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Shall We Dance? - Maine, 19th century

This article, written by theMaine Memory Network Curator and Historian for the Maine Historical Society, takes two mid-19th books as a focal point for looking at etiquette and social status as reflected on the dance floor. H.G.O. Washburn's 1863 Ball-Room Manual of Contra Dances and Social Cotillions with Remarks on Quadrilles and Spanish 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…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Don & Marie Armstrong

Don and Marie Armstrong call Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine.A clip of Don's commercial recording of this dance can be found here, and a search on this website will reveal additional examples:* Video, called by Bill Litchman at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC* Video, called by…

Rod's Right and Left (clip) - Rod Linnell

This dance was recorded on the flip side of Mountain Music Madness, on the Apex label, #9-26431. The band is Don Messer's Islanders. The tune is Debbie's Jig.In her notes, Louise Winston writes, "This next dance, composed simply of ladies chain and right and left through, sounds deceptively easy but can throw seasoned dancers the first time they…

Pack Up Your Troubles / Three-Quarter Promenade (clip) - Rod Linnell

The tune is Pack Up Your Troubles. Linnell's calls were released on the Rodeo label (Canada, RXP1), with music by The Maritime All Stars.

Presque Isle Eighth (clip) - Rod Linnell -

The tune is Crooked Stovepipe. Rod Linnell: "We used to spend each winter in northern Maine and call dances there and in neighboring New Brunswick. During one of these winters, the Presque Isle club held an eighth anniversary dance. The night before he event we had to drive about 120 miles to a New Brunswick engagement, and while on the journey…

Mountain Music Madness (clip) - Rod Linnell

The tune is "I Like Mountain Music," here adapted into a singing call. Recorded on the Apex label, #9-26431. The band is Don Messer's Islanders. In her notes to the dance in Square Dances from a Yankee Caller's Clipboard, Louise Winston writes:At Maine Folk Dance Camp in the early 1950s, Rod said to me, "Get your pencil. I've a new call I think…

Maple Sugar Gal (clip) - Rod Linnell

This clip includes once through the figure, once through the chorus (which comes after each figure), and the closing break, which mirrors the start of the dance.The dance is described in detail in Square Dances from a Yankee Caller's Clipboard, by Rod Linnell and Louise Winston. The notes to that dance point out the distinction "between four ladies…

I Want a Gal (clip) - Rod Linnell

Released on the Rodeo label (Canada, RXP1), with music by The Maritime All Stars. Note the chorus singing the refrain!

Half Way Round (clip) - Rod Linnell

Maine caller with his composition, a singing call set to the RCA VIctor recording of "Back Up and Push." Linnell's version is published in