JIM HOWARD & HENRY ISRAEL
“ONE FLOOR DANCING”
What a privilege to be selected as a Keynote Speaker.
My Square Dance life started before I was even born. As some of you know, my
father was a caller here in Oklahoma City and throughout the region for over 50
years. Some of my earliest memories are at square dances in Elk City, Oklahoma,
sitting on the stage with my Dad calling dances. We moved to Oklahoma City in
1964 and Dad started calling for Funtimers, Kelly Kapersand Lucky Squares. In
the fall of 1970, I took my first square dance lesson. If I remember correctly I took
8 lessons and graduated. I didn’t think I would ever want to become a caller as I
loved to dance.
It was in 1974 when I remember calling for the first time. It was at Lucky Squares
and it was amateur caller night. I was terrible but all the dancers said that I was great. In 1976, I joined the U.S.
Navy and started my twenty year career in service to our country. During those years, I traveled throughout the
world. In 1978, I was stationed in Guam; there were two square dance clubs on the island, one at the Air Force
base and one at the Naval base.
I have called on 4 continents and 25 states that I can remember. I was a recording artist and staff member of
Marlet records for several years until it was sold. My wife, DeDe, and I moved back to the great state of
Oklahoma in July of 2000. The 2003 National Square Dance Convention was back in Oklahoma City and once
again we gave service to the different areas that needed help. I call and teach through the Advanced level. I also
have fun doing the occasional ―One Night Stand/Fun Night‖ dances for several different organizations and
small groups. I enjoy teaching, whether it is a new caller or a new square dancer. The joy comes when you get
to see ―the light bulb go on‖ as they truly start to understand and grow in the square dance community. I am a
member of American Caller’s Association, the Oklahoma State Caller and Teachers Association and currently
vice president for Central District Callers and Cuers Association. DeDe and I are one of the founding members
of Sooner State Callers Association, which is strictly dedicated to training callers. Currently we are working
with a band to have ―Live‖ square dance music for the first time in Oklahoma since the late 60’s. Our first ―live
band‖ square dance was held in March of 2012 and was a great success. I am the caller for Aristocrats Plus and
have been the caller for the last 10 years for National Cowboy Hall of Fame Exhibition Club. I have taken
National Cowboy to perform at 5 National Conventions with the last one in Spokane, WA in 2012. When time
permits, I do enjoy getting to do some traveling calling. My full time job is working at the VA hospital helping
HENRY & BARBARA ISRAEL
I started square dance calling in 1972 and have been calling for clubs,
festivals, jamborees, and special dances & events ever since,
I have called in 30+ states plus Puerto Rico, Panama, Belize, and British
Columbia. I am an Accredited Caller Training Specialist, Accredited
Teacher/Instructor, a charter member and Past-President of the Oklahoma
Callers & Teachers Association, Past President and current Treasurer of
the Central District Callers and Cuers Assn I am Past and current President
of the International Organization of Dance Leaders,
record on Cascade, Longhorn and Rockin M Labels.