Wheel 'N' Dealers
In January, 1980, the North Kansas City School District offered 16 Square Dance lessons to Northland residents. A young caller, Mike Cox and his lovely Taw, Lynn were hired to teach a class of 14 couples. At the end of the basic lessons, Mike secured Stribling Hall to continue six more lessons, qualifying students to dance at the Mainstream level. The new students wanted to stay in their close-knit group. With a little coaxing for Mike to become their first Caller, a club was organized in June, 1980, naming the club "Wheel ?N? Dealers". The Wheel
'N' Dealers danced at Stribling Hall on the fourth Saturday night of the month. To become a federated club it had to meet the high standards of the Heart of America Federation. Mike prevailed on three clubs in the Northland area to become sponsors of the fledgling organization. The Stanley Steamers, Ramblers, and the Shooting Stars square dance clubs sponsored arid guided the new club to be federated on its first attempt. Mike was recognized as one of the areas most enthusiastic square dance supporters and was hired to call for three other clubs in the area. When responsibilities to his business and family increased to the point of "not enough time", Mike resigned as caller for the Wheel
In August, 1984, the Wheel 'N' Dealers teamed up with the Antioch Shopping Center to produce a dance in the mall to provide entertainment for the people shopping in the mall and help square dancers start off the new season beginning the first of September. The dance proved so successful that it became an annual event to the delight of dancers and shoppers at the Antioch Shopping for many years.
Van Coble, a well-known caller in the area, accepted the club's plea to take over the calling duties of the club at the beginning of the dance season in September, 1984. The club moved to a new dance hall at the Kansas City North Community Center shared with three other clubs on different Saturday nights of the month. The last part of the 1985-86 season, the Wheel ?N? Dealers danced at the Christian Church in North Kansas City as all four clubs vacated the Community Center. For the 1986-87 dance season, the club moved to the Park Hill Junior High School, an ideal dance location. This building became unavailable for dances. The club's dance location was moved to the Plaza Middle School where they danced for three seasons. The club then moved to the Masonic Lodge on North West Barry Road. This hall proved too small for all the visiting dancers, so the club returned to the Kansas City North Community Center at the beginning of the 1991 dance season. In 2001, the club moved to the new hall at the Park Hill Christian Church. When it became unavailable in 2001, we moved to the Platte Woods United Methodist Church. This last move required that we move our dance night from the fourth Saturday to the second Friday of the month.
When Van Coble was transferred to Florida in the summer of 1991, he recommended we contact his friend and square dance mentor, Norm Madison, to be his replacement. This was very good advice for the Wheel
'N' Dealers. Norm, "Mr. Smooth", helped keep our dance hall filled with the fine visiting square dancers from far and wide at our monthly dances. Regretfully, after promoting, teaching, mentoring other callers and calling enjoyable dances for square dancers throughout the Federation for more than thirty years, Norm succumbed to cancer and passed into the Life Triumphant in September, 2003. Sorely missed by the club's membership, his warm manner and true friendship as well as his dedication to the square dancing activity serves as inspiration to our club in continuing square dancing and promoting its growth whenever possible.
For those square dancers who dance Rounds, the club secured Mike Hines to cue Round Dances at our monthly dances when the season started in 1991. He has continued to cue Rounds for our club since that time much to the enjoyment of Round Dancers in attendance at our monthly dances.
Since 2003, Bill Kami has served as our club caller. He continues the fine tradition established by Norm Madison of helping our club provide fun and enjoyable square dancing at our monthly dances for Federation dancers from all clubs.
The first President of the club was Greg and Linda Nelson. Successive presidents were as follows: Bob and Dona Miller, John Bull and Mary Lightle, Ted and Carolyn Day, Harper and Grace Mowell, Ken and Bev Martin, Joe and Ethel Gurkee, Dave and Trudy Cheney, Bob and Vernie Whitebread, Les and Mary Harris, Lee and Opal Chapman, Frank and Jean Courier, Dave & Trudy Cheney, Frank and Jean Courier, Les and Mary Harris, Bob and Vernie Whitebread, Frank and Jean Courier, Pat and Jerry Modlin.
The club membership has participated in many fun outings throughout the years as a group. Annual picnics and camping trips have provided many enjoyable times over the years. A Christmas potluck dinner and "Chinese" gift exchange are still looked forward to by our members each year. Other events included many exciting trips to the Woodlands, where the members dined and cheered for their favorite dog or horse. As a club, we made many trips to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the third week end of May with our caller, Norm Madison, and rounds cuer, Charlie Simmons, to dance with clubs coming from the four state area to join in the fun. For three years, a large group of the club went to Aurora, Nebraska, for a weekend of fun, dancing, and relaxing out of town. One of the last events of the dance season has been a mystery bus trip. We rent a bus and our members are treated to a one-day mystery journey to enjoy a special event or performance. The club President, secretly, makes all the trip's arrangements and acts as tour guide for an afternoon and evening of excitement and fun.
Mike and Lynn Cox couldn't have dreamed of the untold number of people they would touch and the amount of pleasure provided when they introduced Square Dancing to the 28 students in 1980, planting the seed that grew to be the "Wheel ?N? Dealers" square dance club. Over two hundred forty-five dancers have danced, as members, with the Wheel
'N' Dealers. Square dancing is one of few remaining affordable, wholesome recreations and is a most respectable type of entertainment for people of all ages. The Wheel
'N' Dealers urge all dancers and clubs to encourage others to join in the fun times to be experienced through square dancing in our Federation.
2007 / 2008