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God Bless America - CALLERLAB chairmen, 2009

In 2009 the CALLERLAB Convention in Kansas City included a dance following the Banquet called by all the past chairmen of CALLERLAB who were in attendance that year. This recording is the final singing call at that dance and included each of the participating callers joined in calling to the Gold Star record #712, God Bless America.

It was…

Texan Whirl - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling the Texan Whirl figure attributed to caller Bob Sumrall, an influential caller starting in the 1930s in Abilene and other West Texas communities. The distinctive part has the women circling left underneath the men's arms making a right hand star, and then each woman rolls back around the gent behind her to reform the circle.…

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement; Holden has written that "at one time, at every dance, the entire floor could be heard to move, everyone, in unison, with an almost mystical, magical…

Goal Post variation - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls a sequence of easy figures at a workshop in Taastrup, Denmark, August 19, 2005. It's similar to a Goal Post" routine except that Rickey has the active dancers swing behind the inactives rather than go around them. The end of the dance incorporates a Birdie in the Cage routine.

Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…

Square Dance attendance & new calls

This slide contains two graphs, part of a presentation by Guy Steele on "The Mathematics of Square Dance Singing Calls," complete with dancers from MIT's Tech Squares group demonstrating figures. You can watch Part I of Steele's talk here.The first graph shows the rise and fall of attendance at the National Square Dance Convention, which peaked in…

Pistol Packin' Mama, with jitterbug - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. During the swing, the dancers adopt a jitterbug style.Livingston writes, "Those…

Dip and Dive / Redwing - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. The classic dip and dive figure here is set to the song Redwing. A search on this site…

Four Poster / Soldier's Joy - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. The tune is Soldier's Joy.

Heads go Forward, & Back with you – Forward again and…

Engine #9 - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013.

As the lead couple starts to promenade around the square, the next two couples fall…

Climbing Up the Golden Stairs - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013.Here done as a circle mixer, the dance is often done as a four-couple square. Some…

Buffalo Gals - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013.

Comin' Round the Mountain - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. Another video of this dance, with NH caller Lester Bradley, can be found here.

Frank Chavez Describes American Square Dances and Spanish Cuadrillas in New Mexico

From childhood, 70-year old fiddler Frank Chavez was exposed to New Mexico Spanish folk music, growing up west of Estancia in New Mexico. Frank was a guitar player and then in 1990, after meeting Ken Keppeler and Jeannie McLerie, picked up the fiddle as well. Since then, he’s learn many of the tunes from what he calls “The Golden…

Round Dance history - the early years

Round dancing refers to choreographed couple dances, prompted by a cuer and found as part of most regular programs of modern square dancing, interspersed with the patter and singing squares. This short history of round dancing was created by Jim Mayo; the link above takes you to the website of the Square Dance Foundation of New England, from which…

Warp and Weft - grid square

Grid square composed by Rick Mohr; dance directions on his website. Called here by Lisa Greenleaf; the tune is Julia Delaney, played by Daron Douglas (fiddle), Anna Patton (clarinet), and Karen Axelrod (piano). Recorded June 1, 2013.

Rod's Quad #2 - double quadrille

Dance written by Rod Linnell; the video includes a variation created by the caller, Lisa Greenleaf. (Rod Linnell composed five double quadrilles, which are published in "Square Dances from a Yankee Caller's Clipboard.") In Linnell's original composition, the women chain through the stars; Lisa has modified that so that the men also get the…

Hilton Kelly - Catskill fiddler & caller

Article about Catskills fiddler and caller Hilton Kelly, who has been playing and calling square dances in that region of New York for more than 75 years.

Half Way Round - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes, caller, recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 12, 2007. The dance was called frequently by Ralph Page, and it's possible that Page got the figures from Connecticut caller Al Brundage.

The musicians are a reunion group of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, and include Dudley Laufman (violin/ accordion),…

Visit with the Legends, 2011

Each year's CALLERLAB convention includes a History / Heritage / Tradition session. For several years, this has been titled "Visit with the Legends," at which MWSD callers with long history share stories from their careers.

Jerry Junck, moderator
Cal Golden
Frank Lane
Marshall Flippo
Jon Jones