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Puttin' on the Style (clip) - Al Brundage

This is an excerpt (opener and first figure) from Al Brundage's recording of the dance on the Windsor label.

Shoo-Fly (clip) - Mac McKenrick

Singing square, called to the familiar children's song; not to be confused with the "Shoo-Fly Swing," a figure sometimes found at the end of big circle dances.

Crooked Stovepipe - Tod Whittemore

The caller is Tod Whittemore; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. Ralph adapted this from a traditional French-Canadian dance and tune, and it is often the first square learned by New England callers. You…

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…

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…

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…

Just Because - Walter Lenk

Caller Walter Lenk, backed up by Tony Parkes, leads dancers through the singing square Just Because. Recorded at the Saturday night Grand Dance, January 1988, at the first Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. This version of the dance was popularized in New England by caller Duke Miller. The musicians are RP Hale, hammered dulcimer;…

Ragtime Lonesome Me - Ted Lizotte and Paul Cote

These two modern square dance callers enjoy working together, billed as "The Duo." This video presents a collection of some of their singing square dance duets, recorded at a weekend at East Hill Farm in southwestern New Hampshire.Paul Cote is the presenter in this workshop presentation on using alternative music in a square dance program. Ted…

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.

Nellie Bly - George Hodgson

Veteran dance caller George Hodgson leads the classic singing square in this 2004 appearance at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend. Dancers at that event over the years became familiar with George's version of the dance-- on the chorus, when George sings "Hi Nellie," the dancers respond with an enthusiastic "Hi, George!"Music by Wild Card: Terry…

Marching Through Georgia - Dudley Laufman

Better known for his barn dances and as a contra dance caller, Dudley Laufman also includes some traditional squares in his repertoire. Here, joined by his wife Jacqueline-- "Two Fiddles" -- he leads dancers in Marching Through Georgia, a singing square dance. In Dudley's characteristic fashion, instead of walking through the entire dance…

Auctioneer - Ralph Sweet

This is the opening of Ralph Sweet calling his version of Marshall Flippo's classic singing square, Auctioneer. Ralph is calling a basic goal post pattern; compare other versions of the dance and read a full description here. The musicians are the band Swallowtail. Recorded January 15, 2000, at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham,…

Grandma Slid Down the Mountain - Tod Whittemore

Caller Tod Whittemore with his yodeling square dance, "Grandma Slid Down the Mountain." As Tod says in his introduction, "This is a dance by Ted Sannella... but he never called it exactly like this." (Tod based his dance on Ted Sannella's Presque Isle Eight, which in turn borrowed from Maine caller Rod Linnell's dance, Presque Isle Eighth.) Tod had…

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,…

Hurry Hurry Hurry - Marvin Shilling, live, 1953

Jim Mayo: I believe this is the figure used by Doc Alumbaugh in the original Windsor Records recording. The method of setting up lines of four is unusual today. At the time this recording was made in the early 1950's the "Heads (or Sides) Lead to the Right and Circle to a Line" that is today a common way to make lines was not yet common.