HISTORY OF SQUARE DANCING IN SAN DIEGO
AND
OUR SAN DIEGO SQUARE DANCE ASSOCIATION

Square dancing had it's fundamental start in San Diego in January, 1946, when Jimmy Clossin, a caller from Texas, was procured to come to San Diego to instruct square dancing under the sponsorship of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department. Maria Fielding was assigned the task of obtaining people for this first class. The response was overwhelming and the class was most successful and square dancing in San Diego was on it's way.

In the fall of 1946, Miss Fielding, realizing the need of more callers, organized and taught a Callers class. With Callers to teach classes now and people wanting just such a form of recreation, square dancing enjoyed a tremendous growth. The classes were reported to be never less than 100 people.

In 1948, the need for organization became apparent and an association of callers and dancers was formed. Roy Close chaired the first meeting to form our association with about eight or ten clubs and as many callers in attendance. The purpose of this new organization was to further the activity for fun and fellowship, the same objectives we still hold important. This group organized the first Fiesta de la Cuadrilla, a tradition which continued today.

On August 25, 1950, our square dance association of San Diego County attended a meeting which was held at the Monterey inn in South Pasadena with the Western Square Dance Association serving as hosts. San Diego was represented by Helene Sherman, president of the Square Dance Association of San Diego county, and Maria Fielding, Treasurer. On that day "the Council of Square Dance Associations (California)" was formed. At that time our Square Dance Association of San Diego County consisted of approximately ten or twelve clubs, all with very active memberships. Our Association has remained an active member of Council ever since. Today the "Council" is known as the California Square Dance Council consisting of 19 associations from throughout the state. Roy Close chaired the first meetings to form our Association and the Presidents of the association to follow were:
HELENE (NELSON) SHERMAN1950-51
HAROLD (BESSIE) LINDSEY1951-52
EARL (SUE) MOUNT1952-53

Election of officers is held at the November association meeting and installation is in January. Elected officers are: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Our chairmen are: Blood Bank, Facilities, Historian, Insurance, Membership/Club Services, Parliamentarian, Publicity and Round-Up Coordinators. We also send representatives to our Callers Association, our Round Dance Instructors group, and the Palomar association.

The main event of the year, of which we are so proud, is our annual Fiesta de la Cuadrilla held on the first weekend in November. Our first two fiestas were organized by the callers and dancers association in 1951 and 1952, with Van and Dottie VanderWalker as Chairman. We have favorite local callers and nationally known, Callers who call to dancers over a three day period, dancing in several buildings. Besides square dancing, we feature workshops, clinics, a fashion show, exhibitions of round and square dancing, and close with the ever popular red hot dance. This all adds up to fun and good fellowship with our many visitors from far away sections of California and surrounding states. In addition to this gala event, we sponsor a third Saturday Round-Up, held monthly in Balboa Park. This event is hosted by four of our clubs on a rotating basis, with popular local and out of the area callers, and local Round Dance Cuers.

Association meetings are held on the Sunday following the third Saturday Round-Up each month in Balboa Park at 7:30 p.m.

The Square Dance Association of San Diego County, Inc. was honored to host the National Convention in June of 1956 and the State Convention in June of 1961. Chairman for the National Convention in 1956 was the first president of the Square Dance Association of San Diego County, Inc., Bud and Fran Dixon. Funds from this National convention was held in a special national convention fund Account until this year, 1982. Chairman for the State Convention in 1961 was Roland and Emily Smock, sixth President of our Association.

The association has been privileged to host the California State Square Dance Council through the years. This council meets throughout the state four times a year.

This association has accomplished much, and has much to be proud of in its years of existence. Thanks to all those individuals who had devoted their time and effort to make this association the great organization that it has been for almost thirty years.


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