Western Star Dancers
Admitted to IAGSDC:
- The First Western Star Dancers by Russ King, Lifetime Member (Published in the The Western Star newsletter February 2005)
- From the Program Book of the 1st IAGSDC Convention, held in Seattle in 1984:
- Since March, 1982, Western Star Dancers has grown from its five founding members to both a club and class of over 150 square dancers. We are a non-competitive club which seeks to (1) promote square dancing as a national activity, (2) provide an identity for Mainstream dancers, and (3) provide and promote opportunities for Mainstream calling and instruction.
- Although WSD is for dancing, it is our constant objective to achieve a harmonious balance bet ween satisfactory dance experiences and the general social needs of its members. Our stated policies are to: (1) promote fellowship within the group by square dance and other activities, (2) pursue a spirit of cooperation, support, and positive encouragement, (3) enhance the lifestyle of our members and their friends, and (4) encourage the sharing of responsibilities and duties by all members.
- We teach the 68 Mainstream calls as currently defined by CallerLab. Our graduates are at the Mainstream program, and knowing the Mainstream calls enables us to comfortably dance not only at our own club but also at other clubs and square dance gatherings across the United States.
- The monthly newsletter, The Western Star, is an integral part of WSD's communication with its members. In addition to articles of general interest, it announces special activities such as monthly dances featuring tips through the Plus program, a luncheon group formed to provide a social activity for those who work in the Financial District in San Fransisco, and pot-luck dinners and parties just for fun.
Anna Damiani remembers: "I had an interesting start to square dancing. I started in 1986, in the basic class with Foggy City that began in May or June. During that time, it was leading up to the Gay Games being held in San Francisco , and every gay square dancer that could be roudned up was sought for the opening ceremonies. El Camino Reelers was looking to fill out a square for the ceremonies, and so Brenda Peuker asked Bill Whitefield if I could join, and I was selected to dance in the Gay Games opening ceremonies. I started practicing with El Camino Reelers, but a lot of the calls in the program were Mainstream, and as a newer dancer, I was only aboout a month into Basic, so I started taking not only tthe Foggy City class, but also the Western Star Dancers class, AND was practicing with El Camino Reelers all during the same period. So my public dance debute was at the Gay Games in San Francisco. It was fabulous, and then I got to dance at convention that same year, and danced the whole time at convention. At the SF convention, Paul Marcum gave a class level workshop for one square of people that were in Basic class."