Difference between revisions of "Steve Browning"

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[[Category:People]]
 
[[File:steve-browning.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Steve Browning.|Steve Browning.]]
 
[[File:steve-browning.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Steve Browning.|Steve Browning.]]
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[[File:KarlJaeckel-SteveBrowning.jpg|right|300px|thumb|[[Karl Jaeckel]] and [[Steve Browning]] at [[Stars, Thars and Cable Cars]], 1996]]
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[[Foggy City Dancers]]<br>
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[[Foggy City Squares]]<br>
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[[Midnight Squares]]
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 +
'''Received''' [[Medallion Project|10 Year Medallion]] at [[Remake The Circle]] in [[1993]]<br>
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'''Received''' [[Medallion Project|20 Year Medallion]] at [[Anchors Aweigh With a Half-Sashay]] in [[2003]]<br>
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'''Received''' [[Medallion Project|25 Year Medallion]] at [[Touch A Quarter Century]] in [[2008]]<br>
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== Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with [[Allan Hurst]] on 1/27/10. ==
 
== Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with [[Allan Hurst]] on 1/27/10. ==
  
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'''My History:'''
 
'''My History:'''
  
* 1982:  Started Square Dancing with [[Foggy City Squares]]  
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* [[1982]]:  Started Square Dancing with [[Foggy City Squares]]  
* 1983:  Danced in the original [[Foggy City Exhibition Team]] (with [[Skip Barrett]]) for 6 months  
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* [[1983]]:  Danced in the original Foggy City [[Exhibition Team]] (with [[Skip Barrett]]) for 6 months  
* 1984:  Skip sells Foggy City Squares to F.C. team members and name changed to Foggy City Dancers
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* [[1984]]:  Skip sells [[Foggy City Squares]] to Foggy City team members and name changed to [[Foggy City Dancers]] (FCD)
* 1984:  I approach the "new" F.C.D. team to see if they would like to me to attempt some more creative choreography.  The answer was, of course "Yes, Yes, YES"!
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* [[1984]]:  I approach the "new" [[FCD]] team to see if they would like to me to attempt some more creative choreography.  The answer was, of course "Yes, Yes, YES"! see [[Foggy City Performance Team]]
* 1984:  Seattle convention was the team\’s first performance under my direction.
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* [[1984]][[Seattle]] convention was the team’s first performance under my direction.
* 1985:  First fully choreographed performances done at the [[Denver] Convention.
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* [[1985]]:  First fully choreographed performances done at the [[Denver]] Convention.
* 1986:  Hexagon concept debuted at the [[San Francisco]] convention (more on this later)
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* [[1986]][[Hexagon]] concept debuted at the [[San Francisco]] convention (more on this later)
* 1984-1993:  Choreographed for F.C.D. performance team.  Performed at all conventions during that time.The team disbanded shortly after we returned from our exciting trip to Russia!
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* [[1984]]-[[1993]]:  Choreographed for [[FCD]] performance team.  Performed at all conventions during that time. The team disbanded shortly after we returned from [[Pink Triangles in Red Square]], our exciting trip to Russia!
* 1995:  Reformed a new team to do an encore performance at the \’96 convention in SF.
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* [[1995]]:  Reformed a new team to do an encore performance at the 1996 convention in [[San Francisco]].
* 2008:  Attended my 25<sup>th</sup> consecutive convention in [[Cleveland]].
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* [[2008]]:  Attended my 25<sup>th</sup> consecutive convention in [[Cleveland]].
  
  
 
'''In the Beginning:'''
 
'''In the Beginning:'''
  
I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start.    This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like [[Mike Desisto]]).  So I was making it up on my own!
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I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start.    This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like [[Mike DeSisto]]).  So I was making it up on my own!
  
Example 1:    2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called.  What would happenif the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square.  
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Example 1:    2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called.  What would happen if the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square.  
 
(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
 
(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
  
 
Example 2:    2 squares (again).    And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto!  The squares switch positions.
 
Example 2:    2 squares (again).    And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto!  The squares switch positions.
(Video: 1992 Albuquerque,  Well Traveled Love  and 1986 San Francisco convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow)
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(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love  and [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow)
  
 
Example 3:    And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears!    Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.
 
Example 3:    And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears!    Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.
  
Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the Foggy City Team!
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Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the [[Foggy City Performance Team]]!
  
 
   
 
   
 
'''Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)'''
 
'''Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)'''
  
Hex(agon):    3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle.    I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it!     
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[[Hex]](agon):    3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle.    I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it!     
(Video:    [[1986]] SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]], Mountain Music)
  
 
Big Square:  8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.    Head and side couples facing each other
 
Big Square:  8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.    Head and side couples facing each other
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow)
  
Octagon:      8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.  Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex)
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[[Octagon]]:      8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.  Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex)
(Video: 1992 Albuquerque,  Mountain Music)
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(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Mountain Music)
  
Triangle:      3 couples doing fun stuff
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[[Triangle]]:      3 couples doing fun stuff
  
 
2 Squares:    Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains,  Relay the Ducey,  Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square,  and more!   
 
2 Squares:    Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains,  Relay the Ducey,  Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square,  and more!   
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music and 1992 Albuquerque,  Well Traveled Love)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
  
  
Sequencial:    I had 4, 2 couple \’squares\’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before.  
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Sequential:    I had 4, 2 couple ’squares’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before.  
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music)
  
  
Transformation:  I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say Hex) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the hex into an Octagon or Big Square or 2 Squares.  Then do 2 more figures from the configuration.
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Transformation:  I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say [[Hex]]) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the [[hex]] into an [[Octagon]] or Big Square or 2 Squares.  Then do 2 more figures from the configuration.
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque,  Mountain Music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Mountain Music)
  
  
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I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls.    And I stayed within the  
 
I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls.    And I stayed within the  
 
Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could
 
Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could
Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads.    Not enough counts or figures to do this for a Hex
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Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads.    Not enough counts or figures to do this for a [[Hex]]
(for example) and besides, it just wasn\’t necessary.
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(for example) and besides, it just wasn’t necessary.
 
 
  
 +
[[File:Steve_Browning.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Steve Browning.|Steve Browning.]]
 
* Singing Calls:    When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing.  And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:
 
* Singing Calls:    When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing.  And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:
  
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# Ending figure
 
# Ending figure
  
* Other Music:    Also wrote figures for non square dance songs.    (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me \’Round – K.D. Lang)
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* Other Music:    Also wrote figures for non square dance songs.    (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me ’Round – K.D. Lang)
  
* Music:    I spent a lot of time browsing through 45\’s (that\’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too.  Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
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* Music:    I spent a lot of time browsing through 45’s (that’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too.  Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
  
* My Little People:    I created my own [caller checkers] for working out choreography.  
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* My Little People:    I created my own [[caller checkers]] for working out choreography.  
  
 
* Process (figures):    I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call.    I  would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call.    Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.
 
* Process (figures):    I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call.    I  would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call.    Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.
  
Example:    Hex using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!)
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Example:    [[Hex]] using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!)
 
I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.
 
I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.
  
I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a Hex.
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I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a [[Hex]].
 +
 
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== Steve's Square Dance History from his Sierra Club Calendar ==
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'''1981'''
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In 1981, I belonged to a really fun outdoor group called Great Outdoor Adventures (GOA).  I was at a meeting of the float committee for the 1981 Pride Parade, when one of my friends at the meeting, Peter Olsen, asked me if I would be interested in going to a new square dance class with him. My recollection is that Peter and a few others GOA members had gone to this new square dance the week before and really had a fun time.  A gay square dance!?  Ok, much to weird to resist, so I said yes.  Little did I know that was jumping from doing great Outdoor sdventures, to doing great Indoor advertures!
 +
 
 +
June 11<br>
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On Thurs. June 11, 1981, I went to my very first...but far from my last...square dance “class”.  And it turned out to be [[Skip Barrett]]’s 2nd  square dance “class” and it was held at their new dance location, The Trockadero Transfer.  “Class” is in quotes because Skip didn’t actually teach anything, all he did was sing the call.  He had a “helper” named Brian who actually taught the singing call from start to finish.  The dancers always learned the entire dance from one position, so they were not able to switch from a head to a side position, let alone from a lead to a follow.  However, I knew nothing about square dancing at that time...except is was for old folks who shuffled around the floor and I certainly didn’t know anything about Skip Barrett.  What I did know, was  that I had a fantastic time dancing and wanted more, More, MORE!  Little did I know just how much MORE I would get.
 +
 
 +
I would like to give a glowing review of Skip, but that just isn’t possible.  Bottom line, he was an insecure creep and bully, who would not be someone I would normally include in my orbit.  Oh, but how I loved dancing to his singing calls.  He had every opportunity to expand his horizons and actually learn how to call square dancing, but he was primarily into it for the ca$h and not interested in actually learning about what real square dancing calling is all about.  His one “skill” was choosing fun/upbeat square dancing singing calls....that he could sing (not call).    All that being said, I’ve always given him credit for lighting the square dancing enthusism fire  that lead to WSD and Midnight Squares and FCD.  And those first FCS dances certainly ignited some creative fires in me and lead to many, Many, MANY fun times over the years.    For even more gossip about Skip Barrett, check out Russ King’s great article (The First Western Star Dancers) which includes his review of Skip Barrett (and much more).
 +
 
 +
http://www.iagsdchistory.org/historywiki/index.php/The_First_Western_Star_Dancers
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 +
VIDEO of going away party
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 +
June – Aug
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 +
During this time I was square dancing with Foggy City Squares every Thursday night and having a fantastic time!
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 +
Aug 11<br>
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Skip called me at work telling me he wanted me to be a regular <on his performance team> - real exciting.
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Got paired with [[Kurt Bruens]]) – he seems real nice!
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Aug 13<br>
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Fantastic time square dancing.  Danced non stop for 3.5 hours.  A real UP feeling.  Kurt is a very good dancer & nice to boot.  I think I was lucky being assigned to him.
 +
 
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Aug 16  Castro Street Fair<br>
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This was my Premier Performance <Square dancing>.  My performing debut was at 18th and Castro.  It went very well.  <Photos>
 +
 
 +
 
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'''1982'''
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March 5<br>
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Went square dancing at A.C.T. Hall.  Lots of fun! Going to be a regular Fri. night affair
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This was the 1st home of [[Western Star Dancers|WSD]], before moving to the YMCA
 +
 
 +
April 19  (Mon)<br>
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Started taking clogging class with [[Janice Hanzel]] teaching.    [[Bill Hanzel]] would eventually do some teaching/calling for WSD.  This day started my clogging “career” and overlapped with all my square dance activities.  There was a lot of interaction between the cloggers and square dancers; however, I’m leaving out most of the clogging related diary entries, except when they involve square dancing in some way.
 +
 
 +
May 10  (Mon)<br>
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[[Western Star Dancers|WSD]] started first “official” square dance class teaching Basic/Mainstream with [[Bill Klein]] teaching and calling.  Monday was my clogging class taught by Janice Hanzel, so I wasn’t able to go to all of the classes.  But I did go to the YMCA and dance on 5/24, 6/7 (tried video taping) and 6/14.
 +
 
 +
June 26 (Sat)<br>
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Beautiful day.  Went to Ron and Scott’s for square dancing and buffet.  Took some VIDEO.<br>
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This video has [[Bill Klein]] dancing.
 +
 
 +
July 31 (Sat)  RENO RODEO<br>
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Got to the fairground in plenty of time for square dancing.  Had a good time this morning.  Rodeo was interesting for about an hour.  Unfortunately they wouldn’t let me record anything.  Its real easy to get bored when I can’t take photos.
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 +
There weren’t a lot of people at the Sat night dance, but I had a reasonably good time.  Later in the evening we went out back and learned a couple of complicated moves (square dance).  I wish I knew what “moves” we learned.
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Then a caller from LA named Happy New Year (believe it or not) did some fantastic hash calling.  He set up speakers over by the area where the rodeo takes place.
 +
 
 +
Sept 13 (Mon)<br>
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Huge new clogging class.  Lots of cuties!<br>
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The 2nd WSD class started today, but I was learning to clog on Mondays,  so couldn’t attend.
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 +
 
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Sept 15 (Wed)<br>
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Called [[Ron Douglas]] about square dancing.  He asked me over Fri night to review calls.
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I don’t remember what this was all about, but I’m wondering if it had to do with the new class starting.
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Sept 17 (Fri)<br>
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Went by Ron Douglas and [[Scott Carey]]’s for review.  Dennis Ficken & Roger Perry where there.  Stayed late<br>
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Once again, I’m not sure what we were reviewing.<br>
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Sept 22 (Wed)<br>
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Went square dancing.  Did pretty well.  Will be glad when the beginners join the advanced group.<br>
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This must have been one of the [[Foggy City Squares|FCS]] classes, since I was talking about beginner and advanced dancers.  By “advanced” I mean they had learn more of Skip’s singing calls.  We had no idea what [[CALLERLAB|Callerlab]] Advance level even existed.
 +
 
 +
Danced almost every Wed from Sept 22 to Dec 15.
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Oct 6 (Wed)<br>
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Foggy City exhibition members showed up at square dancing.
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Oct 22 (Fri)<br>
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Fantastic WSD hoedown with Happy New Year!
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Oct 24 (Sun)<br>
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Went to square dance workshop.<br>
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Then went by “Bay Brick” for FCD with Skip.<br>
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I’m not sure what the square dance workshop was all about.  However, this  might have been the 1st time that a few dancers got together to learn Plus....and beyond.  (see Nov. 21)<br>
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Bay Brick:  This bar on Folsom was owned by a lesbian couple (I think) and Skip did his own form of square dancing on Sunday afternoons.
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Nov 10 (wed)<br>
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WSD were invited to Foggy City Hoedown.  Think I’ll go.
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Nov 13 (Sat)<br>
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FCS hoedown in Marin Headlands.  Had a good time.
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Nov 14 (Sun)<br>
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Square dancing at Richard Tuck’s in Oakland.<br>
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This was definitely the very beginning of the group that would evolve into [[Midnight Squares]]
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Nov 21 (Sun)<br>
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Square danced at Shirley’s (Oliver) on Mt Davidson. <br> 
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Then to the Bay Brick.  Had a great time.  Don’t think that Skip was pleased I could do most of his dances.
 +
Actually, there were a number of us who had learned mainstream and were working on Plus (mostly former FCS dancers) who enjoyed going to the Bay Brick on Sunday afternoons to thumb our nose at Skip by dancing to the singing calls he was teaching (or had taught) in his class.  And since we had not taken his class....he was not pleased! 
 +
 
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Nov 28 (Sun)<br>
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SD at [[Rob Daoud]]’s from 11am to 3pm, then more SD at the Bay Brick. 
 +
 
 +
Dec 4 (Sat)<br>
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Great time SD (4.5 hours) at Church on Fell.<br>
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This was the first time that the we (future Midnight Squares) moved into our permanent dance location for the next year.
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 +
Dec 5 (Sun)<br>
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Bay Brick
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Dec 15 (Wed)<br>
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Graduation night for beginners.  Took lots of pics - video and 35 mm.  VIDEO, PHOTO<br>
 +
This was the graduation for WSD
 +
 
 +
'''1983'''
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Jan 8 (Sat)<br>
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Went by Scott’s to photograph square dancing for BAR article.<br>
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Had another great night dancing – 6 hours.<br>
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I think there is a copy of this article somewhere in the archives, but I’m not sure.<br>
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 +
Jan 9 (Sun)<br>
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Went by Scott’s to pick up book.<br>
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Great time dancing at Bay Brick<br>
 +
I danced follow for all dances including Teacup Chain.
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 +
Jan 15 (Sat)<br>
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Skip showed up for dance session – didn’t say long. <br> 
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I didn’t get home until 2:30am.  We talked about how we could best get our advanced dancing done.<br>
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This was Midnight Squares, before we were Midnight Squares.
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 +
Jan 16 (Sun)<br>
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Went by Paul’s to help Russ work out his square dance call to waltz music.<br>
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Good time dancing at Bay Brick<br>
 +
 
 +
Jan 22 (Sat)<br>
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Great night square dancing.  Had only core group and accomplished quite a lot.<br>
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Midnight Squares
 +
 
 +
Jan 23 (Sun)<br>
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Dancing wasn’t too exciting at Bay Brick
 +
 
 +
Feb 12 (Sat)<br>
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Great time square dancing.  Tried dancing with 6 couples – fantastic amount of fun.<br>
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The 6 couples were in a rectangle (2 heads, 4 sides) and we performed a 6 couple dance at the Reno Rodeo.
 +
 
 +
Feb 13 (Sun)<br>
 +
Skip called me out as one of the former members of the exhibition team.  Strange man.<br>
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At the Bay Brick
 +
 
 +
Feb 19 (Sat)<br>
 +
Spent $999 on new video camera!<br>
 +
Square danced as usual.  Brought up subject of exhibition.<br>
 +
This was the first video camera available to the public and I’m really glad I made that investment.  I was able to collect many videos of the events in the 80’s and 90’s.  I think I borrowed a video camera for the videos I took earlier.
 +
 
 +
Feb 26 (Sat)<br>
 +
Square danced until 1:30am<br>
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This might have been the evening (early morning) when [[John Lorenzini]] suggest [[Midnight Squares]] since we were consistantly dancing well past midnight.
 +
 
 +
Feb 27 (Sun)<br>
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Square dancing at Steve and Hank’s
 +
 
 +
Mar 5 (Sat)<br>
 +
Drove to hoedown with Al and Shirley.  Had a great time.  Left at 5pm to hit Midnight Squares – had a good night. <br>
 +
This was the first time I used new group name.....Midnight Squares, so that why I think that Feb 26th was when we picked that name!
 +
 
 +
Mar 12 (Sat)<br>
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Good night at Midnight Squares.
 +
 
 +
Mar 13 (Sun)<br>
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Good night at Bay Brick.  Rob, Ken, Al, Shirley and I went to Line Up for dinner.
 +
 
 +
Mar 24 (Wed)<br>
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Went to [[Diablo Dancers|Diablo Squares]] with Shirley, Rob, Ken and Paul.  Went very well.
 +
 
 +
Mar 27 (Sun)<br>
 +
Had meeting for exhibition team,  Was disappointed in turnout.  Skip chastised us for not re-upping for his class.
 +
 
 +
Mar 29 (Tue)<br>
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Went to Hank & Steve’s for square dancing.  Almost 2 squares.
 +
 
 +
Continued to Dance with Midnight Sat nights for the next few months
 +
 
 +
Apr 19 (Tue)<br>
 +
First Tue night square dance.  It was nice – not too long.  Still no movement toward any exhibition.
 +
 
 +
Continued to dance on Tue evenings through July
 +
 
 +
May 17 (Tue)<br>
 +
Good night doing A2 stuff.
 +
 
 +
May 27 (Fri)  Golden State Roundup<br>
 +
Felt a bit out of place at first because I didn’t know any women, but finally began to fit and have a good time.
 +
 
 +
May 28 (Sat)<br>
 +
Blue Muse with Shirley and then a great day dancing.  Recorded Grand March!  VIDEO  Photos<br>
 +
I also recorded the Squareanaders performing on Sat night.
 +
 
 +
May 29 (Sun)<br>
 +
Danced at Roundup until 4pm.  Then hit the Bay Brick in square dance drag.  We knocked ‘em dead.<br>
 +
Skip said Mid. Squares could get in for a dollar.
 +
 
 +
June  6-26-83  Pride Parade <br>
 +
I clogged with BCC during the parade, so no video or photos.
 +
 
 +
July 19 (Tue)<br>
 +
Spent lots of time practicing for Reno.
 +
 
 +
July 26 (Tue)<br>
 +
Square dance practice at Steve & Hank’s<br>
 +
I remember dancing at Steve & Hank’s in El Cerito, but don’t remember how this differed from Sat night Midnight Squares.
 +
 
 +
Aug 2 (Tue)<br>
 +
Practiced square dance demo’s with Midnight Squares.
 +
 
 +
Aug 4 – 7  Reno Rodeo
 +
 
 +
Aug 5 (Fri)<br>
 +
Spent most of today square dancing.  Went to King’s Inn for A1/A2 dancing.  Turns out it was mainly our group.  I was hoping some of the Miami dancers would be there.  There were a few from Colorado.<br>
 +
I would bet that [[Karl Jaeckel|Karl]] was one of the Colo. dancers.
 +
 
 +
Our Midnight Squares performance went well.  But the 6 couple rectangle got all screwed up.  They had promenaded in the wrong way and got confused on position.  They started over, however, and everything went very well.  Fortunately eveyone relaxed and it was obvious they enjoyed the second half. VIDEO
 +
 
 +
Aug 6 (Sat)<br>
 +
I had to hang around the clogging pavillion until after BCC performance, so I missed most of the square dancing.  Had a good time performing, tho, cause it was more relaxed.
 +
 
 +
I’m leaving out all the clogging drama with Wild West Cloggers and Barbary Coast Cloggers.
 +
 
 +
Sept 24 (Sun)<br>
 +
Tried to SD, but didn’t.  Skip wasn’t doing his thing, so I stopped by challenge class but didn’t dance.  <br>
 +
Must be the Bay Brick for Skip, but have no idea what challenge class I’m referring too.
 +
 
 +
Oct 1 (Sat) at Wildwood<br>
 +
Today turned out nice.  The Group Formed – Michael, Mick, Andrea, Al, Joe, Neil and me.  <br>
 +
We raised hell and had a great time dancing and hot tubing.
 +
 
 +
Square danced regularly Sun. And sometimes Sat though the end of the year.
 +
 
 +
Oct 16 (Sun)<br>
 +
Started Challenge (C1) SD again tonight.<br>
 +
I’m not sure what this C1 class was all about.  See Jan 12, 1986
 +
 
 +
Nov 11 (Fri)<br>
 +
Went to the Gay Band Concert at Japan Center theater.  Got in free because I was asked (by Mick Sheppard) to film the Foggy City Squares exhibition.  It was Skip’s last public performance and the team members wanted to give it to him as a going away present.  I ended up with a perfect seat right in front on the balcony. VIDEO
 +
 
 +
Nov 12 (Sat)<br>
 +
Showed up at 7pm for Skips last hoedown.    VIDEO
 +
 
 +
Nov 19 (Sat)<br>
 +
Went square dancing.<br>
 +
Apparently [[Karl Jaeckel]] visited this Midnight Squares dance (at the church on Fell) and took a photo of the group that he sent me for my archives.
 +
 
 +
Dec 20 (Tue)<br>
 +
Foggy City.  Got some positive feedback from some FC folks which cheered me up.  Also, was announced that I would do some choreography and styling.
 +
This was when I committed to do some correography for the FCD exhibition team.  I believe the group had also changed its name to Foggy City Dancers by this time.
 +
 
 +
'''1984'''
 +
 
 +
Jan 3 (Tue)<br>
 +
First Foggy City Dancer beginner class.  Met Robert (married to Ren, I think), Jerry (wants to clog) and Ron.
 +
 
 +
Jan 17 (Tue)
 +
Foggy City went well.  Walked through 1st choreographed entrance.<br>
 +
We were preparing for the Seattle Conv.  The team practiced after the class.
 +
 
 +
Thursdays<br>
 +
This was my clogging night with BCC, for the next 10 years!<br>
 +
And clogging is yet another set of photos, videos, diary entries and memories.
 +
 
 +
Apr 6 – 9<br>
 +
Seattle Convention! VIDEO<br>
 +
Elmer and Paul calling, Lots of exhibition dancing
 +
 
 +
May 5  (Sat)<br>
 +
WSD Hoedown was fun.  Saw lots of friends.
 +
 
 +
Jun 24      Pride Parade    Pre-parade dancing with Happy New Year VIDEO
 +
 
 +
Sept 30 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD with Midnight Squares
 +
 
 +
Oct 2 (Tue)<br>
 +
1st Foggy City team practice.  Felt sort of disappointed and in need of a challenge.<br>
 +
This was the day I “officially” took over the FCD Team as The Choreographer!  This continued for the next 10 years.
 +
 
 +
Oct 9 (Tue) <br>
 +
Did 1st walkthrough of choreographed dance.<br>
 +
This was the 1st hash-type choreography that I did and it was performed at the FCD Hoedown in Marin and again in at the 1985 Denver Conv..
 +
 
 +
Oct 16 (Tue)<br>
 +
Started to teach Cross-the-star. <br>
 +
This was a call that I learned from clogging and I included it in my choreography
 +
 
 +
Oct 23 (tue)<br>
 +
Worked Oh Baby Mine.  The 8 couple t-cup chain looks great.  VIDEO
 +
 
 +
Dec 9 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD with Midnight Sq and at WSD in evening.  Did some advanced dancing – fun.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''1985'''
 +
 
 +
Danced on Sundays with Midnight - Nov and Dec<br>
 +
And Tue evenings with FCD
 +
 
 +
Feb 19 (Tue)<br>
 +
SD with FC.  Didn’t accomplish much.  Did pick out hoedown music for Denver.
 +
 
 +
Started Performance team practice on Sat
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Mar 2 (Sat)<br>
 +
Great SD practice with FCD.  They liked my choreography and got into the practice.  I hope the enthusiasm keeps up.
 +
 
 +
Mar 10 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD at Midnight in the afternoon.  Then went by Midnight’s first advanced/plus dance at the YMCA
 +
 
 +
Mar 24 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD at Midnight, the at 2140 (Bay City)...mainly the same old songs.
 +
 
 +
Florida (South Florida Mustangs)
 +
 
 +
Apr 16  (Tue)<br>
 +
Dean (Hoffman) took me out to dinner.  The Mustangs, SD’ed my ass of and had a great time.
 +
 
 +
Apr 19  (Fri)<br>
 +
Drove to Jim and David’s.  Then it was SD at Jack Lasery.  It was a trip.  Including a hall built for square dancing.  Went to the Double R afterwards.  And that’s where gay square dancing started all those years ago.
 +
 
 +
Apr 22 (Mon)<br>
 +
SD until 11pm
 +
 
 +
Apr 23 (Tue)<br><br>
 +
Decided to spend evening SDing, so drove to Crossfire.  And was I glad I did.  Ainslee was there, if you can believe that!
 +
Ainslee was on the FCD exhibition team and I have no idea why she was in Florida at the time.
 +
 
 +
San Francisco
 +
 
 +
May 4  (Sat)<br>
 +
Got to Ft Cronkite early and we practiced our tits off!  Video?<br>
 +
The Exhibition was fantastic!!  They love it!  Got the largest ovation I’ve ever had for a SD performance.  Can’t wait for Denver!!
 +
 
 +
Florida (South Florida Mustangs)
 +
 
 +
May 7 (Tue)<br>
 +
SD at Crossfire.  Met Clay (a choreographer from NY).  We had a very interesting talk.
 +
 
 +
May 10  (Fri)<br>
 +
SD at Double R
 +
 
 +
May 11 (Sat)<br>
 +
Closed the Crossfire
 +
 
 +
May 12 (Sun)<br>
 +
Potluck SD with Jim and David
 +
 
 +
May 13 (Mon)<br>
 +
SD A2 was fun.  Chris put on tape I brought from PACE and they really liked it.
 +
 
 +
May 15 (Wed)<br>
 +
Clogging with Jim, David & Clay
 +
 
 +
San Francisco:
 +
 
 +
May 18 (Sat)<br>
 +
SD practice with FCD
 +
 
 +
May 19 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD with Midnight Squares.
 +
 
 +
Denver Convention:
 +
 
 +
May 23 (Thur)<br>
 +
Train trip got off to a good start.  There are about 16 of us.  Mick ended up spending the night in my upper bunk.
 +
 
 +
May 24 (Fri) VIDEO<br>
 +
Arrived in SLC on time but were over 2 hrs late leaving.  SD at train station. 
 +
 
 +
May 25 (Sat) VIDEO<br>
 +
Checked in around noon and then started marathon SD.  Opening ceremonies were late.  Stayed up until 4am!
 +
 
 +
May 26 (Sun)<br>
 +
Brunch with the gang.  Then SD my ass off.  Dinner with John and Paul from Bay City Ramblers.<br>
 +
I’m not sure who John and Paul were.
 +
 
 +
Florida: 6/10 – 6/21
 +
 
 +
I was in Florida again for 2 weeks and did more SD at the Crossfire during that time.
 +
 
 +
San Francisco:
 +
 
 +
Jun 30 (Sun)  Pride Parade  VIDEO<br>
 +
Filmed Parade from garbage can across from vacant lot by Moscone Center.  Joined SD when they came by.  Decided I’d rather be in the parade rather than watching.
 +
 
 +
Florida: 7/8– 7/19
 +
 
 +
July 14 (Sun)<br>
 +
SD was fun – lots of people.  Bill (Eckert) was there and was really friendly.
 +
 
 +
July 14 (Mon)<br>
 +
SD went well at A2 level
 +
 
 +
July 16 (tue)<br>
 +
SD went well.  They were practicing for graduation.
 +
 
 +
July 18 (Wed)<br>
 +
Chat & Chew with Dean, Ken, Doug & Bobbie.  Went by SD and was glad I did.  Wayne presented me with a Mustang Shirt and made me an honorary member of the Mustangs.
 +
I also received an honorary Mustang badge.
 +
 
 +
San Francisco:
 +
 
 +
SD with FCD on Tue. And also occasionally on Sundays with Midnight.
 +
 
 +
Sept 10 (Tue)<br>
 +
Was real depressed at SD.  Mainly because Andrea showed up & called.  They really don’t need me & I need to be needed – so I went home.  Think I need a SD break.
 +
I don’t remember this, but it fits...and explains why I wasn’t dancing much on Tue the rest of the year.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''1986'''
 +
 
 +
Jan 5 (Sun)<br>
 +
Midnight Squares new class starts – 3 squares.  Talked about starting challenge class
 +
 
 +
Jan 12 (Sun)<br>
 +
Started C1 with Bob (Bellville), Chris (Anderson), Larry (Brown), Jim (Jones), Linda (?) and a couple of others.<br>
 +
This group must have started out of Midnight.<br>
 +
C1 on most Sundays through July
 +
 
 +
Jan 14 (Tue)<br>
 +
Worked on hexagonal square for 1st time.  Went well.
 +
 
 +
I was dancing with FCD and working with the exhibition team every Tue this year.
 +
 
 +
Jan 19  (Sun)<br>
 +
Took calling class with Johnny Coyal (sp?)<br>
 +
Not sure who this was or if I have his name right.
 +
 
 +
Mar 15 (Sat)<br>
 +
West to WSD 4th anniversary.  It was fun.
 +
 
 +
Mar 16 (Sun)<br>
 +
1st F.C. practice at Pacific Bell.  Practiced on Sundays
 +
 
  
 
=Youtube=
 
=Youtube=
  
I think you know that I\’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com.    If you haven\’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed.    It might help clarify some of my ramblings above.
+
I think you know that I’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com.    If you haven’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed.    It might help clarify some of my ramblings above.
You can find them all by doing a search for "Foggy City Dancers:"      You\’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine
+
You can find them all by doing a search for "[[Foggy City Dancers]]:"      You’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine
 
Should be obvious.    They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have
 
Should be obvious.    They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have
 
"Performance Team".    I put some video references for most figures.
 
"Performance Team".    I put some video references for most figures.

Latest revision as of 21:28, 26 May 2021

Steve Browning.
Steve Browning.

Foggy City Dancers
Foggy City Squares
Midnight Squares

Received 10 Year Medallion at Remake The Circle in 1993
Received 20 Year Medallion at Anchors Aweigh With a Half-Sashay in 2003
Received 25 Year Medallion at Touch A Quarter Century in 2008

Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with Allan Hurst on 1/27/10.

Square Dance Choreography By Steve Browning

My History:


In the Beginning:

I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start. This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like Mike DeSisto). So I was making it up on my own!

Example 1: 2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called. What would happen if the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square. (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love)

Example 2: 2 squares (again). And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto! The squares switch positions. (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love and 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow)

Example 3: And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears! Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.

Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the Foggy City Performance Team!


Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)

Hex(agon): 3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle. I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it! (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)

Big Square: 8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides. Head and side couples facing each other (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow)

Octagon: 8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides. Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex) (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)

Triangle: 3 couples doing fun stuff

2 Squares: Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains, Relay the Ducey, Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square, and more! (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, 2nd number…hash music and 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love)


Sequential: I had 4, 2 couple ’squares’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before. (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, 2nd number…hash music)


Transformation: I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say Hex) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the hex into an Octagon or Big Square or 2 Squares. Then do 2 more figures from the configuration. (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)


Creative Process:

  • The first fully choreographed number was done using "generic" hash music and the music was modified to fit my choreography. However, once I gained a bit of experience and confidence,

I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls. And I stayed within the Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads. Not enough counts or figures to do this for a Hex (for example) and besides, it just wasn’t necessary.

Steve Browning.
Steve Browning.
  • Singing Calls: When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing. And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:

There are seven parts – 64 counts each, as follows:

  1. Intro (involves entire square, or squares or hex)
  2. Figure 1 (heads)
  3. Figure 2 (heads)
  4. Middle figure (entire square)
  5. Figure 3 (sides)
  6. Figure 4 (sides)
  7. Ending figure
  • Other Music: Also wrote figures for non square dance songs. (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me ’Round – K.D. Lang)
  • Music: I spent a lot of time browsing through 45’s (that’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too. Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
  • My Little People: I created my own caller checkers for working out choreography.
  • Process (figures): I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call. I would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call. Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.

Example: Hex using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!) I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.

I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a Hex.

Steve's Square Dance History from his Sierra Club Calendar

1981

In 1981, I belonged to a really fun outdoor group called Great Outdoor Adventures (GOA). I was at a meeting of the float committee for the 1981 Pride Parade, when one of my friends at the meeting, Peter Olsen, asked me if I would be interested in going to a new square dance class with him. My recollection is that Peter and a few others GOA members had gone to this new square dance the week before and really had a fun time. A gay square dance!? Ok, much to weird to resist, so I said yes. Little did I know that was jumping from doing great Outdoor sdventures, to doing great Indoor advertures!

June 11
On Thurs. June 11, 1981, I went to my very first...but far from my last...square dance “class”. And it turned out to be Skip Barrett’s 2nd square dance “class” and it was held at their new dance location, The Trockadero Transfer. “Class” is in quotes because Skip didn’t actually teach anything, all he did was sing the call. He had a “helper” named Brian who actually taught the singing call from start to finish. The dancers always learned the entire dance from one position, so they were not able to switch from a head to a side position, let alone from a lead to a follow. However, I knew nothing about square dancing at that time...except is was for old folks who shuffled around the floor and I certainly didn’t know anything about Skip Barrett. What I did know, was that I had a fantastic time dancing and wanted more, More, MORE! Little did I know just how much MORE I would get.

I would like to give a glowing review of Skip, but that just isn’t possible. Bottom line, he was an insecure creep and bully, who would not be someone I would normally include in my orbit. Oh, but how I loved dancing to his singing calls. He had every opportunity to expand his horizons and actually learn how to call square dancing, but he was primarily into it for the ca$h and not interested in actually learning about what real square dancing calling is all about. His one “skill” was choosing fun/upbeat square dancing singing calls....that he could sing (not call). All that being said, I’ve always given him credit for lighting the square dancing enthusism fire that lead to WSD and Midnight Squares and FCD. And those first FCS dances certainly ignited some creative fires in me and lead to many, Many, MANY fun times over the years. For even more gossip about Skip Barrett, check out Russ King’s great article (The First Western Star Dancers) which includes his review of Skip Barrett (and much more).

http://www.iagsdchistory.org/historywiki/index.php/The_First_Western_Star_Dancers

VIDEO of going away party

June – Aug

During this time I was square dancing with Foggy City Squares every Thursday night and having a fantastic time!

Aug 11
Skip called me at work telling me he wanted me to be a regular <on his performance team> - real exciting. Got paired with Kurt Bruens) – he seems real nice!

Aug 13
Fantastic time square dancing. Danced non stop for 3.5 hours. A real UP feeling. Kurt is a very good dancer & nice to boot. I think I was lucky being assigned to him.

Aug 16 Castro Street Fair
This was my Premier Performance <Square dancing>. My performing debut was at 18th and Castro. It went very well. <Photos>


1982

March 5
Went square dancing at A.C.T. Hall. Lots of fun! Going to be a regular Fri. night affair This was the 1st home of WSD, before moving to the YMCA

April 19 (Mon)
Started taking clogging class with Janice Hanzel teaching. Bill Hanzel would eventually do some teaching/calling for WSD. This day started my clogging “career” and overlapped with all my square dance activities. There was a lot of interaction between the cloggers and square dancers; however, I’m leaving out most of the clogging related diary entries, except when they involve square dancing in some way.

May 10 (Mon)
WSD started first “official” square dance class teaching Basic/Mainstream with Bill Klein teaching and calling. Monday was my clogging class taught by Janice Hanzel, so I wasn’t able to go to all of the classes. But I did go to the YMCA and dance on 5/24, 6/7 (tried video taping) and 6/14.

June 26 (Sat)
Beautiful day. Went to Ron and Scott’s for square dancing and buffet. Took some VIDEO.
This video has Bill Klein dancing.

July 31 (Sat) RENO RODEO
Got to the fairground in plenty of time for square dancing. Had a good time this morning. Rodeo was interesting for about an hour. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let me record anything. Its real easy to get bored when I can’t take photos.

There weren’t a lot of people at the Sat night dance, but I had a reasonably good time. Later in the evening we went out back and learned a couple of complicated moves (square dance). I wish I knew what “moves” we learned. Then a caller from LA named Happy New Year (believe it or not) did some fantastic hash calling. He set up speakers over by the area where the rodeo takes place.

Sept 13 (Mon)
Huge new clogging class. Lots of cuties!
The 2nd WSD class started today, but I was learning to clog on Mondays, so couldn’t attend.


Sept 15 (Wed)
Called Ron Douglas about square dancing. He asked me over Fri night to review calls. I don’t remember what this was all about, but I’m wondering if it had to do with the new class starting.

Sept 17 (Fri)
Went by Ron Douglas and Scott Carey’s for review. Dennis Ficken & Roger Perry where there. Stayed late
Once again, I’m not sure what we were reviewing.

Sept 22 (Wed)
Went square dancing. Did pretty well. Will be glad when the beginners join the advanced group.
This must have been one of the FCS classes, since I was talking about beginner and advanced dancers. By “advanced” I mean they had learn more of Skip’s singing calls. We had no idea what Callerlab Advance level even existed.

Danced almost every Wed from Sept 22 to Dec 15.

Oct 6 (Wed)
Foggy City exhibition members showed up at square dancing.

Oct 22 (Fri)
Fantastic WSD hoedown with Happy New Year!

Oct 24 (Sun)
Went to square dance workshop.
Then went by “Bay Brick” for FCD with Skip.
I’m not sure what the square dance workshop was all about. However, this might have been the 1st time that a few dancers got together to learn Plus....and beyond. (see Nov. 21)
Bay Brick: This bar on Folsom was owned by a lesbian couple (I think) and Skip did his own form of square dancing on Sunday afternoons.

Nov 10 (wed)
WSD were invited to Foggy City Hoedown. Think I’ll go.

Nov 13 (Sat)
FCS hoedown in Marin Headlands. Had a good time.

Nov 14 (Sun)
Square dancing at Richard Tuck’s in Oakland.
This was definitely the very beginning of the group that would evolve into Midnight Squares

Nov 21 (Sun)
Square danced at Shirley’s (Oliver) on Mt Davidson.
Then to the Bay Brick. Had a great time. Don’t think that Skip was pleased I could do most of his dances. Actually, there were a number of us who had learned mainstream and were working on Plus (mostly former FCS dancers) who enjoyed going to the Bay Brick on Sunday afternoons to thumb our nose at Skip by dancing to the singing calls he was teaching (or had taught) in his class. And since we had not taken his class....he was not pleased!

Nov 28 (Sun)
SD at Rob Daoud’s from 11am to 3pm, then more SD at the Bay Brick.

Dec 4 (Sat)
Great time SD (4.5 hours) at Church on Fell.
This was the first time that the we (future Midnight Squares) moved into our permanent dance location for the next year.

Dec 5 (Sun)
Bay Brick

Dec 15 (Wed)
Graduation night for beginners. Took lots of pics - video and 35 mm. VIDEO, PHOTO
This was the graduation for WSD

1983

Jan 8 (Sat)
Went by Scott’s to photograph square dancing for BAR article.
Had another great night dancing – 6 hours.
I think there is a copy of this article somewhere in the archives, but I’m not sure.

Jan 9 (Sun)
Went by Scott’s to pick up book.
Great time dancing at Bay Brick
I danced follow for all dances including Teacup Chain.

Jan 15 (Sat)
Skip showed up for dance session – didn’t say long.
I didn’t get home until 2:30am. We talked about how we could best get our advanced dancing done.
This was Midnight Squares, before we were Midnight Squares.

Jan 16 (Sun)
Went by Paul’s to help Russ work out his square dance call to waltz music.
Good time dancing at Bay Brick

Jan 22 (Sat)
Great night square dancing. Had only core group and accomplished quite a lot.
Midnight Squares

Jan 23 (Sun)
Dancing wasn’t too exciting at Bay Brick

Feb 12 (Sat)
Great time square dancing. Tried dancing with 6 couples – fantastic amount of fun.
The 6 couples were in a rectangle (2 heads, 4 sides) and we performed a 6 couple dance at the Reno Rodeo.

Feb 13 (Sun)
Skip called me out as one of the former members of the exhibition team. Strange man.
At the Bay Brick

Feb 19 (Sat)
Spent $999 on new video camera!
Square danced as usual. Brought up subject of exhibition.
This was the first video camera available to the public and I’m really glad I made that investment. I was able to collect many videos of the events in the 80’s and 90’s. I think I borrowed a video camera for the videos I took earlier.

Feb 26 (Sat)
Square danced until 1:30am
This might have been the evening (early morning) when John Lorenzini suggest Midnight Squares since we were consistantly dancing well past midnight.

Feb 27 (Sun)
Square dancing at Steve and Hank’s

Mar 5 (Sat)
Drove to hoedown with Al and Shirley. Had a great time. Left at 5pm to hit Midnight Squares – had a good night.
This was the first time I used new group name.....Midnight Squares, so that why I think that Feb 26th was when we picked that name!

Mar 12 (Sat)
Good night at Midnight Squares.

Mar 13 (Sun)
Good night at Bay Brick. Rob, Ken, Al, Shirley and I went to Line Up for dinner.

Mar 24 (Wed)
Went to Diablo Squares with Shirley, Rob, Ken and Paul. Went very well.

Mar 27 (Sun)
Had meeting for exhibition team, Was disappointed in turnout. Skip chastised us for not re-upping for his class.

Mar 29 (Tue)
Went to Hank & Steve’s for square dancing. Almost 2 squares.

Continued to Dance with Midnight Sat nights for the next few months

Apr 19 (Tue)
First Tue night square dance. It was nice – not too long. Still no movement toward any exhibition.

Continued to dance on Tue evenings through July

May 17 (Tue)
Good night doing A2 stuff.

May 27 (Fri) Golden State Roundup
Felt a bit out of place at first because I didn’t know any women, but finally began to fit and have a good time.

May 28 (Sat)
Blue Muse with Shirley and then a great day dancing. Recorded Grand March! VIDEO Photos
I also recorded the Squareanaders performing on Sat night.

May 29 (Sun)
Danced at Roundup until 4pm. Then hit the Bay Brick in square dance drag. We knocked ‘em dead.
Skip said Mid. Squares could get in for a dollar.

June 6-26-83 Pride Parade
I clogged with BCC during the parade, so no video or photos.

July 19 (Tue)
Spent lots of time practicing for Reno.

July 26 (Tue)
Square dance practice at Steve & Hank’s
I remember dancing at Steve & Hank’s in El Cerito, but don’t remember how this differed from Sat night Midnight Squares.

Aug 2 (Tue)
Practiced square dance demo’s with Midnight Squares.

Aug 4 – 7 Reno Rodeo

Aug 5 (Fri)
Spent most of today square dancing. Went to King’s Inn for A1/A2 dancing. Turns out it was mainly our group. I was hoping some of the Miami dancers would be there. There were a few from Colorado.
I would bet that Karl was one of the Colo. dancers.

Our Midnight Squares performance went well. But the 6 couple rectangle got all screwed up. They had promenaded in the wrong way and got confused on position. They started over, however, and everything went very well. Fortunately eveyone relaxed and it was obvious they enjoyed the second half. VIDEO

Aug 6 (Sat)
I had to hang around the clogging pavillion until after BCC performance, so I missed most of the square dancing. Had a good time performing, tho, cause it was more relaxed.

I’m leaving out all the clogging drama with Wild West Cloggers and Barbary Coast Cloggers.

Sept 24 (Sun)
Tried to SD, but didn’t. Skip wasn’t doing his thing, so I stopped by challenge class but didn’t dance.
Must be the Bay Brick for Skip, but have no idea what challenge class I’m referring too.

Oct 1 (Sat) at Wildwood
Today turned out nice. The Group Formed – Michael, Mick, Andrea, Al, Joe, Neil and me.
We raised hell and had a great time dancing and hot tubing.

Square danced regularly Sun. And sometimes Sat though the end of the year.

Oct 16 (Sun)
Started Challenge (C1) SD again tonight.
I’m not sure what this C1 class was all about. See Jan 12, 1986

Nov 11 (Fri)
Went to the Gay Band Concert at Japan Center theater. Got in free because I was asked (by Mick Sheppard) to film the Foggy City Squares exhibition. It was Skip’s last public performance and the team members wanted to give it to him as a going away present. I ended up with a perfect seat right in front on the balcony. VIDEO

Nov 12 (Sat)
Showed up at 7pm for Skips last hoedown. VIDEO

Nov 19 (Sat)
Went square dancing.
Apparently Karl Jaeckel visited this Midnight Squares dance (at the church on Fell) and took a photo of the group that he sent me for my archives.

Dec 20 (Tue)
Foggy City. Got some positive feedback from some FC folks which cheered me up. Also, was announced that I would do some choreography and styling. This was when I committed to do some correography for the FCD exhibition team. I believe the group had also changed its name to Foggy City Dancers by this time.

1984

Jan 3 (Tue)
First Foggy City Dancer beginner class. Met Robert (married to Ren, I think), Jerry (wants to clog) and Ron.

Jan 17 (Tue) Foggy City went well. Walked through 1st choreographed entrance.
We were preparing for the Seattle Conv. The team practiced after the class.

Thursdays
This was my clogging night with BCC, for the next 10 years!
And clogging is yet another set of photos, videos, diary entries and memories.

Apr 6 – 9
Seattle Convention! VIDEO
Elmer and Paul calling, Lots of exhibition dancing

May 5 (Sat)
WSD Hoedown was fun. Saw lots of friends.

Jun 24 Pride Parade Pre-parade dancing with Happy New Year VIDEO

Sept 30 (Sun)
SD with Midnight Squares

Oct 2 (Tue)
1st Foggy City team practice. Felt sort of disappointed and in need of a challenge.
This was the day I “officially” took over the FCD Team as The Choreographer! This continued for the next 10 years.

Oct 9 (Tue)
Did 1st walkthrough of choreographed dance.
This was the 1st hash-type choreography that I did and it was performed at the FCD Hoedown in Marin and again in at the 1985 Denver Conv..

Oct 16 (Tue)
Started to teach Cross-the-star.
This was a call that I learned from clogging and I included it in my choreography

Oct 23 (tue)
Worked Oh Baby Mine. The 8 couple t-cup chain looks great. VIDEO

Dec 9 (Sun)
SD with Midnight Sq and at WSD in evening. Did some advanced dancing – fun.


1985

Danced on Sundays with Midnight - Nov and Dec
And Tue evenings with FCD

Feb 19 (Tue)
SD with FC. Didn’t accomplish much. Did pick out hoedown music for Denver.

Started Performance team practice on Sat


Mar 2 (Sat)
Great SD practice with FCD. They liked my choreography and got into the practice. I hope the enthusiasm keeps up.

Mar 10 (Sun)
SD at Midnight in the afternoon. Then went by Midnight’s first advanced/plus dance at the YMCA

Mar 24 (Sun)
SD at Midnight, the at 2140 (Bay City)...mainly the same old songs.

Florida (South Florida Mustangs)

Apr 16 (Tue)
Dean (Hoffman) took me out to dinner. The Mustangs, SD’ed my ass of and had a great time.

Apr 19 (Fri)
Drove to Jim and David’s. Then it was SD at Jack Lasery. It was a trip. Including a hall built for square dancing. Went to the Double R afterwards. And that’s where gay square dancing started all those years ago.

Apr 22 (Mon)
SD until 11pm

Apr 23 (Tue)

Decided to spend evening SDing, so drove to Crossfire. And was I glad I did. Ainslee was there, if you can believe that! Ainslee was on the FCD exhibition team and I have no idea why she was in Florida at the time.

San Francisco

May 4 (Sat)
Got to Ft Cronkite early and we practiced our tits off! Video?
The Exhibition was fantastic!! They love it! Got the largest ovation I’ve ever had for a SD performance. Can’t wait for Denver!!

Florida (South Florida Mustangs)

May 7 (Tue)
SD at Crossfire. Met Clay (a choreographer from NY). We had a very interesting talk.

May 10 (Fri)
SD at Double R

May 11 (Sat)
Closed the Crossfire

May 12 (Sun)
Potluck SD with Jim and David

May 13 (Mon)
SD A2 was fun. Chris put on tape I brought from PACE and they really liked it.

May 15 (Wed)
Clogging with Jim, David & Clay

San Francisco:

May 18 (Sat)
SD practice with FCD

May 19 (Sun)
SD with Midnight Squares.

Denver Convention:

May 23 (Thur)
Train trip got off to a good start. There are about 16 of us. Mick ended up spending the night in my upper bunk.

May 24 (Fri) VIDEO
Arrived in SLC on time but were over 2 hrs late leaving. SD at train station.

May 25 (Sat) VIDEO
Checked in around noon and then started marathon SD. Opening ceremonies were late. Stayed up until 4am!

May 26 (Sun)
Brunch with the gang. Then SD my ass off. Dinner with John and Paul from Bay City Ramblers.
I’m not sure who John and Paul were.

Florida: 6/10 – 6/21

I was in Florida again for 2 weeks and did more SD at the Crossfire during that time.

San Francisco:

Jun 30 (Sun) Pride Parade VIDEO
Filmed Parade from garbage can across from vacant lot by Moscone Center. Joined SD when they came by. Decided I’d rather be in the parade rather than watching.

Florida: 7/8– 7/19

July 14 (Sun)
SD was fun – lots of people. Bill (Eckert) was there and was really friendly.

July 14 (Mon)
SD went well at A2 level

July 16 (tue)
SD went well. They were practicing for graduation.

July 18 (Wed)
Chat & Chew with Dean, Ken, Doug & Bobbie. Went by SD and was glad I did. Wayne presented me with a Mustang Shirt and made me an honorary member of the Mustangs. I also received an honorary Mustang badge.

San Francisco:

SD with FCD on Tue. And also occasionally on Sundays with Midnight.

Sept 10 (Tue)
Was real depressed at SD. Mainly because Andrea showed up & called. They really don’t need me & I need to be needed – so I went home. Think I need a SD break. I don’t remember this, but it fits...and explains why I wasn’t dancing much on Tue the rest of the year.


1986

Jan 5 (Sun)
Midnight Squares new class starts – 3 squares. Talked about starting challenge class

Jan 12 (Sun)
Started C1 with Bob (Bellville), Chris (Anderson), Larry (Brown), Jim (Jones), Linda (?) and a couple of others.
This group must have started out of Midnight.
C1 on most Sundays through July

Jan 14 (Tue)
Worked on hexagonal square for 1st time. Went well.

I was dancing with FCD and working with the exhibition team every Tue this year.

Jan 19 (Sun)
Took calling class with Johnny Coyal (sp?)
Not sure who this was or if I have his name right.

Mar 15 (Sat)
West to WSD 4th anniversary. It was fun.

Mar 16 (Sun)
1st F.C. practice at Pacific Bell. Practiced on Sundays


Youtube

I think you know that I’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com. If you haven’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed. It might help clarify some of my ramblings above. You can find them all by doing a search for "Foggy City Dancers:" You’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine Should be obvious. They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have "Performance Team". I put some video references for most figures.