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Jim Mayo 2 - Square Thru and Changing Choreography

The call "square through" provided callers with a new tool for moving dancers around on the dance floor. Jim describes how callers experimented with the figure and how he introduced it in many different setups in his classes.

Jim Mayo 3 - Start of CALLERLAB

The 1970s saw a dramatic increase in the number of calls, which led to repeated cries from dancers for someone to bring order out of chaos. This led to the formation of CALLERLAB.

Jim Mayo 4 - New choreography

New calls such as Wheel and Deal and Swing Thru gave modern square dance callers powerful tools for creating new choreography and patterns of movement. Callers discovered that the sequence "Wheel and Deal, Double Pass Thru, Centers In, and Cast Off 3/4," repeated three times, would get all dancers back where they had started—a triple zero, which…

Jim Mayo 5 - Basic Formations, Complex Calls

Jim points out that there are only a few basic formations in modern square dancing. One of the distinctive features of modern squares is the way that a series of basic moves are combined into one call. Swing Thru was an early example of this; Ed Gilmore objected to that term, saying that he could call the moves using more basic terminology. Later…

Jim Mayo 6 - Key Elements of Modern Square Dance

Jim discusses features that make modern square dancing different from traditional squares, including the unpredictable nature of the calls, the necessity for lessons, and the club structure that provides an important social element.

Jim Mayo's 40th - Hash

Caller, Earl Johnston, a member of the first CALLERLAB Board of Governors. Johnston was from Vernon, CT, and was a disciple of Al Brundage. This footage was taken by Bill Cross on October 1, 1989, at the party hosted by Jim and JoAnn Mayo to celebrate Jim's 40th anniversary as a square dance caller. It's a fine example of good timing in modern…

Just Because - Jim Mayo

Jim Mayo calls a series of hash figures at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Unlike the more traditional figures associated with this dance, which might be reviewed in a walkthrough, dancers faced with Jim's modern style calling just needed to listen carefully and move!…

MWSD - The First Ten Years

This article by Jim Mayo looks at the first ten years of what is usually called Modern Western Square Dancing. Jim traces the development of the activity in detail, citing specific callers and their influences, and illustrating his comments with links to audio files of live recordings made during the 1940s and 1950s.Jim is the author of Step by…

New Call Problems in the Mid 1970s

This is an excerpt from the book Step by Step Through Modern Square Dance History by Jim Mayo. It describes the situation that had been created by a flood of new calls in the mid 1970’s. Related items illustrate a set of early attempts by Square Dance Systems to create an organized catalogue of calls.

Old Grey Bonnet - Jim Mayo

Listen to Charley Thomas calling this song.

Patter - Jim Mayo - MWSD 4

This is the fourth clip in a series of videos documenting Jim Mayo's workshop on Modern Western Square Dance, recorded November 19, 2011. This was part of the Dare To Be Square Weekend held at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC, supported in part—including the videography expense—by Country Dance and Song Society.

For many of…

SDFNE 1960's Era Recordings

Jim Mayo undertook a project to use the Square Dance Foundation of New England's audio archives and locate representative samples of square dance calling from the time period when Modern Western square dancing was taking off, but before the call Swing Thru was invented.

For each caller he has collected a representative patter tip and singing…

Show Me the Way To Go Home - Jim Mayo, Joe Casey, Johnny Wedge

The callers are Jim Mayo, Joe Casey, and Johnny Wedge; videotaped October 27, 2010, at East Hill Farm, Troy, NH

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Jim Mayo, MWSD 3b

Along with its companion video (MWSD 3a - Swing Thru), this set of videos documents one tip in Jim Mayo's workshop on Modern Western Square Dance, recorded November 19, 2011. Having just introduced Swing Thru, Run, and Trade, Jim here incorporates them into his singing calls. This was part of the Dare To Be Square Weekend held at the John C.…

Star Thru & Square Thru - Jim Mayo - MWSD 2a

After an introductory dance using figures that dancers already knew, in this sequence of three clips (2a-2c) Jim Mayo introduces Star Thru and Square Thru. In this clip he teaches the basic figures; in 2b he calls patter and in 2c he uses those figures in a singing call.

For many of the 70 dancers at the weekend, this event was their first…

The Beginnings of Modern Square Dancing - Jim Mayo

Article by Jim Mayo looking at the transition from traditional to modern square dancing, a short version of the ideas presented at length in his book.

This Land Is Your Land - Jim Mayo

Jim Mayo calls this dance at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman, fiddle; Jim Morrison, guitar; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo.

Visit with the Legends, 2010

Each year's CALLERLAB convention includes a History / Heritage / Tradition session. For several years, this has been titled "Visit with the Legends," at which MWSD callers with long history share stories from their careers.

Johnny Wedge, moderator
Cal Golden
Marshall Flippo
Wade Driver
Jim Mayo

We're Gonna Have a Ball - Jim Mayo - MWSD 5

This is the final dance from Jim Mayo's Modern Western Square Dance workshop, recorded November 19, 2011, as part of the Dare To Be Square Weekend held at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. The weekend was supported in part—including the videography expense—by Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS).

For many of the 70 dancers at…

When the Saints Go Marching In - Jim Mayo

Jim Mayo, caller. A dance in modern square dance style set to the well-known tune. Jim says this is the signature dance of his friend Joe Casey, another MWSD caller from New England.