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Items from "Northern squares": 252

Cape Breton - Washabuck set

Cape Breton square dance: Three figures of the Washabuck set, recorded at Boisdale, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton - Inverness Set

Cape Breton square dance: this is the Inverness set, recorded in Brook Village, Nova Scotia. The video contains three figures.

Silver and Gold - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella wrote this dance in 1952, specifically to accompany the tune of the same name. In Balance and Swing, Ted writes, "This simple dance is a favorite of mine, one that I use with any group that is able to do a right and left through. Sometimes I use it as a teaching aid after explaing that figure to beginners. This works out well because…

Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella rarely called singing squares, but in this example of Hot Town in the Old Town Tonight, he mixes patter with a little big of singing to create a hybrid of singing and patter.The SDHP site contains many other examples of Ted Sannella's calling.

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella calls his dance, Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides, in a live recording from c. 1958. In Balance and Swing, Ted explains, "I wrote this dance in February, 1953 for a dance exhibition at the 1953 New England Folk Festival. It shows off very nicely the circles, lines and stars so typical of square dancing." More than 60 years after its…

Vermont square dance festival - children

These are photographs of school groups participating in the big square dance festivals held in Vermont in the 1950s in Northfield and Montpelier.

Contra Corners Canon

The dance was composed by Pittsburgh caller and choreographer Ron Buchanan. In this video, it's being called by Lisa Greenleaf.

Vermont Country Dance Festival - 1953

Program from a 1953 Vermont dance festival, whose avowqed purpose was "To strengthen Vermont's heritage of square and contra dances and to bring together country dance enthusiasts from every section of the state for a wonderful time." The program, which was sponsored by the State Recreation Office. As years went by, the event was attended by huge…

Harold Luce biography

This short biography profiles Harold Luce (1918-2014), a well-known Yankee fiddler and dance caller closely associated with the Ed Larkin Dancers of north central Vermont. Luce started playing with the group in the 1930s and continued for eight decades, as well as calling and fiddling at his own square dances.He accompanied the dancers and called…

Corky Calkins - two programs

These are two programs of Massachusetts caller Corky Calkins, one from 1965 and the other from 1967. They were noted by Connecticut caller Ralph Sweet who for decades carried a small notebook with him to dances and recorded the programs and any unusual figures used by the caller. The 1967 program took place in Sweet's own Power Mill Barn in…

First Two Gents Cross Over - Harold Luce

Harold Luce started fiddling with the Ed Larkin Dancers in north central Vermont in the 1930s and played with them until his death at age 95 on August 13, 2014. In this recording, he is accompanied on piano by Karl Brown.He accompanied the dancers and called for dances, performing at two World's Fairs in New York City (1940 and 1964) and each year…

Comin' Round the Mountain - Eric Clamons

Third of three clips from Minnesota caller Eric Clamons, this one a traditional singing square.

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…

Westchester's Famous Square Dance Expert

Article describing Elisha Keeler's approach to calling squares

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…

Don Messer - souvenir booklet

The Don Messer Jubilee Show toured extensively, bring Down East music, song, and dance to audiences throughout the US and Canada. Messer was well known thanks to his weekly television show broadcast and three-times-a-week tadio broadcasts.

The short biography below came with his Messer's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in…

On the Road to Boston - Don Messer

The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Maple Sugar - Don Messer and His Islanders

No calls, just a choreographed routine from Messer's popular television show; The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Two related items show other choreography set to the same well-known tune.

Uptown – Downtown (Golden Slippers) - Ed Durlacher

Classic square dance figure, Uptown Downtown, done as a singing square to Golden Slippers by caller Ed Durlacher; music provided by The Top Hands, directed by Frank Novak. One of the Related Items is a newsreel with Durlacher calling this very dance in Central Park, New York. More detailed information about this recording, part of a collection,…

Let's Square Dance! - instruction booklet - Richard Kraus

This a sample instruction booklet from Album 3 in the "Let's Square Dance!" series, aimed at ages 12-14, Grades 7-8.