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Ninepin - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls the version of this traditional square dance as he learned it at Maryland Line, MD, back in the 1970s. This was recorded at at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Another staff caller, Bill Litchman, is the ninepin in the center of the set at the start of…

Grand Square - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 6

Grand Square was always danced at Maryland Line to one part of the polka tune Bye, Bye My Baby. The late Bob Osgood, publisher of Sets in Order magazine, recorded "Grand Square Quadrille" to a more complete version of the same tune.

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in…

When the Work's All Done - Bob Dalsemer

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

This session was recorded on November 19,…

Paul Jones - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 1

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

The Paul Jones is a traditional dance mixer,…

Duck for the Oyster - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 5

This is what might be termed a semi-singing square. Maryland Line caller Jake Jacoby always called Duck for the Oyster to the tune Little Brown Jug (as played by The Sawmill Boys). Note the Georgia Rang Tang/Southern Do-si-do type figure following the main figure and the progression which keeps this visiting couple figure faster moving than…

Cindy - Bob Dalsemer

Cindy is a singing call as called by Maryland Line caller Jake Jacoby in the mid-1970's. The tune seems to be an amalgam of Cindy and Oh Susannah.

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the…

Golden Slippers - Bob Dalsemer

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

This session was recorded on November 19,…

Duck and Dive - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 7

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

At Maryland Line, Duck and Dive was always…

Wrong Way Thar - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls this figure, which he adapted from Milly Riley's self-published book Western Square Dancing based on Dorothy Shaw's syllabi of the Lloyd Shaw Dance Fellowship, 1955-1970. The original dance (p. 154) is entitled "Arky Stuff." It features both a regular Allemande Thar figure and "wrong way" Thar. This clip includes a walkthrough.

Pigtails and Ribbons - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls (and plays accordion) on this singing square, which he learned from callers Otto Wood and Donald Davis, at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Otto's source was probably a recording by California caller Bruce Johnson and the Sundowners Band (Windsor 4839). This clip includes a walkthrough.

DTBS Callers & musicians

The callers are joined by the musicians from the Dare To Be Square Weekend. Front row: Jim Morrison, guitar and fiddle; Sam Bartlett, banjo; Claudio Buchwald, piano and fiddle; Steve Hickman, fiddle

Brasstown Callers

The six callers at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC, 2011. They are also consultants to this Square Dance History Project. From left to right: Phil Jamison, Bill Litchman, Larry Edelman, Tony Parkes, Bob Dalsemer, and Jim Mayo

Bob Dalsemer 4: How do you choose what dances to teach?

Caller Bob Dalsemer discusses some of the choices he makes in deciding what kind of squares to include in a dance program. What kind of music is available? Who are the dancers and what are they expecting? What material have I already introduced in the program on which I can build?

Bob Dalsemer 3: Traditional Dance is a Polished Rock

Bob Dalsemer discusses how a traditional dance, done in a community over time, becomes a sort of gem, all the essence and no frills.

Bob Dalsemer 2: How Callers Use Dance Structure

Caller Bob Dalsemer discusses ways that square dance callers can present basic figures in different variations, provided that they understand the basic structure of a given dance. This gives the caller flexibility in shaping a program to fit a particular audience.

Bob Dalsemer 1: Structure of Dance Programs in Traditional Series

Caller Bob Dalsemer describes his experiences in traditional dance communities. Each community may have just a few break figures that appear in all dances, which means that callers can program a lot of dances in an evening without much instruction. He contrasts that with the squares called in contemporary contra dance communities, for example,…