The Cheltenham Square Dancing group was formed in 1957 at the instigation of Frank and Sylvia Lewis who were from the USA but resident in Cheltenham. The first meeting was at Frank’s house in Pittville, with three other couples, one of which was also from USA. As attendances grew, it became necessary to meet at the other American couple’s home in Old Bath Road, which could accommodate three squares.
Around 1961 the group moved to a room behind what is now the Playhouse Theatre, then in 1964 to the canteen at GCHQ (where many of the members were employed).
In 1964, the group were accepted into membership of the British Association of American
Square Dancing as the Swinging Squares (Cheltenham) -
By the ‘70s the club had left the GCHQ Benhall site (mainly due to a GCHQ stipulation
regarding the proportion of members who had to be with GCHQ) and used a number of
halls including Co-
Membership grew during the late 70’s / early ‘80s to a peak of 152 in 1983 but is now around the 50 mark.
The Club enjoyed the services of a number of callers in its early years -