Steve’s earliest memory was calling at
the NY World’s Fair at seven years old. With his father, Lee Kopman, so
passionate about the activity there was no doubt he was destined to be a
square dance caller.
By the age of thirteen Steve started his first
club in his parent’s basement. He’d teach two squares of friends 8-10
calls a week. Thank goodness he was the son of the most prolific
choreographer in the business. Steve believes his dad kept writing new
calls to entertain the kids.
Steve attended a local college (Adelphi
University) so he could pursue his love of square dance calling. He
was calling four nights a week while attending the university and graduated
Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Education in four years.
During his last year in college he met the woman of his dreams who
would later become his wife of forty-four years, Debbie. She
was a deaf education teacher in NY and had recently graduated from the
University of TN.
Steve thought it might help his calling
career if he moved away from his dad to make a name for himself and they
settled in Knoxville, TN. He worked full time for a swimming pool
company while calling twenty-six weekends a year around the world. He still
maintained a great relationship with his dad and it was nothing for
them to call together one weekend in England, the next in Las Vegas and
the following weekend in Bartlesville, OK. Lee and Steve spoke every day
on the phone; not about sports or politics but about square dance choreography. Lee would
bounce ideas of new calls off Steve and they’d discuss fractionalizing
the call or cleaning up the definition.
Steve still travels the
world calling square dances while maintaining a full-time day job as
Treasury officer for Citizens Bank.
Steve and Debbie recently became grandparents for the second time. They have a beautiful girl, Peyton Blake Hammer, and boy, Robert Cole Hammer. The kids
and their mom and dad currently reside in Knoxville, TN.