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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,…