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RAYMOND BATES

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Trainee Caller ACT

My first convention was in 1994, the year after I graduated from the Mainstream program. Seeing I was only new to the Square Dance scene, my involvement did not extend to helping run the Convention.  However, I did help out in the Dress Set.  I also helped to participate in a Square Dance demonstration that was held in the centre island of the main road that leads into Canberra to help promote the Convention and Square Dancing.  

My first attempt at calling was in 1996 when I tried it at Kerr-Ly-Qs.   I didn’t mind it, although, “Stage Fright” was a killer for me back then!   With our daughter Emily coming along, and  Helen and I were planning our wedding the following year, I decided not to continue down the caller path at that stage in our lives as family came first and we decided to have a break from Square Dancing.  However, I always had it in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t mind trying it again.  We both eventually came back to Square Dancing as the kids grew up.   Next was the Canberra Convention in 2014 where I helped with the Stage build and helped with the setup and dismantling at the end of the Convention.  2015 was the year I gave calling another try and decided to continue down that path.  In 2016, we went to the Convention in Buderim where I called at around 11pm on a Friday night in the Buderim Square Dance Hall where people could go to give calling a try or for the newer callers to do a call.   In 2017, we went to the Bendigo Convention where I had my first Callers Breakfast appearance with a singing call.   At the 2019 Convention in Deloraine, Tasmania, I attended the Callers Breakfast again to do a hoedown.  I am very much looking forward to the 2020 Convention and the preceding Callers Conference!