The Square and Folk Dance Heritage Center of Washington
The Heritage Center is a Museum & Research Center. It maintains historical records and memorabilia for the Square & Folk Dance Federation of Washington State gathered by members of the State Federation since its beginning in 1948. It is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the history of Square Dance and five related cultural dance forms; These are Round, Contra, Line, Heritage and Clogging.
The Heritage Center was started in September 1979 with a portion of the profits from the 1979 State Festival presented by its host Mt. Baker Council. Other funding sources since then have been Memorial donations, Cash contributions from individuals, Festivals and Federation funds.
Items have been donated by groups and Individuals throughout its existence.
Finding a location for Heritage Center required the services of many dedicated people. For three years, the Federation Past President's organization looked for a centrally located space in museums, colleges, square dance halls, and even a trailer to house and display the historical items.
The Shuffler's Shanty in Kennewick was ultimately chosen because it was dancer owned and managed. Even then the existence of the center took the dedicated efforts of many organizations and persons who have devoted considerable time, labor, expertise and financial considerations to its being.
Due to space limitations, the Heritage Center was moved in 2004 to its current location at the North Spokane Dance Center in Spokane, WA.
The Heritage Center is governed by a board of trustees, four "At large Dancers" and four "Past State Federation presidents", along with representatives from each of the current Federation Councils.
It is a place for you, the dancer to appreciate, reminisce and recall the delights of our National Pastime.
The Doll Case
A major highlight of the Heritage Center is the Doll case. The dolls are dressed in outfits representing each year of the Washington State Festival. These tiny clothes were lovingly made by Beth Barnes. Her sewing expertise is evident in the attention to detail. Even if you did not attend the festival you may recognize the outfits as ones worn my many dancers around the state.
Two of the dolls are not with their friends. They are the dolls from the 2012 National Square Dance Convention in Spokane. They are in the 2012 case with other memorabilia from that epic event. The lady's skirt was designed by Beth Barnes. This simple but striking design was an attention getter when we were advertising at the prior conventions. The men’s shirt was designed by Don Pruitt. He wanted something that went with the lady's skirt and was different than other western shirts.
Heritage Center Dangles
The sign in desk is the first thing as you go in. Please sign the book so we have a count of the number of visitors. Include your address and be sent a Heritage Center Dangle for your collection. This is a new addition to the Heritage Center.
One of the things you should check out in the Heritage Center is the rack with the badges and dangles.
It seems that square dancers can make an event out of any occasion.
They have a dangle for any silly thing you can think of.
Has anybody 'Mummified the Caller' recently?
The rules, if you can call them that, are simple.
Right after the caller starts you rush up on stage and start turning him into a mummy with toilet paper. It works best if you have three people and two rolls of TP.
(Voice of Experience) Just pass the rolls around the caller as fast as you can.
You can’t cover his eyes or get between him and the dancers. He has to see the action. On his part he has to keep calling no matter what you are doing.
The dancers who do the job get the dangle.
WARNING - Callers will get even,
someday, somehow, somewhere.
The dangle display can give you all sorts of ideas for dance themes and silly stunts. Or it may give you an idea for a new craziness. There really aren’t any 'rules' except for the ones you decide on.
You can get a dangle for dancing in an odd place. Elevators - freight elevators work best. Use a recording of the caller. Rest rooms - the echos off the tile walls make it sound weird. Caves have a lot of echos also. Dancing on TV earns you the right to wear a 'Star' dangle.
Tiger Mountian is the place to order dangles. Rod Alex has a lot of designs and if you have a new idea he will make a new design. He and his wife are dancers so you don’t have to explain why you need a dangle or exactly what you are up to. 206-271-5639 or