Duck for the Oyster / Grapevine Twist

Video

These first three items were filmed in Super-8 by Bob Dalsemer, May, 1979, at the Vandalia Gathering, an annual festival in Charleston, WV, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History.

The dancers are from Glenville, WV, which now hosts the annual West Virginia Folk Festival, which begins the 3rd Thursday in June each year. There's dancing each year on a specially designed wooden platform erected for the occasion.

This square incorporates two well-known figures.

Take a Little Peek

Video

This figure appears in both four-couple squares and in big sets.

Butterfly Whirl

Video

Classic figure demonstrated by Glenville, WV, dancers

Audio only

from the chapter on Morgantown, WV, in West Virginia Square Dances, by Bob Dalsemer

Singing square, recorded by Bob Dalsemer in Morgantown, West Virginia.

"Everybody circle eight, now circle eight around
Everybody circle eight, now all the way around
Left hand to the corner, oh it's left and right around
While we go marching through Georgia
Hurray, hurrah, it's left and right around
Hurray, hurrah, now all the way around
Meet your own and take her home and promenade around
While we go marching through Georgia."
Figure
"The first gent out, he promenades around
When he gets home, he swings the gal around
Takes her to the center while the six hands circle round
While we go marching through Georgia
Hurray, hurrah, now keep a-circling round
Hurray, hurrah, now go the other way round
Take her out and take her home and everybody swing
While we go marching through Georgia."
Break
"You dance around the corner gal, you dance around her slow
You dance around your partner with a little bit more dough
Left hand to the corner, oh it's left and right around
While we go marching through Georgia
Hurray, hurrah, it's left and right around
Hurray, hurrah, now all the way around
Meet your own and take her home and promenade around
While we go marching through Georgia."
(No Extra Ending)

The first man promenades alone around the outside of the set, returns to his partner and swings her in the center while the other three couples circle left around them. The three couples then circle back to the right, all swing partners and dance the break. The figure and break are repeated for the second, third and fourth men.

There is usually some clowning around in this dance. While the three couples circle they may try to crowd or squeeze the lone couple in the center. When the circle of three couples goes back to the right the center couple may reverse the direction of their swing as well.

Eleanor Roosevelt square dancing

Eleanor Roosevelt dancing in WV

Newsreel footage of Eleanor Roosevelt dancing in Arthurdale, West Virginia, 1940

Audio only

A fine example of West Virginia patter calling and fiddling, recorded in the 1920s. The caller is Ernest Legg, with Devil's Dream being played by the Kessinger Brothers, recorded in 1928.