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Items from "Northern squares": 243

Sioux City Sue (clip) - David Park Williams

From the CD set "Mostly Quadrilles," containing two CDs of called dances, 24 in all, and two CDs of just instrumental tracks, arranged by David Park Williams. Musicians are Bill J. Sparrow, fiddle; Elizabeth Olden, piano; Mark Williams, bass.

Six Pass Thru - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes, caller. Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC, November 19, 2011. Musicians for this session were Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; and Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Woodchopper's Reel" (aka Pea Soup Reel).

Although this dance uses traditional basics and is called in phrased New England…

Six Pass Thru (clip) - Ted Sannella

This clip is part of a series of eight square dances called by Ted Sannella at the Chesapeake Spring Dance Weekend, sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. (Ted called another four or five squares during the weekend, plus contras and triplets.) Each clip includes Ted's walkthrough, plus the introduction and first time through the…

Smoke on the Water - Tod Whittemore

Tod Whittemore is the caller; music is provided by Bob McQuillen, piano; Randy Miller, fiddle, and Peter Siegel, mandolin. This was part of a dance workshop on singing squares, recorded on January 15, 2011, at the 24th annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH.Named in honor of the great New England caller of contra and square dances,…

Square Dance (with Corky Calkins)

This 1955 film, produced by Roger Tilton, features Corky Calkins and his band. Calkins was a popular caller in the Springfield, MA, area. Among the dances shown here are Nellie Bly, The Route and the Virginia Reel.

Ralph Sweet comments: "When we first moved into this area [near Springfield, MA] Corky Calkins was going strong. He had regular…

Square Dance and Square Dance Music in Western New York State

Two articles by the pre-eminent scholar of this region's traditional music and dance traditions, and included on the site with the permission of the author. Kimball discusses the history of dances in this region, looks at the dances themselves and their social context, and describes the music commonly played.

An excerpt:
"...As early as the…

Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…

Squareback Reel - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls this composition by Roger Whynot at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

The tune is "Red Apple Rag." Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo.

Roger Whynot wrote this figure in the early 1970s…

Squareback Reel walkthrough - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes leads the walkthrough for this dance by Roger Whynot at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Recorded 19 November 2011 by John-Michael Seng-Wheeler and David Millstone

Standard Club Quadrille (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, a New England dancing master, was hired by Henry Ford and relocated from Massachusetts to Michigan. He recorded numerous albums with the Henry Ford Orchestra, as well as authoring Good Morning, Ford's country dance book.

Star the Ring (clip) - Ralph Page

Recorded by the Ralph Page Trio, to the tune of Girl I Left Behind Me (Disc 364)

Summer Sounds - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 15, 2000. Musicians are Swallowtail: Ron Grosslein, fiddle; David Cantieni, saxophone; George Marshall, bodhran; Timm Triplett, piano; Tim Van Egmond, hammered dulcimer.

Susanna (instruction) - Ed Durlacher

This is the very first dance on the first disk of Ed Durlacher's Honor Your Partner series, an extensive collection of dance and rhythmic music albums that were widely-used in schools. Here, Durlacher introduces a circle dance to teach the concept of partners, do-si-do, swing and promenade. Other albums in the series build to more complex dances.…

Swing Two Ladies - Ralph Page, 1955

Recorded at a dance in Fitchburg, MA, in 1955 by Harold Spaulding. Released on Dudley Laufman's CD compilation, "The Sound of Ralph Page." See also a video clip of Tony Parkes teaching this dance at the Brasstown Dare To Be Square.

Swing Two Ladies (includes walkthrough) - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes leads the walkthrough and calls the dance at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Mulvihill's Jig" (aka "Burke's Jig").Tony found this dance in the Fall…

Ted Glabach - photographs

Three photographs of Vermont farmer and dance caller Ted Glabach, taken by Steve Green, plus one photo (from his scrapbook) of Glabach as a younger dancer.

Ted Glabach - Vermont dance caller

This is the transcription of a lengthy interview with Dummerston, VT, dance caller Ted Glabach and his wife Marie, conducted in 1978 by Steve Green. Glabach was a farmer, born around 1913, who had invited fiddler Louis Jillson to call a dance in Putney, Vermont. (Jillson himself is mentioned by Eloisie Linscott in her classic work (1939), Folk…

Ted Sannella - photographs

After Ralph Page's death, Ted Sannella was widely regarded as the dean of New England callers. In addition to being one of the most prolific choreographers of squares, contras, and dances in other formations, Ted chaired the Ralph Page Memorial Committee and served on the Governing Board of Country Dance and Song Society. This website includes…

Texas Star - Bob Dalsemer

Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete view of dances from the weekend, see the audio and video files posted here.