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Jim was born and raised in the Kansas City area and started square and round dancing in 1958 at the tender age of 12. His parents had been square dancers for years so this was a natural progression. Jim was a charter member of the Flying Saucers Youth Square and Round Dance Exhibition Club which was started and run for many years by Frank and Iris Gilbert. A number of people that still square dance today got their start in the Flying Saucers. During this time, Jim was also a member of the Frontier Twirlers youth square dance club. This was so long ago that there was no such thing as mainstream, plus, A, etc. levels. It was all just square and couple (or round) dancing. This is also the time when all round dancing was learned (memorized) and not cued.
Jim did not dance for many years. During that time he was in high school, college, and twenty years traveling the world in the US Army in support of his Country. After retiring from the Army he moved back to the Kansas City area.
In the spring of 2006 we had the first Flying Saucer’s reunion. We had such a good time that several ex-Saucers decided to get back into square dancing. Jim, along with several others, took mainstream lessons during the summer and fall of 2006 from Mike Kelly (also an ex-Saucer). This re-started a whole new life in square dancing.
Jim started calling in January of 2011 when Fred Goucher invited him to assist in teaching Mainstream square dance lessons. Jim became a member of CALLERLAB in June of 2012 and also attended his first callers’ school in that month. His caller coaches for that school were Jerry Junck, Tim Marriner, and Paul Hensey. Jim called his first partial dance in July of 2011 after Fred Goucher invited Jim to be the co-caller of the K.C. Whirl-Aways.
Jim attended is first CALLERLAB convention in March 2012. As of July 2012, he has graduated three mainstream classes (with Fred Goucher), is calling twice a month, has done several western dance parties and square dance demonstrations.
During 2011, Jim also helped form the Fit and Fun Square Dance Association.
Jim has really enjoyed his return to square dancing. In addition to the fun of square dancing itself, it is meeting and making new friends with all of the other square dancers that has the most appeal. See you around in a square.