Pete LaBerge: Square Dance Caller


Pete LaBerge began calling square dances in 1975 in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. During the years leading up to 1975 he danced and was influenced by the calling of Bill Hunn and Chris Sanderson, long-time callers from the Brandywine Valley area of Pennsylvania. He began traveling to dances and festivals in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee to learn local dance styles and share dances with fellow callers. In addition to hosting barn dances at his farm, Pete organized a monthly Square Dance in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1980 that ran for 20 years.

Pete’s calling style emphasizes easy-to-learn figures that encompass traditional community dance styles from New England through the South. Calls are accompanied by live old time fiddle music with a goal of moving the dancers to the music. Often humorous and topical rhyming patter is added to suit the occasion. Pete is also an award-winning clogger and will demonstrate and teach this rhythmic dance style on request.

Pete has been invited to call dances at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Brandywine Mountain Music Convention and The Appalachian String Band Music Festival, among others. He has enjoyed teaching many school residencies that have introduced square dancing to a new generation. Since relocating to Aiken County, South Carolina in 2008, Pete continues to call traditional square dances whenever and wherever requested.