Cleveland City Country Dancers

in Groups and Organizations

The Cleveland City Country Dancers (CCCD), a mixed-gender LGBT+ square dancing club, was formed in 1987 by gay square dancing instructor Ed Schellhous. After forming a small square dancing group at Ohio City Oasis, Shellhous formally organized the CCCD and began holding regular weekly dance practices at Ohio City Oasis and the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. The Cleveland City Country Dancers was a member of the International Association of Gay/Lesbian Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC), an international square dancing organization. The CCCD held its first IAGSDC ‘Load the Boat’ Fly-In Weekend (named after the square dancing call “Load the Boat”), an annual event and IAGSDC square dancing meet-up, in October 1990. The Rainbow Wranglers, a LGBT+ “contemporary country-western dance club,” formed as an offshoot of the CCCD that same year. In 1992, the group relocated its weekly meetings to Archwood United Church of Christ (2800 Archwood Avenue) after having outgrown its former practice spaces at the Oasis and LGBT Community Center. Like the Rainbow Wranglers, the CCCD provided an important venue for LGBT+ “men and women to be able to get together and socialize” while raising “much-needed funds for a variety of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender organizations.” In addition to hosting weekly practices and annual ‘Load the Boat’ Fly-In Weekend events, the CCCD regularly performed at a number of annual LGBT+ community events, including the We Are Family Picnic, Dancin’ in the Streets, Cleveland Pride, and the Fall Hayride. In 2008, the Cleveland City Country Dancers hosted ‘Touch A Quarter Century,’ the IAGSDC’s 25th annual international square dancing convention, in downtown Cleveland.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “Cleveland City Country Dancers.” IAGSDC History Project. November 3, 2022.
  • “Country Dancers Host First “Fly-In”.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1991. Page 4.
  • Cudnik, Doreen. “Cleveland to Host Square Dancing Weekend October 6.” Gay People’s Chronicle. September 15, 1995. Page 12.
  • Downing, Bob. “Cleveland City Country Dancers Launch New Season.” Gay People’s Chronicle. September 4, 1998. Page 8.
  • Glaser, Chris. “Swing Your Party.” Scene. September 6, 2006.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “Dancing on the Square.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 18, 2008.
  • Hurst, Allan. “Overview of LGBTQ Square Dancing.” IAGSDC History Project. May 16, 2017.
  • “Load the Boat.” IAGSDC History Project. July 17, 2022.
  • Putre, Laura. “Swing, Pardner.” Scene. November 12, 1998.
  • Schlotsky, Stella. “Cleveland City Country Dancers 1992.” YouTube. Uploaded May 31, 2009.
  • Schneck, Ken. LGBTQ Cleveland. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2018. Page 21.
  • Spayd, Michael. “Square Dancers Gather on July 4th Weekend.” Gay People’s Chronicle. June 20, 2008. Page 5.
  • “That’s Only $10 A Foot!” Gay People’s Chronicle. November 12, 1993. Page 22.
  • “Touch A Quarter Century.” IAGSDC History Project. November 24, 2023.
  • “Two-Steppin’.” Gay People’s Chronicle. November 20, 1992. Page 1.
2800 Archwood Ave, Cleveland, OH 44109

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