• NSDC Ratings (B)

    From DARYL STOUT@TBOLT to ALL USERS on Thu Nov 26 00:03:00 2015
    I've been square dancing since December, 1985...and attended each
    National Square Dance Convention from 1986 to 2002. Since then,
    health and financial issues have prohibited me from attending any

    Anyway, others may feel differently about how a particular convention
    went, but this is how I felt they were...from best to worst. The first
    7 rankings were in a previous message.

    Rank: 8 Year: 1997 Location: Orlando, Florida

    This convention, had the potential to be a good one, with it being
    all under one roof. However, there were bad sound overlap problems,
    and poor shuttle bus scheduling. To top it all off, Saturday night,
    in the midst of a tropical thunderstorm, when the shuttle bus got
    back to my hotel, the security guard (for whatever reason) punched
    our bus driver in the face!! I was standing out in the pouring rain,
    calling for help on my amateur radio handi-talkie. When I got back
    to the Convention Center that night, I was shaking so bad from the
    adrenaline rush, that I couldn't dance. The case eventually went to
    trial, with the guard convicted of the crime, fined, and imprisoned.
    The State Of Florida flew me down there to testify, but that was not
    my idea of a Florida vacation. The Disney World After Party was
    cancelled at the last minute.

    Rank: 9 Year: 2001 Location: Anaheim, California

    The 50th year of the National Square Dance Convention, had the
    potential to be a good one...but just like the 2000 NSDC in
    Baltimore, bus service was poor. Many dancers were not buying
    bus passes until the last minute, and by then, too few buses were running...even though there were just 4 total routes. The Anaheim
    Convention Center had several areas where there was sound bleedover,
    plus food and beverage prices were comparable to the high gasoline
    prices. Just over 13,000 dancers attended, with 2000 dancers taking
    part in a parade down Disneyland's Main Street. The best event of
    the entire convention was the Special Event with The Alley Cats
    "a cappella" (no accompaniment) do-wopp group...among others.

    Rank: 10 Year: 2002 Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

    This convention was spread out between the Radission Hotel (5 blocks
    from the River Center), and the combination River Center/Touchstone
    Energy Place Convention Center. The Radission had a majority of round
    dancing, with the rest of the activities at the River Center. Due to
    the low amount of registrations (8817), partially due to the tragedy of
    Sept. 11, 2001, the shuttle bus transportation was limited to only 3 routes...campground, and 2 others...and the routes were served by
    school buses!! There were problems with the sound, if you weren't
    near the front of the hall, or near the speakers. Plus, food costs
    in the Convention Center were rather pricey.

    Rank: 11 Year: 1999 Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

    Unlike the 1986 Convention, this years just barely broke 10,000
    dancers. There were problems with the shuttle buses...and the food
    prices in the Convention Center were extremely high...$3.50 for a
    32 ounce drink!!

    Rank: 12 Year: 1989 Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    The Single Square Dancers were "exiled" to the Fairgrounds, where
    the RV Campers were...and there were shuttle bus problems. They got
    the 2003 NSDC. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, due to health
    and financial constraints...it was the first convention I had missed
    in 17 years...and I have not attended any since the 2002 NSDC in

    Rank: 13 Year: 1995 Location: Birmingham, Alabama

    The Singles again were in a location 2 blocks away from the main
    dancing activity. One caller who got up to call in the morning in
    the Singles Hall, promptly left the floor without calling his tips,
    when no one would square up for him!! Attendance was 50% lower than
    the previous years NSDC that was in Portland, Oregon.

    Rank: 14 Year: 1990 Location: Memphis, Tennessee

    Transporation was a big problem at this convention...as well as
    a very small space for the Parade Of States.

    Rank: 15 Year: 1996 Location: San Antonio, Texas

    The Singles were "exiled" to the Alamo Dome; and with poor shuttle
    bus service, and with the hot Texas summer sun, some dancers fell ill.

    Rank: 16 Year: 1987 Location: Houston, Texas

    From one extreme to the other, this was the worst convention of all
    I had attended...at least until the 2000 Convention in Baltimore (see
    below). The biggest part was that they tried to sound the square dance
    halls with Peavey Rock-N-Roll Speakers instead of the tradtional
    Yak-Staks. Unless you were right in front of the speaker, you couldn't
    hear. This fiasco practically caused a dancer/caller revolt...with 1/3
    of the 20,000 dancers leaving town the first day of the convention!!
    There were also shuttle bus problems, and the after party coordination
    at Astro World was poorly handled.

    Rank 17 Year: 2000 Location: Baltimore, Maryland

    While sound wasn't a great problem at Baltimore, it was to some
    extent. However, there were other much more severe problems that led me
    to place Baltimore on the BOTTOM of the list of past conventions. These included very poor bus transportation...convention center food service and prices...dancing was spread out, and signs to direct dancers to the right
    halls were sorely lacking. Going between the halls meant walking through "walk-in cooler strips", plus the square dance halls were on concrete...
    with preferential treatment apparently given to round dancers and cloggers.

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