Golden Boot Award

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The Golden Boot is awarded each year to a person or group in our community that has made significant and sustained contibutions to the Gay and Lesbian square dance community.

Please see the IAGSDC main website for the list of Golden Boot recipients.

Few moments at the annual IAGSDC convention are more dramatic than the presentation of the Golden Boot Award. Carefully chosen by the past year's recipient, each winner has advanced gay and lesbian square dancing in ways that have earned our community's recognition, respect, and gratitude. Past winners have described an overwhelming flood of emotions when their names were announced as that year's recipient. Most also tell of a difficult and sometimes painful process of picking the next winner.

Anyone who has attended a convention knows the significance of the Golden Boot Award. Some can even recall each year's recipient. So with all of its honor, prestige, and recognition, it may be easy to forget the award's humble origin.

Origin of the Golden Boot Award

On May 1st, 1983 Art Smith was presented with the first Golden Boot Award at Puddletown Squares' graduation ceremony. As founder of the club, Art received a gilded trophy worth its weight in glue and spray paint. The award was crafted from a used western boot that had been sprayed gold and embellished with gold chains and rhinestones. What it lacked in charm and sophistication, it made up in feeling. The other half of that pair of boots became part of the crown for the Honky Tonk Queen.

After the first convention in 1984, Art was so moved by the spirit of the event that he decided his Golden Boot Award should be passed on to future generations. After receiving green lights from Puddletown Dancers and the president of the IAGSDC, Art prepared to pass on his award at the 1985 convention. At Denver, Art presented an engraved plaque to gay and lesbian square dancing's first club, the South Florida Mustangs.

Each year since 1985, winners have been announced at the annual IAGSDC convention. It is an honored tradition that the person or group that receives the award selects the next recipient. The selection is kept secret until presentation at convention, and at that time an appropriate token (gift of acknowledgment) is given.

In the words of Art Smith:

"The spirit of the Golden Boot Award belongs to everyone. For it is all of us contributing together, sharing our energy, our dedication and most of all our love that is truly the spirit that is honored. When any one of us gives 100% of the best of what and who we are, that is the finest example of the essence of what the Golden Boot Award exemplifies."

List of Golden Boot Award Recipients

Recipient Year City Convention Notes
Art Smith 1984 Seattle
(none) 1985 no award given
South Florida Mustangs 1985 Denver Promenade Along The Rockies
Dave "Happy" New Year 1986 San Francisco Star Thru The Golden Gate
Scott Carey 1987 Portland Explode The Rose
Ken Pollock 1988 Phoenix Cross Trails In The Desert
Freeman Stamper 1989 New York Peel The Apple
Karl Jaeckel 1990 Vancouver Northstar Promenade
Harlan Kerr 1991 Miami Cast A Shadow In The Sun
Keith Snowdon 1992 Albuquerque Diamonds In The Desert
Anna Damiani, Stan Boyden, Bill St. John 1993 Seattle Remake The Circle
Luis Torres, Bill Eyler 1994 Washington Stars & Squares Forever
Anne Uebelacker 1995 Chicago Track II Chicago
Carol Van Camp 1996 San Francisco Stars, Thars & Cable Cars
Kris Jensen 1997 Las Vegas Wheel & Deal
Mike Staples, Ric Gonzalez 1998 Portland Weave The Rose
Paul Waters 1999 Los Angeles Lights, Camera, Linear Action
xxxx xxxxx 2000 Baltimore Crack The Crab
Betsy Gotta 2001 Vancouver Make Magic
Andy Shore 2002 Toronto Cloverleafs & Maple Leafs
Rick Hawes 2003 San Diego Anchors Aweigh With a Half-Sashay
Ett McAtee 2004 Phoenix Remake The Heatwave
Seth Levine 2005 Santa Clara Star Thru The Silicon Galaxy
All Join Hands Foundation 2006 Anaheim When You Wish Upon a Thar
Scott Philips 2007 Denver Red Rocks and Purple Mountains
John Mckinstry 2008 Cleveland Touch A Quarter Century
Bob Young 2009 Washington DC Diamond Circulate


Sources: SquareUp! issue 8 - citing input from 1990 Northstar Promenade convention program, with additional contributions by Karl Jaeckel and Freeman Stamper