Glenn BannermanRemembering Glenn Bannerman

By Bob Dalsemer

In late October 2020, the pandemic took away one of my dance heroes, Glenn Bannerman. I first met Glenn and his son Ren at American Dance and Music Week at Pinewoods, where they taught clogging and Appalachian big circle-style square dancing. It was impossible to resist Glenn’s larger-than-life charisma, charm, and enthusiasm. He was much more than a dance teacher. As an all-around recreation leader he could instantly get almost any group to have more fun than they ever imagined. Glenn’s bag of tricks went far beyond dance and included singing, puppetry, storytelling, crafts, and games. Glenn and his wife, Evelyn (who sadly passed away shortly after Glenn), and their four children (and more recently, their grandchildren) ran the popular Bannerman Family Folk Dance Camp on Thanksgiving weekend for fifty years. My son, Peter, and I attended the 50th anniversary camp in 2019.

Tony Parkes has described Glenn as “the Ralph Page of southern mountain dance and the Mister Rogers of recreation.” Glenn spread the joy of southern Appalachian big circle style square dancing far and wide. Besides Pinewoods, Glenn taught at Stockton Folk Dance Camp in California where he and Ralph Page became friends. The Bannerman family spent their summers in Montreat, NC, near Asheville, where Glenn led weekly community dances for years. After retiring from teaching, Glenn and Evelyn moved to Montreat full-time. Glenn served on Asheville’s Folk Heritage Committee, organizers of the nation’s oldest folk festival, the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, as well as the summer concert series, Shindig on the Green, where Glenn often called street dances with the Stoney Creek Boys. The Bannerman Family Cloggers performed at both events and made several U.S. State Department tours abroad.

Glenn’s spirit will be present wherever there is good old time music and traditional square dance.

Bannerman's Quadrille

Note for Tune:

Bob McQuillen wrote: “Glenn Bannerman comes all the way from Montreat, NC, just to attend the Ralph Page Legacy Weekend each year. He is an old friend of Ralph’s, and a real fine caller; he’s full of fun and great spirit which he manages to pass on to us all. You give us a real good time on the dance floor, Glenn—we’re so glad you come!”

Tune reprinted with permission of Great Meadow Music.

Bannermans’ Quadrille

Square Dance | By Bob Dalsemer | Music: “Bannerman’s Quadrille” by Bob McQuillen

Listen to "Bannerman's Quadrille" as recorded by the Rhythm Rollers: 

Created by Bob Dalsemer to honor Glenn and Evelyn Bannerman and four generations of the Bannerman Family on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Bannerman Family Folk Camp, Black Mountain, NC, November 28—December 1, 2019

Intro, Middle Break, Ending

A1 and A2: Grand Square (16)
B1 and B2: Allemande left corner, grand right and left to partner (16), swing partner (8)
promenade home (8)

Figure 1

A1: Couples 1 and 3 right hands across (8); left hands across (8).
A2: Couples 2 and 4 left hands across (8); right hands across (8).
B1: Allemande left corner, swing partner.
B2: Promenade.

Figure 2

A1: Couples 1 and 3 dance forward, couple 1 taking a peek around couple 3 (4).
Both couples fall back (4).
Couples 1 and 3 dance forward, couple 3 taking a peek around couple 1 (4).
Both couples fall back to place (4).
A2: Couples 2 and 4 dance forward, couple 2 taking a peek around couple 4 (4).
Both couples fall back (4).
Couples 2 and 4 dance forward, couple 4 taking a peek around couple 2 (4).
Both couples fall back to place (4).
B1: Allemande left corner, swing partner.
B2: Promenade.

Break

Figure 3

A1: Couples 1 and 3 basket swing.
A2: Couples 2 and 4 basket swing.
B1: Allemande left corner, swing partner.​
B2: Promenade.

Figure 4

A1: All in the center and back (8) All four birdies in the cage and circle left (see note below)
A2: Birds fly out and the crows fly in, keep circling left until home
B1: Allemande left corner, swing partner.
B2: Promenade

Ending

Notes:

“All four birdies in the cage:” Keeping hands joined around the circle, gents raise their partner’s left arm and turn their partners clockwise, so the ladies end facing out, arms crossed in front.

“Birds fly out, crows fly in:” Gents turn their partners back out and then ladies similarly turn their corners clockwise to face out, arms crossed in front.

     
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