Shawnee Swingers started in 1978 with 16 members in an old grocery store on the east side of town. Dana Schirmer was a brand new caller at the time. Our rent was $25 per night and we paid Dana $10 per night if the club had enough money. Although we were small our members traveled all over to announce our new club and invite other clubs to attend our dances.
Our first club outfit was light blue with white trimming. The blue was to depict the blue sky to help accent our orange sun-setting badge. The campfile on the badge represented the Shawnee Indians campfire. So hence the name Shawnee Swingers was developed around the Shawnee Indians tribe rather than Shawnee County as most people thought.
We had our first class starting in January of 1979 with 16 people taking lessons. Our big issue at that time was we had 12 girls and 4 guys in class which made it very difficult to pair up couples. We managed and made things work.
During our 29 years we have seen several different homes. Various school gyms, churches and recreational centers have been a venue for our fun fellowship. Many of the original 16 members are either no longer dancing or deceased.
Additional comments from Dana:
"As I think back our beginning was truly a great time and one I will always cherish.
Thanks Shawnee Swingers for letting me be a part of these past 29 years.."
(This information provided by Dana Schirmer in our Smoke Signals of August 2007)