Part 6 - From 2004 to 2009
The Club was growing and remained vital and financially stable. We had celebrated our 20th Anniversary in February, 2004, and we were looking forward to the coming events of the next few years, especially the 2005 Fly-In, “Colorado Mountain Mix”, and the 24th Annual IAGSDC Convention, “Red Rocks and Purple Mountains”, in 2007. We knew that the planning and execution of these events would involve enormous amounts of time and energy, but we were excited to be hosting them.
Mainstream classes were being offered regularly, along with...
... some Plus classes. Dancers were requesting classes at the higher levels (A and C-1). Bear and Charlie, our club callers, were able to teach the A level classes, and the C-1 classes were taught with tapes and CD’s, facilitated by Bob Southerland and Paul Rothe. Charlie taught his first C-1 class in 2007 and began another class in the fall of 2008. The majority of club members were now dancing at the A level or above.
In the meantime, Mainstream classes were held every year beginning in the fall and finishing in the spring. There was a period of time (July 02-Jan. 05) where we experimented with having 3 cycles of classes during the year. The classes started about 3 months apart. After 2004, the Board decided to go back to one class a year. It was very difficult to recruit people 3 times a year, and the added expenses were a problem, too. To date, the Rainbeaus have graduated 35 Mainstream classes. As of March 2009, the Rainbeaus had graduated 35 Mainstream classes.
There was also a need for more floor time for C-level dancers. There had only been one caller in the Denver area who called C-1 and above (Bud Bennett), and he was having health problems. It was often difficult to attend his sessions because of schedule conflicts. There were a number of “straight” dancers in the area dancing at the C level, with not many opportunities to hone their skills. Some of these dancers got together to form tape groups. One of these groups danced at the home of one of the members of the Rainbeaus. As the size of this group expanded due to more Rainbeaus graduating from C-1 classes, the group was able to offer C-2 lessons to tapes and occasionally scheduled a caller from out of town. After much discussion, this group of dancers decided to form a separate club for C-level dancers in the Metro Area. They called themselves “Denver Half Crazies”. They now hire and regularly schedule callers from across the country and Canada to call for a weekend of dancing. Often, these callers are booked for other clubs in the area (including the Rainbeaus) to fill out their weekend schedules. They conducted a C3a class this past year, and continue to offer dancing to CD’s and computer files at the C-1, C-2, and C3a levels on a regular basis. The Rainbeaus have worked closely with the “Half Crazies” over the past few years, and many of our members are also members of the “Half Crazies”. The association allows all of the dancers more opportunity for floor time and does not impose on the Rainbeaus schedule. We hope this friendship and association continues for the years to come.
All of our usual activities continued on in wonderful fashion. All enjoyed Pridefests, Anniversary Celebrations, New Years Day Parties, regular Party Dances, Benefit Dances, Picnics, Beer Busts, and a host of other additional social and recreational events. We continued to build new friendships and cherish the old ones. We shared our lives with each other; offered support when needed, and gave of our time and energies.
Our 2005 Fly-In, “Colorado Mountain Mix”, was a huge success, with record attendance from all across the gay square dance world. Anne Uebelacker and Todd Fellegy, along with Bear Miller and Charlie Robertson, presented us with hours of fun and dancing for the whole weekend. We had many memories to take with us after that event.
The big highlight of the last 5 years was hosting the 24th IAGSDC Convention, May 25-28, 2007. “Red Rocks and Purple Mountains” will be remembered for years to come, not just by our own members, but also by all who attended. We were blessed with higher attendance figures than the prior few years. The weather, after an “iffy” start, cooperated wonderfully. The Fun Badge Tour included a magnificent first-ever stop inside a major sports venue (Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium). Everyone was astounded and amazed! The pre and post convention tours were well attended and enjoyed by all who participated. The hours and days and months and years of planning really paid off. Most all of our members played a key role in making this event so very successful. The convention committee, whose devotion and efforts were above and beyond the call of duty, presented an event that will live in our hearts and minds for many years to come.
We are looking forward to our next Fly-In, “Chase Right to the Silver”, this coming September. With Anne Uebelacker, Deborah Carroll-Jones, Bear Miller, and Charlie Robertson doing the calling, we should have another memorable event. The theme of the event is in keeping with our club’s 25th Anniversary and we will be inviting dancers from across North America to come and join us for another great weekend of dancing, prancing, eating, and playing.
We have just celebrated our Club’s 25th Anniversary, “Silver Belles and Silver Beaus”, with a very special weekend of dancing. Todd Fellegy provided the calling. The Golden Rainbeaus presented this wonderfully exciting weekend at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, with delicious food, great camaraderie, and a program with many awards and special recognitions. Among our guests were a few Club founders, guests from Albuquerque and California. It was another memorable time for our club.
We hope that the Club can continue to be an important part of its members’ lives, and that it will continue to grow and thrive. With your help and support, we can look forward to another 25 years of wonderful events packed with lots of memories. Happy 25th Anniversary!