Janice Cha, a member of the 73rd NSDC Publicity team, is probably the only committee member who learned how to square dance in Japan. This happened by chance while she was working in Yokohama as an English instructor in the late ‘80s. When Janice moved back to Chicago, she eventually connected with Glenview Squares, in Glenview, Illinois. In short order, Janice had her husband James found themselves in charge of lessons, then on the club board, then, eventually serving as club president.
Janice has held many leadership roles during her square dance career. She currently serves as vice president of the Metropolitan Chicago Association of Square Dancers and has chaired two Illinois Square Dance conventions. Along with Janet Lewis, Janice served as co-chair of Education for the 71st NSDC, held in Evansville, Indiana, in June 2022.
After realizing a lack of new callers in the Chicago area, Janice helped launch the Chicago Caller School. The first CCS school took place in 2017, led by Tom Miller, Barry Johnson and Arlene Kaspik. The CCS has resulted in about 10 up-and-coming callers in Northern Illinois. Recently, Janice and her husband James – now a full-fledged caller – were each panelists at the Callerlab convention, where they spoke about the benefits of the 50-call Social Square Dance program.
These days, in addition to making flyers for the 73rd NSDC and promoting the convention’s fundraising dance in Chicago in July ‘23, Janice is working to re-launch the Illinois Square Dance Convention for 2024. She is serving as co-chair along with Denise Hopkins.
Janice has long felt that the future of square dancing relies on new dancers and new callers. Her favorite badge was given to her by a fellow club member. It reads: #1 Instigator.