What follows is an exposition of some of my basic attitudes about calling contra and square dance. Understanding the attitudes of a number of successful callers is an important step to one's development as a caller.

    Acquiring skills is only a part of learning. When we look at a caller we see the skills they have developed and enjoy their personality. We assume that their effectiveness is based on skill development. However we all know callers who are highly skilled and yet run events that are just missing something. We also know callers who are less skilled and who make mistakes and yet whose events are invariably exciting. The fact is that the fundamental attitudes of the caller are crucial to which skills they developed and to what extent. They determine what the caller perceives and attends to. They communicate, often nonverbally, values such as playfulness, respect, and quality that make community dance such an important human experience.