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Maryland Line Square Dance Sampler - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer leads 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 video is a sampler of the seven dances he taught.

When The Work's All Done This Fall - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

The figure: the active couple separates around the outside of the square, going all the way around. Meeting again in their home place, they link right elbows and swing once and a half around to face…

Wabash Cannonball - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

The figure involves the active couple separating, going halfway around the outside of the square, meeting behind the opposite couple and swinging. As they swing they move between the opposite couple…

The Ninepin (Liberty) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby - Maryland Line Square Dance, 1974:

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

Each square has an extra woman standing in the center (the Ninepin). When the caller calls "all five ladies to the center" all five women circle left in the center of the square until the caller says…

Walking In My Sleep (Texas Star) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This is the widespread traditional square, Texas Star, danced as a singing square to Walking In My Sleep, a tune popularized in the 1940's by Tennessee fiddler, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. After a middle…

Sugarfoot Rag (Swing Ma, Swing Pa) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This dance features lots of swinging! Starting with the first couple, lady number one goes to the couple on the right, swings the lady of that couple (Ma) then the gent (Pa) and then her own partner…

Pistol Packin' Mama (Six Hands Forward Up and Back) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This popular and widespread old time square dance figure is sometimes called Forward Six and Back or Right Hand High and Left Hand Low.

Listen to the Mockingbird (Birdie in the Cage) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This visiting couple square has a quick progression, whereby the next couple starts its round when the previous couple is visiting its last couple. There is no middle break. Note the Southern dosido…

Maryland Line Square Dance, 1974: Jitterbug Square (Pistol Packin' Mama)

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This visiting couple square has a quick progression, whereby the next couple starts its round when the previous couple is visiting its last couple. There is no middle break. In the figure, the two…

Golden Slippers - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This a standard "divide the ring" figure. It is also a mixer. At the end of each round, everyone does a do-si-do with their partner and swings their corner. The corner swings in this dance were done…

Bile Them Cabbage Down (Duck and Dive) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

Note that when couples 1 and 3 lead the figure, the duck and dive action is "across the side" and when 2 and 4 lead, the action is "across the lead." This stems from the caller's sometime numbering…

Square Dancing at Maryland Line

Bob Dalsemer describes old time square dancing at the Maryland Line Fire Hall in the town of Maryland Line, MD as he encountered it in 1974.You may also be interested in a similar article describing four dances in East Tennessee, published in 1981.

Dare To Be Square - Seattle, 2009

Dare To Be Square – Seattle, Washington, 2009Dare To Be Square is a weekend event celebrating square dancing in its many forms. North Carolina callers Nancy Mamlin and Phil Jamison created the event in 2003 and hosted the first few gatherings at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. Subsequent years saw similar events held in Portland, OR,…

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,…