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Square Dances for White Collars (1941 article)

Article in Time magazine (1941) describing popularity of square dancing, evidenced by record sales (Victor, Columbia, Decca) and the work of teacher and caller Lawrence Loy.

Al Brundage - dance history

Note: The audio file takes a while to load, so be patient.This recording documents a presentation by Al Brundage about the history of square dancing. The tape label has no information about the date of circumstance of the presentation. Al told Jim Mayo that it probably was a demonstration (possibly for a Rotary group or something similar) put…

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Al Brundage recollections

Al Brundage wrote these recollections of his experiences growing up in Connecticut and the growth of square dancing. His story includes discovering square dance as a boy, followed by the whole Brundage family getting involved in the activity and forming the King Street Pioneers. He mentions some of the important figures in the Northeast in those…

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Call & Answer - Amanda Lovelee

Minneapolis based artist, Amanda Lovelee believes finding, preserving and constructing a space for physical connection is an urgent issue. As a society that faces the collapse of communities how do we continue to form face-to-face connections? This is why she began The Call and Answer Project, a project that creates a fun, interactive space for…

Using squares at a contra dance - Beth Molaro

Caller Beth Molaro, of Asheville, NC, is a well-known caller who loves calling both contras and squares. In this clip, talking with Dennis Merritt, she explains some of her thinking that goes into deciding when to call a square at a contra dance, when in the program to put squares, what sorts of squares she uses, and how different kinds of music…

Feature Square Dancer - Nebraska, 1956

These are excerpts from two early issues (Vol. 1, #1 and #4, both 1956) of the Feature Square Dancer, a newspaper published by Bill Shilling, brother of Colorado caller Marvin Shilling. To see similar publications, browse the Square Dance magazines collection.Some of the articles, notably those in a single column, will appear distorted when viewed…

Square Dancing at Maryland Line

Bob Dalsemer describes old time square dancing at the Maryland Line Fire Hall in the town of Maryland Line, MD as he encountered it in 1974.You may also be interested in a similar article describing four dances in East Tennessee, published in 1981.

The Buzzards' Glory Barn Dance 1928–1966

In the early 1970s, Bob Dalsemer heard about a dance series in Albanstown, northern Baltimore County, Maryland; the dances were no longer being held so he interviewed two sources to create this portrait of the local square dance.

Old Time Square Dancing on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Author Bob Dalsemer discovers a long tradition of the "big circle" square dance on this island off the North Carolina coast, far from the Appalachian Mountains where it is usually encountered.

Pardners - Jerry Lewis square dance

The 1956 film Pardners, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, originally had a square dance sequence with Jerry Lewis as the caller, testimony to the role that square dancing had in American popular culture at that time. Bob Osgood coached Jerry Lewis in the art of dance calling. This short clip is from the trailer, but the actual dance sequence…

Monday Night Square Dance History (Minneapolis)

This is an excerpt from "Monday Night Fever," a Minneapolis community television program produced in 1986 by Bruce Davis, who provides the narration. The film is an introduction to the Monday night square dance that began in the Twin Cities in 1979 and has been running--with a few interruptions and changes of venue--ever since. In this segment,…

Shall We Dance? - Maine, 19th century

This article, written by theMaine Memory Network Curator and Historian for the Maine Historical Society, takes two mid-19th books as a focal point for looking at etiquette and social status as reflected on the dance floor. H.G.O. Washburn's 1863 Ball-Room Manual of Contra Dances and Social Cotillions with Remarks on Quadrilles and Spanish Dance…

Clarence Haller - Ralph Page correspondence

These letters were sent from Lucile and Clarence Haller, Indiana square dance caller, to Ralph Page, the dean of New England dance callers at the time. They are clearly interested in learning more about the contra dances that Page knows well.

Square dance publications

This website contains numerous examples of the many square dance publications — newsletters, journals, magazines— that have been created over the years. (See Items 1033 – 1073 for examples.) There are of course far more than those; the Square Dance Foundation of New England has one large collection; eventually, it is anticipated that these…

The Lloyd Shaw Foundation in Action

This 1972 film describes the many activities of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation at that time. The movie was written and narrated by Don Armstrong, and produced and edited by Truett Myers.

In addition to dance sequences—squares, contras, rounds—there are scenes of caller training classes, teaching dances to children, and singing.

Square Dance Goes To College, The (1941 article)

"Your grandmother enjoyed it and so did her grandmother, enjoyed it and so did her grandmother, so there is nothing new about square dancing. Yet this ancient dance form is capturing the fancy of the collegiate crowd as has nothing since the Big Apple came up from the backwoods of South Carolina."

This journal article combines reports from two…

Pageant of American Square Dance History, 1959

This lengthy presentation of square dance history was presented at the Eighth National Square Dance Convention in Denver, 1959. Researched and organized by Dorothy Shaw after Lloyd Shaw's death in 1958, the pageant presented two hours of dance, from two English country dances (first edition Playford, 1651) up to Joe Lewis calling Alabama Jubilee.…

Not Your Grandparents Square Dance

Old-time music and square dancing in Portland, Oregon. Interviews with Bill Martin and Michael Ismerio, and footage from the Old Time Music Gathering, reveal the intimate links between the old-time music scene and the revival of square dancing.This is one of a series of short documentary videos produced by Doug Plummer; you can find many more…

Douglas Kennedy on American dances, 1939

Douglas Kennedy succeeded Cecil Sharp as director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. He visited the United States in 1939 to teach dancing and to observe what he could while in this country. While he was in the south, a Smoky Mountain square dance leader, D. B. Hendrix, organized a demonstration of southern Appalachian dancing for Kennedy,…

Ed Austin's Life in Dance

This autobiography by Ed Austin focuses on his lifetime involvement with traditional dance, including a detailed description of the dances he filmed in Central City, Colorado. Click here to watch his film.