Grand Canyon Square Dance Association
Proudly Serving the Arizona Square Dance Community Since 1988
Square dance is an American
institution. It has been our "official national folk dance"
since President Reagan signed an act of Congress in 1982. Square
dance is a folk dance with four couples (eight dancers) arranged
in a square and initially done to live music. The square dance
movements are based on the steps and figures used in traditional
folk dances and social dances of the various people who migrated
by Jan Meyer & Dennis Farrar
On October 18, 1988, the association started with a meeting of
six clubs in the home of Bob & Jan Meyer. With the hope that it
would be the beginning a regular communication between clubs in
order to facilitate scheduling of special events, and help clubs
Jan Meyer was appointed to take notes at the first meeting, and was our first Secretary.
The name, "Westside Square Dance Association" was originally being considered as the name because the organizers couldn't vision that they could get larger than the West Phoenix area. However, after overwhelming interest of the square dance community, the first By-laws were adopted February 11, 1989 under the name of the "Maricopa County Square Dance Association". The first officers were Roy Childress, President; Jim Carter, Vice President' Jan Meyer, Secretary; and John Arnold, Treasurer. Tom Scott Cowling designed the association logo. We still are still using the same design, except to reflect the name Grand Canyon Square Dance Association, which is due to clubs outside Maricopa County wanting to get involved. We became the GCSDA in November 1992.
The Purpose of the association was to: Promote Square Dancing (advertising) - Organizing demonstration etc. to improve efficiency - Sponsor Westside beginner dances to keep students dancing - Help troubled clubs - Share club operational ideas - Become active in community affairs - Sponsor area special events (square dance festivals) - Sponsor area social non-square dancing events - Re-start square dancing at the state fair - Obtaining group insurance rates for square dancers -0 Create a calendar of events for all area festivals, regular dances and special dances.
In the early days of the association, it was believed that support of the existing clubs and their dance schedules was utmost in importance. To raise funds to get stared one dance was held with Chris Vear as the caller, but after that a Spring Picnic with Phoenix area callers donating their time and a fall Roundup dance were the only two activities necessary to support the financial needs for the organization.
Over the years work was one with national organization of Legacy to help clubs in their organizational challenges. Contacts were made with the Tucson OPSDA (now SARDASA) group to try to unite the state efforts to create square dancing as the Arizona State Dance. This effort was accomplished with the proclamation signed by then Governor, Rose Mofford, making Square Dancing the Arizona State dance in 1990.
The GCSDA has been a member of the United Square Dancers of America (USDA) since 1988, and supports our youth dancers by being "Frog Friendly". GCSDA has also sponsored, along with the Central Arizona Callers Association (CACA) the annual 24-hour Labor of Love Dance-a-Thon for the benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
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