Dan & Jean Wheeler
Santa Fe Trailers
Square Dancers of the Year
Dan and Jean first took lesson as a young couple in Independence, Missouri in 1965. But then as life happens and children come along they didn't dance for a number of years. In 1993 a friend called them up and got them back in to square dancing. Not only did they begin again at the mainstream level, but within two years went on to plus and then to the advanced level of dancing. They held offices in their local clubs, scheduling visits and writing monthly newsletters.
Dan and Jean loved to dance and travel, and so began their adventure, dancing to many clubs outside the local Kansas City area and broadening their horizon of clubs and callers. They were instrumental in convincing the clubs they belonged to that they should join the Missouri Federation as well as the Heart of America Federation. Dan and Jean have received the Vigorous Visitor award from their local club all but one year since 1994. They have attended most Missouri State Festivals since 1995, and most National Square Dance Conventions since 1995. They managed the website for the 57th National in Wichita, Kansas. They were treasurer for the 50th Missouri State Festival committee and are current treasurer for the Northwest District and club delegate.
Dan was recently "officially" named the webmaster for the Missouri Federation, which he has done for a number of years without asking for any recognition.
In 1996 Dan began his journey into the Internet, realizing that this new way of making square dancing information available was cheap, easy to update and
easy to keep current. So Dan set up the first square dance website. The original plan was to list clubs in Missouri with their dance days, dance locations and contact information. Dan used all "free" websites at that time. But that soon got completely out of control and has developed into the websites we have now. For many years the Internet and square dancing have been coming more and more together. Dancers traveling through our state look on the web to see if there is a dance close to where they are traveling. Even dancers within our state check the web when away from home and without a Doin's or Fed Facts to see about dance information. There are club web pages, directories, flyers, forms, and much more on the web due to Dan's knowledgeable skills.
Dan works with all the districts and clubs to try to make all the information on the Missouri website as accurate as possible. Dan does all the web and internet postings without any payment. He posts anything that is given to him, related to square dancing. Why? Because he loves to do it! Dan owns two domains and does not charge for his time and talents.
Jean will tell you that Dan spends uncounted hours, almost daily, posting square dance information, pictures, schedules, and keeping website information up-to-date. It's like a regular job, with no pay. Dan does "work" for the Missouri Federation, the Heart of America Federation, the St. Louis Metro, Northeast Kansas, 5 caller associations, and about a dozen personal caller websites. All you have to do is ask, and it's probably already there!
In our opinion, Dan and Jean Wheeler are truly deserving of the award of Square Dancer of the Year.