Campbell River Ripple Rockets is a club run organization
2023/24 Club Executive:
Our Caller & Cuer:
Jake & Diana Ring
Caller & Cuer:
Jake and Diana Ring
1980, in Port McNeill is where the love of square dancing started. Jake & Diana took classes in 1980. The Crosstrailers were formed the following year, which is the year Jake started to learn to call. He was under the tutelage of Ken Smith and Doug Anderson.
Jake & Diana moved to Campbell River in 1986. It was difficult to go out square dancing as they had purchased a motel and were both working it full time. A manager was hired part time the following year so they could socialize and get back into their love of dancing. The motel was sold in 1990 and Jake & Diana went into semi-retirement.
Jake started a square dance class in Fanny Bay in 1990 and the Fanny Inner Bay Squares were formed following the class graduation.
Jake was approached by the Ripple Rockets in 1991 as their previous caller's health was seriously failing and Jake started calling for them in September of the same year.
In 1996 - Muriel Craig - the cuer for the Ripple Rockets handed in her resignation, and started teaching Diana how to cue. Diana was hired by the Ripple Rockets in 1997.
To date (2023) - Jake has been calling and teaching classes for the Ripple Rockets for 32 years. He has been calling a total of 40 years.
To date (2023) Diana has been cueing for the Ripple Rockets for a total of 25 years and has been teaching classes for approximately 21 years as long as there has been interest.
Square dancing started in Campbell River in the early 1950's, probably to recorded calls in someone's basement. By 1953, the number of people participating had outgrown the available basements and a larger venue was required. The Campbell River Square Dance Club was formed under the presidency of Ed Cooley and the club organized regular dances in the Boy Scout Hall. Following the demise of the Scout Hall, dancing continued at various locations around Campbell River until reaching our current venue in the Campbell River United Church Hall.
Perhaps inspired by the impending blasting of the Ripple Rock in Semour Narrows, the club added "Ripple Rockets" to its name and became the Campbell River Ripple Rockets Square Dance Club in 1957.
Membership continued to grow through the late fifties with participants dancing to recorded calls and occasional out-of-town guest callers. By 1960, the large number of people wanting to dance required some reorganization. Because some members had learned to call and were teaching as well, the decision was taken to split into several clubs. This resulted in five or six clubs in the Campbell River area. During this peak period, many individuals contributed much time and effort to furthering the good of square dancing.
The Ripple Rockets (as they came to be known) continued as one of the area clubs and engaged Wolf and Ann Clar as their caller couple in 1960. The Clars continued calling for the club until 1964 when they were succeeded by George and Pinky Klan who called for the club until 1972.
The late sixties and early seventies saw an exodus of callers/teachers and participants so the dance community was reduced to the one original club. From 1972 until 1980 the club relied on guest callers and teachers from the south Island to remain active, but in 1980-81, Orville and Edith Martin became the caller couple for the Ripple Rockets and continued until 1990.
During the 1989-90 dance season, Round dancing was added to the program with cueing provided by Muriel and Bob Craig. In 1991, with the departure of the Martins, the club was fortunate to recruit our current caller couple, Jake and Diana Ring. Muriel continued cueing Rounds until her retirement in 1996 when Diana took over cueing for the club. The Rings continue to be our caller and cuer couple with Jake celebrating forty years of calling and Diana celebrating twenty-five years of cueing in 2023.