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Nebraska Square & Round Dance Caller Association
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A Brief History Of A Long Square Dance Career

Jim and Carol Tucker have been married for 42 years, have one daughter, Rhonda, and have square danced for 39 of those years. When first married, they wanted to find something that they could do together as a young couple so, when they eventually they saw an ad for square dance lessons at Southeast Community College, they jumped right in. Rhonda participated from birth, attending all dances with mom and dad and she too learned to square dance with a local club, Grande Squares, during her teenage years. Jim and Carol participated in all levels of square and round dancing, including contra. They eventually devoted most of their time and efforts to round dancing. Their classes are the reason many round dancers are still in the activity today. They are constant supporters of fellow cuers and tried to do all they could to continue the education of the cuers and dancers alike through the creation of their ”Cornhusker Sweetheart Classic” the longest running Round Dance Weekend in Nebraska (15 years). This weekend started for the purpose of introducing new, sometimes reluctant, round dancers to the world of the round dance weekend and was very successful.

Jim and Carol started square dancing in 1976, and danced almost every night of the month (that could be done in the 70’s). They were angels for classes of beginning, mainstream, and plus lessons over several years. In 1978, they began writing square dance choreography, and have been published in "Kopman's Korner" of the American Square Dance Magazine. Jim has even tried calling a few times at the clubs led by Jo and Ken Klinefelter. In 1979 they attended Cal Golden's Caller’s College, in Hot Springs, Arkansas where, while being encouraged to continue calling, they were first introduced to, and fell in love with, round dancing. They learned to round dance in 1979 with their first “lessons” from Phyllis and Bill Spiedel, in a back room, at the first Halsey Fun Weekend they attended. They continued dancing with the Roundaliers Round Dance Club with Ernie Gross and with the Boots and Slippers Round Dance Club with Willard Noxon. They wore out many pairs of dancing shoes for the next 10 years. They also were busy with advanced lessons and studying at home while traveling many miles continuing their own dancing education.

Jim and Carol started dancing ballroom in 1980 and began teaching in 1985. They taught basic ballroom lessons to over 500 couples during the next 12 years through the Lincoln City Parks and Recreation. Some of these couples ended up in the square and round dance activity, even if for only a short time. With dances, lessons and workshops they were on the dance floor constantly and with good results, they won first place in a ballroom waltz contest sponsored by Lincoln’s Playmor Ballroom, judged by local ballroom dance studio instructors.

Jim and Carol are teachers by profession, they already knew this is what they wanted to do. It did not take long to combine their love of round dance with their love of teaching and by 1986 they had begun cueing and teaching rounds. Having taught many beginner classes, in round and ballroom dance, they both enjoyed watching the "light bulbs" come as the classes advanced learning Phases I and II. They started Rainbow Rounds in October of 1989, a phase II to IV round dance club, in Lincoln NE. With the development of skills, the need for a higher level club was born and they were granted a National Carousel Clubs charter, in 1993, for a phase III-V club called National Carousels Club #250, Rainbow Carousel Lites.

Jim and Carol have been nationally, and internationally, recognized for the round dances they have choreographed, 32 over the past 25 years. Most of the dances they have written have been recognized as round of the month in various states. Six of these dances, “Quietly Foxtrot – Phase 3”, “I’m Confessin – Phase 2’”, “The Song From Moulin Rouge – Phase 5”, "Won't You Be My Girl" – Phase 4 , “Un P'Tit Foxtrot" -- Phase 4, and "When Shadows Are Deep" – Phase 3, have been recognized as being among the Rounds of the Quarter as selected by members of ROUNDALAB. “Waltzing with Tammy” made the Australian National Classic List; while “I’m Sorry” spent 2 years on Japan’s list of 20 “recommended” round dances. Four others. “Foxtrot Shereen”, "Flirting with the Moon", "I'm Confessin" and "Quietly Foxtrot" have been included by ROUNDALAB in the first teaching progression manuals as suggested dances to use.

Jim and Carol were awarded the Lincoln Council of Square and Round Dance Service Award in 2000. This is an Award that is given in recognition of many years of service to the Lincoln Council and the surrounding area. This award cannot be given for a one time contribution it must be earned, over a period of many years, of demonstrating leadership in Council activities and services such as coordinating Lincoln Festivals, participating in parades etc.. I commend Jim and Carol for their loyalty to the associations they belong to, whether they are officers or have positions of responsibility. They are gone 2 to 3 weeks every June attending ROUNDALAB and the National Square Dance Convention at the same time. They have given of their time freely to try to help in any way they could to further the activity of Square and Round dancing. The best example of this would be their establishment of a round dance weekend; the “Cornhusker Sweetheart Classic” for 15 years. They provided the best in entertainment, and dancer/cuer education. Much of the time they were busy doing things to make sure the dancers were having a good from Friday night till Sunday morning. Organizing these events are always work and not much profit. You have to love it to do it.

The involvement for Jim and Carol in dance leadership started in 1980 when they were asked to serve on the Board of Governors of Prairie Conclave. They served on this board from 1980-1984. During this time, The Prairie Conclave of American Folk Dancers filed incorporation papers and they were asked to stay on as the executive administrator to help see the paperwork through to its completion. Jim and Carol have attended 19 of the 20 sessions (almost 40 years) of the Prairie Conclave of American Folk Dancers.

Also in 1980-81 they served as President and Vice President of the Guys and Gals Square dance club in Lincoln. In 1999, Jim and Carol were elected Vice Presidents of the Southeast Nebraska Callers Association and, in 2000, were elected as President.

Jim and Carol have made a lasting impact on the round dance activity while serving in the leadership of ROUNDALAB becoming heavily involved beginning in 2001. It was then they were selected to serve as the Chair couple of the phase 3 Round-of-the-Quarter Committee, serving in this capacity until 2008. In November of 2003 they were nominated to run for the Board of Directors of the ROUNDALAB organization and, at the ROUNDALAB convention in Denver, 2004, they were elected to the Board of Directors; the only Nebraska round dance leaders to be elected to this position. While on the Board of Directors, they helped make decisions that have guided that organization in a direction it has continued to travel. They were part of the early restructuring of the Mini-lab program, serving as coordinators of this program from 2004 to 2008; they were part of the decision to place all of ROUNDALABS dance figures on DVD for purchase by anyone interested. As Vice Chairman of ROUNDALAB, Jim and Carol were guardians of the bylaws and procedures governing the Corporation. The procedure that was developed by Jim and Carol is still used to today to control how ROUNDALAB’s Board of Directors votes for their Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Executive Committee. Also during this time, Carol chaired the organizational meeting of the marketing sub-committee consisting of a select number of her fellow Board Members. At the North Carolina convention, they were elected to a 2nd term on the Board of Directors and, at the Wichita RAL convention in 2008, they were elected Vice Chairman of the ROUNDALAB Corporation, a position they were re-elected to, in 2009, at the California convention. In 2010, after completing their 6 years on the Board of Directors they were appointed to a one year term as the Chair couple of the Phase 5 Standardization and Planning Committee. In 2011 they were also appointed to a 1 year term as the Parliamentarian for the ROUNDALAB Corporation. They are currently serving on several ROUNDALAB committees involving figure standardization and bylaw review. They also are serving on a newly developed committee that is in the long process of putting into procedure the standard operating rules of the Corporation.

Jim and Carol served as the full time round dance leaders for the Chix and Chasers Square and Round Dance Club in Lincoln. They have served as featured round dance cuers for the 2003 and 2014 Kansas State Square and Round Dance Convention in Salina, Kansas. Jim and Carol have also been the featured Round Dance Leaders at the Nebraska State Convention in 2012. They will be the Featured Round Dance leaders for the Missouri State Convention in 2015. They have served as featured round dance leaders for many weekends and festivals in the Midwest. They have been the round dance program Chair couple for many Lincoln Festivals as well as many Nebraska State Conventions. They also were the Director of Workshops and the Showcase of Rounds for the 2008 National Square and Round Dance Festival in Wichita. They have been the round dance cuers for the Lincoln Square and Round Dance Festival many times. They have been nationally, and internationally, recognized for the round dances they have choreographed over the past 25 years. Their work, for ROUNDALAB, has had effects extending beyond national boundaries with the decisions made by the Board of Directors affecting round dancers and cuers worldwide.

Hall Of Fame Members

Harold & Lil Bausch - inducted 2007 Bill & Phyllis Speidel - inducted 2007
Ernie & Naomi Gross - inducted 2008 Les & Doris Henkel - inducted 2008
Wes & Dorothy Mohling - inducted 2009 Ed & Shirley Claflin - inducted 2009
Jerry & Glenda Wright - inducted 2010 Ed & Phyllis Spurgeon - inducted 2010
Mal & Shirley Minshall - inducted 2010 Orvile & Arra Pittam - inducted 2011
John & Bev Chunka - inducted 2012 Jim & Carol Tucker - inducted 2015
Jerry Junck - inducted 2018     Lanny & Carol Weaklend - inducted 2021
Mike & Denise Hogan - inducted 2022