Kettle Squares has been active in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin continually since 1975.
The purpose of our club is to encourage and promote fun and good friendship thru square dancing.
The Kettle Squares was organized in 1975 by a group of teachers. Dorothy Willers, a gym teacher, and Wayne Havey, a Sheboygan Falls High School teacher/later principal, wanted to form a club of square dancers. Starting out with an introductory set of lessons at the Sheboygan Falls Elementary & Middle School gym, with caller Ralph Everson of Two Rivers as the instructor, a good share of the participants were teachers. As the 11 couples became more interested, they formed the Kettle Squares.
In square dance clubs, unless a member is single, offices are held by couples. Therefore, Don and Janet Klemme were elected the first presidents. Charter members of the club include Wayne and Evelyn Havey, Roland and Veronica Gilles, Don and Mary Ann Otte, Gary (and the late Judy) Henderson, Klemmes, and Tom and Pat Pibal.
The club grew to include members from virtually every walk of life and with it grew each dancer's circle of friends and acquaintances. And with that in mind, square dancing lends itself ideally to a celebration: the dancers are a party waiting to happen. Over the years that the club has been in existence, the Kettle Squares have danced at countless anniversaries, weddings and birthdays. The club has attended sad occasions as well, such as funerals, where of course, nobody danced.
The club has danced in several halls: the Croatian Hall in Sheboygan, Lyceum Hall in Plymouth, the Plymouth YMCA, Fairview Elementary School in Plymouth, and presently at the cafeteria in Plymouth High School with occasional dances at Parkview Elementary School, Plymouth.
The club keeps active in the community with a float in parades, and doing exhibition dancing at occassional special events. One of the former members, Frieda Heckmann, lead our group for a number of years at nursing homes in the Sheboygan County area. We danced an exhibition from records, and she did simple calls for square dancing with the residents in wheelchairs. The residents loved getting pushed around in a square by dancers and volunteers.
Various aspects of square dancing have changed in recent years and can be seen at our clubs dances. Women's attire now includes longer, more comfortable prairie skirts, as well as occasionally slacks. The music is a mix of country, rock n roll and contemporary songs that are upbeat and easy to dance to. Also square dancing is seen as a form of aerobic exercise that can be enjoyed by young and old, married or single.
What hasn't changed is the fun reflected in smiles and laughter throughout an evening of dancing.
It's such a great activity! "We have one of the best-kept secrets in the country", states square dancer Ron Mueller of Sheboygan. If we can get people to try it once, they find out how much fun it is! He cited several misconceptions:Dancers perform in exhibitions as a main activity or for competition. Actually it is done sporadically, on a volunteer basis. (There is no competition.)Square dancing requires expensive clothes. False. Comfortable shoes, a long-sleeved shirt for men, and a comfortable full or prairie skirt or slacks for the ladies will suffice.Dancing is only done to country western music. Again false. Pop, polkas, show tunes, spirituals, as well as many familiar songs are sung as square dance music.Admission is expensive. Not so, the admission per person per night is less than half the price of a movie. Refreshments are potluck.It will be like classes in school. The difference is a live caller, spontaneous hash, and a variety of music.
Square Dance Association of Wisconsin
Legacy ~ a nonprofit international group of trustees promoting, overlooking and maintaining square dancing. It was instrumental in establishing English as the universal square dance language.
National Square Dance Campers Association Inc. (NSDCA) ~ to promote and encourage the combination of modern western style square dancing and camping. Local chapters exist in Wisconsin and around the country.
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