About White Rose Squares


White Rose Square Dance Club, known as White Rose Squares, was formed back in 1977. In September of that year Tom Signiski organised a Hoe-Down at the United States Base, Menwith Hill, near Harrogate. Tom and his wife Ann had graduated at Cloverleaf Squares Dance Club in Bradford in the summer of 1977. A Beginners Class was started in October 1977 at the Recreation Centre, Menwith Hill, Harrogate where members danced to tapes. The Beginners Class consisted of eight American and twenty three English dancers.

Tom & Ann Signiski founders of White Rose Squares
The name of the new square dancing club was discussed with all of the members and the name decided was White Rose Squares, in reference to the White Rose of Yorkshire as in the War of the Roses. The banner and badges were also discussed and the Americans were keen to have 'Harrogate - England' incorporated into the design so that they could have badges to take home with them. The banner was designed by Reu Jackson and was hand sewn by Arlene Munson.
Al Green at White Rose Squares

In March 1978 Harry and Jean Preston were invited by Tom to Menwith Hill on a club night to call a dance up to the Basic 50 moves. It was felt that this would keep the interest of the beginners, and indeed, the dance was a huge success. Harry was the first live caller White Rose Squares had danced to since the club was formed.

The first graduation of White Rose Squares was held in the summer of 1978 at the Memorial Hall, Pateley Bridge where the caller was Al Green. Soon after the graduation Tom and Ann completed their stay at Harrogate and returned to Maryland USA. As a result of their absence it was decided to form a committee to run White Rose Squares which was chaired by Cliff Hopes and included Lillian Convery, Jackie White, John White, John Pratten and Jerry Long.

Founder Members of White Rose Squares
When Tom and Ann returned to the USA we were unable to use Menwith Hill and White Rose Squares moved to Beckwithshaw Village Hall, Harrogate. The club then danced at Hookstone Chase Primary School, Starbeck and The Masonic Hall Harrogate, for about 12 years, before moving to its current location at Pannal Village Hall which is situated on the Harrogate to Leeds road.

In 2018 White Rose Squares celebrated 40 years of dancing and  has over 40 regular dancers on club nights. We hold regular club dances, social events and Beginners Classes to promaot American Square Dancing in our community.