Susie has been the Secretary for the Callers Club for many years. Susie started dancing in the early 50's when just a teenager. Her newsagent was the Caller Jack Smith who was the first Secretary of the BAASDC. They met at Oakwood SDC which was held in Oakwood Sports and Social club. Susie attended some of the weekends, lots of Saturday dances where she fell in love with all the boys and met her first husband John Heath. They married in 1958 soon after he finished his National Service in the R.A.F.
As soon as their two children were old enough to go dancing - about 10 years old - they found themselves a club and started dancing again. First they found a local Folk Dance Club where they did the occasional squares. Then they heard about the Harlow Folk and Square Dance Club where Ian McConnell was the caller. Very soon it became clear that a group of them wanted more Square dancing so Susie found the hall in Much Hadham, where she and John lived, and they helped Ian to start Country Roads SDC.
They also started to dance regularly at Curlicues SDC at Great Chesterford. For their New Years Eve Party 1983/4 the caller offered those who wanted to have a go, a loan of some records to practice with. So Susie did and got hooked.
Susie joined Callers Club in 1985. Attended a year's school with Pete Skiffins, meeting Bi Monthly. She realised the library needed attention so offered to take it on. Ted Ivin the current Secretary, suggested she might like to come to a Council Meeting and somehow, innocent as she was, she found herself in 1986 being proposed as Secretary to replace Ted.
Susie's first Calling experience was with Market Squares at Romford every Wednesday night. This started off OK but then unpleasant internal politics caused a parting of the ways. In the mean time she had also started calling at Tudor Squares on a Monday and here she was well supported and have been ever since.
In 1989 Susie met Simon Kelly and he joined the staff of Tudor Squares and so New City Squares in Milton Keynes became their second club. Susie and Simon were married in 1993.
Susie does all the usual Secretarial jobs to keep the Council running smoothly and have worked with seven different Presidents and many more hard working Council officers during the last quarter century.
Training new Callers and keeping the regular callers educated has been her greatest aim during her term in office.
In an endeavour to inspire our membership to attend Callers Schools, in 2003 Susie took the initiative in asking the newly formed GSI organisation to run a school and festival in the UK. After some negotiation, with Walt Burr speaking to them in American, the UK eventually hosted our first school and festival in 2007. We followed this swiftly with another in 2009 having more than satisfied the US GSI Leaders that the UK GSI organising team could fulfil their criteria in running the event professionally and economically, with the least cost to them.
Simon and Susie now call for five square dance clubs, running weekend workshops when necessary to give dancers more experience or to get to the next programme.
Their great pleasure is in their regular Caller's practice sessions which they have led on a monthly basis for about ten years now. Susie says, "It is so exciting to see the progress new callers make and hugely satisfying when they take off on their own and start new Clubs".