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SQUARE DANCE SOCIETY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Information about Square Dancing in Western Australia

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Barry Wonson

Barry was first introduced to Square Dancing in 1967 by Bob & Shirley McInnes.  At that time Barry was an  Electrical Apprentice at the Port Kembla Steelworks and Bob was his tradesman.  Barry’s first view of this  activity was when he was asked to take Bob & Shirley to a NSW SD Society Ball at Paddington.  Barry spent the night listening to the great callers and watching the dancers have so much fun, that he decided that he  wanted to try this activity.   At that time there was no Square Dance Club in Wollongong, only Bob & Shirley dancing to tapes with a  group of friends at home and Corrimal Methodist Church.  Barry jumped in and was hooked straight away, He even had his first attempt at calling  that same year at a special party night.   In 1968 Terry Dodd and Russ Eastment came down from Sydney and started a new club at Tarrawanna.   Barry was there from the first night. Later that year Ron Jones in Sydney ran a Callers Class….naturally  Barry was on board from the start.  Barry called most weeks at Roy Etherington’s Clempton Park Club in  Sydney…just a single Singing call, but the bug would not let go.   He started his first club The StarTwirlers in Wollongong the following year.  This group transitioned into the  Whalin 8’s.  He also called in Sydney with Arthur Gates at his club in Sutherland.   In 1974 Barry started a new club in Sydney, in the southern suburb of Loftus.  This new group was called the Red Barons, and has been in operation ever since.     Of course Barry also loved to visit other groups, traveling to Victoria in 1973 for their State Convention.  He met up with many callers who have remained close friends ever since.   National Conventions were a must,  and in Adelaide he met up with the Humphries clan from Melbourne.   And of course not too long after  married Sue Humphries.  The Victorian Callers Association at the time made him an honorary  “Caller-In-Law”   Barry and Sue travelled to the USA in 1976 to attend the 25th National USA Convention in Anaheim,  California. 40,000 dancers attended. At this Convention Barry and Sue met many callers who gave him the  idea of travelling again to the USA just to call.  Barry was invited to the USA to call a festival  shortly  afterwards, and made over 16 calling trips to the US.  He called for many Clubs, Festivals and State  Conventions during that time.   In 1990 he was asked to call in Germany and Sweden.  This first trip was to be the first of 17 trips in 14 yearsto fulfill his calling dates all across Europe.  He has called in England, Chanel Islands, France, Italy,  Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.     New Zealand was always calling, and Barry was first engaged to call a Festival weekend there in 1984.   He has lost count of the number of times that he has called there.    In 2000 Barry decide to cut the overseas calling engagements in order to spend more time with his family. Heis the proud dad of Amerie (born in 1988) and Alessa (7 years later).  He now also has an 8 year old  grandson.   He still travels regularly in Australia and occasionally New Zealand for Festival Weekends.     Barry also published a widely read and respected Caller Note Service called FIGURING from 1977 until  1988. In 2016 he put pen to paper again and now publishes a monthly 40 page magazine for Callers titled  “Behind The Mike”.  This is a free magazine, distributed via email to over 700 callers worldwide.   He has been actively involved in all aspects of Square Dancing over the years, not just as a caller and teacher, but in the administrative side as well.   He has been President of the NSW Callers Association, Education  Officer for SARDANSW, Publicity Officer for SARDANSW, Program Manager at two National Conventions  in NSW as well as 4 NSW State Conventions.   He is currently serving on the Board of the Australian Callers Federation (ACF) as Chairman, as well as holding the positions of Registrar and State Coordinator.    In what little spare time he has, Barry is a keen Gamer….not the gambling type games, but solid Strategy  Board games. He also served as President of the local University Guild Games Group for a number of years.  He is still actively involved in this group gaming every second Sunday, and at every other time when he can  […]

David Todd

David discovered the wonderful world of square dancing through Fred and Elizabeth Meads’ Sparkilate club in the early seventies, soon becoming Fred’s trainee caller. After a Ron Jones Caller’s school in 1973, David opened the D-Bar-T square dance club in Merrylands NSW. He later ran a second club with Kevin Ryan at Parramatta. During this […]

Arthur Rae

Arthur learned Square Dancing with Jack Murphy at Whitehouse Squares, Box Hill, Victoria in 1987 Whitehouse remained his home club, until moving to Ballarat in 1993 and joining Sovereign City Squares where David Brown was the caller. That club had an Amateur Callers’ Night each year, at which every dancer was encouraged to call a […]

Frances Hickson

1988 I saw an advertisement for square dancing with the then Summerland Square Dance Club at Alstonville with Roy Stokes as caller. When Roy retired, the club merged with the Lismore Larrikins and became the Summerland Larrikins Square Dance Club, Alstonville with Wilma Flannery as caller.  1991 I began Calling. My mentors are Wilma Flannery […]

Jan Johnson

Jan started dancing with her parents at Corrimal in 1967 the caller was Terry Dodd. Married to Steve they have two children, Helen is a cuer and her husband also square dances, their three children are also square dancers. Jan started calling in 1996 after her father-in-law (Frank Johnson) passed away. Jan calls and teaches […]

Maree Huffadine

How you first got involved in square dancing: Ron and I  saw a demonstration in the shopping centre. I got a leaflet, took it home and lost it.  A few years later I was in hospital and a friend visited me and told me she and her husband were going square dancing and that’s how Ron and I […]

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 […]

Les Heaton

TARTAN PROMENADERS   STARTED DANCING:                       1973 NEWPORT OCEAN WAVES  CALLER:                                           WALLY CRIGHTON  MET WIFE AT DANCE:                 […]

Chris Froggatt

Chris started square dancing in 1970 at Corrimal and began calling in 1972. He started his first square dance club “Ghost Riders” in the Wollongong area in 1974. This dance ran for nearly five years until Chris married Linda and moved to the Sutherland Shire. In early1978 Chris was approached by the Rockdale Airforce Memorial […]