Saundra Bryant was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She first started square dancing when she was eight years old as a Girl Scout with her best friend Alicia. The leader of the troop happened to be Alicia's mother, world famous square dance caller Swersie Norris. Swersie taught square dancing to youth groups and coached boy's basketball and baseball. In fact, that's how Swersie found dance partners for the girls; she would make the boys dance with them before they could play ball!
After going to college, Sandie returned to square dancing in 1978. By this time, Callerlab had established dance levels and calling lists. She went back to a Beginners class Swersie was teaching, but didn't believe she'd remember any of her past training. To everyone's surprise, she wound up directing traffic in the square. So Swersie gave her the entire Mainstream and Plus list to study.
By October, Swersie thought Sandie had lost her mind. Sandie had gone from non-dancer to C4 in one year! By the summer of 1980, Sandie called her first National Convention in Memphis and proceeded to establish herself as one of the premiere callers in the country.
Around 1988, a Times Squares dancer told her about a new year-old club called the Chi-Town Squares, who were looking for a caller. Club cofounder, Ron Goodman, later called her, informing her that we were a gay club. Her response was basically, "And I'm a black caller!" So they had a little laugh and it was never an issue from the start. As it turned out, Sandie wasn't available to teach that year on Tuesdays, but she recommended a man by the name of Lindle Jarvis. And the rest is history!
Sandie called a few dances for us at Carol's Speakeasy and then called many regular club dances at the Wellington Ave. Church. In 1989, she called at our first Crossfire fly-in and has called at every one since. Her first IAGSDC convention was in Seattle in 1993.
Sandie is internationally known, having called in Japan, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Mexico.
When asked what she likes most about Chi-Town Squares, she said we were an enthusiastic, encouraging, and most of all, fun group. The admiration is definitely mutual. In recognition of her many years of generous and loving support of Chi-Town Squares; her incomparable calling at social dances and classes, her volunteerism at demonstration dances, and her presence at each and every Crossfire fly-in; all of which has resulted in a mutual friendship and admiration by the club and the entire square dancing community, a Lifetime Membership was bestowed upon Sandie in January, 2002.
Sandie still lives on the South Side of Chicago with her husband, Albert and her daughter, Alexandra. We are truly privileged to have Sandie here in Chicago.