Three Texan Gay Square Dance Clubs hosted the Fly In “Shoot the Lone Star” March 4-6 2016 in Austin Texas. The Austin Club, Lone Star Lambdas, provided the organizing drive, with San Antonio’s Alamo City Wranglers, and the recently-revived 2 year old Pegasus Squares of Dallas-Fort Worth in supporting roles. This newest club has about 30 members, reports resurrector Alan Josephson, who breathed new life into the Club after a 12-year hiatus.
The dance space was impressive. It was held at Trinity Methodist Church, which boasts a huge Sanctuary with bold, colorful, abstract stained glass windows, and several other large public rooms where Mainstream through C1 Dancing took place. The floors were all of polished concrete which wasn’t kind to a dancer’s instep or ankles. But when dancing in the Sanctuary, and the sun shone brightly, and when the colors streamed across the floor, it was kaliedoscopic. All rooms had removable seating, including the Sanctuary, so that a lot of breaking down and setting up was required to accommodate both the needs of the Church and the Fly In but everyone pitched in.
Callers Sandie Bryant, Vic Ceder and Michael Levy kept us hopping with their own unique choreography and for the most part contemporary music (though there were one or two “hee-haw” selections noted). The pacing by Bryant and Ceder was consistently very fast, and challenging especially at A2 and C1. So challenging in fact that at times, when all the squares were compromised repeatedly by the same call from a non-standard position or obtuse format, without workshopping to a resolution, at least two dancers I know left the floor for the rest of the hour… (In Phantom Tally Ho!?). For the most part though it was a satisfying dance experience.
Texan cuisine was on the menu for Friday night, Saturday breakfast and BBQ Dinner, with celebratory cakes on Sunday afternoon. There was a sold-out brunch on Sunday at a local Inn.
Baskets consisted of Fly In Registrations with substantial door prizes and two 50/50 raffles. I was lucky enough to win a registration with a $10 investment to the Independence Squares 2017 SILVER BELLES & BEAUS 25th Fly-In Anniversary (with Sandie Bryant, Chris Phillips, and Jet Roberts)! What a coup!. Other Fly In winners you might know who were former Times Squares’ members are: Greg C. – now of Hotlanta Squares — won San Diego Fly In 2016, Joe C. – now of Lone Star Lamdas – won Toronto IAGSDC Convention 2016. Independence Squares’ Ed G. gleaned The Great Chicago Crossfire 2016 now held on Columbus Day Weekend.
Austin N. And Jorge of Lone Star Lambdas interviewed me and many others for the IAGSDC-sponsored, professionally-filmed documentary about gay square dancing, inspired by the memorial Quilt. It was tough sitting under those hot bright lights, targeted by two cameras from different angles, and asked a series of questions about square dancing that I should know; but afterwards thought – I should have said THAT!.
Talking with some of the others in the hot seat, it seems that consistently mentioned topics included ‘blurred lines’ between the Gay and Straight Square Dance Communities and one particularly notable National Caller. In fact one straight couple, attractive, delightful people and great dancers, confided that they don’t even bother going to the National Convention anymore, the gay events are so much more enjoyable.
But as with all Fly Ins and IAGSDC Conventions, it’s the friends we make and have made, and being re-united with our extended square dance family that makes us do it. It’s the camaraderie, socializing, and the feeling that we all really never left the last dance. It’s the generosity and pride the host club takes in having you in their City. ‘Thank YOU!’s and hugs with ABQ, ATL, CA, CHI, FLA, PA, TO, and TX friends were heartfelt and returned. Wally R. And I were the only TS members in attendance. On Sunday as things were wrapping up, the same question on all our lips – with the final Yellow Rock of the weekend – was: “Where will I see you next? Will you be in ______…..?”
Do you ever ask those things with your family? See you there!