Square Dance Caller & Teacher
On October 18, 1929, Hilda and Lester Ramey brought into the world their beautiful daughter Gloria. In 1946 while attending Needham High School, in Needham, Massachusetts, Gloria used Ed Durlacher’s square dance record album to teach the football team and the cheerleaders – that started her calling career. She started “calling” before she even took modern western square dance lessons in Westfield‘s Pioneer Valley Club. An interesting note, the first night of Gloria’s “modern western square dance lessons” was taught by Bob Brundage of Danbury, CT. While taking square dance lessons in the 1950’s, she started calling with a band. Through the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s she was a caller at festivals, conventions, and square dance clubs.
Gloria graduated from Westfield College in 1952. She was married while still in college. Her five children are: Torry, Randy, Gwen, Lester, and Tiger. For 38 years, she ran a Children’s Camp. At first it was called “The Woodlands” in Springfield, MA and then in later years it was continued at “The House of Roth” in Nova Scotia.
She produced a 1-hour square dance radio program for 10 years, and has “called” on television. Calling for 55 years, the legendary Gloria Rios Roth established a reputation for vitality, enthusiasm, and maintaining her special square dance calling style, as well as keeping control of the floor and keeping everyone dancing. Over the years she has started 6 square dance clubs. She also was instrumental in organizing the Springfield Area Callers Association, and in the mid 1970’s organized the Maritime Callers Association in “The House of Roth.” Gloria conducted her own caller training schools for more than 40 years, and was the first woman to earn “Caller Coach” status from CALLERLAB. She also was the first woman caller to receive Callerlab’s Half Century Award, and the second woman to receive Callerlab’s “Milestone Award” in Dallas, TX, 1999.
She is the creator of “Kaleidoscope Square” formation. This formation was featured at the Calgary, Alberta, Canada Olympics opening ceremonies. She has called at and had her Exhibition Troupes dance at numerous New England Square and Round Dance Conventions, National Square Dance Conventions, and local Festivals. Gloria has called square dance demonstrations at schools and colleges, nursing homes, shopping malls, town celebrations, local fairs, and benefit dances. “Sets In Order” and “Round Dancer” magazines published her articles several times. Gloria has recorded on Top, Blue Ribbon, Grenn, HiHat and on the Sets In Order documentary records.
She belonged to Caller organizations in MA, NY, PA, South FL, FL, and Nova Scotia, Canada. And was involved in the formation of the New England Council of Callers Association (N.E.C.CA). For 37 years she taught and called square dances for teen square dance groups. She also formed a dance troupe of senior women without partners named LORETTES – Ladies of Retirement. They dance at least seven dance disciplines, Le. modern interpretive, marching, round, contras, ballet, folk, and ballroom. This group is still dancing, and the oldest woman in the group is 86 years old.
Gloria started Camp & Dance Weekends at “The Woodlands.” She has conducted Caller Schools in MA, FL, GA, New Zealand, and in Canada. Also, for 33 years, she has had a Caller School at the “House of Roth” in Clementsport, Nova Scotia.
With great admiration, the Square Dance Foundation of New England was pleased to induct Gloria Rios Roth into New England‘s Hall of Fame on May 18, 2002.