Plus - Wednesdays 8:00- pm, Pirates Den, 17 King St., Yarmouth
Caller: Shirley Nickerson
Contact: Shirley & Burnley Nickerson
17 King Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2X9 (902) 742-4109

      Thirty-six years of square dancing in the Yarmouth area have progressed from the very first beginner class in 1965 to the present day Shirley's Shipmates plus club.
      In the fall of l965 Shirley Nickerson started her first square dance class, and after twenty weeks graduated three squares of dancers. A club was formed called the "Gateway Dancers" with an elected executive and Shirley as caller. At that time Shirley was the only woman caller in Nova Scotia. Other callers introduced her as "the Nova Scotia Call Girl". In 1970 she attended the Roth caller school to which she accredits much of her success as a caller. Two couples from the first Gateway club are now still dancing every week with the Shipmates.
      The early years were not without their problems. Perhaps the biggest obstacle of all was to find a suitable place to dance. Halls were often too large and always too expensive. This problem was solved in 1971 when Shirley and her husband renovated their basement into a square dance hall with wooden floor and all the necessary utilities and large enough for four squares. This has been our square dance home ever since. and now we are able to have our classes on nights other than club night and also can pick nights most suitable to the dancers. At this time the club became caller operated and changed its name to "Circle N Dance Ranch".
      The next big change came in 1991 when Shirley started a new plus instruction class open to Mainstream dancers in the area. After graduation the club name was changed again to "Shirley's Shipmates." The club now has an active membership of three squares of dancers who take their dancing seriously and still have fun. Our weekly dance is a semi-workshop type of program with two or three tips featuring plus material in extended application or all position dancing. We dance every Wednesday night at 17 King St. in Yarmouth. Visiting dancers are always welcome.

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