A square dance caller and historian, Stan Burdick has called more than 5,000 dances in his career. He has called dances in every state, every Canadian province and 20 countries during his 60 years in the industry.
continued Following Ford’s lead, many schools began to introduce square dancing into physical education classes.
While attending college in 1945 Burdick went to a square dance. The caller than night challenged the young men to “kiss her in the moonlight, if you dare...”
“Well, I liked the kissing part,” Burdick said, “ and I liked the calling part.”
Five years later Burdick was working at a boys camp in Rhode Island. His co-workers decided to invite a nearby Girl Scout camp to a square dance and asked Burdick to be the caller.
“The dance was a disaster, but I had found my calling, so to speak,” he remembered.
He also found his future wife. Cathie worked at the girls camp and met Stan for the first time at that dance.
In 1953 Burdick attended a workshop in Massachusetts to learn how be a professional square dance caller. Part of the training included calling actual dances.
“When I got there the same Cathie from the Girl Scout camp had come to dance with her parents, who were accomplished square dancers,” Burdick recalled. “Those days at Becket (Massachusetts) convinced me I wanted Cathie to be my life-long dance partner.”
The couple was married at the YMCA Conference Center in Silver Bay two years later. That same year they started work at Silver bay calling dances. They did it for 42 years.
“Cathie did the children and family programs and I called for teens and adults,” Burdick said. Over those years we entertained toddlers who came back to dance as adults, then another generation showed up and so it went.”
Burdick still calls dances once a week at Silver Bay during the summer.
When the couple wasn’t calling a dance, they were writing about dancing. They purchased “American Squaredance” magazine in 1968 and published it for 23 years. It reached a circulation of 23,000 readers worldwide. The Burdicks sold the magazine in 1991, but is still published today.