Mike was introduced to square dancing in 1975 in the little East Texas town of Greenville, TX. Mike called his first dance in Greenville, TX April 9, 1975 for the Greenville Swinging Squares. Mike graduated high school from Greenville in 1978 and attended college at East Texas A&M in Commerce, TX graduating with a degree in business. In June of 2013 Mike was inducted into the Texas Callers Hall of Fame. Mike said, "This is a humbling honor that makes the many hours of practice, donated time, meetings, lessons and personal time dedicated to this activity worthwhile.
Mike has recorded with several square dance record labels, Longhorn, Circle D, Rockin’ “M” and Rhythm and Global. Mike and his son Drew are currently producing their own square dance music. They have dedicated their time and energy to bring square dancing into a new age with better music.
Mike and his wife D’ were married in January of 1982, and their son Drew was born in December of 1987. Mike has served on the board of the Texas Callers Association in all capacities and has and served as Chairman of the Hall of Fame committee. Mike has also been a member of the North Texas Callers Association since he started calling in 1976 where he has served in all capacities of the board as well as training coordinator and chaired numerous committees. Mike is currently the only member of the NTCA to have served as president 4 times.
Mike has also traveled extensively through Europe calling in London, Paris, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. Mike has also called on staff for several square dance resorts such as Fun Valley, Milestone Lodge, and Kirkwood Lodge. Mike still has a busy traveling schedule today calling in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Colorado to name a few. Mike still maintains a strong extraordinarily strong home program. Mike teaches two beginner classes each year and a plus class. Mike currently calls for 3 clubs in the Dallas area. Rebel Rousers, ADD+ and Kissin Kuzzins. Mikes calls over 200 dances a year and still maintains a full-time job. Mike calls Basic through A2, Mike likes to push the envelope when calling using interesting and different danceable choreography that will keep you on your toes as a dancer. Mike also utilizes a plethora of different styles of music, mainstream country, Big Band, Swing, Jazz, R&B and even Disco.
Mike does not talk much about his leisure time activities, but Mike is an accomplished athlete as well. Mike’s name is listed in the Bowling Hall of Fame for 300 games. Mike is also a scratch golfer having 13 holes in one and 5 double eagles. Mike's longest hole in one was at Denison Country Club, hole 15, a par 4 measured at 344 yards. Mike has won numerous local and regional golf tournaments, long drive contests and has also played several tour stops on the Adams Tight Lies tour.
John & Fran Downing
John & Fran Downing began square dancing in the summer of 1977 in the Los Angeles area (where they were raised). The following January (1978) found the two of them in round dance lessons. John started cueing later that year and they taught their first class in January 1979. That’s somewhat unusual but they fell in love with round dancing when first introduced and being young didn’t hurt either. They continued to dance and teach in Southern California and along the way had two daughters (who also learned to dance). They have participated in numerous weekends and festivals over the years along with eight square dance cruises. John & Fran have attended several National Conventions and worked as round dance Chairman of the Day for the 1988 Convention in Anaheim and Assistant Services Chairman for the 2012 National here in Spokane.
In early 1994, because of a job change, John & Fran moved to Florida and spent ten years there before moving to the Spokane area in 2004. They left their daughters to finish college when the move to Washington came about. Eventually both daughters wound up back in California (San Diego). Missing their daughters John and Fran sadly left Spokane and moved back to California in the Spring of 2015 to be with their girls and the rest of their families. They continue to dance and cue just north of San Diego and look forward to seeing dear friends at the Festival.