Club History

Savannah Sashayers

Printable History  I

September 2014

Savannah Sashayers

Our club was founded by Bill & Jearmie Woodbury in 1980. We took our beginning square dance lessons with the Tanglefoot Squares in St. Joe in 1978, every Friday evening for 20 weeks with 4 rotating callers, Norm Madison, Gary Mahnken, Clyde Wood & Larry Young.

We were persuaded into square dance lessons because my sister, a charter member of the Tanglefoots, told us she had paid for our lessons and we had to go or she would lose her money so reluctantly we went. Well, after the third lesson, we were hooked! After we graduated from lessons and began visiting other clubs we also joined the Fun Timers at Platte Wood.

Then it happened! We went to Cloverleaf Squares amateur night with Norm Madison. Bill was now determined to become a caller so he picked up the mic and started our club in Savannah. We started with 4 angels and 6 squares of eager-to-learn new people. It was fantastic! We did lots of visitations to nursing homes, schools, fairs, street dances, mall dances, civic arena and hosted a benefit dance for Camp Quality (a summer camp for kids with cancer) with 24 Kansas City and Area callers participating and a live auction that raised $6000 for Camp Quality.

Our club was started as an officer-run club, but after a few years the members no longer wanted that responsibility, so Bill and I took it over as a caller-run club. We had wonderful help from our members and everything was now on a voluntary basis.

Going to the Caller's monthly meetings in Kansas City and the annual weekends to Warrensburg State College, sponsored by Western Missouri Callers Association, dancing with hundreds of dancers who came from all over was a highlight.

Warrensburg was one of Bill's first experiences calling to a really large group of dancers and many remember when it was Bill's turn to call, he was so nervous that he fell off the stage but quickly recovered, finished his tip and told a joke.

Bill was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in July 1995 and after surgery and radiation and while undergoing chemo, he picked up the mic again and continued calling and teaching lessons up until his death in 1997. I know that Bill's optimistic attitude and his love of square dancing help him live that extra 2 years and 3 months.

Bill was a member of Western Missouri Callers Association, now MO-KAN and a member of Caller Lab.

My sister gave us a life-long gift when she pushed us into square dance lessons. Thanks to all of you for keeping square dancing going!

Submitted by Jeannie Woodbury

Updated 9/24/14