Specialty Tips

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Memorial Tip

The Memorial Tip is a very special tip in which dancers are encouraged to use square dancing to remember loved ones.

It is often called during the opening or closing ceremonies at convention, where everyone is dancing together in one room.

The first memorial tip was called by Anne Uebelacker at Northstar Promenade in 1990. It was not scheduled but was called in honor of Bob Bellville and another recently passed away dancer.

Regular memorial tips began with Remake The Circle, a year before the idea of the Memorial Panels.

There have been some especially memorable Memorial Tips:

Memorial Tip: Personal Recollections

FROM AN EMAIL THREAD IN THE IAGSDC MAILING LIST IN 2010:

On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 7:37 AM, Andy Shore wrote:

My own memory is too feeble for this. After attending 24 conventions, it's hard to keep them distinct in my mind, or to keep them in my mind at all.

I'm looking for some facts and info about the history of the Memorial Tip

  • What was the first convention to have one? who called it?
  • There was a convention where the memorial tip was called by the local Gay Men's Chorus - they performed "Golden Memories". I was weeping (soggy actually) by the end of it. which convention & chorus?
  • Ron Libby performed "Beautiful Noise" at one - also very moving. which convention?
  • I've also got Donald Westcoat's "Squares In A Circle" (WIKI EDITOR'S NOTE: The song title may actually be "Squaring The Circle") at Stars Thars and Cable Cars.
  • Mike DeSisto calling "Angels Among Us" was when...? (WIKI EDITOR'S NOTE: Allan Hurst suggests this was at Baltimore's "Crack The Crab", because he remembers crying during the tip because Mike DeSisto had just announced that he was retiring from convention calling.)

Others? what am I forgetting?

I've called a few of them myself and always find it very hard to face and difficult to get through. So many friends gone.


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:25 AM, Dennis Moore wrote:

Ron Libby performed "Beautiful Noise" at Seattle 1993. Amazingly moving, beautifully sung..a truly memorable performance


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:24 AM, Michael Levy wrote:

My fondest memory is Bronc Wise calling the memorial tip at Star Thru the Silicon Galaxy in 2005 to "Beautiful Noise". As we were dancing he turned the music softer and softer until all you heard was his calling and the shuffling feet of 1000 dancers.

It sent chills down my spine and I a still get teary eyed thinking about it.


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Mark Ambrose wrote:

I don't know the early history of the Memorial Tip, but I know that it has been scheduled in a variety of ways, sometimes at the Opening Ceremonies, sometimes at the Closing Ceremonies, and at least once in one of the regular dance halls, blocked in like other "specialty tip" hours.

I remember Bill Eyler calling "Beautiful Noise" for the Memorial Tip in the MS hall in Toronto, sometime in the middle of the weekend. Because of how it was scheduled, the tip was rather lightly attended, but the smaller crowd/room made for a very intimate and moving experience.


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Don St. Jean wrote:

Toronto scheduled the tip at 7 pm on the Sunday in response to dancer concern about finding the tip an emotionally overwhelming experience and wanting alternatives which did not make them look as though they were deliberatly boycotting the Memorial Tip. While there are no perfect schedules, it is good to know that some found this choice an "intimate and moving" dance experience.


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 11:58 AM, Harlan Kerr wrote:

The first time there were memorial tips was at Northstar Promenade. These were not planned, but were called by Anne Uebelacker for two recently passed away folks from San Francisco at requests from SF dancers. One was a tip in memory of Bob Bellville, the other for Tom (whose name I will remember as soon as this is done), from Foggy City Dancers.

Regular memorial tips began With Remake the Circle, unless there was one in Albuquerque that I do not remember. Actually I think there was one in Albuquerque-—Bill Eyler would know. This coincided closely with the introduction of the memorial quilt.

there was a convention where the memorial tip was called by the local Gay Men's Chorus - they performed "Golden Memories". I was weeping (soggy actually) by the end of it. which convention & chorus? I think Golden Memories was at Los Angeles--I may be wrong on some of this, so let’s hear from others.

Mike DeSisto calling "Angels Among Us" was when?


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 6:26 PM, Matt Fleig wrote:

The one year that stands out for me was San Francisco 1996 convention. I couldn't tell you the music, but I remember the whole caller staff singing something wonderful in the sweetest of harmonies.

Certainly, the circumstances of just having lost my sweet, handsome Ray (Ray Blevins) primed my own need for some solace that year - and that was found in the wonderful harmonies and tenderness of the memorial tip that year. So, one cowboy voice here to keep that memorial tip going each year. You never know which cowboy or cowgirl heart is getting the virtual music hug that it needs ...

Moonshine Tip

The Moonshine Tip is danced naked. (The exception: body jewelry, and shoes/boots/sandals/socks if the dancer feels they're necessary.)

The history of the Moonshine Tip is waiting for someone knowledgeable to fill in. Reportedly, Kathy Yhip started the Moonshine Tip, but that's all the information that's available for now.

Moonshine Tips have been held at various conventions and fly-ins. Diamonds In The Desert was the first convention with a Moonshine Tip.


FROM AN EMAIL THREAD ON THE IAGSDC MAILING LIST ON FRI, JUL 11, 2008:

Harlan Kerr: If I recall right, Albuquerque had the first scheduled specialty tips with Leather, women’s, seniors, people of color and a few others, if I recall right—Bill should be able to chime in on this one.

Bill Eyler: I can't remember whose idea it was to schedule all these things for our convention or if ABQ was the first convention to have scheduled tips for this...it was probably a consensus that decided, since we talked about it for a very long time and thought it would be fun. We'd have to check the Miami schedule in '91 to see if they did this, too. Chris Phillips? ABQ WAS the first convention to have over 1000 dancers, and since we originally budgeted for only 750 dancers, you can imagine our surprise, especially when over 600 dancers arrived for the trail's end dance...and the La Posada ballroom could only hold a couple of hundred dancers! We started having to think BIG pretty quickly.

Harlan Kerr: Albuquerque was also the first convention with a moonshine tip. The turnout was so big that they had to switch rooms. When I arrived with Anne to call (with Bill and I think Andy) there was a human wall of dancers blocking the naked folks moving from one hall to another carrying their clothes. All you could see were their bare feet and heads. Since this was my first time calling moonshine I found myself with one challenge—I usually remember shirt colors for site calling but without shirts I decided to use hair. In the first tip there was a red haired man #1 and corner lady #4. After checking things out I remembered them as big red and little red….

Bill Eyler: Yes, that was dangerous ground we were treading since we hadn't told the hotel staff and security EXACTLY what was going on, just that it was a private dance after-hours party. It started WAY late, since the HTQ-Contest-From-Hell dragged on at least an hour longer than scheduled.

Since it was just 18 months after the very first Moonshine dance in Phoenix in January 1991, it was all played by ear. Since I was coordinating this event, I only expected MAYBE 20-30 brave souls to try this. Imagine my surprise as I was in that small room calling (with you or B.J., I think) when Kathy or Laura came into the room and told me there were WAY over a hundred dancers clamoring in the hallway wanting to get into a room that only held 4 squares comfortably. Gasp! Chris Phillips had finished up a session next door in a larger hall, so someone came up with the idea to form a human wall of clothed dancers, so the 32 or so not-clothed ones could scurry over to the other room so no one would have to get dressed and undressed again! The security guard was NONE the wiser!

"Big Red" is still an active dancer and was at the Cleveland convention. He's not quite as red anymore, but is still very enthusiastic. ;-)

The callers were Harlan Kerr, BJ Dyer, Anne Uebelacker, and me...and I was truly nekkid since I wasn't sporting any body jewelry.

Two other memorable points to that dance.

1. I interjected easy line dances and a 2-step dance into the program in the breaks, like Tush Push. Oh, my, THAT was interesting to watch from the stage!

2. The air conditioning went off at sometime before midnight, and it had been over 100 degrees outside that day. You can imagine the volume of perspiration that started flowing.

Moonshinebolo.png

I don't think everyone knows there is are Moonshine Bolos and Moonshine Dangles you can buy from the Fials ...it used to be $8.00 for the bolo and $3.00 per city/event/yr tag. There were no forms in Cleveland for people to order them, so I'm going to order mine separately.

Paul Waters: And then there’s the issue of “known” or “unknown” to the venue.

  • Albuquerque 1992: Unknown.
  • Seattle 1993: Known. Anne and Dana met with the staff and explained that it would be a “naturalists” event There were more people in attendance at the Seattle Moonshine tip, than attended the first IAGSDC convention in Seattle.
  • Washington DC 1994: Unknown.
  • Chicago 1995: Unknown. When the security guards couldn’t get access to the room, one of them went to the overhead area that had windows onto the ballroom --- got an eyeful --- charged back to the main door --- by which time the “event” was over, and there was nothing for anyone to see.
  • San Francisco 1996: Unknown.
  • Las Vegas 1997: None. Nevada laws prevented this!
  • Portland 1998: Unknown.
  • Los Angeles 1999: Known. The start had to be delayed for about fifteen minutes, because by pure chance, catering took that very moment to change the bottles on the water coolers.

A related anecdote occurred at one of the Pass the Sea Fly-Ins in San Diego when Scott Parker made arrangements for a room. He told the staff that he needed a room for a special event that could be completely closed off (no windows, etc.). This was for something that he wasn’t involved, and didn’t know much about. But it was some sort of thing like the Masons or Elks with special ceremonies that are unknown to those who aren’t members.

His contact at the hotel said, “Sure, you can use this room, and as far as I’m concerned you can go in and dance naked if you want to.” To which Scott responded, “Um, okay.”


FROM AN EMAIL MESSAGE DATED JULY 14, 2008, FROM PAMELA REED: While at the Cleveland convention I participated in my third Moonshine Tip. Afterwards it was pointed out to me that I had done this before and after my sex change surgery! So I think that makes my participation somewhat unique!

Move-On Tip

So named after Mike DeSisto's famous "Pass Thru...Move On!" choreography, in which squares of dancers are arranged and rearranged in a huge matrix.

Typically, the caller starts out with "normal" squares, and has heads or sides perform a Square Thru 4, followed by one or more calls which convert the square into facing lines.

At that point, all squares are directed to "pass through", and then "move on!" until they come face to face with another line of dancers.

Also known as "Progressive Squares".

If a line of dancers is facing a wall (e.g., not another line of dancers), their job is to perform a California Twirl or Partner Trade to face back into the set, at which point they're facing another line of dancers who have just moved on from a different square.

The caller moves the dancers around for a while, forms them back into lines, and continues the above process. In this fashion, an entire square can be moved from front to back or side to side on the dance floor.

Some convention committees choose to offer this as a specialty tip. Other committees have been known to incorporate Move-On into opening or closing ceremonies and/or Trail In/Trail's End dances.

YouTube videos from DC Diamond Circulate 2009 [1] [2] [3]

YouTube videos from Chi-Town Shakedown 2010 [4] [5]

Munchkin Tip

Pacific Rim Tip

People of Color Tip

Redwood Tip

Silver Fox Tip

Under 30 Tip

Women's Tip