In 1959, Rose and Gus Schur were in a class of four squares being taught by Bob Osgood at the Sets-In-Order Hall on Robertson Boulevard. After 20 weeks, Bob graduated the class into the Beverly Hillbilly’s Club which met at the Barrington Playground. This arrangement did not work out, so Phil and Esther Eisner obtained a hall at West Hollywood Park for another class with Jack Evin as the caller/instructor. This class met on Friday night and it was sponsored by the Del Marine Squares, who also met at the park. Rozalia Janulis and her husband were members of this class which graduated October 9, 1959. The Heels & Souls Square Dance Club was formed at this time, with Jack Evin as the club caller.
During those early years, Rose and Rozalia did yeoman’s work serving as co-chairmen and trying to hold the group together. Rozalia came home from work on Friday nights, called everyone to see if they were coming to the dance, and managed to round up at least one square an evening. Callers received $5 per night in those days.
In March 1960, the club suffered a serious loss when their caller, Jack Evin, died of a heart attack. Fortunately, other well-known callers (Vera Berg, Bob Osgood, Bob Bevins, Dan Schmeltzer, Wayne Donhoff, Bill Foross) came to their rescue and they were able to continue. In 1960, Abe Brodkin was elected as the first club President.
In early 1961, the club was asked to leave the West Hollywood Park, since a swimming pool was being constructed and lumber was stored inside the hall. The club then made a series of moves, first to John Burroughs Jr. High, next to Bancroft Jr. High, then Robertson Playground and the Carthay Circle School. About this time, the Cohens, Kublins, Ellisons, Fagnans and others joined the club and it started to grow and function better because of the skills these people brought with them.
Times were not easy, with members loaning money to keep the club functioning. In February 1967, the club returned to West Hollywood Park for their dances, including the eighth Anniversary Dance. We wish to express our appreciation to Rose Schur and Rozalia Janulis for their perseverance in holding things together during mighty discouraging times.
In 1987 the club moved to the Cheviot Center for five years, then were in (briefly) Palms Park Recreation Center, and a Masonic Hall basement on Barrington Ave. Finally, in 1994, we were able to come to Felicia Mahood. (Our Wednesday class had been there for at least 30 years.) With the previous tenant gone, Nate Regberg arranged for our final(?) move.
Past Presidents of the club are: Abe Brodkin, Herman Cohen, Nat Kublin, Sam Steinberg, Marcel Traiman, Charles Fine, John Leveratt, Clarence White, Jay Raven, Betty Terry, Rudy Ontiveros, Florence Cohen, Ellis Anderson, Nate Regberg, Faye Randolf, Tavy Linderman, Nate Regberg (again), Hank Spieker, John Greiner, Linda Westerschulte, Howard Zager, Dale Birmingham, Jan Bartholomew, Art Omansky, Howard Zager (again), Robert Oppel.
For information on The Heels & Souls Square Dance Club, please contact any of the following:
Ruth Fisher 310-470-1090 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Mercer 310-837-5648 email@example.com