Dr William M Litchman has been involved with square dancing and the American community dance since 1957 when he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and became involved with the Calico and Boots Square Dance Club on that campus. This club was formed in about 1945 by former dancers from the Cheyenne Mountain School in Colorado Springs and were taught by Dr Lloyd (Pappy) Shaw. They brought their unique dancing style and knowledge with them to Boulder.
In the summer of 1956 shortly before leaving Florence, Colorado, for college, he attended a street square dance. This was his first exposure to square dancing and it was a good experience. The caller lead the dances from the back of a flat-bed truck parked in an alley with a band playing behind him. Townspeople gathered and danced on the street along the block and it was exciting and unusual.
After coming to the University of Colorado, Bill found Calico and Boots and began attending their regular Tuesday night open dances. Finding it interesting, he joined the group as well as a modern dance club, Orchesis. Dancing in two organizations took a bit of his time but it was something his family had never done and so it was all new to him.
In the spring of 1957, he began to learn to call squares and joined the Calico and Boots demonstration (exhibition) team. With them, he danced in most towns and places in northeastern Colorado and in 1959 was chosen to be in the group to represent the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers at the National Square Dance Convention held in Denver that year.
After graduation from the University of Colorado, he attended the University of Utah graduate school to pursue a Ph. D. in chemistry. During that time, he met and married his current wife, Kristin Embry, and together they formed the Ribbons and Spurs Square Dance Club with its demonstration team (1961). After graduation, a year of post-doctoral work in Christchurch, New Zealand, and another year teaching at the University of Utah, they came to Albuqerque to take a position on the faculty of the University of New Mexico. While there, they formed the Wagonwheels Square Dance Club with its demonstration team (1967).
Since that time, he has lead dances and taught leaders in a wide variety of kinds of dance (various types of American square dancing, round dancing, mixers, quadrilles, contras, international folk, English country, Scottish country, Welsh, ballroom, swing, and some others) in most of the states of the US, some of the Canadian provinces, New Zealand, and many European countries. He is the author of numerous articles on dancing and dance history and specializes in traditional western square calling and teaching. He has also created recordings of calling, and music for squares and rounds.
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