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Smoke On The Water, introduced by Ed Gilmore

During a morning workshop at the 1954 Minnesota State Convention Ed Gilmore introduces a "new" singing call written by his friend Pancho Baird.Tony Parkes comments:===It may have been new, but Ed had clearly studied it and made it his own; he changed some word metering, as he often did, to give the actual commands earlier and keep the dancers…

Ed Gilmore Teaching Dance Style

This is an audio recording of Ed Gilmore calling a morning workshop at the Minnesota State Convention in 1954. His subject is dancing style. At about 7 minutes he starts a teach of the figure Balance Eight.

Joe Lewis singing

Joe Lewis modified an accordion and used it to accompany himself on singing calls. He also used it to accompany his singing of songs as an entertainer after (or during) the dance. These two were recorded during a dance in the mid-1950's. Here he performs Frankie and Johnny, and a parody of square dance patter with the tag, "I wish that caller would…

Sammy Spring's Quadrille - Don Armstrong

This dance, presented by Don Armstrong at the 1955 Minnesota State Square Dance Convention, comes from the calling of Sammy Spring. Don remarks in his introduction that the dance is similar to one of the figures of the Lancers, and he has this to say about the man from whom he learned the dance:

"We are privileged to have down in Florida one of…

Social Dancing in Early Minnesota

Scholarly yet accessible article, with illustrations, published in Minnesota History magazine, providing a detailed look at social dance in Minnesota in mid-nineteenth century. Also available online. Some excerpts: "Early in the century, quadrilles had used more complicated steps and patterns such as pigeon-winging—a showy maneuver involving,…

John Roach Square Dance History - Minnesota

This website, curated by Lon Roach of Glencoe, Minnesota, documents the career of his parents, John (Jack) and Mabel Roach. Jack was a square dance caller from 1949 to 1974; his career spanned the transition period from traditional to modern square dancing.

The page "How Did Jack Learn To Call?" deals with the history of square and contra…