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Items from "MWSD": 296

Basic Movements of Square Dancing

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 contain subdivisions; for example, Figure 16 is Arch and Under: a. Inside Arch - Outside Underb.…

ABC's of Square Dancing

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 reasons why you got started in on this square dancing thing. Maybe it was just the need of a good…

5 Steps to Better Dancing

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 forward
3. Stand tall, move lightly
4. Take smaller steps
5. Listen to the music, dance to the music

Catalogs

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.

Joe Lewis - Callers Class

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 of timing the delivery of calls: "If you can't see the timing errors in a singing call and try to…

Jessy Polka Square

Here are the directions for Red Warrick's dance. See the related item for a video showing Warrick calling for his demo team.

10,000 Square Dancers Can't Be Wrong

1954 newspaper article and photographs about popularity of modern square dancing in St. Louis

Bob Ruff - Square Dancing Fundamentals, Level 1

Also available elsewhere online: Caller Bob Ruff (Whittier, CA) created this video to accompany his record, "The Fundamentals of Square Dancing, Level 1" that in turn accompanies a square dance teaching series he created with Jack Murtha. Ruff teaches 35 basic square dance movements, working with a group of elementary school students who had been…

Square Dance in Japan - organization

This piece by Masaru Wada, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Japan Square Dancers Association, presents an overview of modern square dance in that country.

Barn Owls square dance club

Items connected with one mid-1950s square dance club:

• Program for 3rd anniversary dance, 1954, including club roster
• Invitation to 5th anniversary party
• invitation for regular dance
• stationery and envelope

The Barn Owls club was hosted regular dances at the Gardena Barn, Gardena, CA, in the Los Angeles area.

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Square Dance camp brochures

A small collection of brochures illustrating various dance camps and square dance travel. Just as different callers developed their own magazines and newsletters, so did they find additional opportunities to connect with an ever-growing number of square dance enthusiasts in the 1950s and 1960s.

Osa Mathews - portrait and bio

View full record for details.