Thursday, December 27, 2018

OUR STORY - HISTORY OF THE SWING THRU SQUARE DANCE CLUB

Our Story

Brief History of the Swing Thru Club

 Dave and Doris Kreiter took square dance lessons in 1970-1971, after attending fun night dances for about 2 years. In 1974 they attended a Callers College in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Dave taught his first class in 1973-74, graduating 13 dancers that first year.

 The Swing Thru Club was formed in 1974 dancing at the old Lititz Community Center, next to Lititz Springs Park. The Club dances the fourth Friday of each month, except for the months of August, November & December. The Club has had classes every year since 1974. Club activities include fun trips stealing banners, mystery bus rides, and visiting lots of clubs far & wide. A camping club was also formed, called The Hickory Run-A-Rounds, which held a square dance weekend for 15 years at Spring Gulch Campground. This Club no longer exists, however, square dancing remains an important activity at Spring Gulch.

 Dave often does demo's at nursing homes, retirement centers, etc. He also calls for a variety of fun dances, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and church parties. He has called at five weddings during his career.
In August of 2013,  Dave & Doris Kreiter told the Swing Thrus that they wanted to back off from their responsibilities of running the club and wanted the club to become an officer run club.  They still wanted to have an active role in the club, but with a reduced work load. So, in September 2013, we began a series of club member meetings with Dave and Doris to address what these changes would be.
Volunteers were sought for the officer positions and the officers at the time were:
                             President – Jim Miller Vice President – Don Koser
                             Secretary – Diane Myers Treasurer –  Ruth Ann Gehman
                             Assistant Treasurers – Wayne & Elaine Olson
                      Other Responsibilities:       
                             Visitation Co-ordinators – Sid & Sue Jewell
                             Punch Providers – Dianne Sensenig
                             Notify Greeters & Food Committee – Sue Smoker
                             Water Providers – Lisa Rohde
Some of the important new responsibilities for the club were:  Set up the 2014-2015 dance schedule, secure dance hall/facilities, secure callers & cuers for scheduled dances, advertise dances on flyers, internet and by word of  mouth at neighboring dances, set up food committees, greeters, beverage (punch, water, coffee) providers for dances, construct a set of club By-laws. These duties have been accomplished.  The dance schedule is in place, the callers and cuers are set, the dance locations are established. We do need some more volunteers for the food committees and the By-laws will be an evolving document as we work through how we actually operate.
Dave and Doris continued to have an active role in the club.  Dave called at most regular Friday night club dances, worked with the class of new dancers, conducted plus workshops, and hold Neffsville fire hall dances beginning in January (as attendance warrants).  In addition, to provide additional opportunities to dance, Special Dances with well-known callers were held during the 2014-2015 dance season.
The club continued to operate in most of the same ways as it had in the past.  We welcome your suggestions or comments to improve our club. We want to be the club that you want.  Let us know where you would like to help out.
On Friday, Sept 26, 2014 Swing Thrus held their  40th Anniversary Dance and we recognized Dave and Doris Kreiter for being our club caller for all of those years.
After a series of transition meetings in 2013 & 2014, Sid & Sue Jewell prepared a draft copy of bylaws for our club in January 2014. The club members adopted these ByLaws.
In the fall of 2016, Dave Kreiter was ill and unable to call or start a new dancer class, so we quickly filled the entire dance schedule for 2016-2017 with outside callers.  Dave had said at the time that he was finished with calling. However, the club took a "wait and see" attitude. Because of Dave's ill health we were unable to have any new dancer class in dance year 2016-2017.
In the fall of 2017, Dave had returned to calling and told us he was ready to resume responsibilities for a new dancer class.  We thought it prudent to bring along another caller to add to the teaching staff in case any health issues developed and so that we could provide a regularly scheduled class for the dance year.  Dan Koft was willing to serve us as the added teacher. Dan & Kathy Koft became members of Swing Thrus in December 2017.
Our 2017 Fall class had about 23 new dancers that started with us.  In May, we recognized 15 of these new dancers as having completed the Mainstream program.  Following a Chili/Square Dance event and the Heart Fund Dance in February, 2018, we assessed that there was enough interest to start a second new dancer class.  This class met at Cross Roads Church in Mount Joy for eight weeks until May 21, 2018, and introduced the Basic and some Mainstream Programs to the dancers. It was hoped that these dancers from our Spring Class (11 dancers) would want to continue with the full Mainstream and Plus Programs in the Fall 2018.  Dave Kreiter and Dan Koft shared the teaching (alternating every other week) for the Fall class and Dan taught the Spring Class on his own (Dave told us he didn't want to).
Since Dave’s health issue in 2016, we have been scheduling mostly outside the club callers for our regular monthly dances and our special dances.  These callers have included Dan Koft, Joe Bradshaw, Dan Prosser, Bob Engel, Jim Snyder, Mark Franks, Howard Richman, Clay Goss, Dayle Hodge, Cameron Harnish, Bill Harrison, Ken Bower, Gary Shoemake among others.  Round dance cuers have been Linda Prosser, Debbie Elser, Kathy Koft and Chris Jopek.
Dave and Doris told us in 2018 that they will be finished with their calling schedule in December 2018.  We wish them much health and happiness in their “retirement”. Although Dave will not be calling at regular dances, he told us that he is willing to continue teaching the new dancer and plus classes on an alternating basis with Dan Koft.
Debbie Elser has been a Swing Thru member for many years (since the late 1990s) and started to cue round dances in 2010 as an associate of John Toll when he was conducting the first round dance classes in the Lancaster area.  Debbie took on more and more responsibilities with round dance instruction and became the primary teacher shortly thereafter. She continues to cue many of the regular and special Swing Thru dances as well as leading her own round dance club, the Red Rose Round Dancers.
Dan & Kathy Koft became part of our calling and cueing staff in 2017 and they continue in that role. Here is some background material on both of them.  Dan started square dancing in 1976 and started to learn to call dances in 1979.  He has been teaching and calling square dances since 1981. He was a member of the Callers Council of New Jersey (CCNJ) from 1981 to 2015 when he and Kathy moved to Pennsylvania.  He served as President of CCNJ 2 different terms. He has been a member of CALLERLAB (The International Association of Square Dance Callers) since 1987 and has served on the Youth, Mainstream, and Definitions committees. Dan joined the South Central Pennsylvania Callers and Cuers Association (SCPCCA) in the Fall of 2017 and is their unofficial web master.  Dan calls dances for people of all ages and from their first night through the Advanced program.   
Kathy started square dancing in 1987 and started round dancing in 1988. In 1989she began learning to cue rounds. Kathy joined the South Central Pennsylvania Callers and Cuers Association (SCPCCA) in the Fall of 2017.  Together: At square dance clubs, Dan and Kathy work together on squares, rounds, and duets on singing calls creating an enjoyable dance.



(Updated December 24, 2018)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

LINK TO DAN & KATHY KOFT'S WEBSITE WITH SWING THRU NEW DANCER CLASS CALLS TAUGHT

HERE IS A GREAT RESOURCE TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON CALLS THAT HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO THE SWING THRU NEW DANCERS WITH LINKS TO VIDEOS AND TAMINATIONS (GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS OF EACH SQUARE DANCE CALL).  CHECK IT OFTEN:


https://squaredancecallerpa.com/swing-thrus-new-dancers

76 DAVE KREITER SINGS/CALLS "MARY'S BOY CHILD" CHRISTMAS SQUARE DANCE

77 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "CANDLELIGHT CAROL" WALTZ ROUND DANCE & A CHA-CHA

78 DEBBIE ELSER CUES A RUMBA ROUND DANCE

79 DAVE KREITER SHORT SQUARE DANCE PATTER EXCERPT 1

80 DAVE KREITER SHORT SQUARE DANCE PATTER EXCERPT 2

81 DAVE KREITER SHORT SQUARE DANCE PATTER EXCERPT 3

82 DAVE KREITER SINGS/CALLS "WARM & FUZZY TIME OF THE YEAR" SQUARE DANCE

83 DAN KOFT SINGS/CALLS "THE CHRISTMAS SONG" SQUARE DANCE

84 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "KISS ME GOODBYE" RUMBA ROUND DANCE

85 DAN KOFT & DAVE KREITER SING/CALL "LOVE YOU MORE THAN I DO" SQ DANCE ...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

2018-2019 DANCE SCHEDULE

Most dances are located at the Lancaster Brethren in Christ church gymnasium, 1865 Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, PA  17601.  Most regular club dances are on Friday evenings from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm with pre-rounds at 7:00 pm.  A special Hex Dance will take place on Saturday, October 13, at the same location from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm for experienced Plus Dancers.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

SEPTEMBER 2018 NEW DANCER CLASSES ANNOUNCED!

Swing Thru new dancer classes start on Thursday, September 20th at 7 pm at Luther Acres Wellness Center, Lititz, PA. Please invite your friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances to try an evening of square dancing…no previous experience necessary. First night is free. Classes will continue on the following Thursday evenings. Club members please come as “angels” to support these new dancers and help them.



Saturday, June 23, 2018

JUNE PICNIC AND CLUB DANCE


















41 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL SONG" WALTZ ROUND DANCE

42 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "ANGELS DON'T LIE" RUMBA ROUND DANCE

43 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "SUMMERTIME" TWO-STEP ROUND DANCE

44 DAVE KREITER SINGS/CALLS "KEEP ON ROLLIN' WITH THE FLOW" SQUARE DANCE

45 DAVE BLACK SHORT SQUARE DANCE PATTER CALL

47 DAVE BLACK SINGS/CALLS "JAMBALAYA" SQUARE DANCE

50 DAVE KREITER SINGS/CALLS "GOOD LUCK CHARM" SQUARE DANCE

51 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "A TIME FOR WALTZ" WALTZ ROUND DANCE

52 DEBBIE ELSER CUES "SURFIN' USA" TWO-STEP ROUND DANCE

Friday, June 22, 2018