Grand Canyon Square Dance Association

Blue Dancer Friendship Set to Music Blue Dancer

 

About the GCSDA

We are committed to promote good fellowship and a spirit of friendliness among all who share the common interest in Square Dancing activity defined to include square dancing, round dancing, contra dancing and clogging. Encourage the general dissemination of news and information of interest to square dancers. Assist affiliate clubs in maintaining sound organizations. Assist individuals or groups desiring to establish new clubs. Assist regional clubs in inter-club activities. Periodically sponsor square dance  activities. Respect the autonomy and differences of individual clubs and promote their freedom in running clubs in respect to matters such as pricing, callers, dates of dances, levels of dancing etc.

On October 18, 1988, the association started with a meeting of 6 clubs in the home of Bob & Jan Meyer. With the hope that it would be the beginning of regular communication between clubs in order to facilitate scheduling of special events, and help clubs with problems.
Those in attendance were:
Family Squares - Bob & Jan Meyer
Jim Carter - Crazy 8's
Roy & Jo Childress -
B&B's Phoenix West
Sara Ward, Linda Foster - Shepherd Swingers
Marilyn Smith - Peoria Promenaders
Ken Sutton - Desert Rounds
Edna Binns.
Jan Meyer was appointed to take notes at the first meeting, and was the first Secretary.
The name, "West Side 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 Feb. 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 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 west-side beginner dances to keep students dancing - Help troubled clubs - Share club operational ideas - Become active in community affairs - Sponsor area special events (square dance or festival) - Sponsor area social non-square dancing events - Re-start square dancing at the state fair - Obtaining group insurance rates for square dancers - 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 started 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 of the organization.
Over the years work was done with the 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 a proclamation signed by Rose Mofford making Square Dancing the Arizona State dance in 1995.
The GCSDA has been a member of the United Square Dancers of America (USDA) (www.usda.org) 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. This year the 24 hour Labor of Love Dance-a-Thon will be sponsored by GCSDA.
The GCSDA has evolved from its' being into what is know as "cyberspace" with its' own Webpage (www.azsquaredance.com) But we have not yet arrived! There still is a lot of work to be done if we're going to make square dancing activity attractive to the "baby boomers".
Thanks to all who stepped up to contribute over these past years. A special thanks to all the dancers. The GCSDA would not even exist if it were not for your support and belief.

 PAST PRESIDENTS •
Roy Childress - 1988-1989
Jim Carter (deceased) - 1990-1991
Lyle Morrow (deceased) - 1992-1994
Deá Leon - 1994-1997
Nancy Kamber - 1997-1999
Maggie Russell - 1999-2001
Wayne See - 2001-2002
Maggie Russell - 2002-2003
Dan Huggett 2003 - 2005
Colleen Centner - 2005 - 2007
Senda Casada - 2007 - 2007
Charley Barber - 2007 - 2008
Terry Paxton - 2008 - 2009
Mike Doane - 2009 - 2009
Baeb Haines - 2010 - 2012
John Eaton - 2012 - 2013
Maggie Russekk - 2013 - Present
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