Browse Items (267 total)

Several years ago the Square Dance Foundation of New England arranged an on-line link to a set of clips from early modern square dances. These clips were from the SDFNE collection of tapes of live dances. The clips were accompanied by comment written…

Article by Bert Spinney that provides brief biographical information about caller Mildred Buhler and her involvement in starting the British Association of American Square Dance Clubs.

This is a thorough look at how to involve younger dancers in square dancing, prepared by Sets in Order and published in the 1960s.

The handbook opens with an essay by Ralph and Zora Piper on "The Child's Nature and Square Dancing." Among other…

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A handbook of basic dance figures, written by a Virginia dance caller in the early 1950s.

This early handbook from Sets in Order provides detailed instructions for 20 basic figures, "the foundation movements for most square dancing." As such, it offers an overview of what was considered essential in the early years of MWSD.Many figures…

This informal guide to square dancing is aimed at beginners, an easy-to-ready pamphlet that a caller could distribute to dancers in a class. It strikes a friendly tone:

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So you wanta' square dance?

There are probably a million different…

The "5 Steps" of the title can be taken literally; this tiny handout, illustrated with stick figures, is all about how to move on the dance floor:

1. Keep both feet on the floor, don't walk. [Instead, use a shuffle step.]
2. Keep weight…

This collection of seven catalogs from the 1950s and early 1960s illustrates the range of materials offered to participants in the early square dance boom years, from recordings to clothing to badges and caller PA equipment.

This is a fragment of a callers' class led by Joe Lewis; unfortunately, we do not know the location or the date. Lewis comments, "When a lot of people suddenly do the same thing wrong, the caller did it." He focuses a lot of this session on problems…