstonville Larrikins in 2019.

John and I have had many wonderful years of travelling and meeting new friends through square dancing.

I am a member of the ACF, SARDA, QCF and QSDS.

I have danced and called at nine NSW State Conventions, seven National Conventions.  And four Queensland State Conventions.

Caller Photo ANNA-LEE HODALJ [NSW-RDC]

I'm a fourth generation Dancer and Cuer.
I've been to 5 Nationals, and as many State conventions, but this will be my first as a cuer, I'm very excited.

Caller Photo HELEN HODALJ [NSW-RDC]

I am a 3rd generation caller and cuer, my grandfather, Frank Johnson, started my calling with fun amateur callers nights.  Then after he got his wings in 1996, mum, Jan Johnson, took over the calling and I focused on cueing rounds, and have been teaching and cueing ever since.  I still do the occasional square dance call.

I have served on the NSWSARDA management committee for over 10 years and I am currently in the vice-president position.  I have cued at club nights, weekend celebrations, state and national conventions.  I have also been involved with organising state and national conventions.

See you on the dance floor

Caller Photo BRIAN HOTCHKIES [NSW-SDC, RDC]

Started calling in 1961

CLUBS:- For which Brian has, or is Calling (or Cueing) for.

NEWCASTLE:- Y.M.C.A. S/D Club, Newcastle S/D Club, B-bar-H, Westerners, Surfside 8, Valentine S/D Club, Kotara S/D Club & BH Round Dance Club.

CENTRAL COAST:- Tumbi Country, Dinosaur Dancers, Classified A (Thursday), B-bar-H*.

SYDNEY:- Greenwich Swingers, Classified A (Saturday) Newport Ocean Waves.

First Australian National Convention attended: 4th in Newcastle 1963.  Have attended most (but not all) since then.

OVERSEAS CALLING:- England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Philippines, New Zealand, China & United States.

CALLERLAB:- Served 10 years as Vice Chairman of the "Mainstream Quarterly Selection Committee".

* The "B-bar-H Club" started in Newcastle, but when I moved to the Central Coast, the Club moved here as well.

Caller Photo KEVIN KELLY [WA-SDC]

You're probably not going to believe this but I lost a Footy bet to a school friend 50+ years ago and as payment of the bet had to go Square Dancing with he and his family on the following Saturday night.  At the time I couldn't think of anything I would have much less wanted to do but a bet is a bet so along I went and here we are some 50+ years later still going Square Dancing.

I started doing the odd guest Call not too long after I went to my first dance (more as a dare) than anything else and here we are 50+ years later still daring to Call at any given opportunity.

The journey has been a long and most enjoyable one with so many highlights along the way it almost sounds like a brag to start mentioning them.  But not in any order and at the risk of forgetting a few along the way here we go.  I've attended and been programmed at about 40 National Conventions and have been lucky enough to receive Life Patron status along the way.  I've been lucky enough to have been invited to be part of the programme and Feature Call in all States of our great Nation as well as North and South Islands of New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and parts of Europe.

My commitment to Calling has also seen me take an active role on the Australian Callers Federation in several positions, currently Vice Chairman of the Callers Association of WA, currently Board member and the National Convention Board, currently serving as a Board Executive.  I'm pleased to say I have been granted Life Membership to all of the Boards, Associations and Federations I have just mentioned along with Life Membership to the Western Australian Square Dance Society and my home club Happy Wanderers.  

Square Dancing has given me the opportunity to visit so many places and meet so many wonderful people along the way.  It really is difficult to single out an item or two that are real highlights but if pressed I would have to say Celebrating 50 years behind the microphone and receiving my Golden Microphone award with my two Good mates Steve Turner and Nev Mc Lachlan.  Being a part The East West Four with Brian Hotchkies, Barry Wonson and Steve Turner would be right up there and having the opportunity to call so many wonderful people friends and to be called Friend by so many Wonderful people is a highlight hard to top.

Fortunately for me the journey is still continuing, and I hope to have the opportunity to share a yarn and perhaps one of my True Stories with you all again soon.

The Best Bet I've Ever Lost!!
Cheers Kev..

Caller Photo TERRY LEE [SA-RDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo BEV McLACHLAN [QLD-RDC]

Started square dancing in 1973 after being convinced by parents this was an excellent activity to be involved in.  They were right and I have not looked back.

Married my wonderful husband December 1977.  Started teaching Round Dancing in February 1978, cueing in 1982 and expanded our family in 1983 and 1989.

Attended over 40 Australian National Square Dance Conventions, others in New Zealand and USA, Special Round Dance Week-ends and Minilab Conventions for Callers and Cuers and clogging Cuers.  A resident dancer from 1977 - 1982 for "Reg Lindsay's Country Homestead" live TV show, the resident Clogging Cuer on "Cruisin' Country".

I am a member of the:-

Queensland Round Dance Association Square Dancing Society of Queensland (Life Member and recipient of the Silver Spur Award) Australian Round Dance Association (Life Member) Roundalab The Australian National Square Dance Convention Board ( Life Patron) Australian Clogging Association.

In June 2008 Nev and I were awarded the EPA Excellence Award in recognition of our valuable contribution to the Environmental Protection Agency in the "Volunteering" category.  For over 40 years we have spent our Christmas vacation at an area called Wreck Rock (north of Bundaberg) monitoring Marine Turtles.

I feel very privileged to assist and support my husband Nev with his square dance commitments and also the running of the Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre.

Caller Photo NEV MCLACHLAN [QLD-SDC]

I first experienced square dancing when my parents and older brothers attended regular dances in the early 1960's.  In 1967 I won an amateur callers contest and the prize was a calling spot at the National Convention that same year in Brisbane at Cloudland Ballroom.  My first club evolved from teaching kids for demonstrations at school fetes.  Circle W began at Wynnum in 1969 and soon many of those kids' parents were also dancing.  One of those kids still dances with us now.  Suncoasters was formed in 1970 and we went on to build the Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre and moved there in 1985.

Some memorable highlights:

  • Calling on top of Ayers Rock in 1970.
  • Resident caller for Reg Lindsay's Country Homestead from 1977 until 1982.
  • Calling at the 1982 US National Convention and clubs in the USA.
  • Calling for several festivals in NZ.
  • Co-Convening with my wife Bev, National Conventions in 1990, 1999 and 2016.
  • Resident caller for "Cruisin' Country".

Positions previously held:

  • Secretary, Square Dancing Society of Queensland.
  • Secretary, Australian Callers Federation.

State and National Honours:

  • Queensland Silver Spur.
  • Square Dancing Society of Queensland Life Member.
  • Life Member of the Australian Callers Federation.
  • Life Patron of The Australian National Square Dance Convention.
  • Sharing my life with my fabulous, supportive wife Bev.

When not square dancing Bev and I manage a marine turtle conservation project for the Queensland Government achieving the EPA Excellence Award recognising volunteering, dedication and commitment for the environment and people of Queensland.

Caller Photo Matthew Mills [QLD-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo Richard Muir [WA-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo GEORGIA NICHOLSON [NSW-CLC]

Georgia was born clogging!  Growing up with Jason and Leanne as parents Georgia instinctively learnt to clog from as soon as she could walk.

Georgia has attended every National Clogging Convention and National Square Dance Convention since she was born - a true 'life member' of both dance forms.

Georgia cued her first clogging dance around the age of 8 at our local clogging club.  Not long after this she cued for a tour group of cloggers who travelled to Norfolk Island.

Georgia has achieved her cuer accreditation with the Australian Clogging Association and helps her Mum and Dad out at club when they need a rest!

Georgia has also been involved with a number of clogging demo's at recent Square Dance Conventions and a highlight was travelling to Canada to clog.

Caller Photo JASON NICHOLSON [NSW-CLC]

Jason started clogging at the age of 17 after seeing it at a National Square Dance Convention in 1988.  Not long after starting clogging with Vickie Dean, Jason was hit by a car and broke both legs and an arm which put a hold on clogging for a little while.  After recovering, Jason was back to clogging and has danced ever since.

In 1995, Jason started running his own club - named Strictly Cloggers.  He still runs this club weekly and drives 1.5 hours each way to do so.  Jason also shares a club with Leanne which they run together each week.

Jason has been on the committee of every National Clogging Convention held in NSW and co-convenor for 2 of them.  Jason has taught clogging across Australia, in NZ and in 2019 was invited to teach and run sessions at the 1st Canadian Clogging Convention.

Jason is recognised as a Gold level instructor by the Australian Clogging Association and has been inducted into the ACA Hall of Fame.  He is the current President of the ACA - for his 3rd term.  Jason, along with Leanne, has run most of the clogging sessions at National Square Dance Conventions over the past 10 years and has been involved in many clogging demonstrations at Square Dance conventions and functions over the years.

Caller Photo LEANNE NICHOLSON [NSW-CLC]

Leanne started clogging at the age of 12 after seeing it at a NSW State Square Dance Convention in 1989.

In 1991, at the age of 14, Leanne started cueing and running her own club - named Coastal Cowboy Cloggers.  She has run 2 clubs a week since 1993.

Leanne has been on the committee of every National Clogging Convention held in NSW and co-convenor for 1 of them.  Leanne has taught clogging across Australia, in NZ and in 2019 was invited to teach and run sessions at the 1st Canadian Clogging Convention.

Leanne is recognised as a Gold level instructor by the Australian Clogging Association and has been inducted into the ACA Hall of Fame. She is the current 'mentor' officer for the ACA.  Leanne, along with Jason, has run most of the clogging sessions at National Square Dance Conventions over the past 10 years and has been involved in many clogging demonstrations at Square Dance conventions and functions over the years.

Caller Photo GARY PETERSEN [QLD-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo Ken Pike [WA-SDC]

I started square dancing in June 1968 with the Swan Swingers Square Dance Club in the Swan Valley.

Over the next 10 years I danced with several clubs, until I joined the Callers Association of WA in late 1978.

In June 1981 I started the Drifters Square Dance Club, which ran for 28 years.

In 1982, I sat and passed my callers test to qualify as club caller.

1985, I reopened Gidgegannup Square Dance Club that was in recess, the club is still active today.

Teaching new dancers has been the most enjoyable part of my role of calling, I have run numerous classes, including classes for our Square dance Society.

One highlight of my career was visiting the Calgary Stampede, and calling during their celebrations.

Positions held within the CAWA; President, vice President and currently serving my third term as Treasurer.

Caller Photo IAN RUTTER [SA-SDC]

Ian Rutter commenced Square Dancing in 2000 when he attended a Community Dance Program (CDP) on Friday nights.   After a year, once the program finished, he took a break from square dancing and returned in 2004 when he learned a lot more.   After he graduated, he started visiting other clubs around Adelaide.

In 2005, he tried his hand on calling when Noes Noesbar, who was a caller that time, asked if he was interested in giving calling a go after he learned about Ian's ability to sing from the talent shows organised by the club Leisurely Squares.   After Ian called a couple of singing calls, he thoroughly enjoyed it and has continued to call for Songs and Hoedowns today.

During his time as a caller, Ian attended a few sessions on calling such as 'Behind the Microphone' and some callers had given him advice on what to do when calling.   He also attended some sessions on 'Zoom' to learn a lot more.

In 2011, he commenced calling for a club in his own right called 'Scoot Back Squares' and has helped learners to teach square dancing.   In 2019, he commenced teaching learners at a club called 'Diggers Too' a sister club for 'Diggers Delights'

Ian became a member of SACA and ACF when he started calling for 'Scoot Back Squares'.   He also called at the National Convention for the first time in Canberra in 2014.

Ian's professional job is a Public Servant working for Centrelink.  He has worked for the Commonwealth Department for 30 years.

Caller Photo CAROL SIMONDSON [VIC-RDC]

In 2000 I read a flyer advertising square dancing.  I joined Burra Squares and within a few weeks was completely 'won over' to this activity where exercise, fun, friendship and dancing are combined.

In 2003 I commenced round dance tuition; joined the RDAV and was part of both the membership and management committee for 13 years.  With the support and encouragement of Ella Whyte and Beryl Harcourt I trained to cue rounds.  My debut was in 2007, and 2008 I opened the first of three round dance clubs.

In 2004 I joined Southern Cross Plus (Howard Cockburn); 2014/15 I joined Crossroads (again with Howard) and 2016/17 became a member of Southern Cross A (also with Howard).

I joined ARDA and by 2007 I 'landed' on the management committee where I still hold several positions.  My membership with ROUNDALAB also includes positions on several committees with this world wide round dance association.  I hold membership with ICBDA, VSDC, ARDA, NSWSARDA & QRDA.

The Aussie Nationals I have attended number 17 and I have been privileged to cue at 12 of these.  It has been a pleasure to both dance and cue at numerous State Conventions in Vic, NSW and SA.  I have been fortunate to have travelled to the USA, where I danced and cued at 3 NSDC, 3 RAL and 3 ICBDA conventions.

In 2016 it was a real buzz to be the publicity officer and chief marshal or the 57th ANSDC.

It is humbling to have been asked to program the round dance sessions for the 59th ANSDC 2018 (WA), 60th ANSDC 2019 (TAS) and now the 61st 2022 (NSW) and I look forward to again being part of the energy the 2022 team exude.

My square and round dance journey has been and continues to be an amazing journey.

Caller Photo DAVID TODD [NSW-SDC]

Biography to come.

Caller Photo Steve Turner [WA-SDC]

Calling for 52 years.

Owner of Aussie Tempos/Down Under Records.

Life member ACF/CAWA/WA Square Dance Society.

Callerlab Accedited Caller Coach.

Caller Photo RALPH WEISE [VIC-SDC]

I commenced square dancing in 1978, I met my wife Lyn at that time and we got married in 1979 and danced for many years at Lakesider's Square Dance Club in Reservoir.  During this time our two children Rosanne and Adrian were born.

I became interested in calling during the eighties and attended the Double M caller's school.

I opened Chemistry Sets in September 1997 in Deer Park and we are still dancing to this day, I enjoy calling and dancing.

I am a member of various callers' associations, programmed various functions at a state level and have had the privilege to call to the dressed sets at state and national level.

I am also one of the organisers of the Dusk 'til Dawn Fundraiser Group which raises funds for the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal in Melbourne.

When not calling I enjoy travelling and spending time with my family especially my three grandchildren.

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