Teaching special needs invidiuals only at beginner level
Calling thru C-3B, Hoedown
Hello, my name is Jeffrey Garbutt from Western Australia. I am the square dance caller for “Jay Gees” square dance club in Bunbury. I am also the current president of the “Callers Association of Western Australia”. I was the editor of the “Australia Callers Federation” magazine names “Callerlink” from June 2000 to March 2015. In April 2015 I changed roles to Secretary of the “Australia Callers Federation”.
Square dancing is a bit of a passion for me and I have been a square dancer and a caller for several years. I started square dancing in August 1973 at Sundowners Club at the White Gum Valley hall, learning from Kevin Kelly. I was still in my last year at High School at the time. That high school was “John Curtin Senior High School” which was actually the venue of the Australian 12th National Square Dance convention in 1971, (but at the time I did not know that this event was happening at my high school). I was, (of course), aware that square dancing existed and was exposed to it for many years of watching the Reg Lindsay country music TV show.
I started my career as a hydrohrapher in 1974 and was initially based in Albany. In Albany I met many friendly people and even used to board with family of the resident square dance caller (Alan Grogan). I was not initially interested in taking my hobby further, but events soon changed things. In my job I occasionaly stayed a couple of days in Esperance, which meant missing the occasional club night. One of those club nights was an amatuer caller night – which I wasn’t too worried about missing it. But one night soon after Alan simply said that “Jeff is doing the next record”, put on “Summer Sounds”, and handed me the microphone. I could see that I couldn’t avoid it – so gave it a go. No-one was more surprised than me about what came out. For the rest of the year I did the occasional record at club night that year, but didn’t take it more seriously straight away.
In 1975 I was transferred to Perth but didn’t pursue calling straight away. Eventually I subscribed to “Sets in Order” magazine for more information and “Roberstson Dance Supplies” for their new release service and started building up a small collection of records. Towards the end on 1975 I built up enough courage to ask Kevin Kelly (Sundowners) and Graham Halliwell (Riversides) to give me a chance at calling. I must have made an impression and was enoraged to become a trainee caller at the Callers Association. In 1976 I was accepted as a trainee caller in CAWA. In 1976 I was also transferred to Harvey which enabled me to attend Circle-C in Bunbury under the guidance of Les Johnson at Circle-C. Over the next months I would learn the trade of calling from any callers I came in contact with. In 1977 Les decided it was too much work supporting Bunbury dancers from his new home in Coogee Beach near Perth. So he handed the club over to me.
In 1979 I was transferred back to Perth and said goodbye to the faithfull dancers in Bunbury. In a short time I started Ace Squares in Kwinana/Rockingham area, met Tracie, got married, we started a family and I got serious about my day time career. So I gave up square dancing in 1982 and thought that was it for me as far as square dancing was concerned.
In 1990 I moved the family to the South West, dragged the kids to square dancing, and in 1992 re-started Circle-C to supplement the dancing choice available in Bunbury. In 1995 another caller (Ross Henley) moved into Bunbury so that we had three clubs. I took over running a Perth club every week, (Riverside), from 1998. This was very a very busy time as I had to commute about 200 kilometres to get there. So I decided to join my club with Ross’s club and give up my Bunbury club. In 2003 Ross had decided to move on and I started a new club know as “Jay Gees”. In 2006 I ended my commitment to Riversides and applied my total commitment to Jay Gees. Of course the “Jay Gees” is based on my initials and represents the maxim that “if one really believes in something – they should put their own name it”.
SECRETARY: Callers Association of Western Australia: (1977 to 1978) and (1999 to 2003)
VICE PRESIDENT: Callers Association of Western Australia: 2010 to 2013
PRESIDENT: Callers Association of Western Australia: 2003 to current
EDITOR: Australian Callers Federation: 2000 to April 2015
SECRETARY: Australian Callers Federation: April 2015 to current
Hello, my name is Jeffrey Garbutt from Western Australia. I am a square dance caller for “Jay Gees”. Jay Gees started in 2003 formed from the dancers from the previous clubs of “Circle-C” and “Ross’s Sou-Westers”. Of course the “Jay Gees” is based on my initials and represents the old saying that if one really believes in a service or product – they should put their own name on that service or product. We do things a little differently to other clubs in Western Australia.
We start dancing first, then collect the nightly fees. I reckon that dancers have come to dance, so why make them wait? The want to start immediately and they deserve a small sample of what the rest of the night will be like.
We do two number brackets instead of three. And we always have. I reckon that dancers are not really after a marathon, two numbers is enough, and we can always add extra brackets when needed.
We do make mistakes, but no matter who caused the mistake, it was always the caller’s fault for the mistake. Even if a dancer actually made the mistake, it was still ultimately caused by the caller. It was probably caused by a less than ideal delivery of the call, or bad training years ago or something like that – so it was the callers fault really.
We have a rowdy atmosphere. If dancers are having fun, why not let them express that fun.
We also do “square dancer contras” and the occasional line dance for diversity value.
We take new dancers all year around. Why wait for formal classes? We are doing “Square Dancing” not “Lessons in how to Square Dance”. It is not hard to fast track one or two extra people any time of the year. I have found this way works easier in a regional area than trying to recruit big numbers once a year.
We have a supper break at the end, to help dancers wind down. But we also encourage dancers to have a tea, coffee or drink of water during the night to keep refreshed.
Our raffle prize is simple, half the take of a night goes back as the raffle prize – this means that the raffle prize is bigger as more tickets are sold. The other half get’s saved for an end of year function for the dancers. So the dancers win in two possible ways. I believe it is OK for a caller run club to take the net proceeds of the door take, but not the net proceeds of the raffle take – the raffle take should go back to the dancers – either on the night or at a free function at the end of the year.
The last bracket is a request bracket – and the winners of the door and raffle prizes choose their request from a list of tunes stuck up on the back wall.
Technically it is a caller run club – but the dancers seem to make the decisions anyway. Example in 2014 the dancers organised for the club badge to be re-designed.
Cueing thru Phase III
Calling thru A1, Contras