Allan Hurst (12/14/60-) is a dancer, caller, and writer who lives in Sunnyvale, California. In 2003, he became legally married to his partner Randy Hensley in a wedding ceremony held during that year's Squares Across the Border Anniversary Fly-In held in Vancouver, BC.
Allan was born and raised in Chicago, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981, and is a member of the Bay Area clubs El Camino Reelers, Foggy City Dancers, and Midnight Squares, the Vancouver BC club Squares Across the Border, Chicago's Chi-Town Squares, and a founding member of Salt Lake City's Temple Squares. In 2010, after a bit of prodding from Rick Hawes, Allan became a member of Heads to the Center. His HTTC pseudo-French name is "Ecumé", which means "Bubbles".
To say that Allan is heavily involved in GLBT square dancing would be putting it mildly. Aside from dancing sporadically with all of the above-named clubs, he administers Midnight Squares, edits The Call Sheet, and runs the IAGSDC History Project. If he actually drank the stuff, Allan would qualify as a Coffee Overachiever of square dancing.
Allan dances up through C1. As of April 2010, Allan was in a C2 class with Midnight Squares, and slated to graduate later on in the year.
Allan started learning to call in 1997, at the GCA Caller School held that year in conjunction with the IAGSDC Wheel & Deal convention. He has also attended GCA Caller Schools in Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim, plus one of Ken Ritucci's Norcal Caller Schools held in Sunnyvale, California in August, 2009.
Allan presently calls Basic, Mainstream, Plus, A1, A2, and C1.
He has no regular calling gigs, and performs mostly at local club nights (Midnight Squares, Temple Squares), fly-ins, dances (El Camino Reelers, Chi-Town Squares), during GCA tips at IAGSDC conventions, and at non-IAGSDC clubs (such as American Squares in Homewood, IL).
Allan's membership in several IAGSDC clubs often puzzles people.
In 1997, Allan joined Foggy City Dancers because at that time they synchronized their Mainstream and Plus classes and teaching orders with El Camino Reelers. This enable Allan to gain additional floor time when learning both levels, so Allan joined Foggy City to support the club in return.
Later, Allan joined Midnight Squares as his dance interests gravitated towards Advanced & Challenge levels. Eventually, Allan became a Midnight Squares' Club Administrator, a duty he shares with Ed Ziegler.
After frequent visits to Vancouver, BC every year over (American) Thanksgiving weekend, Allan joined Squares Across The Border.
In 2001, Allan's father died suddenly, necessitating Allan's part-time residence in Chicago to help his mother. During that period, Allan joined Chi-Town Squares.
In 2008, after spending many years going to Salt Lake City for business trips, Allan assisted Ross Lopton and Justin Crawshaw in forming Temple Squares. Ross & Justin and Ross' daughter Ashley had moved to Salt Lake City, and decided to form a GLBT square dance club there. Allan & Ross called 10-minute demonstration tips at 2008 Utah Pride to attract potential students and club members. Well over 100 names were gathered, and Temple Squares started its first class in the fall of 2008.
Allan was a frequent contributor to SquareUp! Magazine starting around 1997, continuing until the publication's closure. All of the articles he originally wrote for SquareUp!, plus many more, can be found on his website at http://www.danceinfo.org
Around 1998, Allan put together a "tip sheet" for newly graduating dancers about to attend their first IAGSDC Convention. This sheet grew from one page to two pages, and then to four or five pages, and grew into what is now known as the Guide To IAGSDC Convention.
A member of the Gay Callers Association since 1997, in September 2006, Allan volunteered to become editor of the The Call Sheet, which he changed from a basic 4-to-8-page newsletter into a professional journal format.
His intention was to position The Call Sheet as an authoritative source for square dance calling technical information to both the GLBT and straight calling communities. Allan enlisted Pam Clasper's assistance in distributing free copies of The Call Sheet at CALLERLAB conventions, to build awareness of the GCA and IAGSDC within the larger (straight) CALLERLAB community.
Shortly after taking on the editorship of The Call Sheet, Allan became interested in gathering and preserving IAGSDC history, starting with an electronic reproduction of the 10 Years book. This led to the IAGSDC History Project's creation.
In 2007 and 2008, between Denver's Red Rocks and Purple Mountains and Cleveland's Touch A Quarter Century IAGSDC conventions, Allan underwent 48 weeks of treatment for Hepatitis C. The treatment, a sort of long-term chemotherapy involving interferon and ribavirin, left Allan partially incapacitated for long periods of time. During this period of time, he continued to produce The Call Sheet and work on Ten Years IAGSDC Digital Edition, partially out of stubbornness and partially due to extreme boredom from long periods of home confinement. Ultimately, the treatment was unsuccessful. Allan has stated his intention to undergo a second round of treatment sometime after 2010, once new anti-Hepatitis C drugs become available.