About the 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 are few current sources that offer a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.
This is the flyer used to promote the Square Dancing film created by Bob Osgood and his Sets in Order team. View item
Edna Davis is caller. The dance is Two Little Hobos, a common southern Missouri figure. View item
Don Durlacher, son of Ed Durlacher, was a regular summer caller at Jones Beach outside New York City, calling with the Top Hands band that his father had used for many years. At this dance, the… View item
Primo Fiore was born in Brooklyn on September 6, 1930 but raised his family in Deer Park, New York, while working as a physical education instructor in West Islip. His gifted speaking voice, combined… View item
Two newspaper clippings about Texas caller Bob Sumrall.
The first, from January 14, 1947, focuses on a new square dance team that he formed and that will be performing at the Inaugural Ball for the… View item
This is a rough log of the three video files that were combined for the published interview with Marie Armstrong. This will give interested viewers a summary of her comments and may help you move… View item
Marie Armstrong was a longtime leader of recreation activities, including square dance, contra, and folk dance, as well as leading singing. She was married to caller Don Armstrong for many decades.… View item
Two audio excerpts from the album Square Dancing With Soul by Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, originally released on the Folkways label in 1969. The comments are from the booklet released with the… View item
This short article from 1996 provides a brief summary of the leading square dance magazines, as well as background information about the founders. View item
This full-page article and layout of photographs was created by the Associated Press, drawing attention to Lloyd Shaw and the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The top right photo shows the bus in which the… View item
This 1972 documentary, half an hour in length, describes the work of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. It includes footage of Dorothy Shaw speaking to participants at a gathering of the Lloyd Shaw… View item
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