July 16, 2023
Undaunted by the heat, an intrepid group of Ramblers marched and danced and celebrated in the Portland Pride Parade today.
The next chance to see the Ramblers in action will be our dance demonstration in Sellwood Park at noon on August 6.
If you want to participate in a dance, come check out our free taste of square dance at the Sellwood Community House on September 9, starting at 6 pm. Our fall lesson series will start on Wednesday, September 13, and continue weekly through December. The first two lessons are free!
April 12, 2023
It was another action-packed couple of months for the Ramblers. We brought a square to the PAC 5th Friday Dance in Boring on March 31 and another square to the Chaps and Petticoats Hippie Dance on April 7. We earned our first banner since before COVID. Hooray!
Our April social dance was a big success. Our theme was Spring Fling, and Chuck Simpkins came up from Grants Pass to call the dance for us. We recruited Chuck’s wife, Carla, into our squares, and we loved her sparkly hat and zealous dancing. Extra kudos to our January students Julia and Joey, who attended their first-ever Ramblers social dance!
At the annual membership meeting preceding the dance, we elected the following Board members:
- President: Jeff Knapp
- Secretary: Eileen Pettycrew
- Treasurer: Tara O’Neil
- Member at large: Mary Parsley
- Member at large: Louise Richards.
Excitement is building for our Mad Plaid Grad graduation dance on May 13. We plan to graduate 8 students this May! The graduation dance is always one of the highlights of our dance calendar, and we have a superb caller for the occasion in Eric Henerlau. We will dance from 7 to 9:30, with a brief break to hand out diplomas and badges at approximately 7:45. It’s a blast to see how many crazy combinations of plaids people can come up with. Please join us!
February 12, 2023
The Ramblers 40th Anniversary Dance on February 11, 2023, at the Oak Grove Community Center was a tremendous success. The dance theme was Rubies, Rainbows, and Roses.
We welcomed more than 7 squares of dancers, including 6 squares dancing the Plus program. Clubs represented at the dance included:
• Country Cut-ups (brought 10 dancers and took home a Ramblers banner)
• Happy Hoppers
• Chaps & Petticoats
• Oaky Doaks Alumni
• Valley Squares
• Puddletown Squares (Seattle)
• El Camino Reelers (Palo Alto, CA)
• Suncoast Squares (St. Petersburg, FL)
Michael Kellogg called this dance with his usual panache.
For this special evening, we displayed Ramblers banners over the years, photo albums, a club history, and some vintage club attire. We also presented 40-year Rambler member Rick Hawes with a “ruby” paperweight and a red climbing rose (literally a Rosetown rambler!). Thanks, Rick, for your many years of dedication to the club.
Many dancers got into the dance theme by wearing ruby, rainbow, and/or rose-themed finery. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this extraordinary evening, including those who brought historic materials and treats to the dance; Mark for coordinating and putting up decorations; Ted for handling “split the pot”; Louise for taking photos; Mark, Ted, and Jim for providing relief at the door; and Gerry, Jason, Jim, Eileen, Kristan, and Mark for helping with cleanup.
Looking ahead, we have a great line up of dances in the coming months:
- March 11: Purple Party—Celebrating International Women’s Day. Karla Westphal making her Ramblers’ debut.
- April 8: Spring Fling. Chuck Simpkins with an encore performance from April 2022.
- May 13: Mad Plaid Grad Dance. This is when we celebrate graduation of our students in the September 2022 and January 2023 classes who successfully completed lessons. Features international caller Eric Henerlau.
- June 10: Pride Dance. This is our annual pride dance—break out the rainbows! Square dance recording star Don Wood will call this dance.
Please put these dances on your calendar. All will take place at Oak Grove Community Center, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove 97267 and go from 7 to 9:30 pm.
February 2, 2023
We are just days away from the dance event of the year: the Ramblers 40th Anniversary Dance and Celebration. The theme for this dance is Rubies, Rainbows, and Roses. Break out those ruby slippers and join the fun!
Our caller will be the magnificent Michael Kellogg from southern California. Michael has called internationally and has wonderful patterns and music. If you have not danced to him before, you are in for a treat.
The dance will be at the Oak Grove Community Club on Saturday, February 11, 2023. We will alternate Social Square Dance (Mainstream) and Plus tips from 7 to 9:30 pm. Masks are optional. Dress is casual; we warmly welcome solo dancers.
December 28, 2022
We are in our winter break for three weeks, but don’t get too comfortable on that couch. The hijinks will start again before you know it!
Our first social dance will take place on Saturday, January 14, at Oak Grove Community Club, from 7 to 9:30 pm. This is our annual Black and White Ball, with Stephen Cole calling.
After January, we have a terrific roster of callers for our monthly social dances for 2023. You will not want to miss a single one!
February 11: Michael Kellogg, Rubies, Roses, and Rainbows: The Ramblers Turn 40!
March 11: Karla Westphal.
April 8: Chuck Simpkins
May 13: Eric Henerlau, Mad Plaid Grad Dance.
June 10: Don Wood, Pride Dance.
Our next lesson series starts on January 18, 2023. Check out the Lessons page.
Lots of great fun on the way! See you in a square!
September 12, 2022
Our fall lesson series starts Wednesday, September 14, from 7 to 8:30 pm at Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. We have received many inquiries via Meetup, and I know many Ramblers have invited friends and family to check out the lessons.
We are pleased to announce that we have scheduled a special Halloween dance for Saturday, October 29, at Oak Grove. National caller Kris Jensen (Albuquerque) has agreed to come to Portland to call the dance for us!! We will be alternating SSD and Plus tips from 7 to 9:30 pm. Kris would love to call an Advanced dance the afternoon of October 29. If you are interested, please send us an email.
Finally, mark your calendar now for our 40th anniversary dance on February 11, 2023. This is going to be a memorable evening–think rubies and roses. We are on the cusp of announcing a very special caller for this landmark event in Rambler history.
February 8, 2022
Rambler dance on Saturday, February 12, inspired the following:
As you make your weekend plans
don’t forget the Ramblers dance.
We will hoot and we’ll holler,
Michael Kellogg is a stellar caller.
We want to see your ears and peepers
but not your mouth or nose ’cause jeepers
masks for us are still the pick
we want no one getting sick.
Bring your vaccination card
just show it once–it’s not that hard.
At Rambler dances, you do you,
wear shorts, or jeans, or your tutu.
So get ready to have a ball
as we fill the Oak Grove hall
with merriment and raucous laughter
you’ll still be smiling for days thereafter.
The dance begins at 7 sharply
So be sure the diem carpe,
you won’t want to miss a single minute
the best square’s the one with YOU in it.
On the 12th of Feb. the greatest time you can have
will be at 14496 SE Cedar Ave.
So get up off your easy chair
The fun won’t start until YOU are there.
January 18, 2022
Just the briefest of communiques this week…
January 10, 2022
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Black and White Dance on Saturday. Our numbers were slightly diminished, but our enthusiasm sure wasn’t. We had some very creative black-and-white outfits, and some dancers found colorful ways to accessorize their black and white foundations (looking at you, Jim Pettycrew!!). We also entertained first-time visitors from Eager Beavers and Tri-Squares. They were very complimentary of our club’s energetic and welcoming dance environment. They promised to be back!
Here’s what’s cooking…
Winter square dance lessons start with a Free Taste this Wednesday, January 12, at Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland 97213. Rick will be teaching again. We will start from scratch. And we definitely will need angels to welcome our new dancers and make them feel part of the group. Proof of COVID vaccination and masks are still required.
You will certainly want to mark your calendar for our next monthly dance–February 12 with the magnificent Michael Kellogg calling. Michael is one of the country’s best callers, and he’s not in the Portland area all that often, so don’t miss this opportunity!!
January 2, 2022
As we flip the page on another calendar year, we Ramblers have lots to look forward to! Please note that proof of COVID vaccination and a mask covering nose and mouth are required for all Ramblers activities.
Monthly Dances: All of our monthly dances will take place at the Oak Grove Community Center from 7 to 9:30 pm. The address is 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Portland, Oregon 97267. We alternate Social Square Dance and Plus levels. These dances feature gobs of talented callers. You won’t want to miss a single one!
- January 8: Black and White Dance with Stephen Cole. I have confirmed with Stephen that he’s excited to come down and call again for the Ramblers after we had to cancel our 2021 installment. This is one of our most popular dances of the year.
- February 12: The incredible Michael Kellogg will be returning. He most recently called for us at Scares and Squares in 2018. His patterns are creative, and his calling quick and lively. You will love this dance.
- March 12: Daryl Clendenin will giving us an encore performance from the highly successful December dance.
- April 9: Chuck Simpkins will be coming up from Grants Pass for his Ramblers debut. Chuck comes highly recommended from some very well-traveled dancers who have danced to the best. Let’s give Chuck a great welcome with a big turnout.
- May 14: Eric Henerlau has agreed to call for us. We are fortunate to have a caller of this caliber for one of our monthly dances. Luckily, Eric’s brother lives in Portland, so he can combine a visit to his brother with a visit to the Ramblers. You will not want to miss this dance.
- June 11: The always entertaining Don Wood makes a return appearance after orchestrating a massively successful Scares and Squares in October 2021.
Lessons. Our free taste for the winter series of lessons will be Wednesday, January 12 from 7 to 8:30 pm at Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. The series will start on January 19 and will continue for 12-14 weeks. We are teaching the Social Square Dance program. Check out our Lessons page.
November 29, 2021
We had a fantastic social dance on November 13 with the marvelous Jim Hattrick calling. Our next social dance will be December 11, 2021, with local legend Daryl Clendenin at the mike. We dance at the Oak Grove Community Center, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon 97267.
Our lessons continue through December 22, at the Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. Details on our Lessons page.
Note: Proof of vaccination is required for all Ramblers events. Masks must be worn while indoors.
November 5, 2021
We’re resuming monthly social dances. Check out our Calendar.
August 9, 2021
Come check out the Ramblers dancing in Portland’s Pride Plaza at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, August 25. Pride Plaza is located in downtown Portland on SW Harvey Milk Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Stop by and say hello!
If you love what you see in the Pride Plaza, join us for lessons starting on September 15. Details on our Lessons page.
Due to the prevalence of the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, the Ramblers have adopted a policy of requiring both proof of vaccination and masks/face coverings for all dancers at Ramblers events. Hopefully, we can relax this requirement before too long. Thanks for your understanding!
July 20, 2021
After a hiatus that lasted longer than any of us imagined, we are ready to get back to dancing. We are going to ease back into things with some Members-only events and then look forward to offering Lessons again in September. Check out the Lessons page for details.
Curious parties can check out the Ramblers when we dance in Portland’s Pride Plaza at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, July 21. Pride Plaza is located in downtown Portland on SW Harvey Milk Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Stop by and say hello!
May 22, 2020
Today marks day 73 of the Ramblers Respite occasioned by the novel coronavirus. We miss our members and friends, and we miss the social aspects of dancing. The health and safety of our dance community continue to be paramount. We will adhere to guidelines established by state and local health authorities, and we will resume dancing as soon as we can do so safely and comfortably. We hope that you all are tending to your physical and mental well-being during this difficult and unprecedented time. Be kind to one another!
A Lament…and Hope
Once we were happy but now we’re dismayed
Because of this virus at home we have stayed
The dance halls are silent where once music played
While six feet apart we just can’t promenade.
It’s been 10 long weeks since we chained down the line,
Or you swung your partner, while I swung mine.
But if you asked, I’d say I’m doing fine
‘cept for Wednesdays from seven to nine.
It now falls to me to pop your balloon
There won’t be a monthly dance in June
We hope in September we can resume,
But can’t say for sure—it’s still far too soon.
The convention in Denver they had to annul
Life without dancing has sure turned out dull
Though once our social calendars were full
We’re now stuck at home, just shooting the bull.
Can’t wait for the day they reopen the halls
And once again they are ringing with calls
In the grand scheme of things, not dancing is small,
But I sure miss hanging and laughing with y’all.
Keep up the hygiene and washing of hands
To check the virus’s spread through our lands
Soon we’ll be back to left allemands
And yellow rocks will be part of our plans.
March 9, 2020
The Rosetown Ramblers have decided to suspend the club’s Wednesday evening square dance lessons due to continued uncertainty and concern surrounding the corona virus and its impact on our community.
This was not an easy decision–we would all like to continue dancing and engage with our square dance friends during this stressful time. But we think it best to err on the side of caution.
Because other clubs may be considering similar actions, following are some of the factors that influenced our decision:
1. We do not know the extent of community spread of the virus in the Portland area, but it almost certainly exceeds the number of reported positive cases.
2. We know that the virus is highly contagious, and hand-to-hand contact is one way to spread the virus. Square dancing involves a lot of hand-to-hand contact. While hand-washing is effective to kill the virus, it’s not practical to wash hands while dancing and people will have different levels of attention to hand-washing.
3. People are contagious even before they have symptoms, so the advice to stay home if you feel sick is good but not sufficient to protect everyone.
4. Experience around the world has shown that, if we postpone action until we know someone is sick, it’s too late to contain the virus.
5. If we are overreacting, all we are losing is a few weeks of lessons. If there’s an issue and we fail to act, there could be serious health consequences for a significant number of people.
We wish everyone good health and good dancing.
February 3, 2020
Our Mainstream lessons continue this month at Bridgeport UCC. We will dance each Wednesday from 7 to 8:30. Angels are welcome. We include a short Plus tip in the middle of each lesson.
Note that there’s no lesson February 26. This is Ash Wednesday, and the church is not available for our use.
Our February monthly dance will take place February 8 and feature Dan Preedy (Spokane) calling. Heads to the Center will dance Advanced from 4:30 to 6:30. The Ramblers will alternate Mainstream and Plus tips from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We dance at the Oak Grove Community Center, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon.
January 8, 2020
It’s a new year and a new decade, and the Ramblers are going to try our best to help you create magic and memories for the 20s. So, pull out your Palm Pilot (or subsequent device), and let’s get cracking:
- Monthly Dances. We have quite a line up slated for 2020. Here’s what to expect for the first half of the year. These dances all take place on the second Saturday of the month, at the Oak Grove Community Hall, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon. Unless otherwise noted, dances feature Heads to the Center Advanced dancing from 4:30 to 6:30 pm and Ramblers Mainstream/Plus dancing from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
- January 11: Stephen Cole calling. Advanced dancing starts at 5. NO POTLUCK in January. There will be a one hour break from 6:30 to 7:30 for dinner on your own. This is our annual Black and White Ball—everyone is encouraged to wear black or white, or some combination of black and white. No pressure, of course, but it’s fun to see the creative costumes that people invent.
- February 8: Dan Preedy calling. Regular schedule. No potluck.
- March 14: Dark. Travel to Seattle to support Puddletown fly-in!
- April 11: Gary Monday calling. Regular schedule. Potluck 6:30 to 7:30. Annual membership meeting at 7 pm.
- May 9: Ian Craig calling. Regular schedule. Potluck 6:30 to 7:30. Mainstream Graduation!
- June 13: Don Wood calling. Regular schedule.
- Our all-day Plus blast will take place on Saturday, January 11 from 9 am to 5 pm. The idea is to learn (or at least be exposed to) all of the Plus calls in an all-day intensive session. Ian Craig will be teaching at the Oak Grove Community Hall, 14496 SE Cedar Ave., Oak Grove, Oregon. Cost is $50 for the entire day of lessons. You’ll be able to practice your new skills at the Black and White Ball that very night.
- Mainstream lessons resume on January 15 at 7 pm at Bridgeport UCC, 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland. Tell all your friends! January 15 and 22 are free tastes. Students who started in September 2019 can go through the lessons again at no charge. We love and need angels for these lessons!
- Membership. Many thanks to those of you who have already paid your 2020 dues. We have two types of membership:
- Prepay membership. The cost of this membership is $100. It includes admission to all 9 Ramblers monthly dances in 2020.
- Pay-as-you-go membership. The cost of this membership is $50. Members pay just for those monthly dances that they attend, at a cost of $7 per dance.
Dues are payable by cash (e.g., at the January 11 dance!) or by check made payable to “Rosetown Ramblers.” You can bring your check to the January dance or mail it to P.O. Box 5352, Portland, Oregon 97228. (Note: September 2019 students do not have to pay dues until June 2020.
- Other Dances. The Oregon Federation’s Mid-Winter Festival will be in Albany January 24-26. The first Portland Area Council 5th Friday dance for 2020 will be on January 31 at the Milwaukie Community Club, 10666 SE 42nd Ave., Milwaukie. Dancing starts at 7. Darrell Kalmbach calling.
June 13, 2019
Watch for the Ramblers in the Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, June 16.
June 9, 2019
The Ramblers prepared for our summer hiatus with a mind-blowing barn burner at our June 8 dance, called by the dazzling Don Wood from Olympia. With the assistance of a set from the scintillating Silver City Squares, a range of raucous Ramblers raised the roof and raked the rafters at the Oak Grove Community Center. The Ramblers customary enthusiasm, combined with the youthful exuberance of our visitors, made a truly memorable occasion. We also welcomed dancers from Chaps & Petticoats and Valley River Dancers. If you’re looking for a good dancing time, you can’t go wrong with the Ramblers.
You will have to wait, however, until September 14 for your next opportunity to join the fun. We are dark in July and August. After our summer break, our fall dances will feature:
September 14: Kris Jensen
October 12: Richard Lane
November 9: Diana Wedel
December 14: Ian Craig.
We dance at the Oak Grove Community Center from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We alternate Mainstream and Plus tips. We don’t round dance. Every dancer is welcome at the Ramblers.
If you can possibly make it to the Oregon Federation of Square and Round Dancing summer festival, you will be richly rewarded by the fabulous callers scheduled to appear. Featured caller Michael Kellogg has called for our club several times, and he is a master of the craft. We hope to see you in Salem in July.
January 15, 2019
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Black and White Dance on January 12. What a great-looking group!
See you on February 8 for our next monthly dance.