By Johnny Martin, Reporter
Have you ever wanted to learn how to square dance but thought to yourself it’s a thing of the past? Well, Clovis Wood Stackers Square Dance Club has you covered.
“Swing your partner” and “promenade” are two of the more common “calls” you hear on a square dancing floor, but where could you go to hear those calls?
Founded just four years ago, Clovis Wood Stackers was created to keep the square dance alive.
“I promise it’s not the old overalls and straw hats kind of thing, it’s a lot of fun,” founder Kay Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and her husband knew that if they wanted to keep square dancing going they were going to have to start their own club. With other local clubs fading, the hope to keep a club like that up and going was no easy task.
“My husband and I are very passionate about keeping the activity going and encouraging new people to come on board,” Gonzalez said. “But unfortunately with square dancing a lot of the dancers are getting old so unless we have new dancers to come in, new people to join us, it is going to fade away.”
Being the only square dance club in the Fresno/Clovis area, Gonzalez thought that they’d be able to get more people into their dance club to learn square dancing. However, getting people to visit and continue going back to the club has been the toughest challenge, but she and her husband just hope that their passion for square dancing could grow into the community and bring new dancers in.
“The main reason we started the club is because my husband wanted to be a caller and he didn’t really have a place to do that,” Gonzalez said. “But we also wanted to teach people so we started our own club and it’s been growing over the last four years and we’re doing OK.”
Every year Wood Stackers holds fundraising events for a good cause to try to pull some people into their club. For example, last year all their money raised on one particular night was donated to cancer awareness and the City of Hope. This year, all their funds raised on May 15 were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“The third Monday of every month is considered “Party Night,” where we invite other clubs to come visit,” Gonzalez said. “There are clubs in Hanford, Oakhurst, and Mariposa that are all part of the same association and another in Visalia, so we just go and visit each other on these party nights and have a good time.”
Being a non-profit organization, Wood Stackers is always looking for ways and doing things to help out the community and to help out other organizations. Charging a nightly admission is just a donation that they use to help pay for their dance hall, but also to raise for the various organizations they choose to help.
“We’re very much interested in doing things to help out the community and to help out other organizations,” Gonzalez said. “We just started a brand new square dance class so if anybody wants to learn, come on Monday because it’s open for the new class so the entire public is encouraged to come and see what we do.”
For more information about Wood Stackers and when their next class is or even about square dancing, visit their website at vasdcalifornia.org/clubs/wood-stackers/.
“One of the calls in square dancing is called ‘stack the wood’ which just means to hug somebody,” Gonzalez said. “We’re very friendly and welcoming and a huggy group so come on down and join us to experience the fun.”