European Association
of American Square Dancing Clubs e.V.

Friendship is Square Dancing's greatest reward


EAASDC-Bulletin November 2011

EAASDC President‘s Letter

Wolfgang Daiss
Tel: +49 179-7642598
Opens window for sending emailpresident(at)eaasdc.eu

Dear members,

With the death of Kenny Reese our Square Dance world has lost a figure of identification. In his long years of involvement as person, leader and ECTA-president he has left his imprint on our hobby and has had a decisive part in its positive development. As a caller he was known not only in Europe as “Mr Square Dance” and in Marketing we would say that “his name stood for the product Square Dancing itself!”

How well known he was is proven by the many condolences from all over the world: Europe, US, Japan or any other country where Square Dancing is practiced. His popularity and calling skills led to numerous bookings on events in many countries. The world of Square Dancing loses in him a great personality and a beloved friend. EAASDC will always remember him as a crucial partner and promoter of Square Dancing in Europe. It is our wish that his life’s positive accomplishments as well as his positive basic attitude will serve as a glowing example for the interaction between people in our community and that through this he will remain in our midst.

Since my relationship to Kenny was also one of friendship, I would like to express a few personal words as well:

There is news that we acknowledge and on we go and then there is news that for a certain time make everything stop and nothing goes on. At first we ask ourselves if this “can be or may be” and by and by we realize that at this point the human “being” is beyond our influence. While we deal with this question and the news that provoked it, everything else becomes unimportant and trite.

That’s how I felt on Sept. 7th, when I learned about Kenny’s parting. It was no “oops”, it was “Please, no!” and a shock-like affliction and inner emptiness. It is the unfathomable and the human helplessness in the face of this event of missing a close person for an unknown period of time. It is our unknowingness about what comes “after death”, that lets us perceive this event as something final and not as a “Goodbye” for a certain period of time within human existence. It is this perception and the hurt to our own ego screaming: “Why have you left me? I miss you!”

After a time of inner freezing and indifference toward other things in life comes the personal integration and orientation. We look for explanations and help to get back to our daily routine and each of us has their own ways for doing so. One finds relief in distraction and activity, another in talking to friends and acquaintances and a third in a combination of all that.

I personally deal with it with a mixture of arguments, hopes, positive memories and expectations for the hereafter. As an argument I use the comforting knowledge that Kenny finally ended his sickness in a state of sleeping. In terms of hope I believe that Kenny is now somewhere, where he is healthy and well. As a positive memory remains his friendly, humorous, amiable, open and direct way. My expectation follows through my conviction that I have not lost him forever, but that he has just as always called out to me “see you”, and that I will see him again, true to my motto:

Everywhere there is a square and that’s why I’ll see you again, somewhere!

Since I have known Kenny as a very humorous person I will finish with an anecdote, even though I can just imagine him telling me: “Wuffi, shut up, let’s dance!”

Kenny was not only an exceptional caller, he also got involved as a leader in other dance forms. I remember an incident about 20 years ago, when we were on stage together on a new year’s event, that also featured Joachim Bradl as cuer. It was after midnight, we still had about 200 dancers on the floor and were alternating Squares and Rounds. Since Joachim was also active as a caller we had taken him between us and were calling as a trio. The switch to Round came and Joachim insisted that we now had to cue together as well. While I was in cold sweat and trying to dissuade Joachim from his idea we suddenly heard music and Kenny’s command: “step apart, together touch to semi, two forward twos!” There was great cheering from the dancers as the hall got in motion to dance Rounds to Kenny’s cues.

I’m sure everybody who knew Kenny can tell such anecdotes about him, that can make us all smile and I think that’s exactly what we should do now, to bridge the time until….


To top