Joe Obal, club caller for Dandy Dancers, has announced his retirement from square dance calling as of December 31, 2014. Joe celebrated 50 years of calling on October 3, 2008. He is not retiring from square dancing, just from the calling aspects of the activity. Joe began square dancing in 1953. He met his wife-to-be, Marilyn, at a square dance class conducted by R, Walter Houston in 1956. They were married in November 1959. Joe & Marilyn have a son, Douglas, and a daughter, Laura.
Joe began his calling career in 1958 by calling for various youth groups, including the Rural Youth "Hoe-Downers" that met at the Bob White Grange, near Millstadt, Illinois, He followed this up by heading the young adult square dance program at the St. Louis, Missouri YWCA for five years (1959-1965). Joe and his wife founded the Dandy Dancers Square Dance Club in October 1965. He has conducted or assisted with the club's classes and workshops. Other Illinois square dance clubs he and his wife has started are The Alley Kats in Red Bud, IL; Moose Squares in Swansea, !L; Half Breeds and St. Paul Squares in Fairview Heights, IL,
Joe has served several terms as director of the Illinois Square Dance Callers Association. He has written educational and training articles for the benefit of other callers in the statewide (Illinois) newsletter. A special honor was bestowed on him in 1968 when he was chosen "CALLER" of the year - the highest honor given by the association.
Joe is past member of Callerlab and present member of American Callers Association. Joe is a lifetime member of the St. Louis Metro Square & Round Dance Association. He was Assistant Chairman of the 1970 Jamboree and has been committee chairman for other Jamborees. Joe has also served as a Federation Board Member. In 2010 Joe and his wife were awarded the Elmer Kruse Memorial Honored Dancers. He has been a member of the St. Louis Callers Guild since 1960 and has served in various offices of the organization over the years.
Joe has attended and called at many state and national square dance conventions. Joe is primarily a local caller, although he has traveled and called in many states, including Florida, South Carolina, and Texas.
Joe & his wife want to thank all the area square dancers for their support for all these past years. We are proud and happy to have been a part of the square dance community and hope to be with you all for many years to come.
From the October 2014 St. Louis "Metro N.E.W.S." "This Months