THE IDEA IS BORN

The idea for a Texas association for Single Dancers was born in June 1974 at the National Square Dance Convention in San Antonio.

James D. Bell ("J.D.") of Fort Worth was then the third president of a relatively new national singles organization, Single Square Dancers USA founded in 1972 by dancers from Oklahoma.  J.D. got together with about 20 singles in San Antonio to discuss the need for a Texas-wide organization for its Single dancers. The then-President of the California State Singles Association was in attendance, and provided suggestions as well as a copy of that group's bylaws for guidance.

The name of the organization was decided, and a plan for an annual dance on the first weekend of February was set. Dancers were asked to enlist their home club to host a first festival in February 1975.

J. D. Bell provided a place for a further planning meeting in New Orleans during the 1974 Singles Dance-A-Rama on Labor Day weekend.

On September 30th, 1974, a second meeting was held with 21 members attending. J. D. Bell called the meeting to order. Bids were opened for the February festival, and Lubbock was determined as the winner. Glen Peterson of Dallas was given the task of making the first banner for TASSD and to have it ready for the Lubbock event. Lisa Black and Dorothy Webb were appointed to design a badge for the new organization.

It was decided at that September meeting that the first election of officers would take place at the festival in Lubbock.


THE FIRST ROUNDUP

The First Singles Roundup was held in Lubbock on the first weekend of February in the Koko Palace Inn. On Friday, January 31st the Grand March was held and about 125 dancers were welcomed by George Carter, President of the Lubbock Area Square and Round Dance Association. The first Roundup's callers were Jerry Rash (then of Roswell NM) and Hap Pope (from Lubbock). Andy Petrere called a workshop on Saturday afternoon; the singles bussed to the Lubbock Federation site for a joint Saturday evening dance.

At the TASSD business meeting at 10 AM on Saturday, the organization's bylaws were adopted, and at an afternoon meeting the organization's first panel of officers was elected:


President: Al Hahn (Dumas, TX)
VP North: open
VP South: Wanda Whitted (Austin)
VP West: Bob Horner (Lubbock)
Secretary: Mary Geiger (Amarillo)
Treasurer: Carla Wright (Brownfield)


SECOND ANNUAL ROUNDUP

The second annual Roundup was held in Dallas at the former Baker Hotel on February 13-15th with 350 dancers attending. Reports say 24 different cities in Texas were represented, as well as dancers from Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Illinois, Tennessee, and Florida.
Wayne Baldwin, Bill Wood, Charles Hendricks were featured callers, and Pete and Val Peterman were cuers.  A "Style Show" was held on Saturday afternoon with 43 models participating. Dallas' Channel 5 gave coverage to an afternoon dance workshop.

On Sunday morning February 15th, a business meeting was held and the following were elected TASSD officers for 1976-77:
 

President: Ed Ferguson
VP North: Maurice Charles
VP South: Art Hastings
VP West: Mary Gieger
Secretary: Joyce Wells
Treasurer: Fannie Geaslin


THE THIRD EVENT

The Third Annual TASSD Round-Up was scheduled to be in Dallas, using the LeBaron Hotel. Maurice Charles was the chairman of the event. The weekend had a Trails End Dance on Thursday February 24th at Swingtime Center (Rocky Strickland and Rick Smith were callers). A fire at the intended host hotel in Dallas forced a change of venue, at the very last minute, to the "Six Flags Inn" in Arlington. Some 430 dancers signed the guest book at the Round-Up.

THE EIGHTIES

In 1980, the TASSD bylaws were amended to permit officers to run for a second term, and dues were established at $2.50 per dancer.

In the 1983 General Membership meeting, there was discussion about TASSD seeking affiliation with the Texas Federation of Square and Round Dancers. At subsequent meetings, the objections of the Federation were discussed, and ultimately the idea was abandoned.

In the 1983/84 term TASSD had two presidents. Pete Martinez of Beaumont was elected in March 1983 but later resigned for health reasons. Skipper Cullison, then South Area Vice-President was elevated to the position of President.

In the 1983/84 time frame, TASSD's Executive Board voted to become a member organization of Single Square Dancers USA. TASSD continues to maintain its membership to this day.

During 1986-87 year, TASSD began the process of incorporation as a non-profit social organization under the laws of Texas. The formal articles of incorporation were notarized by Tommy Engelke, Marty Miears, and Jeanette Springer in June 1987. The Texas Secretary of State issued the actual Certificate of Incorporation on July 2, 1987.

In 1988 TASSD's West Area held its first Northwest Texas Singles Festival in September.

At an Executive Board meeting in Fort Worth, March 1988, the idea was initiated to have TASSD host the 1990 National Singles Dance-A-Rama in Texas. A formal bid presentation was made in Rochester NY, and on September 3, 1988 the SSDUSA Executive Board announced the award to Fort Worth.

In March 1989 the TASSD Executive Board voted to allocate a sum of money in the name of Fannie Geaslin to be awarded to a square dance caller as a "scholarship" to a caller school. The selection of the winner was done by the Texas State Caller's Association, and the award was presented to Don Brown of Killeen.


THE NINETIES

Over Labor Day weekend in 1990, TASSD acted as host for the 20th Annual National Singles Dance-A-Rama. The Dance-A-Rama was held in the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth. Over 645 dancers attended the Thursday night 'Trail-In', and the registration total for the weekend event was 1,076 dancers. The General Co-Chairman for TASSD were Jim Reinhold of Grapevine and Dean Bufe of Bedford. The weekend had a budget of nearly $40,000 and produced a net profit for TASSD of $9,237 - these funds were distributed in 1991 equally amongst TASSD's three districts.

At the TASSD Board meeting of March 8, 1991, the decision was made to begin a quarterly newsletter for TASSD members. The first issue appeared as the "October 1991" edition. A contest amongst TASSD members was held in early 1992 to name the TASSD Newsletter. The winning idea was submitted by Patsy Jeffries of Arlington and it is still called "A Single Voice".

In June 1992 the Executive Board voted Lifetime Membership to Jim Reinhold.

The TASSD bylaws were replaced in March 1993 with a new set, drafted by a committee headed by Tommy Engleke and Jim Reinhold.

In March 1993, Don Eggleston of Grand Prairie died. He had been TASSD's President for two terms in 1981 and 1982. In October 1993, Al Hahn of Amarillo, TASSD's first president, died. Fannie Geaslin of Baytown - one of the early leaders of TASSD - died on February 7, 1994.

Dean Bufe of Bedford was voted a Lifetime Member of TASSD in 1996.  Bettie Lawrence of Roanoke was voted a Lifetime Member of TASSD on January 26, 1997.

 

 

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This page updated
04/05/2012