We, the Romeos & Calicos Square Dance Club, are bonded together by the love of square dancing and try to reach out to family, friends and community to expand the joys of square dancing.
We profess to be friendly, cheerful, helpful, fun loving dancers that will try to make all those that dance with us feel welcome and wanted.
We will try, by example, to teach new dancers to be friendly, cheerful, helpful, and fun loving dancers (feeling the same way that we do).
We, therefore, pledge to keep a friendly atmosphere at our dances at all times with all members participating to accomplish this objective.
In September of 1952 a group of new dancers started at St. John the Baptist Church in Menasha, WI with Lyle Leatherman as our caller. Lyle was also teaching new dancers at Sacred Heart Parish in Appleton on alternate Sundays. Soon the two groups started joining each other on their "off" Sunday and in April of 1953, it was these two groups that, formed the Club to be known as Romeos & Calicos.
Our first club Presidents were Adam & Marge Marciniak, second presidents were Bil & Frances Vissers, third were Ed & Corny Waskiewicz, fourth were Ed & Pat Zielinski We danced as a club at the dance hall above Lake Park Tavern on the corner of Highway 10 and Lake Park Road. We just had a space heater for heat in the winter and regardless of where the squares started out we always ended up by the space heater. The hall had a hardwood floor which was real easy to dance on.
We have met at many halls since the Club was formed. We danced at Lake Road Lanes in Neenah. In the summer they would put a dance floor over the bowling alleys for us to dance on. For a very short time we danced at the Memorial Building in Menasha. We danced at the American Legion Club, VFW Club, Moose Hall (all in Appleton). We were the first ones to rent the Lounge at the Labor Center in Appleton - our first dance there was on October 13, 1974 - with the exception of the short time that we danced at 41 Bowl (10-5-86 to 1-31-88) we have danced there. We came back to the Labor Center on 2-7-88 when they offered us a period of free hall rent and we could not pass up on opportunity like that! May 8th, 1994, we moved to Valley Packaging on Brewster Street where we stilldance today. Valley Packaging rebranded and changed to Community Care Center in 2016.
The Club had Lyle Leatherman as caller from 1953 until the summer of 1986 when he lost his voice. The Club was very fortunate to get John Stillson as our new caller. John had been our caller since that time and retired at the end of 2016. The Club has had its ups and downs in membership through the years and we had many couples that stepped in when membership was low and brought it back up again.
2018 - 65th Anniversay
2017 NEW CALLER - Dave Waller, fortunately, took on the interim calling and teaching much to the relief of everyone. Because Dave was president of Romeos he did not become the Club Caller until his term expired in April 2017. A couple times a year we collect for the food pantry and always get a nice thank you
Published May 22, 2017 Post Crescent (Appleton): Wisconsin Square Dance Association Hall of Fame Caller Passes Mantle
John Stillson, Hall of Fame Square Dance Caller, handed the local club caller responsibility to David Waller at the Romeos and Calicos Square Dance Club this month. Stillson served the club for just over 30 years beginning in October 1986 and was inducted to the Wisconsin Square Dance Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Shortly afterward he began his private search for a replacement. Waller, with the encouragement of Stillson, stepped back into calling soon after John’s induction. When Stillson informed the Club of his desire to retire, the club named David Waller as the club’s choice for his replacement. David’s modern style of music with songs originally performed by artists like Meghan Trainor, Josh Turner and others along with the classics provides a great mixture for the club who is actively recruiting new dancers. Since 1953 the Romeos and Calicos Club has welcomed dancers and would-be dancers to square dancing. Square dancing is one of two dances recognized as National Dances of the United States. For lesson or information regarding the club and square dancing contact SquareDanceAppleton@gmail.com
2016 1st BARN DANCE - One of our newer yard sign members, Marcia Mueller, invited us to dance at her ranch's barn near Manawa. We started planning in March, did some advertising in Square Dance Publications, got free mentions in Dates to Remember and in some others. Marcia had a team ready to prepare the property. We planned a free will offering from the dancers but decided next time to set a fee since we just barely covered our expenses. Dancing went from 2-5, Potluck 5-6, Dancing 6-8. Dancers from Central & Wolf River Areas had a good time on Saturday, July 16, 2016. It was a successful day with all caller or cuer invited to participate. John planned to be there but was side-lined by his kidney transplant complications. 2016 brought BIG CHANGES for Romeos. John Stillson had a kidney transplant in July and following some complications decided his health was not dependable enough to remain the club caller. His resignation was official November 1.
2015 Walking in the ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE is a fun time to make a personal touch with the public while handing out candy and promotion cars. We use Steve & Jenny's mini-van as our decorated float/relief wagon. Fox Valley Squares usually walks with us with their own promotional items. Sherie Euhardy, a New Dublin resident/dancer, makes sure we get registered each year. YARD SIGNS -Our first batch of 100 ,yellow with black lettering arrived and we spread them out around the Fox Valley. They read SQUARE DANCE / Lessons / 920-731-2900 - SquareDanceAppleton@gmail.com. Yes some of our members came because of the signs.
2013 Two or three times during the summer BRAT FRIES are held at Copps/Pick N Save at Ballard & OO, proceeds being used to help with promotion expenses. It a nice to time to greet the public and invite them to come visit our dances. Thrivent programs have been a great help in helping us get these to be worthwhile. Thanks, Sherie, for helping us with that. 60th ANNIVERSARY
2010 Romeos & Calicos have been RINGING BELLS for the Salvation Army on the 2nd Saturday in December followed by a Bell Ringer Dance the following Sunday. No one ever regrets the time spent with that bell,
2005 Romeos & Calicos dance on a float in Appleton's FLAG DAY PARADE. The Van Handels were instrumental in getting our flatbed truck float and organizing the decorations. Kathy and Randy Sievert created the cloth banners that spell the club name stretched out along the bed of the truck on both sides. It is always exciting to get the spelling in the correct order. We meet at the Diner on Wisconsin Avenue at noon and proceeded to our assigned parking spot and then decorate the truck. Four blanket-covered bales of hay offered seating for dancers needing a break. Water and soft drinks were available. Randy Sievert brought a portable generator to power the callers equipment. John Stillson, Edie Truesdale, Charlie Bitter and Dave Waller all had turns doing the calling for the dancers. Participation in the BLACK CREEK FIREMAN'S FAMILY DAYS PARADE around 2010 garnered us first place two times with a small prize to show for it out of the five or six parades we did in Black Creek using that same flatbed truck.
2003 - 50th ANNIVERSARY
1993 - LOVERLY WEEKEND - Shirley Newhouse, Verla Koerner & Cal brainstormed and came up with the idea of having a weekend get-a-way for dancers similar to those the callers held at Camp Byron. We got four callers to do the weekend, Howie & Rosie Fochs, Marvin & Judith Hechel, Dennis & Karlene Leatherman and John & Cal Stillson. We planned decorations and fun activities, who can forget those long white elephant exchanges, Uncle Zeke's, skits, Marv's jokes, costumes and pranks. Eventually, Edie Truesdale became a caller and headed up the event until 2006 with Edie & Mike, Gordy & Mary Ann Ziemann, Mike & Michelle Seurer doing the calling/cuing.
1986 - NEW CALLER -In August of 1986 John & Cal Stillson took over where Lyle & Margaret Leatherman left off and are doing a fine job. We hope his years of calling extend as far as Lyle's did.
1983 -RC 30TH ANNIVERSARY - In April of 1983 (our club's 30th Anniversary) we had a surprise party honoring Lyle and Margaret Leatherman. Lyle was 71 years old at the time and was the only caller our Club had ever had. Lyle & Margaret had helped the Club through some pretty lean years and we were all very grateful for their guidance and support
1981 - LYLE & MARGARET celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on 7.12.81 by furnishing lunch at the dance that night, There were 153 dancers there to help them celebrate.
1981 - OCTOBERFEST 4
1976 - In the 1976-1977 National Square Dance Callers Association Times, Lyle Leatherman was written up as CALLER OF THE MONTH. It was noted in the article that Lyle had proposed the Wolf River Area Callers Association on 7/21/58. He was also a charter member of the Square Dance Association of Wisconsin (SDAW) and was on the organizing board for the first Wisconsin Square Dance Convention in 1959 which was held in Appleton, WI. Lyle started calling in Des Moines, Iowa in 1937. In 1948 Lyle and Margaret Moved to Menasha. It was noted that Denny Leatherman was square dance calling in Spain where he was stationed with the Air Force.
1972 - $1.50/couple
1969 - $1.25/couple. Hall Rent $10.00
1968 - We had a balance of $3.97 and owed Lyle $134.55. In January of 1969 the books were cleared Lyle & Margaret Leatherman wrote off the $260.44 we owed them and we started out even again. It was decided to raise dancing fees to $1.25 per couple and Lyle accepted a percentage plan for calling. The next 17 dances Lyle averaged $9.67 per night calling for us. Then things started getting better.
1967 - We had a balance of $1.41 and owed Lyle $60.37.
1966 - By annual dinner & meeting in 1966 we had a balance of $22.62 and we had paid Lyle all that we had owed him
1965 - After our annual dinner and meeting we had $16.00 in the Treasury. Lyle was carrying us along when Club was short of funds- example by October 24 of 1965 we owed Lyle $110.00 but he was still there calling for us!
1964 - Hall rent was $10.00 and caller was paid $25.00. $80.57 in Treasury after our annual meet dinner and meeting. Had annual picnic (62 children were there) and we ended up $3.30 in the red, but a good time was had by all.