The Northeast Florida Square and Round Dance Association

The first meeting of the North Florida Square Dancers Association (NEFSDA) was hold on June 3, 1957 at the Jacksonville YMCA with dancers from seven clubs in attendance.

The Original area covered by the Association was the Northern portion of the State of Florida, extending westward from the Atlantic Ocean across the Panhandle to the Alabama State line.

The Florida Federation redrew Association boundary lines in 1964 and again in 1984, bringing the total number of counties incorporated in the Northeast to 13.

From 1957 until 1962 membership in the Northeast Association was composed of individual dancers. In 1962 membership was converted to the present policy of membership by club format.

In 1953 a newsletter known as The Grapevine was published by dancer Eddie. Bowman.  In 1960 publication of the newsletter was turned over to the Association and is still being published "under contract" as a quarterly magazine. The Grapevine has had approximately 16 Editors since its inception with the current editors, Bill & Angie Morgan, having held the Job since 2012. It remains Florida's oldest Square and Round Dance publication.

In 1974 the Association began a Blood Bank program. In 2002 the delegates voted to support a Charity Dance in 2003 with proceeds going to the Northeast Hospice in lieu of the Blood Bank. In 2005 NEFSARDA supported the Donna Hicken Foundation (Breast Cancer) at its Charity Dance. NEFSRDA dancers are still encouraged to continue their blond donations to the Blood Bank. Several clubs in the Association hold benefit dances throughout the year for various charities and through 2015 have raised over $300,000-for those less fortunate.

On January 1, 1986 the name of the Association was formally changed to Northeast Florida Square & Round Dancers Association (NEFSARDA).

NEFSARDA has hosted 11 State Conventions. Since 2011, it is truly a "state-wide convention" with all 5 associations putting on the convention, the most recent being in 2016. This convention is chaired by Jack & Kathy McKinney, Walt & Dianne Syphard and Linda Tester.

Ten Northeast Past Presidents have served as President of the Florida Federation. Those still active are, Dee Dee & Bessie Stovall, Jack & Kathy McKinney, Charlie & Val Newsome and Bud & Anita Taylor.

May 26, 1996 Pave & Shirley Nihart were inducted into the Florida Square Dance Hall of Fame. May 2013, Charlie & Val Newsome and Jack & Kathy McKinney were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In June 1997 Florida hosted the 46th National Square Dance Convention with many Northeast dancers working diligently towards the success of the event.

In 1998 Dave & Shirley Nihart were appointed to serve as one of the two 1 Florida Federation representatives to the United Square Dancers of America (USDA).  In June 1999 Charlie & Val Newsome were appointed as Representatives to USDA and served in that  capacity until February 2005. In 2011 Jerry & Donna Robey were appointed as Representatives to USDA.   In 2012 they were elected Vice President of the Central Region USDA, and are currently serving on committees for USDA.

The 50th Annual Fall Festival sponsored by NEFSARDA was hold in 2003 A highlight each year is the naming of the Dance Couple/Dancer of the Year. The names of those winners are listed on our Dancer of the Year page.

In 2007 NEFSARDA held a Dance to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  Jack & Kathy McKinney were chairmen.

In 2018 we enjoyed a unique experience during our annual weekend of dancing.  Under the chairmen Joan Amarino and Sherry Boatman-Burris we had a murder to solve.  The theme was "Murder in Maui" - a Luau to Die For". 

NEFSARDA Presidents

NEFSARDA Federation Presidents

NEFSARDA Hall of Fame Inductees

NEFSARDA Convention Chair Persons

NEFSARDA Dancer(s) of the Year

History of the Fall Festival

Fall Festival Chair Persons

Extra Mile Award

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Northeast Florida Association Home Page

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