meeting of the North Florida Square Dancers Association (NEFSDA) was
hold on June 3, 1957 at the Jacksonville YMCA with dancers from seven
clubs in attendance.
Original area covered by the Association was the Northern portion of the
State of Florida, extending westward from the Atlantic Ocean across the
Panhandle to the Alabama State line.
Florida Federation redrew Association boundary lines in 1964 and again
in 1984, bringing the total number of counties incorporated in the
Northeast to 13.
until 1962 membership in the Northeast Association was composed of
individual dancers. In 1962 membership was converted to the present
policy of membership by club format.
In 1953 a
newsletter known as The Grapevine was published by dancer Eddie. Bowman.
In 1960 publication of the newsletter was turned over to the
Association and is still being published "under contract" as a quarterly
magazine. The Grapevine has had approximately 16 Editors since its
inception with the current editors, Bill & Angie Morgan, having held the
Job since 2012. It remains Florida’s oldest Square and Round Dance
the Association began a Blood Bank program. In 2002 the delegates voted
to support a Charity Dance in 2003 with proceeds going to the Northeast
Hospice in lieu of the Blood Bank. In 2005 NEFSARDA supported the Donna
Hicken Foundation (Breast Cancer) at its Charity Dance. NEFSRDA dancers
are still encouraged to continue their blond donations to the Blood
Bank. Several clubs in the Association hold benefit dances throughout
the year for various charities and through 2015 have raised over
$300,000-for those less fortunate.
1, 1986 the name of the Association was formally changed to Northeast
Florida Square & Round Dancers Association (NEFSARDA).
has hosted 11 State Conventions. Since 2011, it is truly a "state-wide
convention" with all 5 associations putting on the convention, the most
recent being in 2016. This convention is chaired by Jack & Kathy
McKinney, Walt & Dianne Syphard and Linda Tester.
Northeast Past Presidents have served as President of the Florida
Federation. Those still active are, Dee Dee & Bessie Stovall, Jack &
Kathy McKinney, Charlie & Val Newsome and Bud & Anita Taylor.
1996 Pave & Shirley Nihart were inducted into the Florida Square Dance
Hall of Fame. May 2013, Charlie & Val Newsome and Jack & Kathy McKinney
were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1997 Florida hosted the 46th National Square Dance Convention with many
Northeast dancers working diligently towards the success of the event.
Dave & Shirley Nihart were appointed to serve as one of the two 1
Florida Federation representatives to the United Square Dancers of
America (USDA). In June 1999 Charlie & Val Newsome were appointed as
Representatives to USDA and served in that capacity until February
2005. In 2011 Jerry & Donna Robey were appointed as Representatives to
USDA. In 2012 they were elected Vice President of the Central
Region USDA, and are currently serving on committees for USDA.
Annual Fall Festival sponsored by NEFSARDA was hold in 2003 A highlight
each year is the naming of the Dance Couple/Dancer of the Year. The
names of those winners are listed on our Dancer of the Year page.
NEFSARDA held a Dance to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Jack &
Kathy McKinney were chairmen.
In 2018 we enjoyed a unique experience
during our annual weekend of dancing. Under the chairmen Joan
Amarino and Sherry Boatman-Burris we had a murder to solve. The
theme was “Murder in Maui – a Luau to Die For.”