I'm Happy to See You Here Because
Lynn Nelson - Biography
have lived in Kansas City since 1988 when my husband was transferred with the
Santa Fe Railroad. We are originally from Peoria, IL. Finding ourselves in a new
city with no friends or family nearby, we decided we needed a recreational
activity that we could enjoy together, would be affordable, and would allow us
to meet others in the area. Square dancing seemed to be the perfect solution. We
took lessons with the Swangers Square Dance Club in 1989 and subsequently served
as the Federation Delegate, Vice President and President of the club.
We also served the Heart of America Federation as Co-Editor and
Editor for 5 years. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet and dance
with people across a two state area.
In June of 1996, I decided that I would enjoy being a caller. I
started by attending Kaw Valley Caller School, instructed by Dana
Schirmer in Topeka, Kansas, and working with a group of dancers
weekly. They were a big help in improving my calling skills. In July
of 1997, I attended the Heart of America Callers School, instructed
by Tony Oxendine and Jerry Junck and held in Kansas City. In
September 1997, I attended the Golden Triangle Square Dance Caller
College held in Woodville, Texas, by Wayne Morvent and Wade Driver.
In 2000, 2004 and 2010 I again went back to the Heart of America
Callers School to work with Jerry Junck, Paul Henze and Tim Marriner
to try to refine some of my skills. There’s always more to learn and
I wonder if I will ever be able to put it all to use.
I have been the Club Caller for the B-N-R Squares since May '97 and
am very pleased with the support I have received from the members
and area dancers. In 1999 I was asked to be the club caller for the
Mustangs Square Dance Club in Overland Park, Kansas. The Mustangs
have been so supportive and a joy to call for. Some of them have
become more like family than friends, as have the B-N-R Squares.
Another example of how Square Dancing is Friendship Set To Music.
Sadly, due to health challenges, the Mustangs were forced to close
the club in May 2011. Special thanks to all of them for the
friendship and support through the past 12 years.
On May 23, 1999, we lost Jerry following open heart surgery. It was
quite a blow to all of us and square dancing became my salvation. I
found myself out either calling, dancing or teaching 5 or 6 nights a
week. I immersed myself in an activity that I loved in order to dull
the pain of my loss. I’ve always said that Square Dancing is the
best stress reliever I’ve ever found, and this chapter in my life
confirmed that. The friendship, comfort and support I found among
other square dancers is unequaled by anything else in my life.
Jerry and I have 2 children. Our son Tim is the father of our
grandchild, Tim Jr., better known as TJ, who gave me a great
grandson, Jaxxson, in January 2012. Our daughter Cindi married her
soul mate in May 2013. Both of our children have square danced in
the past but have moved on to other interests. While I can’t get
them to a square dance any more, TJ took lessons in 2000, graduating
just before his 8th birthday and went along occasionally until he
was out of his teens. He was always surprised by how much fun he had
since he’s far from a little boy anymore. Sometimes he danced with
others more than he danced with me, but it made me so proud to watch
him dance. After all, youth are the future of our activity.
Since becoming a caller, I have become active in several Callers’
organizations including, CALLERLAB; KAMO Callers, Cuers and
Partners; NE KS Callers and KS State Callers. I have served as an
officer in several positions in both NE KS Callers and KAMO Callers.
I feel that when you get as much from an activity as I do, it’s only
right to try to give back. It seems that active participation only
makes it better.
In the spring of 2014, I was honored to be named Co-Caller of the
Year and inducted into the Heart of America Federation’s Caller/Cuer
Hall of Fame. This is an honor I never expected and one I am so
grateful for. It certainly puts me in very good company.
In 2018 at the annual state convention, I was stunned to be inducted
into the Missouri State Caller/Cuer Hall of Fame. I never dreamed I
would ever be part of such a prestigious group and I thank the State
Federation for granting me such an honor.
In the years since I began calling, I have traveled all over the
states of Kansas and Missouri, up into Nebraska, Iowa, down to
Arkansas and Texas, in Illinois and even out to Wyoming to call and
have danced in several other states, as well. In 2015 I began
teaching lessons in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and was able to
call a dance there, as well as continuing lessons in 2016. Starting
in 2017, I will have a full program of lessons and a weekly dance,
as well as a couple of special dances. I have also called at 6
national conventions. This is an opportunity that I am so grateful
for. I have met many wonderful people across the miles and look
forward to meeting so many more. Always remember there are no
strangers in Square Dancing, only friends you haven’t met yet. When
you step into a square, be sure to introduce yourself to the others
there. Who knows, maybe it will be me. I’m liable to turn up
anywhere. I love to dance as much as I love to call. I look forward
to meeting YOU in a square.
Special thanks to Dan Wheeler, who maintains this site for me. Dan’s
help is greatly appreciated. He’s a good friend, not only to me, but
to all of Square Dancing. Be sure to find the
link to his
main page and stop by and take a look at all the wonderful
things he does. Thanks Dan, and many yellow rocks.