National Square Dance Convention®

Home of the World's Largest Square Dance Event


History of the

National Square Dance Conventions®


9th National Square Dance Convention®
Des Moines, Iowa
June 9 - 11, 1960

44rd National Square Dance Convention®
Birmingham, Alabama
June 21 - 25, 1995

Beth and Jerry Curler

John and Dimple Williford
Iowa’s Bid Committee was awarded the 9th National convention when presented in Louisville at the 1958 convention. Nationwide interest in square dancing and its associated functions had increased incredibly in the past years and members of the Executive Committee were “off and running” with the combined successes of the first seven conventions in various parts of the United States. Many dancers seemed interested in taking the convention to the other parts of the United States to afford dancers all over the opportunity to meet other dancers, learn more styles, and dance with the multi-talented callers of the world!


Jerry and Beth Curler were selected by their fellow dancers in the Des Moines area to chair this spectacular event.


The 9th convention was held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in downtown Des Moines, and the printed program pictured all committee couples, as well as the National Executive Committee gentlemen (NEC ladies had not yet been recognized at that time). These dedicated National Executive Committee men and wives did meet annually with future convention committees to aid in the planning and producing each year’s convention, and this policy has continued throughout the 45 annual conventions chronicled herein.


Statistics note 12,328 dancers registered for this convention, which was the largest attendance to
date indicating square dancing was on the rise! The next year’s attendance was even greater, and present day attendance figures are sometimes astounding.



Birmingham, Alabama was selected for the second time by the National Executive Committee (NEC) in June 1991 to be the location for another  National Square Dance Convention. This convention was the 44th and was held in June 1995. The first time Birmingham had been selected was in 1985 when Alabama dancers hosted the 34th National Square Dance Convention.


The Bid Committee was in place by August 1990, and John and Dimple Williford were selected as the proposed General Chairman.


The 44th National Square Dance Convention was fortunate in being able to work with the same elected and appointed officials who were involved in 1985. They were excited about having another convention return to Birmingham and would commit their support in a similar fashion as had been done for the 34th National Square Dance Convention. 


The theme “Sweet Home Alabama” was used during the bid process and continued after the award of the bid. The stationery was designed by Dimple Williford using the theme.


The Special Event, Lee Greenwood Concert, was held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center with approximately 2900 in attendance. 


History can be defined as systematic recollection of past events and there is no way to include  in a brief presentation all of the participants nor the activities which occurred. The 44th National Square Dance Convention® was a cooperative planning  effort by dancers in Alabama who were dedicated to producing a quality convention.  General Chairman John and Dimple appreciate their committee’s love for the square dance activity and that of all participants.

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