Michael and Pat met through square dancing. Michael had danced since he was a teenager, but had taken a few years out of the activity. Pat took round dance lessons before square dance lessons, because of night classes when square dance lessons began. When Mike attended a New Year’s Eve party that some square dancers also attended, they encouraged him to come back and “refresh” as lessons were then being given. After those lessons, Michael took beginning two-step and waltz round dance classes. Pat took round dance lessons in 1987 and square dance lessons in 1987-99. Our first round dance weekend was the Siouxland Round Dance Festival in Sioux City, Iowa, where Tim and Debby Vogt were the clinicians. You can imagine our surprise when we found out they were teaching a quickstep!! Being encouraged there by Everette and Dorothy Walker and Darrell and Sharon Beck, we started our journey in more advanced round dancing. Michael and Pat married in June of 1992.
In 1994, Pat was encouraged to try cueing at a local “amateur” night. The day after amateur night we received a call from a local caller, asking if we would do the rounds for the graduation dance of a local square dance club – in just two days!! We said yes and had six songs ready in time. While living in Norfolk, we cued and taught for the local Y-2 Rounders (Phase II Round Dance Club) and cued at some square dance clubs in the Northeast Nebraska Federation. We also cue at all levels at area and state round dance festivals and have cued at five of the seven national United Round Dance Conventions (now International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association) we have attended.
Our regular jobs keep us able to enjoy dancing. Michael works for Darling International. Mike is the shop manager for Darling’s truck shop and has been with the company for 29 years. Pat is the Administrative Assistant to the President at Nebraska Christian College and has been with the college for over 25 years. The closing of the Norfolk Darling Plant and the relocation of Nebraska Christian College led to our relocation to Bellevue in August of 2006.
We have attended several area and state square and round dances throughout the Midwest (Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri), as well as Arizona, California and Florida. For several years we took a week of vacation and danced with the “snowbirds” in Arizona. We have taught rounds at some local and area dances and festivals, including the Iowa State Square and Round Dance Convention, the Norfolk Single Wheelers’ Memorial Weekend Festival, the Omaha (NE) Festival, the Lincoln (NE) Festival, the “Tom and Jerry Weekend” in Broken Bow (NE) and two HASSDA festivals.