Information about Square Dancing in Western Australia

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Brian Hotchkies

  • Brian is an exciting, and dedicated Square Dance Caller, who has the ability to make the simplest basics interesting, and fun to dance – even for experienced dancers. He started square dancing in Newcastle, Australia during February 1960, and in November that year, entered an amateur callers contest which sparked an enthusiasm for square dance calling that would last forever.

    In January, 1961, Brian commenced calling for the local YMCA Square Dance Club. In May 1967 the club changed its name to the B-bar-H Square Dance Club, and although now in a different venue, Brian still calls for this club today. His home program consists of calling for three weekly clubs, and four monthly clubs, with standards ranging from Basic through to A2.
    1968 saw Brian record his first vinyl recording, and he has since recorded over 300 vocals for various square dance labels, including instructional material which is used throughout the Australian School Education system.
    During the next few years Brian’s experience grew, and he was often asked by other callers to ‘teach’ them to call. Brian started running Caller Schools, and Clinics in 1967 and still runs 1-2 in Australia, and New Zealand each year. He has served on panels at, and attended 3 Callerlab Conventions in the United States, and 2 Mini-Labs in Australia. For more than 10 years Brian was Vice Chairman of Callerlab’s “Mainstream Quarterly Selection Committee”.

    In 1978 Brian decided to resign from his “day job” as a Computer Programmer, and became Australia’s first “full time” modern Square Dance Caller. He quickly became known as Australia’s “FUN Caller”. He earned this title, not only from the comic things he would do on the stage, but also from the amazing formations he would call. Brian is famous for his Progressive, & Exploding Squares, moving whole sets from one side of the hall to the other, whilst interacting with other squares along the way. He is also an expert at calling Tandem Squares, where one set dances inside another, and for calling to sets with 6-couples. Square Dancing to Brian Hotchkies calling is smooth, well timed, exciting, and fun, but never dull..!

    Brian has been involved with the sound management, and programming for a number of State, and National Square Dance Conventions throughout Australia. He has contributed to the success of these events through his dedicated support, technical knowledge, and with his cult like popularity with the dancers. In 1997, Brian was presented with “Life Membership” by the New South Wales Square Dance Callers Association, for his outstanding support, and work with callers.

    He has regular weekend engagements throughout Australia, NZ, Germany, Austria, the UK, and Scandinavia. Brian is proud of his achievements, and grateful for the opportunities he has been given throughout his calling career. He has been a “staff caller” for the “International Square Dance Convention” held in Perth, Australia, the “Aloha State S/D Convention” in Hawaii, Bratislava S/D Festival, and the iPAC Convention in Hamburg, Germany. He has also been feature caller for the Mid Winter Festival in Oregon, and for regular weekend “specials” in England, Austria, Germany, and New Zealand.
    In addition to the above, Brian regularly calls in the United States, Switzerland, France, China, and the Czech Republic. He’s also called on a cruise liner in the South Pacific, and of course in every Australian state. One of the highlights of Brian’s career was when he called in the Sydney Opera House during a visit from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, of the United Kingdom.
    Dancers from around the world make positive comments about Brian’s calling, and frequently remark on the clarity of his voice, and his smooth, well timed, interesting, and flowing choreography.

    Brian is an extremely well liked, and respected caller, both here in Australia, and throughout the world. He always looks forward to meeting new people who share his passion for square dancing.
    Leanne Nicholson