Roger McNeil and his wife Bernadette took square dance lessons in Aberdeen, SD in 1973. They quit dancing in 1977 when their son David was born. David was soon joined by his sister Michelle and Roger and Bernadette spent the next few years raising their children. In 1988, they moved to Fargo, ND to pursue job opportunities. In 2000, they realized that they could do whatever they wanted because they were empty nesters!! They had talked, off and on throughout the years, about checking out the square dancing in Fargo, which is exactly what they did in March of 2000.
Roger started dabbling in calling during 2001 with his first "public" calling in October of 2001 after the North West Region meeting. He asked the emcee and four couples if they would stay after the meeting so he could practice with live people. Imagine his surprise when three other couples peeked around the corner - they were visiting in the hall and came back to see "who that caller was". Boy did he sweat after he saw the spectators (actually, he sweat thru the whole tip).
Roger has been calling for clubs ever since though he will never forget his first paid gig for a New Year's Eve dance hosted by the Lakeside Twirlers of Winger, MN. Roger has called at state conventions in North Dakota and Minnesota, a South Dakota Festival, and International and National Conventions. He is currently booking club dances in five states. Roger and Bernadette also hosted their first bus trip to Branson "It's Christmas in Branson and We're Goin' Dancing" in December, 2005 and have since hosted two more: December, 2006 and 2007. Also on their calendar was a bus trip to Nashville in October, 2008. Another Branson trip is being planned for December, 2010.
Roger started cueing round dances tho Bernadette has now taken over that position. They teach and are angels for both square and round dancing.
In addition to calling and cueing, Roger and Bernadette are very active in square and round dancing. In 2003, Roger and Bernadette were 2nd Vice Presidents of the North West Region, MN, moving into Region President in 2005. Roger and Bernadette have been Convention Chair of the 2003 and the 2007 North Dakota State Square and Round Dance Convention and Vice Chair of that Convention in 2008. They have also served as Chair of the 2004 International Convention and served a four year term as Past Chair on the Board. They were also Publicity Chair of the 2004 Minnesota State Convention hosted by the North West Region of the Square Dance Federation of Minnesota, Inc. Bernadette served five terms as the State Treasurer of the Square Dance Federation of Minnesota. They served on the Steering Committee of the 2010 Minnesota State Convention - Roger as Competition Chair and Bernadette as Secretary. They are also Chairs of the 2011 ND State Convention to be held in Fargo in April of 2011 and are 1st Vice Presidents of the North West Region. (Belonging to both the North Dakota and the Minnesota state organizations certainly has kept them busy!!)
In 2008, Roger and Bernadette were nominated by their peers to receive the “Certificate of Appreciation” which was awarded to them at the 2008 MN State Convention.
Roger is a member of the Minnesota Square Dance Caller's Association, the North Dakota Callers/Cuers Association and the American Callers Association. Bernadette is a member of the North Dakota Callers/Cuers Association and the Minnesota Round Dance Council.
421 - 21st Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102