For four years square dancers have converged on Independence at Osage Trail Middle School. This year was the 66th Annual Heart of America Federation of Square Dance Clubs Festival and it was held on March 23 and 24.
National square dance caller Dee Dee Dougherty-Lottie was the featured caller. Dee Dee has been calling and teaching for more than 30 years. She lives in Minneapolis and spends winter months calling square dances in Arizona. At the festival, along with Dee Dee’s fun calling, she entertained the dancers with yodeling during some of her singing calls.
Also participating were area callers and cuers: Bill Reynolds, Al Block, Dan Robinson, Stan Brooke, Lynn Nelson, Connie Graham, Pam Young, Gene Miller, Bill Roles, Jim Wright, Kenny Bailey and Ray Trowbridge.
On Saturday evening, 12 Heart of America Federation Clubs participated in the Banner March: Trick Trackers, Live Wires, River City Squares, Santa Fe Trailers, Ramblers, Silver Dollar Squares, Docey Dandies, Harmony Dancers, Savannah Sashayers, Swingin’ Singles, Shooting Stars, and B-N-R Squares. The Banner March was lead by President Wayne and Dee Day, and Vice President Brad and Annette Davis. Joining the march was HASSDA, a singles square dance organization.
Following the banner march was a banner exchange with Kansas Square Dance Association. Heart of America Federation will attend the Kansas State Square Dance Festival in Salina, Kansas, on June 2, to retrieve the banner.
Trails West Battalion with ROTC members from William Chrisman and Van Horn high schools presented the colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem. The dancers then participated in a grand march and squared off to begin the evening of square dancing.
The cafeteria ladies kept the dancers going during the weekend serving great food, which was very much appreciated.
Heart of America Federation of Square Dance Clubs would like to have an hour of square dance lessons on Saturday afternoon next year, open to the public, for those interested in learning to square dance, if it can be arranged.