Our Current Board of Directors
Classes will be called (instructed) by Mike Shagina, a member who has been dancing with the club for 13 years.
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.