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Jim Mayo 5 - Basic Formations, Complex Calls

Jim points out that there are only a few basic formations in modern square dancing. One of the distinctive features of modern squares is the way that a series of basic moves are combined into one call. Swing Thru was an early example of this; Ed Gilmore objected to that term, saying that he could call the moves using more basic terminology. Later…

Jim Mayo 6 - Key Elements of Modern Square Dance

Jim discusses features that make modern square dancing different from traditional squares, including the unpredictable nature of the calls, the necessity for lessons, and the club structure that provides an important social element.

Kathy Anderson - four styles of squares

Caller Kathy Anderson gives an overview of the characteristics of four different regional styles of traditional square dances-- old-time Southern, New England, traditional Western, and singing squares.

Kathy Anderson - Getting started as a caller

Today, Kathy Anderson is one of the more actives callers of traditional and newly-composed square dances in the contra dance world; she is a featured caller at dance weekends and camps across the country and abroad. Here, she reflects on how she got started as a caller, how she developed her skill, and how she had a difficult time being accepted in…

Kathy Anderson - Patter Calling

Caller Kathy Anderson is well-known for her fast-moving squares, accompanied by equally lively patter calling. She talks about how she uses patter, what she chooses to include and what to leave out, and why patter plays an important in the dances she calls.

Kathy Anderson - Sandy Bradley, an appreciation

Sandy Bradley was a dynamic Seattle caller who burst onto the dance scene in the 1970s and early 1980, bringing an enthusiastic presence and a love of traditional western squares to audiences around the country. Kathy first encountered traditional squares at an event where Sandy was the caller, and she gives a brief appreciation of why Sandy…

Kathy Anderson - Youth Square Dance Scene

Caller Kathy Anderson discusses the burst of enthusiasm among young people for simple square dances set to hot old-time tunes. Starting in Portland, Oregon, with the efforts of caller Bill Martin, the movement has spread to other cities on the west coast and is making inroads in the East as well.

Larry Edelman 1: Social Context of Square Dancing

What role does an evening of dancing play in the lives of the people who live in that community? Caller Larry Edelman discusses the social context in which the dancing takes place in traditional dance communities.

Larry Edelman 2: Links in a Chain

Larry Edelman discusses his experiences studying traditional dances in southwestern Pennsylvania; in particular, he ended up studying with caller Jerry Goodwin. Larry began to appreciate how dancers and callers and musicians are links in a chain, keeping alive rich traditions from the past and passing them on to the future.

Larry Edelman 3: Grange Hall Dances & Fire Hall Dances

Larry Edelman discusses the difference between two different traditional dance venues, based on his research in small town dances in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Larry Edelman 4: Influences on a Dance Series

What are some of the influences that affect a traditional community dance? Larry bases his comments on his research in southwestern Pennsylvania, a region that has been influenced by both southern Appalachian and northern dance styles.

Lisa Greenleaf 1 - working with a contra mentor

First in a series of six.

Lisa Greenleaf, a well-known caller of traditional squares and modern squares from the 1950s and 1960s, describes how she got started as a contra caller. She describes working with Larry Jennings, a Boston-area dance organizer and choreographer, who became her mentor.