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High Country Dancers

California State Square Dance Convention in San Diego at Balboa Park April 8-10 2011. This clip is of the High Country (Colorado) Dancers, a square dance exhibition team and The Heritage Dancers (California) on Saturday Night. The dance routines include a Waltz Quadrille at 5:15 and at 7:35 a fast moving square with aerial figures.

Ed Gilmore - Square Dance Callers Instruction Course - 1949

This is the text of the syllabus of Ed Gilmore's class. The text is included on the website, or you can download a ZIP file of it. Contains plenty of philosophy, discussion of the caller's role, a detailed series of suggestions about how to teach basic figures (complete with specific language that he uses), plenty of detailed dance instructions,…

Shoo-Fly (clip) - Mac McKenrick

Singing square, called to the familiar children's song; not to be confused with the "Shoo-Fly Swing," a figure sometimes found at the end of big circle dances.

Doc Alumbaugh speaking to Al Brundage, 1957

Doc Alumbaugh, based in southern California, was one of the first traveling callers. In 1950, he founded Windsor Records, which became one of the foremost square dance record labels. (In addition to hiring excellent session musicians, Windsor introduced the idea of releasing a record with calls on one side and just the instrumental version on the…

Puttin' on the Style (clip) - Al Brundage

This is an excerpt (opener and first figure) from Al Brundage's recording of the dance on the Windsor label.

Blue Eyes (clip) - Al Brundage

This is an excerpt from Al Brundage's recording on the Windsor label. You'll hear the second time through the figure and then the middle break.

50 Years of Square Dancing in Germany

The first square dance was held in Bremen on July 16, 1949, called by Paul Hartman and attended by five squares, mostly American servicemen and their guests. The event was a success and Hartman began calling dances on a regular basis; he also traveled to other locations to organize square dance clubs. This site also includes information about the…

Grand Colonel Spin - demonstration

The Grand Spin call is no longer on the standard lists of MWSD calls. The dancers here are tapping but the figure itself can be clearly seen, starting at :35. The dancers are the Air Cap Tappers at McConnell AFB, Wichita, Kansas.Writing in The American Dance Circle (Volume 34, Number 3; September 2013), Paul Moore describes the figure…

Hash with stars - Ed Gilmore, 1956

live recording

Jerry Reed - Ed Gilmore was one of the early full time traveling callers. He also was an early teacher of callers. He urged callers to keep their patter calls organized and this clip illustrates that. The last two routines in this clip are a star pattern written by Jim York in 1955.

Honor Your Partner, Your Corners…

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Les Gotcher - hash - 1958

live recording - note the fast tempo, about 138 bpm

Les Gotcher was one of the early full-time traveling callers. He was known as the "Hash Master" and this clip from a 1958 dance illustrates how appropriate that term is.

Walk All Around the left hand lady
See Saw 'round your pretty little taw
Allemande Left about like that
Back to your…

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Square Dancing - Bob Osgood film, 1951

Film made by Bob Osgood / Sets in Order in 1951 to popularize square dancing. The accompanying flier was used to spur interest in rentals and sales.A discussion among square dance enthusiasts on the history of the film can be found here. As that discussion reveals, a copy of the film is available on DVD at a much higher resolution.

Ed Gilmore - Ends Turn In, live recording. 1958

In this clip Ed Gilmore uses a shortened version of the original Ends Turn In figure that was published in 1951. At that time the Square Thru call that he uses here to set up the lines did not exist. In this clip he also does a full Alamo Style balance routine allowing four beats for each turn thus allowing each balance to be on the first beat of a…

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