In September 1939, as World War II began in Europe, Public Service Company employee Joe Lang, who had learned to call square dancing, started holding square dances in the company's truck garage — pulling out the trucks and steam cleaning the floor …
Dancers were originally part of Public Services' G&E club, but changed the name to Kilowatt Eights in 1956.
On Oct. 3, the group will hold a gala dinner and dance at Malley Senior Center in Englewood, where members now meet to dance, to celebrate Kilowatt Eights' 75th year as a club.
In July 1996, Kilowatt Eights was recognized by American Square Dance Magazine as the oldest active square dance club in the country — and they're still circling around and swinging those partners.
They're also offering classes for those who need a little help getting started on the right foot. Classes begin on Sept. 10, on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Englewood First Presbyterian Church, corner of Hampden and South Logan, near Swedish Medical Center. Another class starts Oct. 20 at the Grandview Grange, at South Vine Street and East Noble Place (across from the South Suburban Ice Rink.)
For class information, contact Karen and Ron Dreher, 303-759-4862, email@example.com.
During America's time in World War II, employees had to dance elsewhere due to security considerations with the garage, so they danced in the garage's lunchroom until membership outgrew it in 1948, when the club moved to the Wight Building in downtown Denver, then to the company's Belleview Center in Littleton.
Joe Lang retired in 1956 and a series of active presidents followed as additional anniversaries were celebrated.
In 1989, a 50th anniversary was celebrated at University of Denver's new Driscoll Student Center.
For more information about the club, contact the Drehers, as noted above.
Here's to another happy 25 years!