Part 3 - Through the 80's
After the Rainbeaus' first year of classes and events, there was increased determination and commitment to square dancing, in general, and to the club, in particular, to grow and share this wonderful activity with others. Through the winter and spring of 1985, the Rainbeau classes began to focus on the upcoming IAGSDC Convention #2, to be hosted by Denver's Mile High Squares, May 25-27. The goal of the orange class (started Oct. 15, 1984) was to graduate from the Mainstream lessons and become club members; the goal of the Founders/Red Class was to complete Plus lessons. Although planning for "Promenade Along the Rockies" was handled primarily by members of Mile High Squares, the Rainbeaus arranged to contract Pam McKeever (Albuquerque) to conduct workshops during the weekend. (Her specialty was a "Flying Squares" workshop.) Also, The Rainbeaus together with New York's Times Squares hosted a Saturday morning swim/dance party called by Pam. The Convention provided an inexpensive opportunity for our new dancers to experience the excitement of a convention for themselves.
May and June were months of high visibility for square dancing--
Timing was good for advertising our third beginning class (Yellow). The well-publicized convention did much to generate interest. Then, in June, the Rainbeaus danced on the back of a 20 foot flatbed truck in Denver's "Alive With Pride" Parade, allowing a large crowd to see how much fun we have dancing together. At the end of June, St. Paul's Methodist Church invited us to a potluck in the mountains where we got everyone out for some first-lesson dancing, in hopes that a few would follow-up and join our new class. The Yellow class began on Monday, June 17, l985, with Karl instructing.
Through the spring and summer, second term President, John Howard (Ann's brother), set as a top priority goal of his board, an effort to write formal by-laws. In July, after several meetings of the board, a document was completed and was presented to the general membership for ratification. The new by-laws split Secretary into positions of "Recording" and "Corresponding" in an attempt to spread out the responsibilities of the old overburdened position. "New Class Rep", still selected by each class, would no longer have a vote on the board.
In January 1986, we started our fourth beginning class (Green). In an attempt to off-load some of Karl's teaching responsibilities, the club asked plus dancer, B.J. Dyer to instruct this class. The goal was to have this class complete Mainstream level in time for the 3rd IAGSDC Convention, "Star Thru the Golden Gate", in San Francisco in August.
March 1986 was an exciting month for the club. The Yellow Class, our largest class to date, graduated from Mainstream lessons. On March 29, in celebration of our 2nd Anniversary, we held our first major live-caller dance (Eric Henerlou, San Francisco). The event included afternoon workshops, a catered dinner, and an evening dance at a hall rented for the occasion. In total, there were 70 people at the dance, including 8 from out of town.
The calendar for dancing with the club included class lessons, a "fun" dance every 2nd and 4th Saturday afternoon at the bars. All classes were invited, the dance level was relaxed, and everyone had an opportunity to get in extra practice. Often a dinner was planned for later in the evening. Don Durham (former caller from Albuquerque's Wilde Bunch), planned and led these "fun" dances.
Until Jan., 1986, Rainbeau dancers paid no membership dues. Dancers paid $1.50 per lesson, which covered all club expenses, which were minimal. We paid no rent for floor space, and we had no caller's fees (danced to tapes and records). In January, however, the board approved a procedure requiring dancers to pay a semi-annual $2.00 re-registration fee to maintain club membership. The intention was not to generate revenue, but to provide a meaningful club membership list/roster, which had not been in existence before then. This fee would change again as the club required more dollars for rental space and live callers and instructors. This board worked toward getting the newsletter, "The Rainbeau Connection", into regular production (the Corresponding Secretary was responsible for the newsletter). The boards also wanted to encourage the integration of the Rainbeaus with the Mile High Squares. Special activities were planned to include persons from both organizations, and, as before, some people continued to dance with both clubs. By working together, it was felt that the two groups would be better able to promote square dancing citywide.
Although dancing was the primary activity of the club, there were more and more additional non-dance activities that started during this time period. Camping, river rafting, ice-skating, and fall hikes were but a few. Joe Petersen invited all to his cabin for parties, and Bill and Ralph started hosting their annual New Year's Parties (night and day, by the way). In addition to the above, some other traditions have their roots from the eighties. Joe Petersen and friends put together the drag contingent of the club, the Rainbelles, with Joe serving as "Ma Belle". Joe also started the distribution of the Christmas Bells, to be given to each person at the Christmas Party, partly to make each person feel welcome and special at this wonderful time of the year. As can be seen, the membership of the Rainbeaus expresses a commitment that goes beyond the mechanics of dancing. Underlying the dancing is a network of caring and a sense of shared "family". Those who come to lessons soon realize that dancing provides more than an opportunity to learn call execution; it provides the valuable opportunity to relax and be with friends in a non-competitive environment.
RAINBEAUS CLASSES--1980's INSTRUCTOR
Founders Oct., 1983--April, 1984 Karl Jaeckel
Red May 1984--Jan., 1985 Karl Jaeckel
Orange Oct. 1984--May, 1985 Cornell Trouw
Yellow June 1985--March, 1986 Karl Jaeckel
Green Jan. 1986--Aug., 1986 B.J. Dyer
Blue Oct. 1986--June, 1987 B.J. Dyer
Purple Sept. 1987--June, 1988 B.J. Dyer
Crimson Jan. 1989--Aug., 1989 Karl Jaeckel
Tangerine Sept. 1989--June, 1990 Karl Jaeckel
Feb, 84--Feb., 86 (?) Oscar Wilde's and Foxhole
March 84--March 86 (?) Foxhole
March 86--March 88 The Event Center (16th and Gaylord)
April 88--Oct 88 Unitarian Church (14th and Lafayette)
Nov 88--Sept 90 Dicks/Buddies (21st and Champa)
Sept 90--Present Washington Street Community Center (Ohio and Washington)