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Labor Day Quadrille (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…

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides (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 dance includes Ted's walkthrough, plus the introduction and first time through the…

Square Dancing Atop Lookout Mountain

Article by Karen terHorst describes dancing in New Salem, Georgia, an historically-isolated community above Chattanooga, TN. The article is based on her visit to the dance in the 1970s. The dance stopped taking place sometime around 1990.

"New Salem's style is similar to the Appalachian square dancing described by Frank Smith (1955) and Pat…

Traditional Folkdance in Kentucky

Article by LeeEllen Friedland describing the social setting for community dances as well as the dance figures themselves. She differentiates among three types of dance: single dancing, couple dancing and group dancing. Folklorist Burt Feintuch provides a historical look at Kentucky dances in his article here.(excerpt from pp. 6–7) "The…

Set Runnin' in Eastern Kentucky

Description from 1949 by Patrick Napier of traditional square dances in eastern Kentucky.

Old Side Door: A Kentucky Mountain Dance

Article by Patrick E. Napier, originally published in 1949, describing a Kentucky dance figure and its setting.

Dance magazine publishers - photos

This photograph appeared in the October, 1950, issue of Sets in Order. It shows a gathering of prominent dance leaders at the folk dance camp at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA; each man was the publisher of a magazine that looked at different aspects of folk dance. Shown, left to right, are Ralph Page (Northern Junket), Herb Greggerson…

Glencoe Promenade

Description of a square dance figure from south-central New Mexico; the figure probably goes back to the late 1800s.

Old Time Square Dancing on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Author Bob Dalsemer discovers a long tradition of the "big circle" square dance on this island off the North Carolina coast, far from the Appalachian Mountains where it is usually encountered.

The Independence (PA) Lancers

For moving images of the dance, click here.This is Bob Dalsemer's account of discovering an old dance form maintained in a rural Pennsylvania community:"On two occasions in 1979, I had the good fortune to visit the bi-weekly Saturday night square dance at the Grange Hall in Independence, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. I found…

The Buzzards' Glory Barn Dance 1928–1966

In the early 1970s, Bob Dalsemer heard about a dance series in Albanstown, northern Baltimore County, Maryland; the dances were no longer being held so he interviewed two sources to create this portrait of the local square dance.

Uncle Steve's Quadrille (recording)

The first audo file contains instructions for the dance; it is followed by two music files with calls for the first and second figures.Detailed information about this dance, as published in Elizabeth Burchenal'sFolk-Dances from Old Homelands (1922) can be found here; information about the recording, Victor 35739, can be found here. Victor…

Uncle Steve's Quadrille (description)

This dance was published in Elizabeth Burchenal's Folk-Dances from Old Homelands (1922). This is the first dance iin the book, one of two American dances, along with Old Dan Tucker. (See the moving images of Burchenal leading Old Dan Tucker here.)Burchenal's dance description says it stems from Oxford County, Maine: "This is an old-time country…

Life on the Ocean Wave (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the noted dancing master who was hired by Henry Ford to promote social dancing, leads Life on the Ocean Wave, also known as the Head Two Ladies Cross Over. The musicians are the Henry Ford's Old-Time Dance Orchestra. Lovett wrote Henry Ford's "Good Morning" square dance books, and this dance appeared in the 1941 edition of that…

Allemande Alphabet

This look at the "allemande alphabet" is by Dick Pasvolsky, writing in The American Dance Circle, quarterly publication of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. A concise listing of the figures can be found here; Pasvolsky adds more commentary and explanations of how the figures might be used.

Chuck Jones - square dance adventures

Famed animator Chuck Jones (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, and many more) was an ardent square dance enthusiast, part of the southern California boom in squares in the early 1950s. This is an excerpt from a letter to his daughter, Linda. It describes a square dance demonstration that did not run smoothly. Another Chuck…

American Squares Summer School, 3 (photos)

A series of photographs taken at an American Squares summer camp session, plus one postcard

American Squares Summer School, 2

More material from the American Squares summer camps:
• A report on the 1950 camps
• A roster of participants from the 1950 Minnesota camp
• Diploma awarded to a camper

American Squares Summer School, 1

American Squares magazine sponsored a series of summer dance camps for eager square dancers. Faculty included Jimmy Clossin, Ralph Piper, Charley Thomas, Fred and Mary Collette, and Luke Lukaszewski.Items in this collection include:• Brochures advertising camps for 1950 and 1953• An ad for the camps, from the magazine (1952)See additional…