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History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

Rosin the Bow  (Rod LaFarge)

The 1947 issue contains an introduction to the very basics of square dancing. It also has a detailed look at what is required for a Girl Scout to earn a Folk Dancing badge.

The 1950 issue contains a detailed set of instructions for the quadrille, among other dances.

La naissance du cotillon et du quadrille, contredanses françaises

Article (in French) by Simonne Voyer, who is the author of La danse traditionnelle dans l'est du Canada: quadrilles et cotillons. For a translation in English by Susan Kevra, click here.

Tony Parkes 2 - Quadrilles and Visiting Couple Squares

In this interview, caller Tony Parkes describes the basic structure of quadrilles, the 19th century dance form that set the pattern for traditional New England squares, and contrasts that with visiting couple squares. In a typical quadrille, head couples interact often with each other (and the same for sides with each other). In a visiting square,…

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…

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…

The Birth of the Cotillion and the Quadrille, French Contredanses

This is a translation of Simonne Voyer's article, "La naissance du cotillon et du quadrille, contredanses françaises."The translation is by Susan Kevra, Senior Lecturer in French and American Studies, Vanderbilt University, as well as a caller of American contras and squares and English country dances.

Quadrille (2 figures)

This is part of a lengthy presentation of historical dances by "Veronica's Vagabonds," Veronica McClure, director; recorded May 19, 1985, at Kramer's Hayloft, South Weymouth, Massachusetts.

The narrator introduced the dance with these words: "In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the quadrille, a square dance, became popular. The…

Danish Lancers, first figure

La Dorset, 1st figure of the Lancers as danced today in Denmark. Subsequent videos at this site show the other four figures.

Honest John

Honest John is an unusual dance that was greatly admired by Ralph Page. An accompanying video shows it being danced by a group that includes some members of the Ed Larkin dancers. This file presents some background information on the dance as well as a selection of Ralph Page's comments on the dance.

Country Dance and Quadrille

In this poem, c. 1822, we see that it's the squires from the countryside of England who prefer the stately Miss Quadrille, while others are initially enamored of the charms of that newcomer from France, Mademoiselle Quadrille.

Kitchen Lancers - Tony Parkes

This dance was taught by Tony Parkes as part of his workshop session on New England Square Dances, recorded November 19, 2011, at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different styles of…