Square dancing is the American folk dance. It was born in the days when our country was young and was carried westward by our pioneer forefathers. It is a treasured heritage of our American culture.
In the 1930's, Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw introduced western square dancing to thousands of Americans with exhibitions by his students from the Cheyenne Mountain School in Colorado. Since then, square dancing has become a favorite leisure time activity for millions of dancers around the world. It has kept pace with many of the styles, types of music and technological advances of our society while remaining wholesome family fun.
As the 1957 season of the Swap and Swing Square Dance Club of Tiffin drew to its close, many members had lost their enthusiasm for this type of square dancing. About this same time, Western Style Square Dancing was being introduced by Dean Dreyer, a caller out of Findlay, Ohio. With this in mind, the president of the Swap and Swing club started organizing a new type of square dance club. The members interested in this type of dancing set up instruction classes at the Y.M.C.A. in Tiffin, Ohio. In the fall of 1958, two classes had started with Eldon Weaver and Jack Storer each teaching one class. Each class had approximately 12 couples. Harold Boles, who moved to Tiffin from Fort Wayne, Indiana, where western square dancing had been introduced in 1945, also organized a group to learn this challenging type of square dancing. These three classes joined together and formed the western square dance club of Tiffin. Very soon the name, Tiffin T-Squares, became the official name. On June 4, 1992, the club was incorporated as a non-profit organization and assumed the name, Tiffin T-Squares, Inc.
Dean Dreyer called the first dance on May 9, 1959 at the Washington School gym. As the official club caller, Dean Dreyer called all the dances on the second Saturday of the month. Jack May, from Toledo, called the second dance of each month, which was the fourth Saturday of the month, as our first guest caller. Some of our early guest callers included Jack Naylor, Butch Little, Bill Buller, Robert Becker, Billie Gawthrop, Jerry Beckliln, Glenn LeFever and Katie MacKenzie. The membership soon reached fifty couples of which a number of the original members are still members of the T-Squares today (2009). Dances were held on Saturday nights through August, changing to Wednesday nights with Dean Dreyer during September, and then, dancing on Saturday nights to tapes and records. The following season, 1960-1961, found the group dancing on the second and fourth Saturday with Dean Dreyer and Jack May alternating the calling. These two Saturday nights are still the club dance nights.
The unique T-Square badge was designed by Dick Dennison in 1962. He also designed the club banner. The official club colors are brown and yellow. The dances were held at the Washington School gym until 1978. At that time, the dances were moved to the Tiffin Developmental Center where they are presently.
The club has participated in many community functions with demonstrations at festivals, parades and nursing homes. They have provided entertainment for various community groups and they have also sponsored the Military Ball at several Heritage Festivals in Tiffin.
On May 13, 2017, the club celebrated 58 years of square dancing with their Anniversary Dance held at the Tiffin Developmental Center Gym. Danny Beck has been our club caller for 33 years (since 1984). Danny noted that Dale Schowchow, a current club member, was also in attendance the night Danny began calling for T-Squares. On July 16, 2017, Danny was honored for 50 years of calling dances with a celebration at Norwalk Fairgrounds, which was hosted by the three clubs Danny still serves as club caller: Norwalk FADS, Mansfield Johnny Appleseeds and Tiffin T-Squares.