Local Hero: Stan Fowler
Dancers far and wide have heard of the Glen Echo Ballroom, home to Washington, DC's massive dance scene. They might not know, however, that Glen Echo might never have happened without Stan Fowler. Stan was the one who saw the Ballroom's potential, largely unused in the early 1980's. At a time when dances were held in church basements with concrete floors and school multipurpose rooms, Stan saw the opportunity in the Ballroom for the growing DC dance scene. Stan helped the local dance organizers come together and collaborate among themselves and with the National Park Service for its use.
Then, at a time when there was no funding to maintain the Ballroom, Stan organized hundreds of volunteers to shore up the floors and make other needed repairs. After that, he started on the old Bumper Car Pavilion to create an additional dance space. Other people and many organizations have joined forces since then to renovate and maintain the Ballroom and it is a center for dance practically around the clock every weekend.
Stan is known for many things - as a master of dance floor science, the dance camp lifeguard, and his special relationship with a certain superhero, but next time you dance at Glen Echo say a thank you to Stan for his vision and dedication on behalf of all of the dancers in the hall.
- Submitted by Joel Bluestein