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.
Dr. Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw was one of the most influential figures in square dance history. Educator (high school teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools), researcher, author, caller, teacher of callers, and promoter of square dance—through the travels of his young Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, his Cowboy Dancesbook, and his subsequent callers' classes, Shaw sparked a nationwide revival of interest in square dance. In the years immediately after World War II, square dancing boomed as a