Square Dance Caller & Teacher
Mr. Square Dance of Maine, Hillie Bailey, was and is a caller, teacher, leader, promoter and supporter of the Square Dance activity.
Hillie’s first club, the Denham Folk Dance Club, which became the County Cousins, was started in 1949. He formed the Arcadia Bells and Bouys Square Dance Club of Bar Harbor, Maine in 1962 and continued as their caller until 1970. At one time they graduated a class of 157 dancers.
Always one who worked for the promotion of square dancing, it was no surprise that when Maine held its first Square Dance Festival in 1963, Hillie was one of those invited to call.
The list of other clubs he has started or called for include The Frenchmans Bay Riggers in Sullivan, Maine, The Heart of Maine Squares in Waterville, Maine, The Dexter Square Dance Club which is now known as the Lads and Lassies and the Downeast Wheel and Deal Square Dance Club.
Hillie is one of the few callers who also cued rounds for his clubs and for several years. He taught and cued for the Dexter Round Dance Club.
The first Sunrise Dance at Mt. Dessert Island was started by Hillie in 1964 and is still held annually. Also in 1964 he originated the International Dance Exchange with Nova Scotia. Over 2,000 Maine dancers participated in this program over the next 15 years.
In 1966 Hillie and his wife Elizabeth (who passed away in 1990) built a dance hall at their home which was called The Stage Stop. There have been many dance parties held there including spur of the moment “Kitchen Junkets” for visitors. A few phone calls to dancers, and maybe a clam chowder, certainly made all feel welcome.
Hillie participated as a caller on the Canadian Centennial Square Dance Train which traveled from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. The 365 dancers danced 36 times to seven callers during the two week trip. Upon arrival they were read a letter of welcome from the Queen of England.
Hillie has taught at the Nova Scotia Square Dance Club and in 1975 called at the 100th Celebration of the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada.
Hillie was one of fifteen New England Callers invited to attend the first International Square Dance Callers Convention in St. Louis, Missouri that resulted in the formation of CALLERLAB.
Hillie has given freely of his time to teach children as well as adults the joy that can be derived from our activity.
The Cooperation Committee, acting on behalf of the dancers of New England, salutes you for your years of dedication and service to the Square Dance Community.
GIVEN AT DANVERS, MASSACHUSETTS, APRIL 25, 1998