The Hatch Brothers, Joshua, Christian and Caleb, attended Mainstream square dance lessons with Bonney Lads ‘n’ Lassies in June of 2013 because of a bribe from Grandma (Marsha), which stated that for any of her grandkids who would learn to square dance, she would take them on a cruise with her (because she needed a partner). Steve and Letricia (aka Mom and Dad) asked if that applied to them, and it did, so they all began lessons in February of 2013. The week after graduation in May, they all went to the Washington State Square Dance Festival in Kennewick, WA, and got a feel for what square dancing was really like. Grandma took Christian and Caleb to Oklahoma City, OK the following week for the 2013 National Square Dance Convention. They realized then that this had to become something more than just a hobby.
The square dance cruise was going to be mostly Plus level and above, so Joshua, Christian and Caleb went to Tom Tomlinson’s Plus workshops with their chauffeuring Grandma through the summer and by September, knew all the Plus moves. The three boys “Angel”ed Mom and Dad’s Plus lessons from September until the cruise. In September of 2013, Mom searched for which club the younger siblings, Mark and Annaliese, should take lessons with. They signed up with Wagon Wheels and Pi R Squares. Annaliese was a bit too young (6), but she did learn all but the final two calls before Mom said she didn’t have to finish lessons. In December of 2013, six of us (including our brother, Matthew) plus Grandma, went to the Caribbean for a square dance cruise with Mike Sikorsky. Mark graduated full Mainstream in January of 2014. ((The Hatch family thanks Grandma for getting them involved in square dancing!))
During Mainstream lessons, the Hatches had heard a lot about the Pacific Northwest Teen Square Dance Festival (PNTSDF). Their interest piqued, Joshua, Christian, Caleb and Mark began competition training in January of 2014 with the Young Bunch square dance club. Frequently, they were dancing five and six nights a week. Competition in May was a ton of fun. The passports they obtained for the cruise came in handy as the crossed over to Canada for competition.
That summer, Grandma took Joshua, Christian and Caleb to Lolo, MT, at the Lolo Square Dance Center. Jerry Junck had told them he would teach them a thing or two about calling. The fire was lit, and opportunities to learn to call began to present themselves. In about September, Joshua, Christian and Caleb expressed an interest to Leo Catt about learning to call. He was over-the-top helpful in getting them started in the right direction. Shortly thereafter, Glenn Raiha and Stephen Noseck hosted the First NW Regional Square Dance Callers Education class, which the boys attended with the help of an anonymous benefactor. The ten class graduates called a well-attended dance in January of 2015. One of the other students, Ryker Kay, and his family had hosted a New Year’s Eve dance in their home, where Joshua, Ryker, Christian and Caleb (aka RJC²) all called through the evening.
In October of 2014, big sister Aleah took lessons with Boots and Laces with Stephen Noseck teaching. All the graduated Hatch dancers “Angel”ed her lessons. At the same time, Nicholas, the oldest brother, challenged Mom to take Advanced lessons, saying he would take Mainstream lessons if she did Advanced. Mom refused, but then relented in January when Grandma was unable to get JC² to the Advanced lessons because of all her travels. Secretly, Nicholas had been teaching himself square dancing from about September on. When Aleah graduated Mainstream in January, it brought the total number of Hatch Family square dancers to 10. The only hold-out was (and still is) Nathan.
JC² and Mark began competition practice for the PNTSDF again in January of 2015 and after the NW Regional SD Caller Graduation dance, JC² began working with Kevin Thomaier every Tuesday night calling to a square of volunteer dancers for an hour before Kevin’s regular KTs Plus/DBD workshops. Stephen Noseck assisted JC²’s Young Bunch coach, Brett Brueske, in preparing their square for comp. Their square had hoped to dance intermediate (coming up from junior the previous year), but due to a lack of dancers in that category, were bumped up to the senior category. All three competed in calling and Joshua and Caleb competed in round dancing. The Hatches enjoyed competition, but appreciate even more the friendships they are developing among the different clubs.
By June of 2015, we finished Advanced classes with Kevin Thomaier (even Mom “graduated” – using the term very loosely). By that time, Nicholas had taught himself to dance Mainstream and Plus and had learned the Advanced definitions, but because he worked second shift was unable to actually dance much. He was able to get floor time with Jacks & Jills who meet on Sundays, with extra help from Rob Sax. In July, JC² helped their little brothers, Matthew and Mark, learn Plus at Kevin Thomaier’s Plus in a Week camp at Circle 8 Ranch. They had a really great time there! Mark (age 10) even got to give the Valedictorian speech to the graduating Plus dancers! (Link to video?)
In September of 2015 JC² and Mark began Glenn and Stephen’s Second NW Square Dance Callers Education class and in November, JC² headed to Southern California (Indio) with Dad for Mike Sikorsky’s caller school, missing two weeks of Glenn and Stephen’s classes. JC² had the privilege of calling together at Riverside County Fairgrounds Square Dance Festival to about 15 squares. JC² also resumed calling practice with Kevin Thomaier on Tuesdays to a volunteer square. On Feb. 5th of 2016, JC² and Mark joined four other callers in calling at the second NW Square Dance Callers Education class graduation dance.
Boots and Laces asked JC² to call a Sweetheart dance in February of 2016, while Stephen Noseck was away. This was their first solo dance with no mentors to guide them (except Glenn Raiha who came to support them and report back to Stephen and Kevin). There were 12 squares and a full house. It was a GREAT experience! Some friends from Mike Sikorsky’s caller school even came up from Grants Pass, OR, as a surprise (who also brought some of their friends), as well as Dad’s cousins from Yakima that the Hatch kids had not yet met.
JC² have received multiple requests to call dances over the past few months and have had to seriously consider what they want to do with calling. They are still students and therefore don’t have a lot of time on their hands. They love to dance. They had to make the decision to be, for the most part, “Guest Tip” callers with the exception of a few annual dances.
Thank you for reading about the Hatch Brothers. You can follow them on Facebook by liking their page at facebook.com/hatchbrothers.