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Maple Sugar - Don Messer and His Islanders

No calls, just a choreographed routine from Messer's popular television show; The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Two related items show other choreography set to the same well-known tune.

1954 National Square Dance program - Dallas

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

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…

East Is East - Pat Pending

Pat Pending was the pen name under which Ed Moody contributed numerous poems to Ralph Page's magazine, Northern Junket. In this one, the poet looks at two distinct styles of dance calling and implores callers not to mix them.

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.

Let's Square Dance! - instruction booklet

This a sample instruction booklet from Album 3 in the "Let's Square Dance!" series, aimed at ages 12-14, Grades 7-8.

Let's Square Dance! - Richard Kraus

This series of five albums was recorded in 1956 featuring the calling of Richard Kraus, a caller and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. This item serves as a general introduction to the series, including the table of contents showing how dances were arranged by age / grade level. Subsequent items will present clips from different…

The Basket - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This is the final dance on album 3; the dance introduces a basket figure for two, three, and four couples.

Push Her Away - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This dance is the final one in Album 2 of the series; it introduces the balance and has all gents active at the same time.

Honor Your Partner - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This item shows a sample cover, a listing of the square dance albums, and the back liner notes from the first three square dance albums.

Duck for Oysters (clip) - Burns & Wheeler

"Duck for the Oyster, Dig for the Clams" is surely one of the most common traditional square dance figures. There are many examples of this dance on the SDHP website. Here it's "Duck for Oysters, Dig for Clams." This clip comes from a series of recordings aimed at elementary school age children. The set was arranged and recorded by Joseph V.…

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…

Australia Square Dance History

An overview of how American square dance became popular in Australia

Square Dance in Schools

This short article explains the successful square dance program at a small public school in Fairlee, Vermont. (A side note, not mentioned in the article: Ed Durlacher was brought up from New York to teach and call dances with the demonstration groups. The related item looks at Durlacher's work with young dancers in a very different setting.)

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.

Harper Smith

This is a short clip called by Harper Smith at the National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas in April of 1954. The choreography is hand turn hash with several Allemande Breaks.

My Little Girl - Ed Gilmore

This is a short clip from a tip called by Ed Gilmore at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. Ed is singing the dance My Little Girl.

Jerry Helt

This is a short clip from a tip called by Jerry Helt at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas.The choreography is the "classic" figure Texas Whirlwind.

"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.