We felt compelled to write to you after reading your feature (“Square dancing group angling for growth“) about our beloved square dance club. We have been dancing with the Red Ribbons for well over 40 years now and still going strong. In fact, our youngest daughter was born soon after one of our Saturday night dances! We have served our Club as Treasurer, Vice President, Associated Square Dancers Delegate, President, and District Director of South Bay/Westside A Sq. D.

At our 50th Anniversary Dance, we received a commendation from Mayor Feinstein. At the 50th Anniversary Celebration of dancing at Marine Park, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, & Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a commendation. As mentioned for our recent 65th Anniversary, Mayor Vazquez sent a commendation which Phil Brock so graciously presented on the Mayor’s behalf. Phil even did a “Brock on your Block” segment at our 65th which you can check out on YouTube.

Did you know that square dancing is the National Folk Dance of the U. S.? Square Dancers attend State Conventions and the National Conventions are held yearly all over the United States. We’ve even square danced on The Queen Mary!

Medical professionals recommend square dancing for the benefit of mental and physical therapy for all ages. We are the oldest club that is still dancing in the State of California. In addition to square and line dancing at our club, we also participate in round dancing. Our square dance classes include basic, mainstream, and plus level instruction. Even though our club sponsors one and sometimes two dances a month, there is an opportunity to dance weekly at the Tuesday night classes. Upon graduation, a new dancer can participate anywhere in the world because square dancing is always taught and called in English. We have made many wonderful friends through this stimulating and fun activity. We’ve danced with very young children and with young-at-heart 100 year olds.

We have a marvelous teacher/caller, Dave Donaldson, who sounds like Elvis Presley as he performs the singing calls, and we have other guest callers who all bring their unique talents to our dances. There are opportunities to learn the Advanced levels and even Challenge levels of square dancing for those inclined to even further their skills.

Besides the two westside clubs mentioned in the story, the Red Ribbons visit other clubs in the South Bay and in the Valley areas. There are many opportunities to dance somewhere on a weekly basis. If square dancing is a “dying art”, we surely aren’t aware of it. You can even see us square dancing on the late night Swim Channel of “The Eric Andre” show if you catch a rerun segment.

Ben and Doris Stegall
Santa Monica