Bill & Gayle Uhl
Bill and Gayle Uhl were the Westerville Promenaders 2017 Honoree Couple. The Uhls began square dancing lessons in 1973 with the Matteson Illinois Swing-Thru’s, and danced with that club for several years, and have been dancing for over forty years.
There is a cute story of how Gayle got Bill to go with her to square dance lesson. It seems Gayle read in the newspaper that there was going to be square dance lessons on the next Friday night and she was going. Bill’s comment to this information was: ”Not me!” When Friday arrived and time came for the lessons, Gayle got ready to go, took the car keys and started to leave the house. Bill asked, “Where are you going?” She said, “I’m going to square dance lessons, with or without you!” Bill knew that sometimes Gayle is ‘directionally challenged’ …she may have driven to Iowa or Chicago! So… Bill went along. They have been a dancing pair ever since.
They danced with the Matteson, IL Swing-Thru’s until 1980 when the caller retired and then danced with other clubs in their area until their children became involved in school activities and band. The Uhls moved to Westerville, Ohio in 1998. They joined the Westerville Promenaders, taking refresher lessons with Bob Daye in Gahanna in the fall/winter of 2002, and officially joined the Promenaders square dance club in September 2003.
Since joining the Promenaders the Uhls have served in several officer positions of the Grand Square, sometime for double terms. They served as Secretary from 2004 to 2006, Vice President from 2009 to 2011, and Presidents from 2011 to 2013. They are the 2016/17 Presidents of the Westerville Promenaders.
They have also been club reporters for The Cues and Tips magazine from 2004 through 2010 and 2014 to 2016, writing many clever and interesting articles when it seems no news was forthcoming. Also included was the researching, compiling, and writing the club’s historical biography which is included on the COCDC’s website.
Bill and Gayle have been assistants in the planning and preparation for the Westerville Promenaders’ Marietta Weekend for three years. They attended Ohio Conventions in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, and 2016. The Uhls participated in the 2013 Columbus Convention, assisting at the reservation desk and selling tickets for fund raising events. They initiated the program for the Promenaders to donate 50% of the money earned in a card game at every club dance to the 2013 Convention fund. In2016, Gayle participated in the early planning for the State Convention and they assisted in the reservation and ticket selling endeavors. Bill and Gayle have attended two Mid-America dances and helped with the tear-down decorations. On the local level, they have participated in over 100 banner activities and are always ready and willing to go dancing, recently expanding their dancing skills by taking round dance lessons.
Whenever there is a need for volunteers, or the use of their vehicle…..like in the Westerville July 4th Parade, or helping at the Westerville Sr. Center with dismantling the Snowflake Castle to prepare for our club dance, or to pick up students for lessons, or be angels at lessons, you can always count on the Uhls. They always readily volunteer without prodding or pleading. Many of their efforts are done with no fan-fare; they are usually the first to arrive at lessons to rearrange the room we use, setting up tables and chairs, and helping the caller to bring in his equipment and set it up. They do the same thing at the regular dances and are always the last to leave, making certain that the rooms are returned to their regular condition, lights are turned off, and checking with the custodian so he can safely close the building. In June 2016, the Grove City Western Squares held a dance for Relay for Life; the Promenaders had a dance on the same evening. It was Gayle’s suggestion that a collection be taken at the Promenaders’ dance and forwarded to the Grove City Club in support of their dance. Over $80.00 was collected and sent to the Grove City Western Squares.
Gayle had to have foot surgery three times, but that has not stopped them from getting back to dancing or from being supportive from the sidelines. Gayle will recruit prospective dancers to come to lessons wherever she may be, and can work square dancing into any conversation; grocery store, restaurants, card club, church functions ….anywhere! She even talked with people who were attending an LBJ dance about the benefits of square dancing and encouraged them to attend LBJ lessons. The sweet thing is, she gets results. Her positive attitude and superb enthusiasm is contagious. You can’t be around Bill and Gayle Uhl very long without feeling their enthusiasm for square dancing and the friendships it brings. Their continuous support and promotion of square dancing with their positive up-beat attitude, and unending enthusiasm is a model for all dancers.