Rick Gittelman Profile
Rick Gittelman began calling and teaching Square Dancing in 1974, in Philadelphia, PA while still in high school. He was inspired by his Uncle and Aunt- Henry and Lydia Vendor Vender (deceased) who were avid Dancers and Round Dance Cuers. Rick’s parents Dave and Shirley (deceased) were also very supportive of his calling career. He co-founded one of the area’s first single dancer friendly Square Dance Clubs where he served as the club caller from 1976-85. His friends at that club- Lone Rangers, which is still in existence, helped and supported him in the early days of his calling career and he is very grateful to them. Rick became very busy calling and teaching in the Philadelphia area in the late 70’s and early 80’s and at the same time worked full time in a retail business with his father. He began traveling out west to Arizona and Colorado in the mid 80’s and began to expand his career to part time traveling caller. He fell in love with Arizona and in the late 1980’s began spending part of the year in the Phoenix area.
In 1990 he gave up his retail career, moved to Phoenix, then later to Tucson and became a full time caller. He soon became busy calling and teaching all over Arizona and expanded his travels to California, Colorado and all over the U.S.A.
Rick travels and calls all over the United States. His annual spring tour (mid-April through June) encompasses over 20,000 miles of driving, calling for several clubs. This annual tour includes Colorado, the Midwest- the East Coast and South. In the summer and fall and other weekends during the year he frequently calls in California and wherever clubs, weekends or festivals want him. While at home in the fall and winter he keeps busy, nearly every day of the week, as he is the club caller and guest calls for several clubs in Arizona. He also does several daytime sessions, teaching, work-shopping- basic through C1. Rick is well known for his creative choreography, excellent teaching skills, variety of music, great sense of humor and singing voice.
AJO AMIGOS A VERY SPECIAL SQUARE DANCE CLUB
From 1991 through 2002 Rick traveled to the remote town of Ajo, AZ to call for the Ajo Amigos. Ajo was an old mining town but became an attractive heaven for winter visitors. Rick would travel to Ajo, 140 miles from Tucson to teach a class, call a club dance and stay over night and teach a Plus workshop every week from November through March. The Ajo Amigos really lived up to their name says Rick. “They were one of the friendliest group of dancers I ever had the experience of calling too. It was one of the highlights of my calling career.”
Publishes a square dance newsletter monthly.
President of Central Arizona Callers Association 1992-1995
President of the Southern Arizona Callers & Cuers Association-SACCA since the mid 90’s.
Chairman for the Tucson Square Dance Festival since 2008. (sponsored by SACCA)
Active member of CALLERBAB, since 1981 serving on several committees.
Mentors and coaches many other square dance callers.
To see my full schedule click on website links.
You can follow Rick and his square dance adventures on FACEBOOK.