Square Dance History Project
Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.
Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there is no current source that offers a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.
This exhibit looks at square dance traditions in the Mountain State. West Virginia is small, but conrains rich square dance traditions. Elkins, WV, in the center of the state, home of Davis and Elkins College and also the Augusta Heritage Center, lies near the dividing line: to the east, communities have long traditions of dancing southern Appalachian big circle dances, while to the west it's four-couple squares.