HISTORY OF THE BRAZOS BOTTOM BELLES AND BEAUS (Revised 3/01/2012)
The Brazos Bottom Belles and Beaus Square Dance Club of Ft. Bend County was formed and grew out of an act of community service in May 1972. It was to help celebrate the 100th birthday of Ft. Bend County. This centennial celebration was a Hollywood type extravaganza with period costumes and all the reality that could depict the movements and celebrations of early settlers.
It was a Culver City, California Film Company, with professional direction, that provided the reality. One portion of the pageant was a wagon load of appropriately dressed participants coming into the arena and doing a square dance to the music of “If I had a wagon I would go to California” changed to “Ft. Bend County” to fit the occasion.
Some of the participants knew Daymond Mayhall prior to moving to the Richmond area; a caller from the other side of town. He agreed to help with the endeavor and soon discovered there wasn’t sufficient time to teach the group square dancing in the conventional way, so a square dance was memorized, rehearsed numerous times and performed like pros. This turned out to be the beginning of square dancing in the Richmond-Rosenberg area.
The participants concluded “Square Dancing” was so much fun they wanted to continue doing it, thus, a club was formed and the name “Brazos Bottom Belles and Beaus” was appropriately selected because of the proximity of each town to the Brazos River.
This new association of people began dancing each Tuesday night in the recreation hall of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Richmond, Texas in 1972. Daymond Mayhall became the club caller. Wendell and Shirley Lee of Richmond, Texas became the club’s first presidents and contributed much to the progress of the club in its early years.
Immediately after the close of the Centennial celebration, serious lessons were begun. The interest was so high a new class was started the following September. While there are some active members left from the September 1972 class, none of the May 1972 centennial dancers are still active in the club. Due to transfers, health, children, job changes, etc., new dancers will always be the lifeblood of the club. We hold new dancer classes every year.
In 1992, the club celebrated its 20th year with a special dinner and roast for Daymond Mayhall, which was held at the Holiday Inn banquet room on the Southwest Freeway. The evening was a complete success due to all the many hours of planning by so many dedicated members.
In 1994, due to extensive renovation of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Richmond, the club could no longer dance in the church hall. A decision was made to relocate to the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land, Texas.
On October 23, 2009, our caller, Daymond Mayhall, received the honor of being inducted into the Texas Square Dance Callers’ Hall of Fame. The award was presented to him at the 61st Houston Hoe-Down Dance in Galveston, Texas.
Effective October 1, 2011, due to a construction project at the Sugar Land Community Center, the club found a new home at the Faith Lutheran Church located at 800 Brooks Street, Sugar Land, Texas where members continue to enjoy square dancing every Tuesday night.
On February 28, 2012, Daymond Mayhall retired after calling for 40 years. Garland Smith, a very well known caller in the Houston area, became our new club caller.