Browse Exhibits (8 total)
Based on a popular song from 1957, this singing square has been a crowd pleased for more than 50 years. It was recorded in two versions by Marshall Flippo, and in New England it's well known through the calling of Ralph Sweet and younger callers. This exhibit provides background information on the song and the various versions of the dance, including audio clips of Flippo's two recordings and video footage of the dance being called on three occasions by Ralph Sweet, Tony Parkes, and Nils Fredland.
The November 18-20, 2011 Dare To Be Square Weekend at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC featured six nationally known callers: Bob Dalsemer, Larry Edelman, Phil Jamison, Bill Litchman, Jim Mayo, and Tony Parkes representing a wide range of traditional and modern square dance styles.
The weekend was co-sponsored by The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) and was documented on video by David Millstone and John-Michael Seng-Wheeler. This exhibit gathers together the video footage of the dances. You can download a spreadsheet listing all the dances, callers, and programs.
You will also enjoy a related exhibit containing interviews with the callers, a total of 25 additional videos.
In addition to these materials, CDSS is publishing a detailed syllabus of the weekend, as well as more than 10 hours of audio (more than 150 mp3 files), all contained on one disk. This item is available for sale at the CDSS Store.
This exhibit contains interviews with the six square dance callers on staff at the Dare To Be Square dance weekend held November 18–20, 2011, at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. Interviews for each caller are collected on one page.
Note: After selecting and viewing an interview, use the BACK button in your browser to return to the list showing other interviews of the same caller.
This short exhibit looks at one particular square dance that originated in the upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. It includes comments by Ralph Page, who wrote about the dance on several occasions. Also included is video footage of the dance being called by Adam Boyce at a public dance sponsored by the Ed Larkin Dancers, a performance group in north central Vermont that maintain dance traditions going back into the late 19th century.
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 Dances book, 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 social activity, and hundreds of would-be dance leaders from across North America flocked to Colorado Springs to study with him.
This exhibit features an article from Country Dance and Song magazine, audio files and video all relating to square dancing in a rural town (Maryland Line, MD) in the 1970's. For caller Bob Dalsemer, the Maryland Line square dances were his introduction to old time traditional square dancing and inspired him to seek out other such dances in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
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.
WOMEN CALLERS IN MODERN SQUARE DANCING
This exhibit is a work in progress. While we have many links to examples of women calling on this web site, we know of several others that we hope to add to the collection. As they become available we will add them and provide the links that will make the connections.
There have been women calling square dances for a very long time. They were not abundant in the formative years of the modern square dance movement but several were well known and played important roles. The patter style of delivery focused attention on voice quality and many dancers felt that the higher pitch of most women's voices did not make for comfortable listening in that style.
In spite of that, there were a few widely recognized and highly regarded woman callers in the early years of modern square dancing (MWSD). They were not usually as widely traveled as their male counterparts but often, in their own areas, were very popular. In 1984 Sets In Order magazine published an article written, probably, by the editor, Bob Osgood, discussing some of the unique concerns that women callers face.
In addition to those mentioned in this article, this site has videos of other women callers. These can be found with a search by name. Among them are: Judy Ryder, Susan Kevra, Kathy Anderson, Carrie Masters, Jean Alve, Caroline Oakley, Sandy Bradley and Lori Morin.