The following list contains the serving members of the Callers Club Council. To email them click on their name. For a brief bio select the arrow.
Simon has been calling since 1996 and currently calls for four clubs in the Home Counties area. He calls Mainstream through A2 on a regular basis and called C1 until 2016. He is a regular on the Saturday Night circuit together with his wife Trudy, as well as still frequently calling Hoedowns. He was a joint recipient of the Harry Preston award in 1998, with his wife Trudy.
He was on the GSI UK Committee since its inception in 2004, holding the position of Joint Chairman of GSI UK alongside Trudy, from 2009 to 2017. Simon has been part of the support calling staff for the 2007, 2009 and 2014 GSI UK Festival events and has also been a featured caller in The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.
He was also part of the organising team for the Joint 60th Anniversary Celebrations (BAASDC and SDCCGB) in Nov 2013.
Simon hopes to continue the fine tradition set by his predecessors and hopes to hear from many of you with suggestions of what you would like Callers Club to do for you, or even better, what you can offer our Members.
Vice President since 2011
Trudy has been calling since 1996 and calls for four clubs in the Home Counties area. She calls Mainstream through A2 on a regular basis and called C1 until 2015. She was a joint recipient of the Harry Preston award in 1998, with Simon and she is now recognised as one of the UK's leading female callers, working the Saturday circuit alongside husband Simon, in addition to calling regular Hoedowns.
She held the position of Joint Chairman of GSI UK (with husband Simon) from 2009 to 2017, having been involved since its inception in 2004, appearing as the support calling staff for the GSI Festival 2007, 2009 and 2014 events. Along with Simon, she has been a featured caller in The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Trudy was also part of the organising team for the Joint 60th Anniversary Celebrations (BAASDC and SDCCGB) in November 2013.
Secretary and News & Views Editor since 2007, Librarian and Archivist 2006 - 2007, Librarian 2002 - 2005, Secretary 2001 - 2004
Susie has been the Secretary for the Callers Club for many years. Susie started dancing in the early '50s when just a teenager. Her newsagent was the Caller Jack Smith who was the first Secretary of the BAASDC. They met at Oakwood SDC which was held in Oakwood Sports and Social club. Susie attended some of the weekends, lots of Saturday dances where she fell in love with all the boys and met her first husband John Heath. They married in 1958 soon after he finished his National Service in the R.A.F.As soon as their two children were old enough to go dancing - about 10 years old - they found themselves a club and started dancing again. First, they found a local Folk Dance Club where they did the occasional squares. Then they heard about the Harlow Folk and Square Dance Club where Ian McConnell was the caller. Very soon it became clear that a group of them wanted more Square dancing so Susie found the hall in Much Hadham, where she and John lived, and they helped Ian to start Country Roads SDC.
They also started to dance regularly at Curliques SDC at Great Chesterford. For their New Years Eve Party 1983/4, the caller offered those who wanted to have a go, a loan of some records to practice with. So Susie did and got hooked.
Susie joined Callers Club in 1985. Attended a year's school with Pete Skiffins, meeting Bi-Monthly. She realised the library needed attention so offered to take it on. Ted Ivin the Secretary at that time, suggested she might like to come to a Council Meeting and somehow, innocent as she was, she found herself in 1986 being proposed as Secretary to replace Ted.
Susie's first Calling experience was with Market Squares at Romford every Wednesday night. This started off OK but then unpleasant internal politics caused a parting of the ways. In the meantime, she had also started calling at Tudor Squares on a Monday and here she was well supported and have been ever since.
In 1989 Susie met Simon Kelly and he joined the staff of Tudor Squares and so New City Squares in Milton Keynes became their second club. Susie and Simon were married in 1993.
Susie does all the usual Secretarial jobs to keep the Council running smoothly and have worked with seven different Presidents and many more hard-working Council officers during the last quarter-century.
Training new Callers and keeping the regular callers educated has been her greatest aim during her term in office.
In an endeavour to inspire our membership to attend Callers Schools, in 2003 Susie took the initiative in asking the newly formed GSI organisation to run a school and festival in the UK. After some negotiation, with Walt Burr speaking to them in American, the UK eventually hosted our first school and festival in 2007. We followed this swiftly with another in 2009 having more than satisfied the US GSI Leaders that the UK GSI organising team could fulfil their criteria in running the event professionally and economically, with the least cost to them.
Simon and Susie now call for five square dance clubs, running weekend workshops when necessary to give dancers more experience or to get to the next programme.
Their great pleasure is in their regular Caller's practice sessions which they have led on a monthly basis for about ten years now. Susie says, "It is so exciting to see the progress new callers make and hugely satisfying when they take off on their own and start new Clubs".
Treasurer since 2015
Early in his calling life, Kevin deservedly gained a reputation as being one of the rising stars within the UK – something that was recognised by the council when they invited him to become our Treasurer in 2015 and also awarded him the Harry Preston award.
This initial assessment has been confirmed by his continued improvement and him becoming established as a regular on the Saturday night and workshop scene.
A couple of years later, in 2017, Kevin was asked to take over as the Chairman of the London & Home Counties Regional Caller Assembly and to join the new Future Focus Team. Both roles provide Kevin with the opportunity to help revive Square Dance in the UK, which is very important to him.
Kevin, with the assistance of his wife Annika, started his own club in 2015 and is very active in recruiting new dancers as well as developing existing dancers near his home town of Milton Keynes (40 miles north of London). The club teaches beginners every year as well as having Mainstream, Plus and Advanced sections. In all of these, he teaches and develops the dancers’ abilities for multi-position dancing. They also run open workshops allowing dancers of other clubs to practice and improve.
In addition to regularly calling ‘Saturday night’ dances in the UK, Kevin has been fortunate enough to call in Sweden (from where his wife Annika hails) and in the United States including a large dance in the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee. He looks forward to calling for you sometime, be it in the UK or elsewhere in the world.
Membership Officer since 2016, Public Relations Officer 2015
Cliff graduated as a Mainstream dancer in 1984 and has spent the years since wishing that he had discovered the activity much sooner. Within little more than a year he was dancing Plus and performing the occasional singing call as a guest at local clubs. He continued to learn dancing through the A1 and A2 Programs and to develop his calling to the point where he became confident enough to call club nights, teach new dancers and eventually call Saturday night dances.
Cliff was the founder caller for Humberside Steppers, a club over 30 years old, and has been on the calling roster for several other clubs in Yorkshire and further afield. His principal calling commitments these days are as calling partner at Harmony Squares along with Gene Turner and as caller for White Rose Squares, helping students and more experienced dancers to enjoy the Basic, Mainstream and Plus programs. Cliff and Gene are ably supported at Harmony Squares by Jackie and Sandra (who actually run the club, though they let the guys think it is them). Cliff and Gene made their first tentative steps as recording artistes a few years ago (though Cliff is slightly ahead, having made 1/7th of a record while Gene wasn’t looking as he was away in Australia).
A member of the Square Dance Callers Club of Great Britain (SDCCGB), Cliff was elected to its Council, served a year as PRO and is currently its Membership Officer. He is also a member of the Northern Area Regional Callers Assembly, currently on its committee as Treasurer and has been involved with the Committee of Grand Square – United Kingdom for many years. All of these positions are part of Cliff’s attempts to give back to Square Dancing some of the fun he has derived from it and he tries to encourage, mentor and train other callers in the hope that they will experience some of that same enjoyment.
Cliff has called in Germany, the USA and Guernsey as well as in many areas of the mainland UK and was a caller at the 50th and 60th Anniversaries of the British Association of American Square Dance Clubs (BAASDC) and SDCCGB, as well as being a staff caller at Grand Square – UK Festivals in 2007, 2009 and 2014.
Public Relations Officer since 2016, Ordinary Member 2015
Stephen graduated as a European Square Dancer back in 1973 and danced into the early nineties before taking a break. In 2011 he returned to Rounds and Squares and soon became involved in the promotion of his local round dance club. Over the years, this has grown to now include involvement with the callers club, round dance council and the square dance association. His main input is in the promotion and use of social media but he has also recently taken up the microphone to help out at his local round dance club. He says he is very privileged to work alongside an amazing group of dedicated volunteers who believe this form of dance is a valuable activity for the community.
Ordinary Member since 2018
Howard Nichols is married to Elizabeth and they learned to Square Dance in Bournemouth in the early 70's. During the 80's they were unable to attend a Club, but happily returned in the early 90's and are still dancing.
Howard called for the first time on New Year's Day 1998 'just for fun'. He is now one of the two 'supporting' Callers at Corinium SqDC, calling Mainstream regularly. Howard used to sing in a choir and first worked in computers (literally) in 1960, so he enjoys both the Singing and the Mathematical aspects of Square Dancing.
Cuer's Rep since 2018
They often say that the unsung heroes are the ones in the shadows. She is probably the most reluctant cuer in the country but she has always supported rounds and now cueing for Whirl & Twirl she has been able to demonstrate her talent as a cuer and teacher.
She is a dancer first but still finds time to support those that need help and guidance, hence her spell as cuer's rep.
Librarian and Archivist since 2006, Librarian 2002 - 2005, Membership Officer 2001
Simon started his dancing career in 1967. He was working at a Model Railway Shop near King's Cross where he became friends with an American Service Man from Alconbury. He was invited to attend a club night at Riverside Ranchers in Pimlico, called by Viv Canon. Simon was immediately hooked and very soon his interest was noted by Viv who invited him to attend a Callers Meeting. Soon Simon was doing guest tips at various clubs and became famous for carrying all his calling equipment on his Bike. In the early ‘70s, he helped Alan Bedford run the Progressive Squares, decoding Lee Kopman challenge tapes with aid of Burleson. Subsequently, he danced with the Concord and Swingwing workshops with Pete Newberry and then Ralph McCarthy. He served as Membership Officer from 1970 until 1975.
Simon was living in London until 1980 when he moved to Milton Keynes for his work. Here he started New City Squares in 1986.
He met Susie in 1989 and served as Membership Officer again from 1991 until 2003 all the while giving technical support and training to the Secretary.
He shared the job of Librarian and in 2003 became Official Archivist for the Square Dance Movement in the UK. In addition to these jobs he edits, prints, collates and distributes paper copies of News and Views.
Simon retired in 2005 and Calls at all five clubs they run together as well as the workshops and Caller Practice Sessions.
Webmaster since 2013, Public Relations Officer 2010 - 2011, Ordinary Member 2005 - 2009, News & Views Editor 2002 - 2011
Gene originally hails from St. Louis, Missouri, USA and has resided in Yorkshire, England since early 1980. Gene and his wife Sandra learned to square dance in 1986 and eventually danced through A2 before dropping the advanced dancing in favour of the FUN programs Basic through Plus.
Gene started calling about 1992 and at that time called through A2. He now concentrates on calling new dancer dances and hoedowns as well as evenings at Harmony Squares where he shares the stage with his friend Cliff Anderton calling CALLERLAB Basic, Mainstream and Plus programs.
Gene considers the recruitment of new dancers the highest priority of our activity today.