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At the Keith Ranch (1893)

This short story, published in 1893, focuses on events at a square dance at a Colorado ranch. Although the plot itself is melodramatic, the author includes helpful bits of information about the dancing, including various snippets of calls ( The Girl I Left Behind Me). Mention is made of the "caller-out," a job that rotated among different men. The…

Cowboy Dance (1923 article)

The Cowboy Dance

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Shakin' a Hoof (1951 article)

Tucson caller Fred Feild located this article in Arizona Highways magazine and shared it on the trad-dance-callers listserv. Fred added his own comments:---Advisory warning: This article contains bigoted statements against Native Americans, women, cows, cowboys, and probably inanimate objects, too. If you can tolerate the GOLs (Groan Out Loud) I'm…

The History of Square-Dancing - S. Foster Damon

The History of Square Dancing, published by S. Foster Damon in 1957, is one of the few books that presents a broad picture of the subject. The book was a reprint of his 1952 article published in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society.Dance caller and researcher Fred Feild summarizes Damon's main points about the development of squares…

Viola "Mom" Ruth - Peek a Boo Waltz Quadrille

"Now you waltz down the center and there you divide Lady to the right, gent the other side Honor your partner and then make a trade Swing on the corner to a waltz promenade" Digitized from a live recording in the collection of the Arizona Historical Museum, this is one of four recordings on the Internet Archive. Others cuts (music only) are:…

Terpsichore In The Flat Creek Quarters, Pea Ridge

Pencil drawing showing a dance with African-American musicians and dancers with the following manuscript poem below: ‘Listen when I call de figgers! Watch de music es ye go! Chassay forrard! (Now look at ‘em! some too fas’ & some too slow!) Step but when I gibs de order; keep up eben wid de line; Whats got in dem lazy niggers?…

Fiddling to Henry Ford - Literary Digest, 1926

Henry Ford attracted considerable attention when he showcased the dance fiddling of Mellie Dunham, from Maine. This lengthy contemporary account describes that relationship in detail.

"Mr. Ford aspires to revive the dances of our granddaddies, with all their innocent, neighborly cavorting, and he is going about it in the methodical, wholesale…

Henry Ford Shakes a Wicked Hoof - Literary Digest, 1925

Contemporary account of Henry Ford's interest in reviving older dances.