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 LindyHop & Swing Fayetteville Contra 

November 3rd, 2015

One thing I can say about the young people at the Arkansas Arts Academy - they are pretty good dancers! They pick up the dances pretty quickly and had a pretty good time despite the fact that I wasn't playing any of music they usually listen and dance to. 

The Tyson Elementary Back to Svhool night was , predictably, not as succesful. It felt like my dancing program was almost an afterthought - they had me set-up outside between the cafeteria and the gym (next to a bouncy-house!) Parents and students were walking through my dance floor - a rough, uneven slab of black asphalt - trying to get to this or that activity in the other venues, and while I did my best to coax parents to join the dancing I was leading, participation was limited to a handful of students for a couple of novelty dances... pretty disappointing.

Next Tuesday will be the first of 4 programs this month - my yearly Hoedown for the 2nd Graders at Mathias Elementary. This year I'll be working with a new Music Teacher, Brooka McCubbin. She is quite delighted to be able to continue the popular program again this year... I'm looking forward to it too!

A couple days later I will be hosting a Barn Dance at the Adult Wellness Center in Rogers. My friend and fellow bridge player Gail sold the idea to the Activity Director and word of mouth has created quite a bit of enthusiasm among the staff and members, so I am hopeful for a good turn out.

A week later will be the Harvest Festival for the Bentonville Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. This should be a great family activity for the church members and I hope it might grow into repeat performances.

Lasr on my calendar this month - and for that matter, the year - is a family birthday party/four generation Barn Dance. The guest of honor told her husband she want to whole family to do something special for her birthday - Square Dancing! I told him about my Barn Dance Program and he sold the idea to his whole family... even his 81yr old mother! This month should be a lot of fun!

October 2nd, 2015

Busy Fall schedule - Tyson Elementary has contracted for me to lead dances for their back-to-school night this month... this is always a challenging program to lead, since there are a variety of other activities going on, so participation is hit and miss at best.  

The night before will be a Hoedown for the Arkansas Arts Academy 6th & 7th graders. This Fall Dance should be alot of fun for the kids, teachers, and chaperones. November has four events in the works - more on that later.

I'm just a dancing fool... care to join my foolishness?!?

July 31st, 2015

Just a couple quick lines today - just got back from Broken Arrow First Baptist Church and what a night!  Though the program did not go as long as I had planned, the smiling faces of the dancers touched my heart - parents and kids together, dancing together, laughing and clapping together, what a joy to be a part of! Hope to make this a yearly gig!

July 10th, 2015

In the spring I had a successful school program - the Grace Hill Elementary Health & Fitness Family Night. While it was not a contained program... the school had a number of activities going on at once during the course of the evening and families could come and go at will, but I did get good participation for my dances, and the events coordinators gave me exclusive time for the Big Circle Dance at the end of the night - lots of fun!

Later this month I will be off to Broken Arrow to lead a program for the First Baptist Church Champions Camp - a group of physically and mentally challenged teens and young adults attending a week long camp hosted by the church. Their parents and families are coming to pick them up on Friday and I hope to get everyone up and dancing. Should be very rewarding and lots of fun.

April 1st, 2015

No Foolin'! I'll be participating in the Grace Hill Elementary Health & Fitness Family Night on the 16th this month.  Who would have thought dancing with your kids would be considered healthy!?! But seriously, I am hoping to get alot of parents and kids involved in my Barn Dance Program, even though there will be a number of venders and activities happening at the school that evening. 

Also I volunteered to lead some all day programs for the Heritage Days at Tyson and Robert E Lee Elementary Schools - students will move from classroom to classroom to hear stories and see presentations of Arkansas's Heritage - farming, settlements, home life, religion, clothing, food, music and the arts, including me leading a program of dances that settlers did at weddings, festivals, and socials.

December 4th, 2014

Another very successful 2nd grade Hoedown at Mathias Elementary last month. The kids and teachers had a great time, and I proved once again that a fifty + guy still has the stamina to dance circles around a bunch of second graders!

Not much happening this month dance wise - hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and great New Year!

November 18th, 2014

Last Friday I traveled to Branson, MO to lead a Heritage Dance for Trinity Christian Academy. They had contacted me through Gig Salad looking for a dance instructor/square dance caller for their fund raiser Chicken Dinner and Hootenanny Dance.  Their original idea was for me to come out to the school a few times and teach K-12 a suite of dances for them to perform at the event, but when they realized the cost involved for me to travel to the school on multiple days for the instruction and again on the 14th, we came to the resolution that my leading a Heritage Dance Program for the students, parents, and staff was the most economical (non-budget busting) solution for their fund raiser.  Though not many of the parents participated, the kids had a great time and I believe the event was a great success.

Later this week I will again be leading the Annual Hoedown for the 2nd Grade Class at Mathais Elementary in Rogers. This is one of my favorite activities, and theirs too. Half the classes are in the cafeteria dancing with me (7 Jumps, Patty Cake Polka, La Raspa, etc), while the other half is entertained by a western singer/poet. After about 40 minutes, the groups switch and I teach the dances again. Then the entire group joins me for the finale - the Big Circle! Lots of fun!

I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and a jig-a-long New Year!

Sept 24th, 2014

Busy times! My wife & I enjoyed a two week cruise to Alaska on Princess the end of August. Great sights, great food, lots of relaxing, and lots of fun dancing together. We were on the floor showing off our steps nearly every evening. Just wish the bands on the ship had a bit more variety of music. If we got up and danced to a swing number, the next 4 songs they played were also swing, because that’s what they thought we wanted. Waltz and tango were practically unheard of, but we did cha-cha to some upbeat tunes. The nightclub DJ played LOUD hip-hop music – not our style – but the Show Band did host a dance program on one night and they were GREAT – good tunes with lots of variety. All in all, a great trip.

Saturday September 6th had me traveling to Moscow, Tennessee, east of Memphis, to DJ/Dance Lead for a Wedding Reception. The bride & groom had done some square dancing in college and wanted to include it in their reception activities. It was lots of fun, with squares, the Virginia Reel, and the Patty Cake Polka danced to the “Aggies War Hymn” (the couple attended Texas A&M).

Later in the month I did a ballroom dance program at Apple Blossom again – a small turnout, but still a fun group. We did the Birdie (Chicken) dance, waltzes, tango, a polka, and played “Keep the Beat” from our seats. October is right around the corner, which means Octoberfest, Harvest Festivals, and Halloween Parties. If your group is looking for a fun activity, give me a call!

August 4th, 2014

What a great time on the Fourth of July!  The group at Camp Siloam was enthusiastic, fun-loving, and LOUD! My voice was a little ragged by the end of the evening, but there were lots of happy faces and tired feet on the floor. Just watching those young folks kick up their heels doing Cotton Eyed Joe kept me smiling all night long.  The hall lighting was kind of dark, but I hope to have pictures and maybe some video posted from the event.

Looking forward to vacationing with my wife soon… hope your summer has been a fun one.

July 4th, 2014

Tonight’s the night! I’ll be leading a Heritage dance program for the staff at Camp Siloam, a Christian youth camp just outside Siloam Springs. They are expecting about 60 to participate, most of them just out of High School and College students that are staff at the camp for the summer. There will also be some children of the directors, plus some seniors – a real inter-generational gathering of folks celebrating with music and dance (plus some games, food, and fireworks thrown in for good measure).  This was the first event to be booked through my association with Gig Salad, and I hope this will continue to be a valuable connection for groups trying to find wholesome family activities.

June 4th, 2014

School’s out for the summer (yea) and that usually means lots of family activities, summer camp, and fun gatherings. Keep CBDanceman in mind when you are looking for a fun and unique activity for your family reunion, church group activity, day camp program, or company gathering.

Also, we have added Gig Salad to our association connections (see the link at the top of the page next to our logo). This link not only allows you to book our services online, but also to connect with other dance leaders, bands and musicians, DJ’s, and entertainment specialists in our area and throughout the country.  What a great resource!

March 4th, 2014

Another program at Apple Blossom again this month!  Sadly, Ruby, the director at the facility, will be relocating with her husband to the sister property in Fort Smith. She has been a friend and supporter for many years, and I hope we will stay connected, albeit long distance. I also hope to continue dance programs at Apple Blossom.

May 14th is National Chicken Dance Day, so get out on the dance floor, shake those tail feathers and flap those wings!

January 4th, 2014

Happy New Year! Hope you have lots of dance dates to fill your calendar.

I have been contracted to entertain and dance with the seniors at Apple Blossom again this month.  I’ll be demonstrating and talking about the history of modern ballroom dancing, starting out with that scandalous couple dance The Waltz! Yes, Straus started it all with the first dance that actually had a man and woman dancing together with arms around each other. Lock up your daughters (and your maiden aunts), what will they think of next!?!

December 4th, 2013

My wife and I went dancing at Mustangs Alley last Saturday and had a great time. The band there plays a nice combination of country and classic rock and roll, great for country line and couple dancing. They will also be hosting a special dance this Friday, December 6th at 7pm. Just $5 per couple! Can't beat that!

The Hoedown at Mathias Elementary in Rogers on November 22nd was a blast. This is the third year I have been invited to do a program as a part of their western studies. Almost 100 2nd Graders, their teachers, and I were clapping, skipping, heel & toeing, and circling around to the barn dance music of America's Heritage and, I hear, they are still talking about the fun they had.  Looking forward to future programs for the school.
Hope that your holidays are merry & bright. Keep Dancing!

October 31st, 2013

Halloween is here!  The time of ghosts, goblins, fairy princesses, and super heros.  Also the start of a soon to be hectic holiday season. Hope you have a chance to get down and boogy away those extra calories the candy and sweets and pies and goodies tend to bring.

Dance & Swing is hosting a Veteran's Day Dance on Saturday November 9th at Riodan Hall in Bella Vista. There will be great music from a live band. Check out their website link for more info.

I will be leading a Hoedown for the 2nd grade class at Mathias Elementary in Rogers this month. This is the third year I have been invited to do a program as a part of their western studies. It is always alot of fun and I am looking forward to it. The pictures in my photo gallery page are from last year's program.
Keep Dancing! 

September 30th, 2013

Had a great time at the Apple Blossom Retirement Village on the 20th.  There were about 30 residents, along with Ruby the facility manager, Activity Director Misty, and her 7 year old daughter. Though much of the program was me doing a “show and tell” while the residents sat around the dance floor, we did have a few get up to do the "Chicken Dance", the "Hokey Pokey", and some big band swing. It was fun to see active seniors doing the "Chicken Dance" from their seats! I hope to be posting a page of pictures soon.  The program was well received and plans are in the works for additional dates. I hope this will be the start of more dance opportunities at similar facilities and communities throughout the area.

September 13, 2013

Looking forward to my dance gig on September 20th at the Apple Blossom Retirement Village. The program will start at 1:45 in the afternoon, and last about 90 minutes. Dances will include waltz, foxtrot, swing, and cha-cha, and we will be featuring the Chicken Dance, and other novelty dances. 
This will be my first program held at this facility and Activity Director Misty Loan and I are hopeful the residents will find this an enjoyable and welcome addition to their scheduled activities. We have planned this to be a monthly activity, sometimes it will correspond with their open house days for a multi-generation family dance program, and other times offered as a ballroom dance program for the residents and guests.

Carl Ballou        Dance Leader

479-426-4873  cbdanceman@juno.com
Carl Ballou, aka CBDanceman, has been a dance leader for over 25 years, MC-ing Folk and Square Dance programs for Churches, Schools, Scout Troups, YMCA groups, youth organizations, and other functions from California to Missouri. Carl's specialty is taking a group with little or no dance experience and introducing them the joy of dancing.  His programs (about 2 hours long) consist of fun, easy dances from America's Heritage that everyone can do - with brief instruction from the floor. Carl has worked with groups of all ages, from school kids to seniors, a wide range of abilities, including troubled youth and handicapped, and even a young adult church group where half the dancers were deaf.  Carl is also available for private and small group instruction in Basic Ballroom Dance, and DJ services for Special Events and Weddings.  Let Carl show the fun he can bring to your group/organization/function.