Michael Ismerio

Michael Ismerio, caller from Doug Plummer on Vimeo.

 

In March 2004 I got asked to play fiddle for the first meeting of the Underground Square Dance Association(USDA) a.k.a. my friend Phranque's 50th birthday party which took place on the wide platform at the Washington Park MAX stop, Portland's only underground train station.  I was one of the fiddlers for the occasion but when the caller failed to show up I suddenly found myself in the role of the most experienced dancer, and therefore, the only person who could possibly imitate a real caller.  Surprisingly enough, I was able to make up dances and kept people dancing for two hours on what I had absorbed from going to square dances in Portland. 

Seven years later I´m still calling dances but no longer confined to the Pacific Northwest. Here are a couple of recordings of me calling dances with a fabulous band consisting of Sammy Lind, Caleb Klauder, Nadine Landry, Pharis Romero, and Jason Romero.

Monkey in the Middle     

Lady Around the Lady 

 

Oct 2001 Squaredance flyerLucky for me Portland is graced with Bill "Bubba" Martin, an amazing caller who has been teaching and calling southern Appalachian traditional dances in Portland since the seventies.  He graciously took me and the new generation of young callers under his wing and walked us through the paces,  He shared with us everything he could and only quietly complained as we started making off with his calling gigs.  But, even with a half dozen new callers Bill Martin remains Portland's premier square dance caller , teacher, and our spiritual guru.

 In  Oct. 2001 I organized my first (of many) community square dance in Portland with Bill Martin and the first incarnation of the Foghorn Stringband. (Bill made the Poster).

 

 

Here is a great four minute video about that dance and square dancing in Portland.


Not Your Grandparent's Square Dance from Doug Plummer on Vimeo.

 
Since 2004 I have called dances all over the country including the The Appalachian String Band Music Festival, Clifftop, WV, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Port Townsend, WA, The Chicago Barn Dance, Chicago, IL, The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, Berkeley, CA, The Portland Old Time Music Gathering, Portland, OR, and participated in six of the Dare To Be Square callers conferences in Portland, OR , Seattle, WA, Asheville, NC and Riner, VA
 
Here are some links to check out for more square dancing info:
 

and Phil's follow up D2BS article from 2003

Or check out Bill Martin's archive of square dance related info at:

www.bubbaguitar.com/squaretoc.html