South Shore Dancers
Author - Larry Copeland (July, 1999)
date related content, current Directors and editor's notes updated - Roger Troupe (August, 2018)

"Vive La France", "Regency Masque", "Circus Night", "Highland Fling",  "Devil’s Dance" and "Greensleeves."  These are a few of the themes which the South Shore Dancers have presented in their twenty-eight year history!   Initially no one came up with the idea of giving dances a "theme", but the idea soon caught on.

It has been twenty-eight years and more than 280 dances since the first group of people met to organize the SSD in the summer of 1989.  That group consisted of the Osterlands, Copelands, Ryans, Marchis, Bilowz, Harringtons, and Mary Murray. (Some of them are still Directors)!

Our first dance was in September, 1989, and at that time we didn’t know if the idea would pay… the Directors pledged their own funds in case income didn’t cover expenses!

But it did catch on, and while receipts didn’t always cover expenses, (particularly in the Winter months), the SSD has managed to do its job which is to collect enough money to defray expenses.

Shortly afterwards, the idea of making a Director couple in charge of each dance was introduced.  Their job was to choose a theme and to provide the decorations.   Suffice it to say, that the other Directors pitched in for each dance…each of them now has an assigned chore at our dances.  The "in-charge" Director couple holds a meeting shortly after the dance to go over what can be learned. (ed. note: There is no longer an "in-charge" couple.  The monthly dances are now a "group effort.")

At first, the Directors provided "snacks," but other members soon began bringing food to each dance.  We’ve even thought of changing our name to: "The South Shore Eaters!"

In 1992 Tom Osterland and Bill Paull figured out that the summer was a "long dry spell" with no dancing, so they started the Pot Luck Suppers at an air-conditioned hall.  In July, we celebrated the 27th Pot Luck Supper.  (Incidentally, Tom & Bill provide all the music!)  (ed. note: Bill Paull has retired from the music portion of this event, but is still actively involved in assuring that the setup goes smoothly.)

Then Ginny Paull came up with the idea of holding "practice dances" on Friday evenings.  She’s still in charge of that operation and the number of attendees is increasing. (ed. note: Ginny has retired from her in-charge position for these dances. The Friday evening dances unfortunately declined in popularity and are no longer being held.)

Ralph & Betsey Brown have been in charge of many New Year’s Eve dances, (which doesn’t always take place precisely on New Year’s Eve)!  This dance is different… we have a catered dinner, and it’s a chance for our dancers to dress up in their finest.  This New Year’s Dance, on December 27th, promises to be one of the finest.   (ed. note: Ralph and Betsy Brown have retired from spearheading this function.)

Joe Johnson and Mary Murray - who attend a lot of Yard Sales - thought of making a dance featuring this idea.  Dancers bring many items and they are sold for small amounts… all of which goes to defraying the cost of the New Year’s dance! (ed. note: Joe Johnson and Mary Murray have retired from spearheading this function, it is no longer an annual event and, when held, the proceeds now go to our annual Lend-A-Hand campaign.)

Current Directors are: Marie & Tom Osterland, Karen & Roger Troupe, Martha Kelly, Joan Paquette, Gene Cobb, Martine Anderson, Laurie & Steve Cavanaugh and Kevin O'Brien.