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Red Henderson 
Square Dance Caller
ID: 2120

SIO's Article: IF UNSELFISHNESS, devotion to a cause and a dedication to be of help to the young people of a community, mark a man worthy of square dancing's hall of fame, then our cover man "Red" Henderson is indeed correctly chosen. Red, or Edwin S. Henderson, is a firm believer in the young man and young lady of today, and he relies upon square dancing as a method of molding these young people into strong and dependable citizens.

We first met Red at one of Lloyd Shaw's early fellowship sessions in Colorado Springs. We had all been so impressed with the high caliber of the young high school boys and girls who formed the famed Cheyenne Mountain Dancers and who helped in the class sessions. Red, we remember, was particularly inspired by what he saw and told us that he was determined to introduce a square dance program to the young people of Spokane, Washington, when he returned to his home there.

That was back in 1948. From a modest beginning that first year when just a single session on Saturday afternoon was sufficient to take care of the crowd, the attendance steadily grew to from between 400 to 500 young dancers. Word got around, the popularity increased, and Red was forced to move to a large gym with Saturday afternoon and morning sessions increasing to a total of 1500 on a single Saturday.

As the program developed, civic organizations heard of the square dancing program and asked for exhibitions at their meetings and so from the dancers Red developed a demonstration team which was to be known as "The Silver Spurs." This group was made up of youngsters who excelled not only in dancing but in the many facets of leadership which their instructor had instilled in them. As their fame spread they received invitations to perform in all parts of the country.

Red, a bachelor, has always considered these youngsters as his own. While he taught them well in dance styling he also showed them how to have a good time. Along with the fun he taught them responsibility and manners — fundamental requirements not only on a dance floor but so necessary as a means of reaching adulthood. At times, when there wasn't enough money to pay for costumes or offset the expenses of a tour, Red would somehow always come to the rescue with funds of his own.

Red's job today is supervising physical education for the Spokane Public Schools and also supervising recreation for the Spokane Park Board and in this dual capacity he correlates the park and school program. But beyond these official responsibilities his heart is with these youngsters and with square dancing.

Perhaps by honoring Red in this July issue of Sets in Order we can also pay tribute to the many tireless square dance volunteers who unselfishly devote their time and interest so that our young people may be guided, through square dancing, into better ways of citizenship.

If you have any additional pertinent information about this person, please Contact Debbie.