ASSDF and NSDC History
American Flag Square Dancers ASSDF Logo American Flag

ASSDF and NSDC History

Contents
Overview
Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40
A Tribute To J.D. Kerr
A Tribute To Wild Bill Wilder
ASSDF Presidents 1951-1970
ASSDF Presidents 1971-1990
ASSDF Presidents 1991-2010
ASSDF Presidents After 2010
National Conventions 1951-1970
National Conventions 1971-1990
National Conventions 1991-2010
National Conventions After 2010

Overview


To get to the previous page, press the BACK BUTTON on your web browser. To return to the ASSDF Homepage, click on the ASSDF logo at the top of the page. This page was last updated November 29, 2014.

This page lists the past presidents of the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation, which was formed in 1949. It also lists the cities which hosted past, and upcoming National Square Dance Conventions.

The ASSDF was formed in 1949, by Otis A. Higgins and Richard Dick. Max Smith was appointed in 1949 to plan and promote the first Federation dance...and was elected to serve as the first president in 1951. A list of past ASSDF presidents is located here.

The ASSDF was formed to promote square dancing in Arkansas by publishing The Modern Square, and later on, providing insurance to dancers. Income comes from the ASSDF Fall Festival dance, subscriptions for The Modern Square, advertising in The Modern Square, and various fund raisers like the Bank Account Special tickets.

Not one of the ASSDF Officers is reimbursed for any personal expenses, unless stated in the budget, and voted on by the ASSDF Board Members. As of today, due to the decline in dancers and clubs, most officers don't even ask for reimbursements, as the budget usually provides for less than $100 per year. The major expense is The Modern Square, which usually costs between $700 and $800 per month.


The Arkansas Square Dance Convention, Incorporated (ASDCI) was formed in the 1950's by the late Nadine Higgins... and overseen by the late Clyde and Emma Redmon, and others over the years. Their goal was to bring the National Square Dance Convention to Little Rock...which was the case at the 63rd National Square Dance Convention.

Unfortunately, the amount of clubs, as well as callers and cuers... never mind dancers...has declined over the years...in Arkansas, and elsewhere.

At one time, there were over 1000 subscriptions to The Modern Square, Arkansas' monthly square and round dance publication. As of early 2014, there are less than 200. Club wise, in 1985, there were nearly 20 clubs just in the Little Rock Metro Area. Now, that's the number of clubs left in the entire state!!

Even when the Single Square Dancers USA Labor Day Dance-A-Rama was in North Little Rock in 2007, and only about 600 attended, it was still difficult to find workers for that weekend.


While the ASSDF Fall Festival is held around the second weekend of each October, the National Square Dance Convention is held in the 4 days (Wednesday through Saturday), preceding the last full weekend of June each year, in a different U.S. City.

The page also has 3 poems I wrote...one for the 40th birthday of the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation...and two tribute poems to longtime Arkansas callers that have now gone on to The Eternal Square... J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr, and ''Wild Bill'' Wilder.

Return To Top Of Page


Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40


When the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation turned 40, in 1989, I wrote a poem in celebration for it.

''Lordy, Lordy, look who's Forty'', on this great occasion;
The one and only Arkansas State Square Dance Federation!!

The ASSDF itself, is rich in history;
Just like square dancing it promotes for everyone to see.

It has changed since it began in 1949,
With many dancers taking part through the years of time.

From just a few clubs way back then, to many clubs today;
Colorful as the falling leaves on an autumn day!!

There were many times of happiness, but sometimes, there was pain.
But through these struggles, it recovered, to yellowrocks again!!

It's news and happenings every month in ''The Modern Square'';
With square dance specials all around...the who, the what, and where.

The Festival Dance every year, with both squares and rounds;
And seeing many friends again, where yellowrocks abound!!

And, looking back now, at its past, and what the future brings;
Like square dancing, it promises many exciting things!!

So, join the party, dancers all, and square up for the fun;
The ASSDF's birthday is for everyone!!

Lordy, Lordy, look who's 40; let's start the celebration
Of the one and only Arkansas State Square Dance Federation!!

Return To Top Of Page


A Tribute To J.D. Kerr


One of the best loved callers in Arkansas square dancing was a caller named J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr.

He started calling in 1960, and called until health issues forced him to retire in the late 1980's. While he was calling, he taught several others across Arkansas to call as well. Since I was privileged to dance to J.D., I wrote a poem in tribute to him, and what he meant to square dance calling in Arkansas. Sadly, his wife, Billie, passed away several years ago...and J.D. died a few years later.


Excitement filled the square dance hall
Whenever J.D. Kerr would call.
We'd always rush at the chance
To go where J.D. called a dance.

He called great Basic, Mainstream, and Plus
At every dance without a fuss.
He made you listen, without debate;
Catching when you'd anticipate!!

No matter the level of the floor,
He'd have the dancers begging for more.
With just a small group of calls in line,
He'd call a dance that would blow your mind!!

Through these years, we've had a ball,
Dancing to his patter and singing calls.
He'd never leave you on the spot
When he'd call ICE COLD or GO RED HOT!!

He taught many folks over the years
In learning this activity with good cheer.
Like him each week in the hall,
He taught several folks to learn to call.

Sadly now, those days are past,
But the memories will ever last.
Remembering these days, happiness rules,
Even when his calling was ''dirty pool''!!

And so, J.D., your square dance friends,
Thank you for memories that never end.
We miss your calling, with no regrets,
We wish you and Billie the very best.

Return To Top Of Page


A Tribute To Wild Bill Wilder


Another one of the best loved callers in Arkansas square dancing was a caller named ''Wild Bill'' Wilder.

He started calling around the same time that J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr began calling. Health issues in late 2013 forced him to scale back his calling. Since I was also privileged to dance to Bill, I wrote a poem in tribute to him as well, and what he meant to square dance calling in Arkansas. Sadly, his wife, Barbara, passed away only a few months before Bill did.


When ''Wild Bill'' Wilder called a dance, it was such a joy.
His baritone voice, took the music; of every song, employed.
Whether it was a pattern call, or singing call done there.
It was an experience, that many dancers shared.

He'd weave a pattern like a quilt, with every pattern call.
With the choreography, he just had a ball.
Then he took the singing calls, with melodious tone.
The squares danced to the great voice, that was all his own.

Whether ''Rubber Dolly'' there, for his patter choice;
Or for ''Green Green Grass Of Home'', with his singing voice.
Or even with some other record, that he'd pick to play.
He made every square dance fun, all along the way.

For over fifty years, he called, with many dancing tips.
Focused on each call command, from his tone filled lips.
And the many clubs he served, as caller through the years.
In Arkansas and elsewhere, yes...he brought good times and cheer.

Hoedowners, or Twin City Stars, or other clubs that danced.
Or even on Mount Nebo there, we'd jump at the chance.
To square up, to what would be, a good time had by all.
Whether he did patter there, or a singing call.

He called on special weekends, too, both in and out of state.
He'd call in mornings, afternoons; evenings, nights, so late.
A new journey every tip, it really was a treat.
''Allemande left your corner now!! I'm going to go eat!!''

He made dancing a fun time, when the squares broke down.
When ''Yang! Yang! Yang!'' he would say, echoed all around.
Laughter then would fill the room, at what just occurred.
Even though we thought some calls were totally absurd!!

Even when he taught a class, to bring new dancers in.
He lovingly instructed, in what meant so much to him.
First Basic, Mainstream, and then Plus, so many calls to learn.
But, yellowrocks did there abound; at each tip, and turn.

For many years, his faithful taw, stood by his side there.
Barbara meant so much to him, and danced in many squares.
Both now in The Eternal Square, both sorely will be missed.
The memories of both of them, would fill a ton of lists.

While he and his taw are now gone, the memories remain.
The laughter and the good times there, help to ease the pain.
If there ever was a list, for a Callers Hall Of Fame;
''Wild Bill'' Wilder would surely be, there among the names.

Return To Top Of Page


ASSDF Presidents 1951-1970


1951 Max Smith
1952 Dan and Aileen Keeley
1953 Marion and Lavaun Curtis
1954 James Merritt
1955 Emmett and Clover Knight
1956 Jimmie and Helen Straughan
1957 Gerald and Patsy Schroeder
1958 Fred and Sarah Loescher
1959 Joe and Connie Buddenburg
1960 Tebe and Mary Little
1961 Jerry and Judy McKissack
1962 Lloyd and Hazel Wilson
1963 Ken and Jean Golden
1964 Bill and Jean Massey
1965 Ray and Shirley Wheelington
1966 Mike and Dot Kuykendall
1967 Harold and Sammy Woolverton
1968 Earnest and Florine Floyd
1969 Bud and Carolyn Pearrow
1970 William and Jeanette Lisko

Return To Top Of Page


ASSDF Presidents 1971-1990


1971 William and Jeanette Lisko
1972 Jerome and Delores Nunnally
1973 Ronnie and Gretchen Watson
1974 Raymond and Juanice Jones
1975 Percy and virginia Vining
1976 Birkett and Barbara Wylie
1977 Tom and Pauline Phillips
1978 Emery and Linda Raley
1979 Ralph and Evelyn Firsick
1980 Warren and Beverly Rodgers
1981 Howard and Lorraine Backus
1982 Morris and Brenda Russell
1983 Jim and Carol Francis
1984 C.D. and Carol Williams
1985 John and Leta Porter
1986 Ken and Marge Hazelwood
1987 Joe and Mary Brumett
1988 Al and Pat Virden
1989 Don and Norma Hogue
1990 Jim and Lois Ferguson

Return To Top Of Page


ASSDF Presidents 1991-2010


1991 Vince and Judy Vinciguerra
1992 Butch and Carolyn Whitten
1993 Gene and Pat Housdan
1994 Bob and Paula Fontaine
1995 Butch and Carolyn Whitten
1996 Mark and Bessie Grumbine
1997 Frank and Joyce Taylor
1998 Clyde and Elaine Baum
1999 Billy and Betty Gilliam
2000 Bob and Jean Neidecker
2001 Bob and Edna Johnson
2002 Larry and Fay Echlin
2003 Wayne and Laura Wade
2004 Vince and Judy Vinciguerra
2005 Alvin and Ellen Gentry
2006 Larry and Fay Echlin
2007 Ned and Gert Cole
2008 Art and Lou Watada
2009 Wayne And Lura Wade
2010 Wayne And Lura Wade

Return To Top Of Page


ASSDF Presidents After 2010


2011 Brenda Griffin
2012 Art and Lou Watada
2013 Ted and Phyllis Keeney
2014 Larry And Faye Echlin
2015 Brenda Griffin
2016 To Be Announced After the 2015 ASSDF Fall Festival
2017 To Be Announced After the 2016 ASSDF Fall Festival
2018 To Be Announced After the 2017 ASSDF Fall Festival
2019 To Be Announced After the 2018 ASSDF Fall Festival
2020 To Be Announced After the 2019 ASSDF Fall Festival

Return To Top Of Page


National Square Dance Conventions 1952-1970


1952 Riverside, California
1953 Kansas City, Kansas
1954 Dallas, Texas
1955 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1956 San Diego, California
1957 St. Louis, Missouri
1958 Louisville, Kentucky
1959 Denver, Colorado
1960 Des Moines, Iowa
1961 Detroit, Michigan
1962 Miami Beach, Florida
1963 St. Paul, Minnesota
1964 Long Beach, California
1965 Dallas, Texas
1966 Indianapolis, Indiana
1967 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1968 Omaha, Nebraska
1969 Seattle, Washington
1970 Louisville, Kentucky

Return To Top Of Page


National Square Dance Conventions 1971-1990


1971 New Orleans, Louisiana
1972 Des Moines, Iowa
1973 Salt Lake City, Utah
1974 San Antonio, Texas
1975 Kansas City, Kansas
1976 Anaheim, California
1977 Atlantic City, New Jersey
1978 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1979 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1980 Memphis, Tennessee
1981 Seattle, Washington
1982 Detroit, Michigan
1983 Louisville, Kentucky
1984 Baltimore, Maryland
1985 Birmingham, Alabama
1986 Indianapolis, Indiana
1987 Houston, Texas
1988 Anaheim, California
1989 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1990 Memphis, Tennesee

Return To Top Of Page


National Square Dance Conventions 1991-2010


1991 Salt Lake City, Utah
1992 Cincinatti, Ohio
1993 St. Louis, Missouri
1994 Portland, Oregon
1995 Birmingham, Alabama
1996 San Antonio, Texas
1997 Orlando, Florida
1998 Charlotte, North Carolina
1999 Indianapolis, Indiana
2000 Baltimore, Maryland
2001 Anaheim, California
2002 St. Paul, Minnesota
2003 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2004 Denver, Colorado
2005 Portland, Oregon
2006 San Antonio, Texas
2007 Charlotte, North Carolina
2008 Wichita, Kansas
2009 Long Beach, California
2010 Louisville, Kentucky

Return To Top Of Page


National Square Dance Conventions after 2010


2011 Detroit, Michigan
2012 Spokane, Washington
2013 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2014 Little Rock, Arkansas
2015 Springfield, Massachusetts
2016 Des Moines, Iowa
2017 Cincinatti, Ohio
2018 Kansas City, Missouri
2019 To Be Awarded at 2015 National Square Dance Convention
2020 To Be Awarded at 2016 National Square Dance Convention

Return To Top Of Page


Yellowrock