"MACA" THE BARN DANCE CALLER
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Like many youngsters I first danced at school dances (not disco's) then Parish dances. This is where I learnt progressive dances like the Bradford Barn Dance. My Mother also taught me dances when we used to go to Butlin's Holiday Camp "Old Time" dance sessions. where I learnt dances such as The Gay Gordons, The Valeta, Dashing White Sergeant, which I still Call today.

When I left my native north east, I moved to Sheffield and attended many dance nights at specialist clubs such as "Heffts and Blades" where I picked up a lot of dances, some of which I have now forgotten i.e. Sheffield Cog dance. At the same time I went through a 3 year actor training course with "Earthwork" (1974-1977) under the directorship of Mr John King. (This training has helped me immensley in my pursuits in the folk world).

Counties Barn Dance band

I formed a band with 3 others called "Counties" - we were a singing band ostensively, but one memorable booking at Collegeate College where the set up of the room had a dance floor and the audience sat around in big comfortable chesterfield couches, and not paying us much attention. On a spur of the moment and much to the surprise to the members of "Counties" I got 12 people on to the floor and "Called" my very first dance to a set of tunes that "Counties" played well. It was an instant success with the audience and a total bewilderment to the band, but we soon found we could get lots of work as a Barn Dance band. I suppose this was the birth of "Maca the Caller".

Eventually I moved to Leicestershire and started Calling for local bands, Moonshine and MacCallmont's Fuseliers. I developed a good reputation for being a "good time, social Caller" for wedding and "social do's" and very quickly became recognised by the local and some national bands for this.

When asked what my style is, I have joked that I am a "Sheep Dog caller" i.e. I get them up on their feet and head them off in the right direction, I am not a stickler for fancy footwork, or complicated dance moves - I just want people of all skills to enjoy themselves.

I must be doing something right because I am in high demand. So book early to avoid disappointment!

Cheers me dears

Maca