Grand River Squares
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Admitted to IAGSDC: 01 Jul 1989 as Associate Member; 04 Jul 1992 as Full Member
- From the Program Book of the 6th IAGSDC Convention, held in New York, NY in 1989:
- The Grand River Squares informally began February 9.1988, testing the waters to see if Grand Rapids, Michigan, would be able to support a gay/lesbian square dancing club. In the fall of 1988, we danced at a local bar with the leather club, and at Dignity/G.R. and sent out many newsletters to draw interest. We have faced many challenges: dancing on carpet, moving from room to room and buildings, no heat, less than 8 dancers many nights and being referred to by the other IAGSDC members as the "unnamed club" or"?? square dance club."
- Well the Grand River Squares have survived their first year with nine members, dancing the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, at the newly organized Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan center. We are presently applying to the IAGSDC for membership at the "Peel The Apple" convention.
- From the Program Book of the 10th IAGSDC Convention, held in Seattle, WA in 1993:
- The Grand River Squares was founded by Chuck Novak as The Nameless Grand Rapids Gay Square Club on February 9, 1988, after attending several conventions, loads of encouragement from other IAGSDC members, and a recovery from the false start of March 1987.
- We began with seven dancers and danced for two years with less then one square, using ghosts, 3/4 or l/2 squares.
- Club levels include basic and mainstream, one-third of our program also includes country /western line and couple dancing. There are currently six women and 14 men as members.
- Our Ropin' The River Fly-In has been held in May 1991, '92, and '93 as well as drive-ins to Cleveland, Chicago, and Toronto.
- Always hoping there will be enough for a square. Because of our small numbers and the thousands of times we have lacked enough dancers for mainstream instruction, we consider ourselves "Professional Basic Square Dancers."