Don Allen


American squares
American squares, international, clogging, social dance

Don Allen and his wife


Don Robert Allen was born on June 23, 1942, to Robert Scott Allen and Louise Pierce Allen in Ames, Iowa. He started square dancing in elementary school, graduated to social dance in junior high, and went on to graduate high school in Ames.

When he attended BYU in 1964, he began dancing with the Brigham Young University International Folk Dancers in Provo, Utah. In 1970, he was hired as full-time faculty and assistant director of the BYU International Folkdancers, with whom he went on six European summer tours as performer, artistic director, and tour director. He also toured with the BYU International Folkdancers in the United States for fourteen years as tour director, performer, and technical person.

His schooling was interrupted by the Vietnam War, where he was severely wounded while serving and was returned home. He married his first wife, Connie Koew, and they had four children.

Don was an advisor to the square dance, clogging, and folk dance clubs. In addition to squares, he taught international folk dancing, clogging, and social/ballroom dance. After BYU, he went on to successful teaching oportunities at the University of Northern Iowa, Oregon State University, and California State University at Sacramento.

Don taught at folk dance camps all over the U.S., including Southern California's Holiday Camp, and did workshops and choreography for many university and high school performing groups. In his last years, Don struggled with Lou Gherig's Disease and was in a wheel chair for almost a year.

Don later married Nancy Nead Allen and inherited six more daughters. He and his wife retired and moved to Texas where they lived happily. Don was a gentle and kind man, and he made may friends in Texas for the short time he lived there.

Don Robert Allen passed away at Sister Mary Hospice on November 14, 2011, after suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Dances Don taught include Angus Reel Mixer, Beckett's Reel, Flash of Fire, Gone at Last, Grand Square, Happy Heart, Jesse Polka, Jiffy Mixer, Just Because, King of the Road, Last Thing on My Mind, Maple Leaf Jig, March Contra, Mason's Apron, Night Train to Memphis, OXO, Shindig In the Barn, Square Dance Basics, Squares, Sun Coming Up, and Tennessee Wig Walk.