Name: Cliff Nichols
Location: Bellevue WA
Solo Squares (Caller)
Boots and Laces (Member/President)
Square Dance History:
First beginner class 1972 with my father Johnnie Nichols in Salinas California. Danced off and on until 2004 when Dad passed away, and I went through beginner classes with the Boots and Laces. Dad always wanted me to learn to call, but I would not put in the work. As I began dancing again, I felt compelled to at least try to see if I could actually be a caller. I enlisted the assistance of the B&L caller Seattle's own red hot caller Mr. Eddie Harry , and borrowed his old Hilton, bought a microphone and started practicing. On Sept. 2 2005 I did my first singing call, something called "Those Memories Of You". My legs didn't collapse, nobody threw anything at me, and the work continued. My good friend Bob Shiver (see link below) found me my first setup, a Hilton 95, and now I had a microphone, records, and a PA. With Eddie's help, I started learning to patter by helping teach lessons for the Boots and Laces, and I will always be indebted to those poor students that had to put up with brilliant calls such as Heads pass the ocean, wheel and deal.
I attended my first formal class at the Circle 8 Ranch in 2006 under the guidance of Mr. Daryl Clendenin and it was an incredible experience. I strongly suggest that any person wanting to become a caller find a school and attend. Make sure that the school is run by a Callerlab accredited coach! These guys are just awesome.
I am very proud to announce that on May 18th 2008 I will take the stage for the first time for my new club, the Solo Squares! I'm very excited and honored to be selected, and I can't wait for the next chapter in this journey.
Thank you Bob. I will never forget this advice.
Nothing on this page would have been possible without the support and help of so many that I consider more than friends....they are my family. This is a little difficult because since that first time I took the microphone in my hand, everybody has been so wonderful and supportive.
First must be Leigh Ann. At the time I was working up the courage to do this thing, she was my roomate. But perhaps most importantly, she was there for feedback, and most importantly, I knew I could trust her. In that same category is my other honorary sister Gail. One night we were leaving a dance, and I was still thinking about if I should ask Eddie for help. That night Gail, and the Nevins, and Pam all promised that if I was bad, they would be my friends and tell me before I made a fool of myself and created an unpleasant situation for the dancers. That promise gave me the courage to walk up on that stage for the first time.
During that same time, another dear friend Vicki did something that I am not sure she realizes she did...but did so much to bolster my confidence. When I was starting, I closed the doors to my room and did my best to ensure nobody heard me...nerves pretty much. One day I had left a window open, and I finished a singing call and heard a voice from outside that window. It was Vicki, and she said, "You are supposed to be practicing...turn the record over". Took me a minute to figure out what she had said, but that is something that was ringing in my ears on September 2.
Last and absolutely not least, all the members of the Boots and Laces and the PiR Squares, and Eddie and Mike Olson for allowing me the opportunity to do singing calls over the past year. Some I guess were pretty good, and some were absolutely awful, but these people stood by me good and bad, and no matter what there were handshakes, smiles, and most of all honesty. Not one of them ever told me I did okay when I had totally flubbed a call, and I hope they all know how much I appreciate that honesty.
I was posting thoughts and such on this page, but that will get too cumbersome in the future, so I created a Blog page as well as a schedule for anybody that wants to keep up with where I might be performing in the future. If you would like to be notified via E-Mail of new dances, just click here.
My favorite Links:
Graduating Class, 2006 Cascade Caller's College (Class, Instructors, and Coaches)
|There's A Long
|Seattle Center Dance
|Eddie and Cliff
|Yep..the train is still there :-)||My #1 Fan LA
|Can You Hear Me Now?
|Life's A Dance
|The Great TP Incident!|
|Innocently Singing Away||Nefarious Forces at work!||Rut-Roh||Yep..it's gonna be a long night||Time to give up and roll with it!|
|Would you let this call YOUR dance?|
|USA West, Pendleton Oregon 2008|
|Mainstream Hall Thursday Afternoon||Performing with the Ghost Riders|
|More Ghost Riders|
|Valley Record News Article|
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