Ted Sannella was born on August 14, 1928. He graduated from Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts, in 1945 and took a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Tufts College (now Tufts University) in 1949. He then obtained partial credit towards an M.S. degree in Education at Boston University in 1950. He was certified to teach in the Boston School System that same year. He received a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1954 and practiced as a pharmacist for 35 years, retiring in 1989. He and his wife Jean moved from Massachusetts to Wiscasset, Maine, in 1990.
Ted began teaching New England dancing as a professional caller in 1946. He sponsored and called a weekly dance series in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1950 to 1971 and a biweekly dance series for the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, from 1975 to 1991. He taught a weekly summer dance series in Westport, Massachusetts, from 1952 to 1990. Beginning in 1991, he called for a monthly dance series in Concord, Massachusetts, since 1952 and in North Whitefield, Maine.
Ted was a featured New England dance caller at weekends and summer camps throughout the country for many years. He taught New England dance and teacher courses in leadership at many camps, weekends, seminars, and conferences throughout the Eastern United States. He called dances during a tour of England in 1982 and during a 1990 tour of Denmark and Belgium. In 1992, he called dances during a tour of Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands. In 1994, he called during a tour of England.
Ted was an active member of the Executive Board of the New England Folk Festival Association from 1947 on. He also was a caller at that organization's annual weekend festival each year. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Folk Arts Center of New England, a member of the National Council and member of the Governing Board of the Country Dance and Song Society. He was president of the New England Folk Festival Association and North of Boston Caller's Association. Ted was also consultant for the Boston Centre, Country Dance Society, and chairman of the Ralph Page Memorial Committee. Ted was an Honorary Life Member of Boston Centre, Country Dance Society.
From 1945, Ted was a student of dance history and related materials. He possessed one of the most extensive collections of dance books, periodicals, phonograph records, and cassette tapes pertaining to dance and dance music in the United States. He was widely known as a choreographer of many popular dances and originator of the triple formation. Ted was dubbed "The Dean of New England Callers" because of his experience, reputation, and longevity.
Ted Sanella died in 1995.
Ted's articles and publications include