Bear Miller ·Very sad news. My friend dan pantano passed away this Monday. He died peacefully in his chair at home. Don't have many details, but will pass them on as we learn them. dan was a very unique, interesting man that I was blessed to be able to call him my friend.
Late in the year 1993 while talking with a friend, it came to mind that life as we knew it had indeed ended and it would be a good idea to learn to square dance. He enrolled in a winter class being given by the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus club. It was taught by Robert “Bear” Miller. It was a
long class that went through the heat of summer. In fact, the heat was so great Bear has never agreed to teach another winter starting class! Never-the-less Dan graduated in the Yellow Rock class and began to attend mainstream dances hosted by the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus. Not long after, He was approached by the membership of the club to run for an office on the Board of Directors and was subsequently elected to the position of Secretary. Thus began the active political tenure of Dan in the long road to fame. The next year he was elected to the position of Vice President and successfully brought the dance scheduling of callers, which had been neglected, up to date and forward 3 years into the future. He was serving under David Crowell, who had started the process of applying for membership in the Denver Area Square and Round Dance Council. David resigned his position of President about half way through the year, leaving the application unfinished. This task was picked up and completed by Dan and the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus was admitted to the ranks of recognized clubs in the Denver Area. Since the club was new to this organization, Dan also accepted the responsibility of being the club’s council representative and continued in that position to the time Dan left the club as a member.
As a new representative to Council, Dan was intent on establishing a good reputation for the club he represented so volunteered to chair a committee that had no chair. At the time the only committee that met that criteria was the Float committee, and thus he became the Chair of the Float committee. The float was in disrepair and needed serious attention to make it safe for use. Since the budget was only enough to buy a few cans of paint, he bought and applied a restorative paint that made the float usable, albeit still in need of more repair. Unfortunately without realizing the stir it would cause, he had the paint dyed pink. Kind of a Pepto-bismol Pink. He actually thought it was a good idea in that it would be an eye catching color and draw attention to the float as it was pulled in the parades, but, alas, he was mistaken. On the positive side, he was then able to rangle a sufficient budget to totally restore the float to safe usage. This was accomplished by the hard volunteer work of the members of the Scootback Club.
After the Float incident and during the remainder of that tenure, he and his dance partner Debbie Hoyt also chaired the Class Visitation Committee. In addition to that they began to work their way through the chairs of the Board of Directors of the Council. Two years as Treasurer, then a year as Vice-President and at the turn of the century as President. At that time the induction ceremony to the presidency was somewhat different. It was c
ustomary to have a candle ceremony, and in Dan’s case he was carried to the dias on a palanquin with great fanfare and pomp, including scepter and crown. This was a surprise to him provided by Bear Miller.
As President Dan lead the Council to forgive a loan that had been made some years previously to the committee that established the USAWest Square Dance Convention. These monies had been raised by square dancers to promote square dancing which, in essence, was done. Also, it seemed foolish to have square dancers raise more money from square dancers to repay square dancers. Being able to remove the loan from the books of the Council Treasury went a long way to heal some of the friction in the general membership of the Council. At this same time the Council also decided to support the hosting of the 53rd National Square Dance Convention which was chaired by Sam and Linda Margheim.
For the 53rd National Square Dance Convention, Dan was eventually appointed to Finance Chair. This Chair was in charge of the treasury, the accounting, the program book, vendors, and the ways and means subcommittees. It required lots of travel, patience, and expertise. Over the 5 years leading up to the Convention, Dan did his part to help the 53rd National Square Dance Convention be a financial success which continues to benefit the entire state of Colorado’s square dancers. The Convention ended with a dollar profit exceeding $50,000.
During these years Dan continued to take lessons and danced on a regular basis. He learned the calls through the Challenge 1 program. He also continued to represent his various clubs at council meetings.
After the 53rd NSDC concluded, Dan continued to support the Council by chairing the Orbiting Squares Committee; three years, acted as Parliamentarian for the Council until dance year ending June 2015, and Chaired the 55th Colorado State Square Dance Festival. This festival was held at the Keystone Resort and showed a total profit of $22,000. Half of this profit was returned to the participants of the Festival in the form of subsidies to the food and other amenities. The other half was turned over to the State Association and the Denver Council in equal shares. For the Festival Dan had a very loyal and enthusiastic group of volunteers without which the Festival would not have been possible.