Bloomin’ Squares

From IAGSDCWiki

Location: Tujunga, CA

Website: http://www.bloominsquares.org

Started: 1997

Admitted to IAGSDC: 11 Jul 1997 as Full Member

Status: Active

History: We are a Mainstream and Plus square dance club serving the foothill communities of the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys.

Bloomin’ Squares began over pizza and Cokes on May 21, 1997, in Pasadena. The five founding members got together at the urging of Kim Nagele, our first president. Our thought was to have a club whose dances were in a more convenient location. The Constitution and Bylaws were ratified on July 4, 1997 and we became a member of the IAGSDC on July 11, 1997 at the Wheel & Deal IAGSDC convention in Las Vegas.

The first order of business was a name, and we had many before Bloomin’ Squares was selected. Pasadena Arroyo Seco Squares (PASS) was one, but we decided the initials were all wrong. Our logo was designed with the five founders in mind, thus the five flowers. Roses were chosen for the obvious reason. If you look closely, you can see the founding members’ initials in the leaves (K-K-M-D-D).

Bloomin’ Squares is dedicated to the idea of a democratic club whose only agenda is the enhancement of square dancing. All club members are urged to attend Board meetings and voice their opinions on how to meet our goals.

In addition to dancing, we plan social events for our members and friends. Bloomin’ Squares is a warm, friendly club where you can enjoy a variety of activities and make new friends in the process.

How We Started (Interview with Diana Lee):

Kim Nagele ("bagel with an extra e") was insistent for three years to get me involved in squares dancing, and for all that time, I had to give him a different excuse every week.

One week, in 1996, he tricked me into going out on a blind date with Debbie Braun, the then-president of Tinseltown Squares, and Debbie offered to pick me up and take me to the last of their open house...and I had such a good time I kept going back to class.

About half way through the club cycle, Kim asked me about starting a club closer to home (Eagle Rock for Kim, Pasadena for Diana). Kim urged me, Debbie Braun-Lawson, Michele Dowdy and Kathie Richardson to start a new club.

A month or so later, we started meeting to talk about it, and we met at Michele's house in her back yard, eating pizza and having cokes, and we were supposed to be just having fun, and then we decided to give out assignments to get things started. Our goal was to present ourselves at the 1997 convention, where we were voted in as full members. Our first class was fall of 1997, at a church in Pasadena.

The club moved from Pasadena to Tujunga in fall of 2000, after a more affordable hall became available in Tujunga. This substantially reduced the overhead costs involved in running the club.

Ray Fulcher started calling for our club in 2005, before Star Thru The Silicon Galaxy, and attended his first GCA caller school in 2006 in Anaheim, then again in 2007

When we started our first class, we needed capital, so we went around to all of our friends who were square dancers, asking if they'd like to be "charter members" for $50 or so, and that's how we got our startup money. We may still have the list of charter members lying around in our archives.

Our first class graduated 40 folks, and everybody got a bar for their badge which said "First Class". When our first caller Bob Van West, moved to Alabama in 2012 (after buying a house there by mistake), we gave him a paperweight that said "First Class Caller".

Classes: Mainstream, Plus

Club Caller[s]: Ray Fulcher, Emeritus: Bob Van West, Frank Lescrinier, Ron Durkee, Ron Black

Levels: MS, Plus

Dance Location[s]: Sunland-Tujunga Community Center

Fly-Ins Hosted:

Conventions Hosted: