Squares on the Delaware

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Location: New Hope, PA, USA

Started: 1990

Admitted to IAGSDC: 24 May 1991 as Associate Member

Status: Folded, 1992

History: Written by Terry Neal

The club basically originated from and subsequently folded back into the Independence Squares. In 1988, Allan Laufer was a caller for Independence Squares, but lived in Trenton, NJ. He wanted to organize a group of dancers from the New Hope, PA area (which is much closer to Trenton than Philly) to have our own club night there, instead of us having to travel into Philly.

During this period, the Independence Squares also hosted monthly Saturday night dances in New Hope, because it was and still is a great weekend getaway location within the gay community on the east coast. These monthly dances were also commonly attended by the Times Squares and DC Lambda visitors during this period, which is to say we really all were Independence Squares in the beginning.

At some point in late 1989, the board of the Independence Squares and Allan had some major disagreements, and he opted to part ways with them, both as a caller and as a member. At that point, he immediately asked those of us in the New Hope area to splinter off and create our own club called Squares on the Delaware. As you should note from the IAGSDC history, we were an associate member of the IAGSDC, because Allan specifically wanted a caller led group without an elected board. The Squares on the Delaware formed as a club in 1990, with some members like myself remaining members of both independent groups. We were accepted for associate membership by the IAGSDC at the Miami 1991 convention.

The group folded in early 1992, however, when Allan became too sick to continue to call for the group. At that point the club was summarily disbanded, and some of us returned full time to the Independence Squares. Allan never rejoined the Independence Squares and passed away more or less no longer involved in square dancing at all (even though he was also still a member of the Times Squares at the time of his death).

I would say the club formed in 1990 and folded in 1992.

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From the minutes of the 1991 IAGSDC Board meeting: Approval of New Member Applications — Associate Members — Squares on the Delaware — Philadelphia, PA. Allan Laufer presented this caller run club for associate membership. They were formed out of a group which began in September 1988. Ted Oakes asked for clarification on why this caller club should be an associate while the High Desert Stars are full members. The explanation was made that High Desert has elections planned and Squares on the Delaware is planning on remaining a caller club for the near future. Associate membership was accepted unanimously.

The group danced at The New Prelude, a bar in New Hope, PA.