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 el Cmaino reelers, Foggy City Dancers, Midnight Squares, Squares Across the Border, Chi-Town Squares, and Temple Squares.
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 one of Midnight Squares' Club Administrators, a duty he presently 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 man 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 attact 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 IASGDC Convention.
A member of the Gay Callers Association since 1997, in September 2006, Allan volunteered to become editor of the GCA Call Sheet, which he changed from a basic 4-to-8-page newsletter into a professional journal format.
His intention was to position the GCA 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 GCA 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 GCA Call Sheet, Allan became interested in gathering and preserving IAGSDC history, starting with an electronic reproduction of the 10 Years book. This led to a series of IAGSDC history projects.
The original concept was for two follow-on projects, including the "10/25 Project" and the "Archival Project".
The 10/25 Project was intended to be a gathering of historical material (e.g., interviews) covering the period from where the 10 Years book left off and the IAGSDC's 25th Anniversary Convention in Cleveland, OH.
As production of the 10 Years book dragged on, it became apparent that producing a formal printed "10/25" volume--or even an electronic book as a PDF file--would be impractical.
The 10/25 Project was informally morphed into a combination of coordinating the gathering of oral histories, which will be uploaded into the IAGSDC History Wiki. There is consideration of renaming this effort the "IAGSDC Oral History Project".
The IAGSDC Archival Project has not yet begun, but is intended to encompass two goals:
1. Scan, inventory, catalog, and index all documents, photos, and photos of ephemeral materials in the IAGSDC archives residing in Karl Jaeckel's basement office in Denver. All scanned material will be uploaded into the IAGSDC History Wiki. This includes transferring video and audio records to electronic formats that can posted in the Wiki.
2. Find a permanent home for the physical artifacts and documents, preferably in a facility which is both capable of conserving the collection as well as making it available to researchers and historians. The Gerber Hart library in Chicago has been considered as one such location, as has the GLBT History Project and the San Francisco Public Libary's GLBT Collection. As of mid-2010, no decisions have yet been made regarding the final disposition of the collection.
The IAGSDC History Wiki is intended to be introduced at the 2010 IAGSDC Convention in Chicago, IL. Once the Wiki is opened to the public, Allan intends to begin work on the IAGSDC Oral History Project and the IAGSDC Archival Project.