History Of theASSDF and more
History Of The ASSDF
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 he was elected as the first president in 1951. The ASSDF is actually 2 years older than the National Square Dance Convention (NSDC), which is overseen by the National Executive Committee...composed of past NSDC chairpersons. The NSDC is held the Wednesday through Saturday, up to and including, the last weekend of June each year, in a different U.S. city. It is billed as ''The World's Greatest Square Dance Event''.
The ASSDF was formed to promote square dancing in Arkansas by publishing The Modern Square, and later on, providing insurance to dancers and clubs, in case of an injury, etc. at a dance, through the United Square Dancers Of America. Income is from the ASSDF Fall Festival, 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 (listed elsewhere on this page) is reimbursed for any personal expenses, unless stated in the budget, and voted on by the ASSDF Board members. 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 costs quite a bit for postage and printing per issue.
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 print subscriptions to The Modern Square, As of October 2019, there are only around 24, with considerably more subscribed to the e-Edition, which is FREE. We can NOT do a MONTHLY publication with 20 to 40 pages, or the ASSDF will go bankrupt. That would mean that The Modern Square would be e-Edition ONLY, as the print edition would have to be discontinued. Please see The Modern Square page for more details.
Club wise, in 1985, there were nearly 30 clubs just in the Little Rock Metro Area. Now, the number of clubs left in the entire state is MUCH LESS THAN THAT!! The National Square Dance Convention was in Little Rock in 2014, with the Single Square Dancers USA Labor Day Dance-A-Rama in North Little Rock in 2007, and again in 2017. But, with the decline in dancers and clubs, it was difficult to find workers for these events.
Also on this page are 3 poems I wrote (with The Good Lord's Inspiration) on square dancing.
The first one was when the ASSDF turned 40 in 1989. The other two were tributes to two long time callers who have since gone on to The Eternal Square, the late J.D. Kerr, and "Wild Bill" Wilder. Lastly, are lists of ASSDF Past Presidents, plus the National Square Dance Convention cities (I attended each one from 1986 to 2002, inclusive, but no longer travel, due to health and financial issues.
Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty!!
''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!
A Tribute To J.D. "Pappy" Kerr
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.
A Tribute To "Wild Bill" Wilder
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.
ASSDF Past Presidents
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
1970-1971 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 Railey
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
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
2009-2010 Wayne And Lura Wade
2011 Brenda Griffin
2012 Art and Lou Watada
2013 Ted and Phyllis Keeney
2014 Larry And Faye Echlin
2015 Brenda Griffin
2016-2017 Scott And Angela Blackshear
2018-2019 Royce And Cathy Beesly
2020-2021 Ted and Tonia Hofmeister
National Square Dance Convention Cities
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
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, Tennessee
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
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 Atlanta, Georgia
2020 Spokane, Washington
2021 Jackson, Mississippi
2022 Evansville, Indiana
2023 Mobile, Alabama
2024 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
ASSDF Officers (elected and appointed)
Here is the current slate of officers, elected and appointed, for the ASSDF, as of Oct. 11, 2020. The slate of newly elected officers is posted as soon as possible after the ASSDF Fall Festival, in The Modern Square...and is also entered on the website The exceptions are if there is a change in officers during the year.
In a Letter From The Editor from past issues of The Modern Square, many of the dancers noted below have REPEATEDLY SERVED...some in one way or another, for over 30 years...because it has been VERY DIFFICULT to find people WANTING TO SERVE as an officer. That is the reason that some of the ASSDF Officers look much like the ones from the year before...it's because, in most cases, THEY ARE!!
Also, there may be times that due to other circumstances, where officers have to resign their position early, are replaced for various reasons, or they don't want to serve again...and so they can't serve another term. So, just because a position is currently filled, does NOT necessarily mean that the individual currently serving in that officers position will still want to, or be able to serve again in the coming year.
Sadly, it's as if no one else wants to ''step up to the plate'' to serve...and ''those who complain should be the FIRST IN LINE to run for an officers position!!''. In most organizations and hobbies, it's 1% of the people doing 99% of the work. While square dancing, round dancing, and line dancing, like other hobbies, should NEVER take priority over things like church, family, health, job, or "honey-do's", if you don't put much into a hobby, you better not expect to get much out of it.
In short, while there are other things in life besides square and round dancing...it is up to the dancer to keep the hobby alive...it can't do it on its own. But, if we can't get individuals to serve, then there's no need to keep the ASSDF in existence. In other words, ''if we can't get the workers, there's no need for the bees.''
Many of these dancers have had to cut down their dancing involvement...both on and off the square dance floor...if not quit the hobby altogether...because of health issues...including yours truly. It doesn't cost anything but a trip to meetings that are scheduled every so often...and the price of the pleasures of the dance are paid by those who take responsibility. So, please consider giving back to this wonderful hobby...if you'd like to volunteer to serve, please contact one of the Executive Board Officers noted below.
2020 ASSDF Officers
The following officers have assumed their duties as of January 1, 2020. Those noted with an asterisk * are members of the ASSDF Executive Board. The remainder are on the ASSDF Operations Committee, and are appointed by the ASSDF President. At a Virtual Meeting via the Zoom client, it was voted by the Board and Delegates for the current officers to serve through 2021.
* President: Ted and Tonia Hofmeister, 1126 Lawrence Lane, Benton, AR 72019 (501) 912-3015
* Vice President: Mike and Jeanne Winningham, 116 Liles Drive, Searcy, AR 72143 (805) 616-1528
* Secretary: Carroll and Terry Casey, 17 Red Bud Drive, Batesville, AR 72501 (870) 793-5713
* Treasurer: Rick and Sheila Gesing, 9760 Grant 7, Sheridan, AR 72150 (870) 942-2273
* Parliamentarian: POSITION CURRENTLY VACANT
* Modern Square Editor: Daryl Stout, P.O. Box 55655, Little Rock, AR 72215 (501) 690-8325
* Past President: Royce and Cathy Beesey, 4850 Highway 14 East, Newport, AR 72112-8539 (870) 503-2674
* Caller Advisor: Phil Moorehouse, 4660 Stagecoach Road, Redfield, AR 72132 (501) 960-4476
* Cuer Advisor: POSITION CURRENTLY VACANT
Historian: POSITION CURRENTLY VACANT
Insurance Chairman: Ann Grigsby, 7206 Springhill Road, Alexander, AR 72002 (501) 847-2624
USDA Delegate: POSITION CURRENTLY VACANT
Publicity/Advertising: Art Ritter, 1213 Oak Acres Drive, Bryant, AR 72019-6840 (501) 847-8268
Social Media/Web: Daryl Stout, P.O. Box 55655, Little Rock, AR 72215 (501) 690-8325
Circulation Chairman: Daryl Stout, P.O. Box 55655, Little Rock, AR 72215 (501) 690-8325
2021 Fall Festival Club: Guys 'N Dolls (Chairpersons: Rhonda Bailey (903) 276-3422 and Linda Carlile (903) 277-8681
2022 Fall Festival Club: TO BE ANNOUNCED