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Bob Osgood - photo

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Canadian Square and Round Dance Society

Offering Canada Wide Support to Square, Round, Line, Contra, and Clog Dancing

The Canadian Square and Round Dance Society (CSRDS) was formed to establish a national organization to deal with matters involving the activity. (The word "square" is generic and encompasses all the activities under our "umbrella" activity.)

Among other services,…

Learn To Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way

Two sets of instructional cards are available online. Each set contains 35 two-sided cards, with descriptions of basic figures as well as complete dance routines.Some original sets are available for sale at Vic and Debbie Ceder's extraordinary website. Here's how they describe these materials:===C.D. Foster was one of the last great square dance…

Heiner Fischle's website

Heiner Fischle is a German caller, choreographer, and organizer. He has compiled a detailed website including some material of general interest.

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.

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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Ed Gilmore - Square Dance Callers Instruction Course - 1949

This is the text of the syllabus of Ed Gilmore's class. The text is included on the website, or you can download a ZIP file of it. Contains plenty of philosophy, discussion of the caller's role, a detailed series of suggestions about how to teach basic figures (complete with specific language that he uses), plenty of detailed dance instructions,…

Square Dance with Soul

See the accompanying booklet for the text that was included with this record, released by Folkways in 1969.

Square Dance with Soul, booklet

Liner notes and dance descriptions, the booklet that came with the LP recording

Old Folks' Frolic

This is a photograph from a news story in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times of April 7, 1942. Caption: "These lively square dancers and other oldsters performing yesterday brought a Chautauqua salute of white handkerchiefs from the large audience." The performance was part of an "Old Folks' Frolic" staged by the Three-Quarter Century Club. The…

Dare To Be Square - Brasstown, 2011 - program

Program for the Dare To Be Square weekend held at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC, and documented extensively on this site and elsewhere.

Silly Threesome called by Larry Edelman

Larry Edelman leads the walkthrough and calls the figures at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

The trio mixer Silly Threesome was devised by English folk dance leaders Kenneth and Sibyl Clark and published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in Community Dances…

Patter Calling - origins

Patter calling is a style of square dance calling in which the caller speaks the words or chants them on a musical pitch, hopefully in harmony with the tune. The classic form of patter is rhyming couplets. Typically the caller supplements the dance directions with extra words to make the call lines fit the four-beat musical phrases; these words can…

Schlitz beer ad, 1950

Full page ad for Schlitz beer that appeared in Newsweek magazine, August 21, 1950, attesting to the popularity of square dance in popular culture. Modern Western square dancers were not pleased to see square dancing depictedin beer ads, as dancers in many towns depended on the alcohol-free image of their activity for permission to use schools,…

Doonesbury - square dance

...in which Zonker, a character in Garry Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury, presents a common view of one social activity... This "Doonesbury Flashback" appeared March 20, 2012, a reprint from an earlier publication date.

Swing that Pretty Gal! - 1941 article

In the wake of the first trips by the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, this 1941 article inThe Saturday Evening Post describesthe widespread passion for squares that is growing, and gives Lloyd Shaw credit for the revival:
 Quoted material follows: Somewhere in your community there's a square dance tonight. At your country club, in a hotel ballroom,…

American Dance Circle

The American Dance Circle is the quarterly publication of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. The entire series, starting December 1979, is now available online. Individual issues contain notes on dances and dance events, including ongoing discussions of square dances. As one would expect in a publication from this organization, much attention is given to…

Michigan Fiddle Style

Folklorist Eliot Singer presented a paper—"How to Start Figuring Out What "Michigan Fiddle Style" Is"—at a Michigan Historical Society meeting in 1988. In it, he references Michigan fiddler Les Raber's comments that Michigan fiddle music is dance music. This website presents his original remarks and a 2012 introduction with further thoughts.

Midwestern Fiddle Masters:
Michigan's Les Raber and Indiana's Francis Geels

Biographies of two fiddlers, each of whom played extensively for square dances in Michigan and Indiana.

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.