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Western Square Dances at Fox Creek, Colorado (ca. 1880-1930)

Article based on conversations with Bessie Stafford from the San Luis Valley, western Colorado.

"In these early days, the dances were held outside on the hard dirt, the music being supplied by local people, and the dances were called by local neighbors. ... The early dances were all-night affairs and the waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and other…

Docey-Doe hoedown #2 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman calling a mix of traditional figures. He explained, "I used three or four visiting couple figures and then the Colorado-style Docey-Doe each couple following up as the dance progressed." Recorded in the early 1990s in Belgium.

Docey-Doe hoedown #1 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, first teaching the Colorado docey-doe figure, then using it in a called dance, interspersing it with a series of traditional figures: lady round the lady, duck for the oyster, roll the barrel, etc.

Teacup Chain - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, teaching the Teacup Chain figure and using it in a series of dances. The figure is credited to Mrs. Pat Morrison Lewkowicz, Austin, Texas.

Traditional Western Square Dances 3b - Heads to the Center, Sides Divide

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different styles of traditional and modern…

Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3 Ladies (walkthrough) - Bill Litchman, Traditional Western Square Dances 2a

This is the walk through only. Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different…

Traditional Western Squares called by Bill Litchman: Sampler

This is a sampler of the dances taught by Bill Litchman at his workshop session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares. Each dance is represented more fully in other videos at this site; most of these dances also have a video showing the walkthrough:

00:00 Arkansas Traveler (http://youtu.be/BwJg0i2ja_g)
00:32 Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine called by Bill Litchman

Don Armstrong took the basic figures of Gents and Corners, a New England style square by Ralph Page, and set them to a popular tune, thereby creating a well-known singing square dance. Here, Albuquerque caller Bill Litchman leads the dance at the Friday night session of Dare To Be Square, a gathering of square dance enthusiasts at the John C.…

Goin' Uptown - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Claudio Buchwald, fiddles; Jim Morrison, guitar; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Lady of the Lake" (from John Ashby).

The weekend was sponsored by the Folk School and by Country…

Box the Gnat - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Claudio Buchwald, fiddles; Jim Morrison, guitar; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Green Willis."

The weekend was sponsored by the Folk School and by Country Dance and Song…

Box the Gnat walkthrough - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman reviews "box the gnat" and "swat the flea" before calling a dance built on those two figures at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Push Ol' Pa and Push Ol' Ma - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. The usual pattern for the figure is for the active gent to lead three different ladies down the center; Bill recognizes his mistake and calls it this way starting with the second time, and comments (2:00) "feels better…

Bachelor Mill square dance

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

This is Bill's version of the dance, which is also known from the calling of Jimmy Clossin, of El Paso. Bill credits the original dance to George Waudby of Tucson, Arizona.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim…

Arkansas Traveler - Bill Litchman, Traditional Western Square Dances 1 -

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Bill Litchman - Rocky Mountain Square Dancing

(To open the PDF document, click on the underlined link to the right.)This overview of square dance history focuses on two major groups of square dance. One group (northern, Eastern, Maritime, etc.) relies on quadrille-style figures, with couples interacting across the set; this style is prompted like a contra. The second form is found in the…

Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3 Ladies - Bill Litchman - Traditional Western Square Dances 2b

(This clip shows the actual dance; a separate video shows the walkthrough.)

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together…

Sally Goodin and a Docey Doe - Bill Litchman - Traditional Western Square Dances 5b

Caller: Bill Lit chman. This clip shows the actual dance; a separate video shows the walkthrough. Once the dance gets going, Bill throws in patter using lyrics to the song Mountain Dew. Bill Litchman learned the dance from the calling of Marvin Shilling, Walsenburg, Colorado. It may have originated with Ray Smith, of Texas, and thence to Herb…

Traditional Western Square Dances 4 - Docey Out as She Comes In

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different styles of traditional and modern…

Heads to the Center walkthrough - Bill Litchman - Traditional Western Square Dances 3a

(A separate video is available of the actual dance; this is the walkthrough.)

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought…

Sally Goodin walkthrough - Bill Litchman - Traditional Western Square Dances 5a

Dance: "Sally Goodin with a Docey-do," devised by Marvin Shilling, Walsenburg, Colorado (based on the traditional dance "Sally Goodin")

This is the walkthrough; a separate video shows the actual dance.

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend,…