Part 7 - From 2009 to 2014
The Rainbeaus have continued to have a strong and vibrant Club throughout the past 5 years. There have been some changes, as usual, and there have been many of the traditional events that have stayed in place. Membership has remained stable, and in some cases, has grown a bit. We have had some changes with our Club Callers, and some changes made at the upper levels of dancing (C-1). We continue to host a Fly-In every 2 years and are now considering hosting another IAGSDC International Convention here in Denver. There were some changes in the By-Laws of the Club and some new events that were introduced during this time period. As with any dynamic organization, we continue to evolve.
We graduated our 41st Mainstream Class (Gang Green) this year (April). We continue to offer classes at the Plus and Advanced level. Bear Miller has been our steadfast and devoted caller for 20 years now for Mainstream and Plus with a few Advanced classes thrown in. Don Furnish joined our Club Caller staff after Charlie Robertson moved to California. He taught Advanced lessons and began to call some C-1 dancing. The Club has tried to provide dancing at all levels from Mainstream through C-1. Bronc Wise has now become a Club Caller after Don had decided to cut way back on his calling responsibilities(2013). The Denver Half-Crazies (Challenge Club) have been providing some C-1 dancing and classes for a few years. The Rainbeaus have continued to have C-1 dancing, sometimes having one night for C-1 and one night for A. The Club has now gone back to sharing the levels on Thursday evenings. Bronc has started a new Advanced Class and does the calling for C-1. We have certainly been blessed with some wonderful Club Callers over the years, a large improvement over having to dance and learn to tapes and CDʼs. We look forward to many more years with our talented callers.
We regularly continued to host our fly-ins every other year (2009, 2011, 2013). The 2011 Fly-in was held up at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, and was very successful, enjoyable and beautiful. In addition, the Rainbeaus hosted an A & C West Weekend of dancing (Sock It To Me) here in Denver in the fall of 2012. All levels of dancers, not just A and C helped to organize and execute this very successful weekend of dancing. Our attendance of 190+ dancers was an increase of over 40% from A and C weekends in other cities, and it was probably the largest non-San Francisco A and C Weekend. So, we have had our hands full with organizing major events for our square dance community. There is now some discussion about hosting another IAGSDC Convention, certainly another major organizational challenge. The Club will be presented with materials related to the possibility of hosting and then will decide if and when that might be feasible. And, of course, we have had a large contingent of members attend the past 5 IAGSDC Conventions, with hope that we will send an even larger number of members to the next convention in Salt Lake City, in July, 2014. One year, we did a “Mob Dance” at the Convention to help market our Fly-in. It was great fun and quite successful. We also arranged open-houses at the conventions to market our Fly-ins. These seemed to be successful and allowed for some additional social time with dancers from other cities. We will probably continue to offer these at upcoming conventions in hopes of increasing attendance at our Fly-ins.
We have had to make some changes in how we do business because of the reduction in the number of Beer Busts that we do. This has reduced the amount of money that we have coming into the Club. And after all these years, the Washington Street Community Center has had to increase their rental fees for us this past year. The Board has decided to increase fees for events and hired callers for less calling time (Saturday only dances). We participated (volunteered) in the Warrior Dash in Copper Mountain for 3 years, and we helped out with one Beach-A-Palooza, all fund raising activities to help offset our reduction in Beer Busts. The Wrangler Bar has allowed us to serve at their premier Beer Bust on Pride Weekend, so that helps our Treasury a bit more. This is as a result of our great work and solid volunteer efforts at the Beer Busts. There were some minor changes to the By-Laws which separated the A and C rep to include reps for both levels, and typographical and grammatical changes were made to clean-up the document. We have had a change in the Club Website and a new Webmaster, Kevin Ford. More and more on-line communication and accounting have been added over the past few years. Thanks to Johnny Vilet, we now have a new sound system (Amp and Speakers), which was purchased with money he had willed to the Club. We also have a Club Computer to be used for dancing to tapes, which was donated by a member of the Club. The Board has continued to present more Pot Oʼ Gold Awards, recognizing those people that give so generously to the Club and its members. Two members of the current Board recently hosted a “Brainstorrming Session” for all Club members. The morning was spent discussing lots of ideas for increasing income and club membership. It was a very productive session and the Club will follow-up on several ideas presented at this session.
There have been many opportunities for the Club to demonstrate our activity to others in our community. We have had demo dances for PFLAG, for FUSD (Unitarian Church), in the Pride Parade, and at the Gay Rodeo. The Harmony Chorus asked us to join them for one of their concerts in 2012. Several of our members stepped up and spent the time and effort to learn and polish the dancing for that event. The same group also performed at the 2012 Gala, held here in Denver that year. We have also been active participants in the “on the field” square dancing at the Rockies games the past few years. On a sadder note, we have not had “Timmyʼs Closet Dance” for several years and we have not seem much, if any of the “Rainbelles” contingent of the club. Continued participation in the DARSDC Council, our annual “Open Houses” for the new classes remains in place, and the great fun at our graduation ceremonies continues. The annual New Yearʼs Day party and gift exchange has changed locales. Bill and Ralph have moved the Party to the WSCC this past year in anticipation of selling their home. What a wonderful gift to the Club this event has been for 30 years. The Club will now find other individuals to carry on this wonderful Club Tradition. All in all, the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus Square Dance Club continues on with their great traditions and with new ideas and new members. The future looks bright!
Congratulations on 30 years of Fun, Friendship, and Frolic!
Compiled by Joy Gosswiller