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Cowboys' Christmas Ball - Anson, Texas

Poem written in 1890 describing the Cowboys' Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas. For more information about the author, see this website on cowboy poetry. The Ball continues, following the original rules requiring women to wear skirts and men to check their hats and spurs. Chittenden's poem was set to music and included in John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and…

Cowboy Loop (clip) - Lee Bedford, jr.

This dance was called by Mildred Blakey at the big 1950 Santa Monica dance.

Cowboy Dance (1923 article)

The Cowboy Dance

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Bob Osgood

This is a short clip from a tip called by Bob Osgood at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is a 3 Ladies Chain routine.

Bill Shymkus

This is a short clip of a tip called by Bill Shymkus at the 3rd National Square Dance Convention in Dallas , Texas. The choreography is the goal post pattern that was very common at that time.

Between Those Ladies (clip) - Ray Smith

This 1953 clip features Texas caller Raymond Smith introducing the seeds of modern Western square dance style at Camp Becket in Massachusetts. He's calling "Between Those Ladies" by Toby Allen, a variation of the traditional figure "Right Lady High, Left Lady Low."

The form of square dancing that became MWSD started in the 1940s when callers…

Abilene Lift - Rickey Holden

An early description by Rickey Holden of the so-called "Abilene lift," a distinctive style of incorporating a two-steps into square dance movement.

1954 National Square Dance program - Dallas

This is the program for the 3rd National Square Dance Convention, held April 8–10, 1954.

West Texas Square Dances - Index

This is the cover and index of the booklet published by Jimmy Clossin and Carl Hertzog, showing dances that were common to that region around 1950. The book offers a dictionary, "Around-the-Ring Dances," suqdrilles, and "Callers Chatter."

The title page announces that this is "A Revised and Enlarged Edition of "Honor Your Partner" The Original…

Swing Your Partner  (Texas, Doc Journell)

This is the first issue of a square dance magazine edited by C.D. "Doc" Journell. The photo of Doc Journell calling a square dance was submitted by Carrie Journell, wife of Journell's great-grandson. She writes, "He was such a diverse man - a dentist, caller, painter and now we can add editor and publisher to family stories."

Foot 'n' Fiddle  (Texas)

This journal was started in 1946 by Marlys Waller and Anne Pittman, who called it Foot 'n Fiddle. They sold it to Herb Greggerson in 1949, who apparently added the other apostrophe to turn it into Foot 'n' Fiddle. He later passed the magazine on to Bertha Holck as publisher. Holck co-edited with Herb Greggerson starting with vol 4 no 1 (November…

Balance & Swing (TX)

Edited and published by Swede Soderberg and Jim White, with an all-star cast of advisors: Ray Smith, Joe Lewis, and Bill Palmer

"Doc" Alumbaugh

This is a short clip from a tip called by "Doc" Alumbaughat the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is the "classic" figures Dip and Dive and Right Lady High, Left Lady Low.

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement; Holden has written that "at one time, at every dance, the entire floor could be heard to move, everyone, in unison, with an almost mystical, magical…