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Famous Square Dance Caller Lee Kopman Has Passed Away
Old 11-14-2018, 01:43 PM   #1
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Famous Square Dance Caller Lee Kopman Has Passed Away

Most of you have probably never heard of Lee Kopman. But if you have even square danced at a level above what you ever learned in gym class back in grade school, you would have learned many calls by Lee Kopman, the godfather of American (Western) square dancing. Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

Lee elevated the activity of square dancing to something which became mentally as well as physically challenging, and enjoyable, thanks to his clever choreography. Lee began calling more than 50 years ago, helping to expand square dancing to its peak participation in the 1970s and 1980s, and wrote more than 100 calls at various levels, all the way up through the very difficult Challenge levels. There was a book written about him back in 2011 called "The Square Dance Man."

He called in many countries around the world although in the last few years he had reduced his travel due to some health issues. But he continued calling here on Long Island 3 nights a week. I began square dancing back in the 1970s as a teenager, entering and leaving the advanced circuit throughout the 1980s before resuming in 2001 where I have danced for the last 17 years, moving up to Challenge Level 10 years ago.

We will all miss this icon of the square dance world.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:30 PM   #2
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Men star left one time.... Spin chain Through... Promenade... swing your lady, Allemande left and wheel and deal.

For about the first 10 years (1990-1999) we were retired, we square danced at least twice a week, at Woodhaven Lakes here in Il, and five other cities within a 45 minute drive. From 3 to 8 squares.

Probably the funnest and nicest couples we ever knew. It was a ritual, and only heavy rain would stop us, as almost all of the dancing was outside.

Never knew about Lee Kopman, though for one winter, we spent a few months in Donna Texas and made the rounds of Harlingen, Brownsville, Mission and McAllen. Texas was a dream come true for dancers... the very best callers anywhere, and afternoon or evening, 7 days a week.

Thanks for bringing back the memories.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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We started square dancing in Nashville around 1989 and continued when we moved to Atlanta area in 1992. My wife had mobility issues around and we had to quit about 5 years ago.
Our best dancing was in Atlanta, with all the winter callers from McAllen, TX coming through town very often. There were 3-4 incredible local callers we danced to all the time. We loved traveling on weekends to the big dances like in Louisville.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:12 PM   #4
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I square danced for a few years in middle school and high school and then again back in the late 80s/early 90s. Al Monty, a well known caller in our area and the Northeast, was a neighbor.... he had a very melodic voice... loved listening to him call. Towards the end of our late 80s/early 90s stint, DD took lessons for a year when she was 7 or so.

Have some very good memories of square dancing... if there was a group nearby I would love to start up again but the nearest group was about 30 miles away last time I checked.
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