Chris calling a dance

I’ve been dancing since I could walk.  My father, Paul Kermiet, was a square dance caller.  Some of my earliest memories are of dancing to his calling at the old Grange Hall on Lookout Mountain (outside of Golden, Colorado), where we lived.

During the years I was growing up, my father ran a summer dance camp there called the Lighted Lantern, where dancers from around the country would come to have a dance vacation.  The Lighted Lantern always featured some of the best callers and teachers, all of whom I learned from — mostly by osmosis, since I never intended to become a square dance caller.

I wanted to be a jazz musician.  And did.  I was also interested in composing and arranging, and studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.  But this belongs on another web page.

Later, at the University of Colorado where I was studying composition, I started attending the community dances which my sister, Paula, had helped to organize.  One day she called me in a panic, saying she couldn’t call the dance tonight — could I do it?  I said "sure".  (I was a helpful big brother.)  Why not?  I had grown up with it.  I took out a piece of scratch paper, wrote down a few dances I could remember, went out and called the dance.  I must have done OK since they kept asking me back.

I've been calling now for over 35 years.  With some gaps, of course, to do a bunch of other things.  Besides calling squares, I also call contras, Appalachian big circle dances, English Country Dances, and celtic céilidhs.

Besides square dancing, the Lighted Lantern also featured folk dance and kids camps.  So, dancewise, I’ve done just about everything.  From performing (Morris, Rapper & Longsword, Vintage dance, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Polish, Scottish Highland, English), to teaching (folk dance, ballroom) and choreography (for the stage, as well as for various performing groups).

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