The purpose of Heritage Dancers is to promote awareness in the public of the historic and artistic value of square dancing, the folk dance which is truly American in origin. Further, to demonstrate through educational exhibitions and entertainment the unique place which square dancing holds in our national culture.
The American public is generally aware and quite well-informed of the variations in ethnic folk arts throughout the world. This is due in part to abundant travel opportunities, education and the "melting pot" nature of our culture. However, the majority of our citizens are regrettably unaware of the richness of the art forms which have originated here and are unique to our nation. American Square Dancing is a case in point. This, like the people who have contributed to its' development, is a product of the cultural melting pot which makes our country great. Contributions have been made by English, French, Scottish and Irish settlers; then later on by the Spanish, Western pioneers, cowboys, miners and ranchers. More recent times have seen significant contributions by Henry Ford and Lloyd Shaw, to say nothing of the many innovative callers. Heritage Dancers would like not only to preserve these dance traditions of the past, but to educate the American public as well, young and old alike. We Americans have a unique contribution to make to the world-wide cultural scene, but need first to be informed and proud of that contribution. Toward that end, Heritage Dancers was organized in 1986 by its' founder and director, Ruth Walker, to bring this cultural heritage to the attention of the American public by whatever means possible. Extensive research has resulted in a series of dances performed in authentic period costuming. The ever-expanding repertoire currently includes ten different dances dating from the Colonial period up to modem times.
We live in an age of change, in a country where change is rapid. Yet amid all the rapid change there are some things which remain the same. Since the time of the earliest settlers, dancing has been a primary socializing element in this country. As favorite dances were handed down from one generation to the next, each adding their own variations, certain common threads remained constant. In spite of regional differences, clothing constraints and varying tastes, these common threads formed the fabric from which today's modem American square dancing was created over the past 300 years. The present has emerged from the past. American square dancing is no longer confined to the borders of our states. It is now worldwide, with large clubs in many foreign countries. It is interesting to note that square dance calls are always in English in these countries, regardless of the national language. Dance historians generally agree that the dance that we know today as square dancing resulted from a blend of European dances brought to this country by the earliest immigrants. The Heritage Dancers bring this history alive with their performance of these historical dances.
Heritage Dancers is an affiliate club in the San Diego Square Dance association. The purpose of California Heritage Dancers is to promote a historical view of square dancing. Square dancing has its roots in American folk dance and is truly American in origin. The California Heritage Dancers demonstrate through exhibitions the unique place which square dancing holds in our national culture.
There are ten dances in the California Heritage Dancers repertoire, ranging from the Colonial 1700's to modern square dance. All the dancers are performed in their respective historical costumes and traditions for the period. Rehearsals are held weekly on Wednesday in Poway and Sunday in Balboa Park, San Diego, through out the year. The rehearsals are used to teach one, or many historical dances. Come, and learn one, or all the dances. Try it, you might just like it.
|Anniversary Dance||April 4, 2015||Balboa Park Club, San Diego|
|CA State Square Dance Convention||April 17-19, 2015||San Diego, CA|
|Utah State Festival||May 1-2, 2015||Midway, Utah|
|Back Country Spring Fling||May 2, 2015||San Diego, CA|
|64th National Square Dance Convention||June 25-28, 2015||Springfield, Massachusetts|
|4th of July||Friday, July 4, 2015||Old Poway Park, Poway, CA|
|US West Convention||August 13-15, 2015||Helena, Montana|
|Fiesta de la Caudrilla||
Sat, November 7, 2015
|Balboa Park, San Diego, CA|
|Christmas in the Park||Saturday, December 12, 2015||Old Poway Park, Poway, CA|
Sample pictures of costumes through the square dance history:
Lloyd Shaw Era (1940) Southwestern Dance (1800)
Quadrille (1860) Farmer Dance (1900)
Miner (1840) Henry Ford (1920)
Founding Director & Teacher
Jim and Pam Kidwell