Monday, October 11, 2010

Square Dancing

On our float in the Ft. Madison Rodeo Parade - I am alemanding with Dick Ault and headed toward Ray right behind him.
If you have followed my blog, you know that Ray and I had a lot of  fun square dancing over the years.  Don't know how popular it is now, but back in the 50's - 80's there were many clubs and lots of people  allemanding left  all over the country.   Good people, good fun and good exercise were to be found on the dance floor.  Square dancing and card playing were our main sources of entertainment.  Ft. Madison, Iowa, was where we really started dancing in earnest.  When the Santa Fe consolidated the Illinois and Missouri Divisions and moved all of us to Iowa, eventually a square dance club was organized and Kenny Anderson, a caller from Burlington, Iowa, was brought in to teach us "western style" as opposed to "barn dancing".  The Burlington club had national callers come in and we went to a few of those dances.  I remember one caller, Bob Fisk, who was so personable and handsome he belonged in the movies.   What good friends we had dancing--lots of fun and lots and lots of laughing.  When we moved to the  Kansas City area, there was dancing on all levels - it started at club level and went to "challenge" which was like learning a drill.  We didn't get into that but did get to a more advanced level that was still fun and kept you on your toes.  If you messed up, you could mess everything up but usually someone steered you in the right direction.  In Kansas City, if you had the desire, you could have danced almost every night of the week - there were that many clubs.  Some of the great callers were there, also.  We also did round dancing, which I loved, and that was couple dancing in a circle to a routine danced to a certain song.   At Christmas time, there was a cute dance to Jingle Bell Rock and in that one you advanced to another partner each time a certain part of the dance came up.  Lots of line dancing, too, in between sets.  Gosh, I think I'm ready to get out my dancing shoes!!  Such nice memories.


  1. I learned to Square Dance in the 6th grade - part of parochial schooling back then in the Fifties. I rather enjoyed it.

  2. Modern Western Square Dancing is still out there. Not as popular as it was in the 80's, unfortunately. See the web site You2CanDance . I've been dancing for 32 years -- in the last week I danced 5 times (all in New Jersey). The National Square Dance Convention in 2011 will be in Detroit on June 22 - 25. See