The Lee Kopman






(Photos by Barry Vlad.  Click any to enlarge.)

    Steve's Recap ...

In the world of higher level square dancing (C4) there are two couples that have been synonymous with leading the way as pioneers. They are the "go-to" people when callers have questions on whether a creative choreo idea is legit. Bill & Carol Heimann and Paul & Jean Galburt are those people.

Growing up, my dad couldn’t stop raving about these people. They were the best dancers in the world but also very knowledgeable on everything worldly. Since I didn’t call C4, I rarely had the opportunity to call to them. I lived their talents vicariously though my folks.

Unbeknownst to me they surprised us attending the Knoxville Getaway. These are people that simply elevate the level of a whole weekend. You might think people at the highest level patty cake on an Allemande Left, or skip a right and left grand or drag back on a promenade. Not these couples. They keep the “dancing” in square dancing. If you were in a square with either of them your chances of success were automatically elevated.  They somehow know when to help others in the square without anyone noticing.  (Except me.)

Add to that 11+ squares of dancers from as far away as upstate NY, St Louis, Florida, Texas and Nevada and you have the makings of a great weekend!

Darryl Lipscomb is one of the best callers on the planet. He knows how to blend creativity with success on the dance floor. That is not a trait many callers have.  We’ve called this weekend together for over 30 years. The venue has moved around a bit but the success and friendship has flourished over the years.

Add to the above, two halls with wooden floors, perfect sound and cool (OK cold) temperatures and you have the makings of a perfect weekend. And it was just that.

Starting the Friday night session with a hall FILLED with square dancers from around the U.S. simply energizes the room. I found myself pinching myself that this was real. After COVID bringing square dancing to a complete halt, seeing a hall full of smiling Advanced & Challenge dancers four years later felt more like a dream.

Debbie had the idea of bringing in food for the weekend. (We weren’t able to do that before because of hotel catering rules in the past). We had apples and cheese on Friday night, doughnuts on Saturday morning and pizza after the dance Saturday night. I joked that Debbie’s job was to fatten the dancers up and mine was to take the weight off.

There was something magical about this weekend that I’ll cherish forever. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Knoxville Getaway.

For those able to attend the Knoxville Getaway, thank you all for being a part of something special.

Happy Mother's Day!