(Formerly the Bachelor Beauts and Swinging Mountaineers)

The Bachelor Beauts and Swinging Mountaineers, a longtime square dancing tradition in Central Oregon, joined forces on January 1, 2020 to become the High Desert Dancers (HDD).

At HDD dances you can expect a terrific variety of some of the best callers and cuers in Oregon and Washington.  Visitors are always welcome and although square dance attire is always welcome it is never required

Dance Times and Locations

  • Mainstream Dances — 1st and 3rd Saturdays
  • Plus Dances — 2nd and 4th Fridays
  • Usually 7:00 – 10:00 PM – Squares & Rounds
  • Pine Forest Grange, 63214 Boyd Acres Rd, Bend, Oregon [Map]
  • Dance cost is $7.00 per person except on special dances
  • Check this website’s Dance Calendar to see who’s calling/cueing, and what’s happening at each dance. HDD often offers special sessions prior to the start of the dance

Club Callers and Cuers

  • Excellent guest callers who visit from Oregon and Washington
  • Mark McDonald, Club Cuer, along with other terrific guest cuers

Theme Dances

  • The High Desert Dancers hold a variety of theme dances including birthday dances in May and Double Down weekends with the Red Rock Squares throughout the year. The dance calendar always has up-to-date details.

Lessons

  • Lessons information can be found on the Lessons page of this website.

Contacts

President–Kay Bithell 541-382-7014 kaybithell@centurylink.net
Lessons Coordinator–Kay Bithell 541-382-7014   kaybithell@centurylink.net
Caller & Cuer Scheduling–Lisa Holloway 503-510-8054   lkholloway@gmail.com

Club History

The High Desert Dancers began on January 1, 2020, the result of a merger between two long-standing Central Oregon Square Dance Clubs.  The history of those two clubs is preserved below.

The Bachelor Beauts

Larry and Lee Musgrave founded The Bachelor Beauts Square Dance Club in 1963, and graduated their first class that spring. Larry served as caller for eight years and as an active member until his passing at the age of 90 in 2005. The first home for the Beauts was at the Eastern Star Grange Hall near the Bend airport. During it’s heyday, the grange had so many dances that the maple floor had to be replaced because according to grange master Dan Rastovich “they wore the first one out dancing.”

Larry taught Delano “Slick” Fox and his wife Melba how to dance in 1968, and in ’71 Slick became the club’s caller. Slick used his carpentry skill to build a square dance hall 200 yards from their home.  A March 1979 article in the national SQUARE DANCE magazine featured Fox Hall and mentions that the Beauts held their first dance there on July 1, 1976.  The 40’x70′ dance floor easily held more than eight squares, and a special type of paneling resembling Triscuit crackers provided excellent acoustics. Slick was the Beauts’ teacher and caller until his death in 1988.

For many years the Beauts have enjoyed dancing to a variety of club and guest callers.  Jim Steele served as a regular caller from 1989-92. And, Ron Bliven served as caller from 1999 until his retirement in 2015.

Fox Hall was sold in 1992, and the club returned to the Eastern Star Grange Hall for a time. Since 2003 Bend’s Pine Forest Grange has been home to the Beauts. In 50+ years square dance traditions such as dress style and music have changed, but one thing remains the same . . . Beauts love to dance!

The Swinging Mountaineers

The Swinging Mountaineers began in Sisters, Oregon but later moved to Bend as a Plus Club.  Plus is a level of square dancing that includes more calls than Mainstream and is a bit more complicated and therefore more challenging and interesting!  Most square dancers learn Plus after a year or so of dancing Mainstream.

 

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