I realize this is crazy. A new caller, not even a full year into this new role, calling in communities along a cross-country road-trip? Who does that?
I guess I do.
These past two weeks I’ve gone to two different dance camps and talked with three of the national callers I most admire. I admitted to all three that I realized this was an insane idea. I also admitted to all three that this is how I learn. I would make a terrible Italian; I’m not very good at doing life slowly. I learn in big leaps. That’s how six months after I first picked up a dance card I was calling my first full evening. (Also, I have a fantastic community of other callers pushing me to develop my skills. Shout out to the New Mexico Caller’s Collective, started by Erik Erhardt.)
Watching these national-circuit callers do their stuff on stage was a practice in humility. There is so, so much to learn, and I have so far to go. It is also incredibly humbling to see how willing these guys are to be mentors to young callers like myself. Who does that?
I guess callers do.
This is part of the folk process. This is how we sustain our community: we bring up the next generation and help them succeed. Right now I am accepting all of this help, all of this mentorship. I will be for years. For now, I can only try to accept their generosity as gracefully as possible, and hope that someday I am able to give back to the community in a similar way.