ASSDF and NSDC History
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ASSDF and NSDC History

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40
A Tribute To J.D. Kerr
A Tribute To Wild Bill Wilder
ASSDF Presidents 1951-1970
ASSDF Presidents 1971-1990
ASSDF Presidents 1991-2010
ASSDF Presidents 2011-2020/a>
ASSDF Presidents After 2020
National Conventions 1951-1970
National Conventions 1971-1990
National Conventions 1991-2010
National Conventions 2011-2020
National Conventions After 2020


To get to the previous page, press the BACK BUTTON on your web browser. To return to the original design ASSDF Homepage, click on the ASSDF logo at the top of the page. This page was last updated on Aug. 13, 2020.

This page lists the past presidents of the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation, which was formed in 1949. It also lists the cities which have hosted past, and are hosting upcoming National Square Dance Conventions.

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 was elected to serve as the first president in 1951. A list of past ASSDF presidents is located here. Several of these dancers have gone on to The Eternal Square, and a list of these callers, cuers, their taws (spouses), and dancers, is located here...remembering those who are GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.

The ASSDF was formed to promote square dancing in Arkansas by publishing The Modern Square, and later on, providing insurance to dancers. Income comes from the ASSDF Fall Festival dance, print 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 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 had cost between $700 and $800 per issue. By reducing that to QUARTERLY from monthly in late 2018, it has saved the organization a considerable amount of money. Then, by reducing the size of the publication, and going back to MONTHLY in late 2019, the organization saved money on postage and printing.

To obtain the e-Edition, send an email with your name and email address to the ASSDF Editors, which can be found here. You can still purchase the print subscription, but the e-Edition is FREE OF CHARGE. You will need an appropriate PDF viewer to view/print the file(s). Note that if you are on dial-up internet, or DSL instead of broadband internet, it will take some time to download the e-Edition files, which can be quite large in size.

The Arkansas Square Dance Convention, Incorporated (ASDCI) was formed in the 1950's by the late Nadine Higgins...and overseen by the late Clyde and Emma Redmon, and others over the years. Their goal was to bring the National Square Dance Convention to Little Rock...which was the case at the 63rd National Square Dance Convention in 2014. However, I understand that since that goal was met, the ASDCI was to be disbanded.

Unfortunately, the amount of clubs, as well as callers and cuers...never mind dancers...has declined over the Arkansas, and elsewhere.

At one time, there were over 1200 print subscriptions to The Modern Square, Arkansas' square and round dance publication. As of late 2019, there are less than 30. 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...with only two (2) clubs left in the Little Rock Area.

Even when the Single Square Dancers USA Labor Day Dance-A-Rama was in North Little Rock in 2007, and only about 800 attended, it was still difficult to find workers for that weekend. I have placed asterisks (*) beside the National Square Dance Conventions where I was in attendance (from 1986 to 2002).

Unfortunately, due to declining health for financial issues (never mind concerns of bedbugs at hotels), I rarely travel outside of central Arkansas anymore, for festivals or matter what the hobby.

While the ASSDF Fall Festival is held around the second weekend of each October, the National Square Dance Convention is held in the 4 days (Wednesday through Saturday), preceding the last full weekend of June each year, in a different U.S. City.

Links to upcoming National Square Dance Conventions, are located here...along with the PDF of National Squares Online, which has information on upcoming conventions. You will need an appropriate PDF viewer to view/print the file(s). As noted above, if you are on dial-up internet, or DSL instead of broadband internet, it will take some time to download the file(s), which can be quite large in size.

The page also has 3 poems I wrote (all with The Good Lord's Inspiration) for the 40th birthday of the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation...and two tribute poems to longtime Arkansas callers that have now gone on to The Eternal Square...J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr, and ''Wild Bill'' Wilder.

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Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40

When the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation turned 40, in 1989, I wrote a poem in celebration for it.

''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!!

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A Tribute To J.D. Kerr

One of the best loved callers in Arkansas square dancing was a caller named J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr.

He started calling in 1960, and called until health issues forced him to retire in the late 1980's. While he was calling, he taught several others across Arkansas to call as well. Since I was privileged to dance to J.D., I wrote a poem in tribute to him, and what he meant to square dance calling in Arkansas. Sadly, his wife, Billie, passed away several years ago...and J.D. died a few years later.

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.

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A Tribute To Wild Bill Wilder

Another one of the best loved callers in Arkansas square dancing was a caller named ''Wild Bill'' Wilder.

He started calling around the same time that J.D. ''Pappy'' Kerr began calling. Health issues in late 2013 forced him to scale back his calling. Since I was also privileged to dance to Bill, I wrote a poem in tribute to him as well, and what he meant to square dance calling in Arkansas. Sadly, his wife, Barbara, passed away only a few months before Bill did.

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.

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ASSDF Presidents 1951-1970

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 William and Jeanette Lisko

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ASSDF Presidents 1971-1990

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

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ASSDF Presidents 1991-2010

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 Wayne And Lura Wade
2010 Wayne And Lura Wade

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ASSDF Presidents 2011-2020

2011 Brenda Griffin
2012 Art and Lou Watada
2013 Ted and Phyllis Keeney
2014 Larry And Faye Echlin
2015 Brenda Griffin
2016 Scott And Angela Blackshear
2017 Scott And Angela Blackshear
2018 Royce And Cathy Beesley
2019 Royce And Cathy Beesley
2020 Ted and Tonia Hofmeister

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ASSDF Presidents After 2020

2021 To Be Announced After the 2020 ASSDF Fall Festival
2022 To Be Announced After the 2021 ASSDF Fall Festival
2023 To Be Announced After the 2022 ASSDF Fall Festival
2024 To Be Announced After the 2023 ASSDF Fall Festival
2025 To Be Announced After the 2024 ASSDF Fall Festival
2026 To Be Announced After the 2025 ASSDF Fall Festival
2027 To Be Announced After the 2026 ASSDF Fall Festival
2028 To Be Announced After the 2027 ASSDF Fall Festival
2029 To Be Announced After the 2028 ASSDF Fall Festival
2030 To Be Announced After the 2029 ASSDF Fall Festival

National Square Dance Conventions 1952-1970

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

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National Square Dance Conventions 1971-1990

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, Tennesee *

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National Square Dance Conventions 1991-2010

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

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National Square Dance Conventions 2010-2020

2011 Detroit, Michigan
2012 Spokane, Washington
2013 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2014 Little Rock, Arkansas (even though it was in my hometown, medical issues precluded my attendance)
2015 Springfield, Massachusetts
2016 Des Moines, Iowa
2017 Cincinatti, Ohio
2018 Kansas City, Missouri
2019 Atlanta, Georgia
2020 Spokane, Washington (CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

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National Square Dance Conventions after 2020

2021 Jackson, Mississippi
2022 Evansville, Indiana
2023 Mobile, Alabama
2024 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2025 To Be Announced at the 2021 National Square Dance Convention
2026 To Be Announced at the 2022 National Square Dance Convention
2027 To Be Announced at the 2023 National Square Dance Convention
2028 To Be Announced at the 2024 National Square Dance Convention
2029 To Be Announced at the 2025 National Square Dance Convention
2030 To Be Announced at the 2026 National Square Dance Convention

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