Fistful of Crinolines


Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Started: 1983

Admitted to IAGSDC:

Status: Folded, ????

History: The members of Fistful of Crinolines began as students in Seattle's first gay square dance club, Puddletown Squares, and quickly tired of the caller's weekly complaints about the difficulty of calling to same-sex couples. After several less-than-successful attempts to solve the problem, a small group decided to take matters into their own hands. The solution seemed obvious: why not have a key square dressed in regular male and female square dance attire, thereby alleviating any visual confusion over who was dancing which role?
The "authentically dressed" key square's first performance was an instant hit. So enthusiastic was the reaction to their first appearance at a Puddletown Squares' class on March 9, 1983 that they were regularly invited to perform by a wide variety of gay organizations in Seattle and Vancouver, BC during the next year. After that first performance of "Honky Tonk Queen", Fistful of Crinolines grew to more than 20 dancers and continued to perform to wildly enthusiastic audiences. In their zeal, they stripped Seattle's thrift stores of used square dance clothing (well, the larger sizes anyway), became a discerning and regular customers at the local square dance supply stores, and gave new meaning to the word "colorful".
Fistful of Crinolines second year began with the St. Patrick's Day extravaganza "Erin go bragh-less" followed by a triumphant performance at the First International Gay Square Dance Convention held in Seattle in April 1984 (All Join Hands (Convention)). That historic convention performance featured two of the finest callers in the US, Paul Marcum and Elmer Sheffield, calling their infamous "Honky Tonk Queen" as their finale to the wild acclaim of the crowd and overwhelming amazement of the Crinolines!


Performance name Name
Patsy D'Klein Geoff Hamada
Ms. Virginia Slim Gary Way
Kay Mart Doug McPherson
Florence Bovine Chuck Mitchell
Georgia Peach George Gosselin
Mary Hardman Bill DePew
Miss Kitty Bordello Shelly Shelkofsky
Jose Queerveaux Joe Clouse
Chester Drawers Bob Jones
Rod Hopper Agnes Smith
Claude Hopper Dan Hinkley
The Funpants Kid Harlan Kerr
Seymour Butts Gary Berdeen
Chunk Waggin' Don Lee