Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (321 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "1950s"
Document

Advancing in Dancing  – Mary and Fred Collette

This is a lengthy syllabus describing some 400 dances, along with occasional commentary. It appears to represent a program presented by the Collettes, Ralph Page, and Don Armstrong at a Dixie Folk… View item
Document

Honest John - 1950

This collection of newspaper articles all focus on the dance "Honest John," a specialty of dancers in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. COmments in italics are… View item
Sound

Running Set - Jim Wilkerson home recording

This is a home recording made by caller Jim Wilkerson. We think WIlkerson was from Ohio, so this particular cut is an interesting example of how dance styles migrate. We typically think of a running… View item
Document

Square Dance in Our Schools

Writing in 1952, the author notes that a recent survey shows that square dance is a widely accepted part of school programs. "These certainly are striking figures. But they are not surprising in… View item
Document

A Callers' Association? - 1952 discussion

CALLERLAB, the association of modern western square dance callers, was established in 1974. However, discussions about creating caller associations had been going on for many years before that. This… View item
Sound

Frazee's Nightmare - Les Gotcher, 1954

Commercial recordings bring us excellent sound quality and precise calling. In contrast, one of the delights of live recordings is hearing the caller deal with real-life challenges on the dance floor.… View item
Sound

Eight to the Center - Les Gotcher, 1954

This live recording comes from a Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. You'll note that Gotcher starts the music while squares are still forming up; he calls out that another couples is needed in the… View item
Document

Square Dance Camps - 1951

As the wave of square dancing took off in the post World War II era, callers and organizers responded with a number of weekend and weeklong camps to cater to the growing interest. This editorial from… View item
Still Image

Astro-Nauts and Convair Hoedowners

This set of pictures is from two clubs in San Diego, CA whose members were involved with two plants run by General Dynamics Corporation. The timeline is late 1950’s through late 1960’s. This was… View item
Sound

Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Selmer Hovland

This singing square is based on a popular song of the day. Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" was written in 1952 and appeared in several country versions and a #1 hit in a pop version by… View item
Sound

Middle of the Mound - Selmer Hovland, patter

This is a live recording of Selmer Hovland, from Wagon Mound, New Mexico, calling at Kirkwood Lodge, Missouri. Hovland was a staff member at a Square Dance Institute that featured Les Gotcher. (One of… View item
Still Image

Kirkwood Lodge ad - 1954

This advertisement is for Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri), the venue sponsoring the second annual Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. The 1950s saw a dramatic increase in the number of square… View item