Skip to main content

Kansas Square Dance Association records

Call Number: RH MS 1413


The collection contains historical information, instructions for square dancing movements, meeting minutes, financial records, programs, banners, clippings, and other materials from the Kansas Square Dance Association and from local square dance clubs, including notably the now-disbanded Strato-Jets Square Dance Club and the Tuesday Night Twirlers, or TNT, Square Dance Club.


  • Creation: 1932-2020 (bulk 1960s-2015)


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Kansas Square Dance Association

The Kansas Square Dance Association was founded in 1951 by 13 couples interested in organizing a district square dance association. Over the years the association expanded, and currently the Association is sub-divided into six regional districts across the state of Kansas.

Like many social activity sub-cultures of the past 50 years, square dancing has had to work hard to recruit new members, retain members, and fill administrative offices. The Kansas Square Dance Association has also encouraged members to travel widely to attend the regular dances hosted by other local clubs. Part of this effort was a practice called "banner stealing," which entails "stealing" banners from other local clubs while attending their dances.

The entire life cycle of a local square dance club is documented in the Strato-Jets Square Dance Club series, including its disbandment in 2010. Because the original membership of that club in Topeka, Kansas was made up of U.S. Air Force personnel, the life of the club was uniquely tied to the culture of Forbes Field, which was reduced to an Air National Guard facility in 1973.

Square dance culture stresses physical fitness, mental alertness, courtesy, costume, and couples. Each organizational office is presumed to be filled by a couple, generally married to one another, but not always. In recent years, singles have created their own sub-culture, sometimes with their own themed dances, acknowledging the role of death and divorce in the ending of partnerships.


11.5 Linear Feet (12 boxes + 3 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders, 16 audiovisual items, 9 banners)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of organizational papers, including meeting agendas, minutes, and financial reports, event flyers, and correspondence. The material has been organized into several series starting with Meeting Minutes, Histories, and Instructions.

A second series holds papers originally found in rough chronological order. The third series focuses on State and National Square Dance Conventions, including the 2008 National Square Dance Convention hosted in Wichita, KS.

Kansas has six District Square Dance organizations, and papers referring to those groups are in the fourth series. The fifth series holds local square dance club papers, and the Topeka-based Strato-Jets Square Dance Club makes up the sixth series.

Photographs have been separated and are located at RH MS-P 1413 and RH MS-P 1413 (f) respectively. Newspaper and magazine articles have been housed in an oversize box at RH MS R409. Small banners, ribbons, and other objects have been put in an oversize box at RH MS Q422.

Five mini audio cassettes were added to the pre-existing pair of standard cassettes under RH Cassette Tape 32. Oversize cloth banners are located at [CALL NUMBER].

Because this collection was accumulated over decades, by several different members of the organization, some materials appear more than once. Where obvious duplication has been detected the extra copies have been removed.

Physical Location

RH MS 1413

Physical Location

RH MS Q422

Physical Location

RH MS R409

Physical Location

RH Cassette Tape 32

Physical Location

RH Phono 17

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1413

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1413 (f)

Physical Location

KC AV 123

Physical Location

Rolled Storage Section F

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Kansas Square Dance Association, 1990, 2015, 2020; Wolfgang Johanning, 2020, 2021.

Separated Materials

Kansas Square Dance Association. Travel On. Manhattan, KS: Ag Press. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH Ser D1254.

Heart of America Federation of Square Dance Clubs. Fed Facts. [Kansas City, MO]: Heart of America Federation of Square Dance Clubs. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH Ser C1496.

League of Square and Round Dance Clubs. South Central Kansas District. Happy Tracks. Wichita, KS: League of Square and Round Dance Clubs. South Central Kansas District. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH Ser C1497.

Processing Information

Much of the collection was formerly located at RH MS 767.

Guide to the Kansas Square Dance Association Collection
Kansas Square Dance Association records
Finding aid prepared by skt, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006. Finding aid revised by cl, 2010; lb, 2017; mmj, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Kansas Square Dance Association records, RH MS 1413, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States