Puddletown Squares

From IAGSDCWiki

Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Web site: http://www.puddletownsquares.org/

Started: 1982

Admission to IAGSDC: 1984

Status: Active

History: Puddletown started in 1982 by Art Smith. Until 2010, was part of an umbrella organization, Puddletown Dancers. The member clubs were by level: Puddletown Squares - Mainstream. Emerald City Squares - Plus, Doppler Dancers - Advanced, BOQ - Challenge. Emerald City Squares rolled back into Puddletown Squares in 1987, Doppler Dancers rolled back in 1990, BOQ rolled back in 2011.

From the Program Book for the 1st IAGSDC Convention, held in Seattle in 1984:
The dream of a square dance group in Seattle came from the excitement and comaraderie of the 1982 National Gay rodeo. Harvey Muggy had agreed to let us use the Eastlake East Tavern dance floor, and on October 13, 1982, Gay Square Dancing came to Seattle.
As the clock ticked away and the time got closer to the starting hour, the excitement grew. (That first evening) The organizing committee of five were setting up and helping the traditional caller, Sheri Nevins and her three piece band set up. People began arriving, and by 7:15PM about 12 people had arrived. We were all a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. At 7:30PM the fiddles started playing and Sheri started her introductions to 57 people. By the end of the evening the excitement was at fever pitch...we had done it, we all had done itl Even though we had no name at that time, Puddletown Squares was born.
We stayed at the Eastlake East for three weeks, with a different caller each night. With 118 people coming that third night we were busting at the seams. We realized that all the other gay clubs around the country were dancing Modern Western Square Dancing and to be compatible, we had to move away from our traditional start. We can never thank Sheri Nevins and her band enough for the love and support that they all gave to us. During the last night there, a local caller named Walt Cavanaugh was invited and sat on the side lines and watched what we were doing. Walt had answered an ad placed in the Seattle Times. It took a lot of the right stuff for a straight man to agree to embark on the task of teaching and calling to a gay square dance group.
The next week we moved to the Odd Fellows hall and had an attendance of 138 people. That week we also had the pleasure of having Walt call for us the first time. One week did it at the Odd Fellows and we had outgrown it. The next week we moved again, this time to our permanent new home, Pilgrim Congregational Church. The church had agreed to rent us the hall with a 11-1 board vote. That first evening at the church, we were greeted and welcomed by the church minister. Our Modern Western Square Dance classes had started.
On January 22, 1983, a group of about 40 of us went down to Portland to help kickoff their new square dance group. Gay square dancing in the Northwest was here to stay.
By Rodeo time 1983, Puddletown Squares had: graduated two classes with the combined total of 157 people into Mainstream Square Dancing; became a non-profit corporation, and through elections chosen a nine person board; drawn up and approved club bylaws; purchased and paid for a sound system and square dance records; was on sound financial footing, and had created a lot of fun, entertainment and fellowship.


From Bob Moritz in The Ripple:
The October 13th dance is the 36th Anniversary of the founding of Puddletown Squares.
Our first class started Oct 13, 1982 at Eastlake East Tavern. There were 50-60 students at $2. per class with live band and caller Walt Cavanaugh. On Nov 10, 1982 the class moved to Odd Fellows Hall,
The second class began March 2, 1983 and graduated on July 16th. Yes, the early response was so great, that they split and started a second class to prevent the first from becoming too large.
Our first graduation in Seattle was May 1, 1983, and it was held aboard a very large ferry boat on Puget Sound. There were also dancers present from Portland. It was an extremely prideful moment for all us. Our own Lyle Boss was a graduate of this first class.
At the Reno 1982 rodeo, the decision was made to have a first general meeting next year, which was the beginning of the convention pattern, and apparently because so many things had been happening out of Seattle, they decided to hold it in Seattle.
I’m under the impression that we were the first club to have a paid professional caller, the first club to have bought our own sound system, and the first club to have four or five members go to caller’s school. Also, everyone was amazed at the numbers we were able to attract.
Harlan Kerr was made president, and Doug McPherson and Agnes Smith were made co-chairs of what would become the convention (‘All Join Hands’ in 1984). We had no idea what a “convention” meant, and when the event actually started, everyone was just stunned with delight. Doug and Agnes knew what they were doing, and knew what the dynamics would be, so it turned out to be very wise when they decided that rather than have people housed by local club members, we should have it at a hotel with everyone staying there. That way the energy was concentrated in one place, and it was nothing short of phenomenal. The official attendance for this bold experiment was 132 dancers from the various clubs. The second in Denver was 284 dancers and the third in San Francisco was 654 dancers. The rest is history.
We would go on to host the 10th convention (‘Remake the Circle’) in 1993. The largest attendance of any convention to date – over 1200 dancers. We used the HUB ballrooms and stayed in the dorms at UW.
We lost the bid in 2008 to Cleveland for the 25th Convention. But were successful with or bid to host the 35th Convention (‘Circle Back to Seattle’) earlier this year for 907 dancers.


Classes:

Club Caller[s]: Art Smith, Jim Goeres (d), Walt Cavanaugh, Harlan Kerr, Donna Williams, DC Cronyn, Ron Legters, Ross Crawshaw-Lopton, Bob Jervis, Gary Monday

Levels: Basic thru C-2

Dance Location[s]: Pilgrim Church (formerly) on Capitol Hill, The Timberline (now gone), St. Andrews, Mount Baker Park Presbyterian, Tibbets, The Garden House

Fly-Ins Hosted: No fly-in in 2018 since we are hosting convention.

Year Date Name Theme Caller 1 Caller 2 Caller 3 Location Co-Chair 1 Co-Chair 2 Co-Chair 3
2019 March 8-10 Rain Festival ... Sandie Bryant Eric Henerlau Anne Uebelacker MLK Fame Community Center Susan Weil Dinah Hartley -
2017 March 10-12 Rain Festival ... Todd Fellegy Hunter Keller ... MLK Fame Community Center Susan Weil -
2016 March 11-13 Rain Festival ... Anne Uebelacker John Marshall ... Miller Community Center Dinah Hartley Susan Weil
2015 March 13-15 Rain Festival ... Anne Uebelacker Dayle Hodge ... Miller Community Center ... ...
2014 March 7-9 Rain Festival ... Vic Ceder Saundra Bryant ... Miller Community Center Ben Bryson Teresa Van de ven
2013 March 8-10 Rain Festival Cross-Over the Rainbow Barry Clasper Anne Uebelacker ... Miller Community Center Ginger R Ben B
2011 March 11-13 Rain Festival Slip n Slide Sandie Bryant Anne Uebelacker ... Miller Community Center Ginger R Chris S
2010 March 5-7 Rain Festival Forbidden Island Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Miller Community Center Troy Johnson Mark Mendelow
2009 March 13-15 Rain Festival Anne Uebelacker Michael Kellogg ... Mt. Baker Park Presbyterian Church
2008 March 7-9 Rain Festival Down By The Riverside Andy Shore Darren Gallina ... Renton Community Center Ross Crawshaw-Lopton (moved) Jim Ferguson Keith Gehrig
2007 Oct 26-28 Halloween Fly-in 3 Anne Uebelacker Scott Zinser ... Phinney Comm. Ctr / St. Andrews / Tibbets Troy Johnson
2007 March 9-11 Rain Festival Swingin' In The Rain Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Mt. Baker Park Presbyterian Church
2006 Oct 27-29 Halloween Fly-in 2 Ride of the Masked Caller Bill Eyler Stephen Cole ... St. Andrews / Mt Baker Park
2006 March 10-12 Rain Festival And Your Little Dog Too! Sandie Bryant Stephen Cole ... Miller Community Center Justin Crawshaw Lopton Ross Crawshaw-Lopton
2005 29-Oct Halloween Dance Anne Uebelacker ... St. Andrews Episcopal Troy Johnson
2005 March 11-13 Rain Festival Wet Dreams Mike DeSisto Sandie Bryant
2004 March 12-14 Rain Festival Revenge of Geoduck Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Miller Community Center Justin Crawshaw-Lopton Keith Gehrig
2003 April 11-13 Rain Festival Rain Festival Returns Anne Uebelacker Sandie Bryant ... Miller Community Center / University Heights Center Keith Gehrig Justin Crawshaw-Lopton
2002
2001 Aug 24-26 Spin The Needle Vic Ceder Ray Brendzy ... Miller Community Center Lyle Boss
2000 Aug Spin The Needle Vic Ceder Gaylen Sauve ... Miller Community Center Kelley Wilt
1999 Aug 27-29 Spin The Needle Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Sunset Hill Community Center Chris Vance (d)
1998 Aug 21-23 Geoduck Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Greenwood Senior Center Thomas
1997 Aug Geoduck Mike DeSisto Anne Uebelacker ... Russian Center Thomas
1995 Cancelled
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990 Aug Geoduck Sandie Bryant
1990 Feb Rain Festival Pilgrim Church / Timberline
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985


West Coast Advanced & Challenge Weekend Hosted

BOQ 1990, Oct. 5-7 "Something New" (The First one!)

BOQ 1995, Oct. 13-15 "Run Wild)

BOQ 2005, Oct. 7-9 "Shake & Rattle in Seattle"

Puddletown 2013, Oct. 11-13 "Fiddle Around"

Puddletown 2019, Nov. 1-3 "Puddletown Grand Mix"


Conventions Hosted: 1983 - All Join Hands (the first convention), 1993 - Remake The Circle (10 year anniversary) 2018 - Circle Back to Seattle (35 year anniversary)

The club bid for the 25th Convention (2008) but lost the bid to Cleveland, OH, who staged Touch A Quarter Century


Accolades (or not): Puddletown can claim 4 (6 if you include Ross & Justin) Golden Boot Award Winners (and sadly) 5 Honky Tonk Queens (+ 3 who lived in Seattle for a time)


In Memoriam: (Last updated 7/09/2018 by Keith Gehrig)


    • We added 5 badges in Seattle (2018)
Jonica Keel, Leo Hagen, Margaret R. Cotter, Charles "Chuck" Krysieniel, Ken Fowler
    • We added 6 badges in Palm Springs (2017)
Florohe, Doug Titus, Bruce Turnbull, Brian Nims, Adam Sacchetti, William "Bet" Abbott

No badges added at the San Francisco convention in 2013. No badges added at the Vancouver convention in 2012. No badges were added at the Atlanta convention in 2011. (this is a first since we started Placing badges in 1984),

We do this almost immediately after our club photo is taken. Please join us if you wish.