Shelby Dawson


From the Program Book of the 8th IAGSDC Convention, held in Miami, FL in 1991:
Shelby finished college at age 19 and entered a graduate program at Texas Christian University. While pursuing a doctoral degree at Claremont College in California, he spent his summers working as director of the summer program at the Community House in Red River, New Mexico. He planned to add modern western square dancing to the existing folk dance program. He did not know how to square dance and had never learned any form of dancing.

When he signed the contract to work at the Community House, he had six months to learn to call. His ability as a caller developed rapidly, and by the time he finished at Claremont college, he had become a well-known professional caller.

When he found himself calling 17 times a week in the densely populated and congested Los Angeles area, he decided it was time for a change. He moved to Albuquerque. Because of his love for young people and love for teaching, he is pursuing a dual career as a caller and public school teacher. Shelby's strong emotion showed as he shared, "I can touch the lives of 150 kids a day with the example of the way I live, the words I speak, and the respect I show them." He continued, "Albuquerque has an excellent climate, and the people are the salt of the Earth." Shelby is now closer to his family in Oklahoma City and to his cabin in Red River. His is th eonly cabin in Red River that has a Yellow Rock out in front.

Shelby is celebrating his twentieth anniversary as a professional caller.