Texas Caller's Hall of Fame - Manning Smith

Texas Callers' Hall of Fame








Inducted: 06/14/2008




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An All-American football player calling squares and teaching rounds? Not as improbable as one might think. Manning graduated from Centenary College in Louisiana, then coached at Texas A & M for twelve years during which time the Aggies had the number one team in the nation. Manning’s wife, Nita, was square and round dancing when she was a small girl and square dancing was Manning’s hobby for many years before the two of them became totally involved in the activity in the mid-1940s.
Getting more and more into teaching and calling, the Smiths attended the summer sessions with Lloyd “Pappy” Shaw in Colorado Springs and soon were staff members on a number of vacation institutes, state festivals, and leader’s training workshops. During these years Manning served as president of the Texas State Square Dancers Association and in the early 1950s he called on a series of records for Columbia.
The Smiths, as a team, had the strong conviction that squares and rounds belonged together. From the start of their calling and teaching experiences they included the rounds as a part of their program. Eventually their ability as round dance teachers took over and they found themselves featured on programs and clinics throughout North America. In the early 1960s the US Air Force sent them on an extended teaching and calling tour of military bases across Europe.
In the field of rounds, Manning and Nita originated many dances both for their exhibition work and for the dancing public. These included among many: Mr. Guitar, Mannita Waltz, Beautiful Girls of Vienna, Suzie Mixer and Sheridee Waltz.
The Smiths were inducted into the Square Dance Hall of Fame in 1971 and were awarded ROUNDALAB’s highest honor. Manning, who passed away on October 7, 1992 was a Charter Member of CALLERLAB.