Our Team

art and lilly

Art & Lilly Hardin

Art & Lilly have been dancing since 2015 Mainstream and plus. They also enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, and running ½ marathons. Which means they live in a great place to do all those hobbies, Silverthorne Colorado. They have been married since 1985. Both are retired from the US Air Force; they then took on second careers. Art retired from the Department of Labor and Lilly retired from the National Park Service. Art holds a master’s degree in computer science. Lilly has the distinction of being in the minority of women who holds a master’s degree in civil engineering; additionally, she is a professional engineer, certified project management professional, a certified planner, and a certified professional ski instructor.

They stay quite busy with square dancing, giving their time as presidents of the Timberline Toppers in Frisco Colorado; they have served as council representatives, vice presidents, presidents. They are now past presidents of the Colorado State Square Dance Association, and currently chair the past presidents committee writing new guidelines for producing the Colorado State Square Dance Festival. Lilly is also the chairman of the education committee. They are in their third year as directors for the Denver Area Round and Square Dance Council. Director’s plan and produce three council dances each year.

They were on the planning committees for both the 2023 & 2024 Colorado State Festival. They have been Colorado State Delegates to the United Square Dancers of America (USDA )since 2019. They are the current newsletter editors for the USDA NEWS a quarterly magazine distributed worldwide. They were on the promotions committee for the 72nd National Square Dance and of course served as the Program chairs for the 74th NSDC in Shreveport.

rayray

Ray Owens

When his rocket from the doomed planet Krypton landed on Earth, Ray was raised by wolves and a duck named Max.

When he was 20, he married his high school sweetheart, who gave him an ultimatum about six months into their marriage: “You’re going to learn how to do this square dance thing.” The “or else” was heavily implied. Ray had nothing else going on, so why not.

The “or else” came to pass about a decade later and Ray spent the next nearly 25 years not thinking about square dancing at all. Instead, at his various occupations, he was building his technical skills: programming, website building, and general nerdy-ness.

Around 2017 an attractive woman had mentioned square dancing at some point. Lessons were around the corner, so he said to the attractive woman, “Hey, ya wanna?”

Not long after, Ray was dismayed at the general lack of 21st century technology square dancing in general suffered. Knowing that people find information by the Internet, he was shocked to find callers / cuers / clubs had no internet presence. While everyone bemoaned the difficulty in recruiting new dancers, Ray started building websites, putting information on the web for people to find. Before the first year was out, every club in central Ohio (and quite a few beyond there) had a fully functional website.

In 2019 he tackled online registration for the Ohio Square Dance Convention, launching the website Weave The Ring. Weave The Ring provided online registrations for any square dance group. Eventually, Ray’s efforts would provide online registrations for the conventions of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Georgia. In addition to the state conventions, he’s developed event sites for RIVCO, General Butler Bash, the GSI Caller School, Two Old Goats, and many others.

Ray became the webmaster for both the Jackson, MS and Evansville, IN National Conventions. (The Evansville National was the very FIRST National to accept a fully  automatic / no-human-needed online registration.)  He was asked to design and build the website for the National Convention’s National Executive Committee.

Some of square dancing’s biggest names trust their websites to Ray: Tony Oxendine, Buddy Weaver, Mike Seastrom, Jack Pladdys, Tom Davis, Hunter Keller, Travis Cook, Ken Burke, Dan Nordbye, just to name a few.

In addition to all of those sites, different state and regional square dance associations including California, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Connecticut, Kentucky, Arizona, New England, and even Europe are being served by Ray’s Square Dance Tech company. Square Dance Tech is devoted to bringing square dancing into the 21st century with modern website design, photographic and video recording, promotional videos, online schedules, original artwork, and video flyers. In an effort to promote square dancing, most of the Square Dance Tech’s promotional material is given away, free of charge, to any square dance organization to use.

Happy their adopted son made good, the wolves and Max the Duck still stay in touch. Though they do call collect.

Family Portrait: Ray, Wolves, and a Duck named Max