Our Current Board of Directors
Johnny Jones began calling in 1970 and in 1979 went fulltime as a caller. He has called in 47 of the 50 states including the Alaska State convention in Fairbanks.
He has been featured on many large weekend festivals such as the Delaware Valley Festival in Philadelphia and the Baltimore festival where the attendance exceeded 200 squares.
In 1981, Johnny was instrumental in forming a callers quartet called “The Red Boot Boys.” The boys were together for 23 years doing more than 150 dance/concerts per year.
One of their more memorable weekends was the Greater Atlanta Extravaganza in the mid 80′s where more than 1600 dancers were in attendance and they brought in The Red Boot Band for the Saturday night concert.
Johnny recorded for Red Boot Records with many hits to his credit and recorded 14 albums with the “Boys.” Johnny & his wife Penny reside in Alpharetta, GA.
A couple of newcomers to Atlanta, life-partners Ken and David learned to dance with the South Florida Mustangs in the early 90s. It was surprising to them that there wasn’t a gay square dance club in the Atlanta area. Sure, there were plenty of square dance clubs listed with the Metro Atlanta Square Dancers Association, but none that were dancing “all position” at all levels or the high energy dance style typical of gay square dance clubs around the country.
Looking to keep from getting rusty, Ken visited the Chesapeake Squares in Baltimore, Maryland in the summer of 1999. It was so much fun, and the club in Baltimore was so encouraging, that he returned to Atlanta determined to get a club started for the gay and lesbian community.
With lots of help and encouragement from the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, “southern sister clubs” like the Rocket City Rainbow Squares, the Raleighwood Squares and the Magic City Diamonds, and the local Atlanta club, the Calico Swingers, the Hotlanta Squares began.
In February 2001, Ken and David pushed back the furniture in their living room, used taped lessons on loan from the Rocket City Rainbows, the assistance of an occasional volunteer caller (Thanks Neil!) and little by little, were joined by a group of newcomers and experienced square dancers that became the Hotlanta Squares.
In April 2001, at the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC®) National Convention in Vancouver, BC, the Hotlanta Square’s petition for membership was accepted by the Executive Board.
In July 2001, they held their first open house and as the beginner group that started in February moved on to more advanced lessons, a new beginner group was formed. Space was rented from the First Metropolitan Community Church and J.R. St. Jean took hold of the microphone and began lessons in earnest.