Hunter Keller had been around square dancing all of his life, having been dragged from dance to dance by his grandparents and parents. After the death of his grandfather – his hero – in 2002, Hunter decided that he wanted to do something that would always remind him of his grandfather, and decided to start taking square dance lessons in 2004. A mere six months later, with encouragement from the caller teaching him how to dance, George Moore, he picked up a microphone and began calling.
Hunter called his first festival in July of 2007 in California. He has called in almost all 50 states while also traveling to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and Taiwan to call. Hunter has been staff on square dance land and cruise vacations to various locations around the world as well.
In 2010, with the guidance of Larry and Susan Sperry, Hunter began to cue round dancing. Hunter currently cues through phase 4.
After the death of his grandmother, Shirley, in January of 2014, Hunter, along with the help of Grand Square Inc. (GSI), formed the Frank & Shirley Leenknecht Caller's Scholarship Fund. Hunter believes that this fund will not only help preserve the memory of his grandparents, but also help callers, which is what Frank & Shirley loved to do. This fund will continue to honor their memory and their wishes.
Hunter’s influences include, first and foremost, his grandparents, Frank & Shirley Leenknecht, his father and mother, Dave & Tina Keller, plus many renowned callers and cuers from around the world.
Hunter currently resides in Billings, Montana. He is a ten-year 4-H alumni, a former 4-H leader, and a former Jaycees Member. Hunter credits many life skills that he has learned throughout the past 15 years to 4-H and says that, if it were not for that program, he would not be where he is today.
UNFORTUNATELY, DUE TO THE CHANGE IN OUR SCHEDULE, TJ WILL NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN US FOR THE PEAR BLOSSOM FESTIVAL THIS YEAR.
WE WILL SEE HER ON THE SCHEDULE SOMETIME SOON.
Rikki Lobato started square & round dancing in September of 2011. She can honestly say that she resisted the idea of dancing for many years. However, once she started, it was such a perfect fit that she says she can't imagine her life without dancing. Her home club is the Charlie Brown Squares in Grants Pass, OR. In January of 2017 she took the leap and became a member of Round-A-Lab. Rikki currently teaches rounds for her dance group, Rikki's Rounds as well as Dancing Friends Round Dance Club. She has been teaching since September 2017. Rikki says she has been blessed with many wonderful mentors in both the round dance & square dance world; with the added bonus of calling those mentors her friends. She feels truly blessed to have her first published dance "On A Roll," named as NCRDTA Round of The Month in February 2019. Rikki says “I have found that even though I was hesitant to teach class, I truly love teaching and seeing the sparkle in a dancer's eye when they get it." She has enjoyed cueing at various clubs all over the state; and is happy to be joining us for the Pear Blossom Festival. She is also scheduled as the featured cuer for Diamond Lake Festival 2020. “Dancing, teaching & cueing have become my greatest passions and I couldn't feel more lucky!”
Caller: Charlie Robertson
Cuer: MaryAnn Callahan
Cuer: MaryAnn Callahan