The Oregon Round Dance Teachers Association (ORDTA) began as an idea in the minds of Lloyd and Elise Ward, Bud and Shirley Parrott, and Elaine and Bill Funk. The Ward's, Parrott's, and Funk's were attempting to find an efficient method of selecting the round of the month. They had a number of interesting and spirited discussions with several of the Oregon State Federation officers concerning the round of the month selection process. It became obvious to them that an organization would carry more weight than one or two teachers in changing the state's method of selecting rounds. An organization would also provide a voice for round dancers and teachers on other fronts.
Lloyd Ward presented the idea of an organization during an informal meeting of several round dance teachers at a restaurant in Eugene during the 1979 Oregon Summer Festival, and work was begun to form a round dance teachers organization. Elaine was assigned the task of contacting organizations from other states to gather their bylaws and determine how they did things.
The organizational meeting was held over breakfast at the 1980 Mid Winter Festival. Since Lloyd and Elise Ward had presented the original idea, they were "elected" Chairman. Elaine and Bill Funk filled the Secretary-Treasurer position. The organization's name was also chosen at this time. Sixteen teaching units were listed on the charter roster:
- Lloyd and Elise Ward (Founding Member)
- Bud and Shirley Parrott (Founding Member)
- Bill and Elaine Funk (Founding Member — As noted in the June 2001 OFN, Elaine Funk is the only living founding member of ORDTA.)
- Bill and Shirley Mayhew
- Dennis and Suzanne Smith
- Larry and Rosemary Wheeler
- Norman and Patricia Beard
- Gordon and Koko Sutton
- Tom and Ida Surface
- Ray and Betty Hanna
- Ward and Joyce Foster
- Bob and Bert Staehnke
- Bud and Doloris Trowbridge
- Dick and Marge Pentecost
- Joyce Hooper
- Doris Jenks
ORDTA initially held their meeting in conjunction with the state festivals. The meeting at the 1981 Mid Winter Festival saw Tom and Ida Surface elected Chairman, and Betty and Ray Hanna elected Secretary-Treasurer. The roster listed 29 teaching units. Efforts were started to draft a set of bylaws.
The initial bylaws were presented and adopted at the 1982 Mid Winter Festival meeting. The purpose of ORDTA was stated to be:
- To improve, strengthen, promote and encourage the enjoyment of the Round Dance movement in the State of Oregon, in all phases.
- To cooperate with other leaders, callers and organizations.
- To promote Round Dancing as part of Square Dancing.
- To provide a vehicle for teachers/leaders to exchange ideas, dance material information and good fellowship.
- To assist in the improvement of the professional development and skills of area Round Dance teachers/leaders.
ORDTA initially operated using the calendar year as their fiscal year. Quarterly meetings between the festivals were started since the membership felt the need to meet more often.
The Surface's and Hanna's continued in office through 1982. Committees were formed to select quarterly dances and workshop figures. Dennis and Suzanne Smith were elected to fill the previously empty position of Vice Chairman at the 1982 Summer Festival meeting. The roster published in November 1982 listed 40 teaching units. Work was started late in 1982 to incorporate ORDTA as a non-profit corporation. Incorporation was accomplished in early 1983.
The 1982 Mid Winter meeting was a new administration elected. Ray and Betty Hanna were elected Chairman, Dennis and Suzanne Smith were re-elected Vice Chairman, and Virginia and Denny Alldredge were elected Secretary-Treasurer. Membership continued to grow with 48 teaching units listed on the March 1983 roster.
ORDTA changed their fiscal year from calendar years to a July through June fiscal year at the 1983 Summer Festival meeting in order to have the terms of office in better alignment with the state directory. ORDTA also accepted the task from the state federation to manage the process of selecting the Round of the Month. Curt and Anita Boardman were selected to chair that committee.
Elections held during the spring of 1984 saw Dennis and Suzanne Smith elected Chairman, John and Jo Archibald elected Vice Chairman, and Shirley and Dan McCornack elected Secretary-Treasurer. ORDTA held their first workshop featuring nationally known Round Dance teachers in July 1984 featuring Wayne and Norma Wylie. The October 1984 roster listed 59 teaching units.
Darryl and Becky Jordan assumed the chair of the Round of the Month committee when the Boardman's resigned in January 1985. Officers elected during the spring of 1985 were Dennis and Suzanne Smith as Chairman, Earlean and Dave Passon as Vice Chairman, and Ernie Powell as Secretary-Treasurer. After the death of Shirley Parrott, ORDTA started an education fund in her memory. Membership continued to grow with 62 teaching units listed on the July 1985 roster. ORDTA held their second workshop featuring nationally known teachers in October 1985 with Charlie and Bettye Proctor.
Spring of 1986 saw Earlean and Dave Passon elected Chairman, Paul and Betty Cooper elected Vice Chairman, and Carol Bouchard elected Secretary-Treasurer. Ray and Virginia Walz were appointed to chair the Round of the Month committee. Discussions and investigations concerning insurance were started. ORDTA joined the Oregon Federation as a non-area club in November 1986. The ORDTA Chairman is accorded a place with the other appointed officers of the Oregon Federation and is afforded the opportunity to make reports at the State Federation meetings.
1987 saw the re-election of Earlean and Dave Passon as Chairman, Dan and Doris Sobala elected as Vice Chairman, Carol Bouchard re-elected as Secretary, and Betty and Ray Hanna as Treasurer. The office of Secretary-Treasurer was split into two offices in July 1987. The tenure of office was changed to September through August to be in better alignment with the tenure of office for the state federation officers. The September 1987 roster listed 68 teaching units.
ORDTA appoints the Round Dance Screening Committee Chairman. This committee's function is to assist the Areas in the selection of the Round of the Month (ROM). ORDTA also selects a classic round for the March ROM of each year.
Anyone interested in ORDTA should contact an ORDTA member or officer for more information.