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Annen Polka Quadrille

The caller is Bill Johnston, Skippack, PA, who created the dance in November, 1984. Bill wrote, "This quadrille especially written for the music "The Annen Polka" by Johann Strauss and recorded by Harry Davidson Orchestra on the Columbia DX-series records 1944-1945. Available on Lloyd Shaw Foundation Cassette LSFC-105. (Speed up slightly)."This…

Dick Perry Orchestra - dance photographs

These photographs show the Dick Perry Orchestra playing for a dance at the Putney (VT) Town Hall. The group turns up in many newspaper stories from the 1950s and 1960s, such as this feature about the 1961 Brattleboro Winter Carnival.

Adirondack Square Dancing

The author describes her experiences traditional square dancing in the Adirondacks from 1918 to 1965, when she began modern squares. This story appeared in the final edition of Ralph Page's Northern Junket magazine.She describes how, as a 19-year-old school teacher (1933), she boarded with a family who had a dance at their house each Saturday…

Piute Pete - Village Barn

Piute Pete called squares regularly at the Village Barn in New York City. This newspaper columnist took a less-than-enthusiastic view of the proceedings.

Dancing Feet of Ontario

Article looking at square dance traditions in Ontario; includes anecdotes from several locations and a lengthy letter describing dances in Fergus, Ontario.

History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

Monadnock Folkways brochure - Page & Gowing

Brochure describing the summer program created by Ralph Page and Gene Gowing. Also included is an article by Gowing describing his idea for an "American Folkways" school. (This latter item appeared in American Squares, June, 1950.)

Irving Andert program, 1948

From his earliest days as a dancer, Connecticut caller Ralph Sweet kept a notebook of the programs he encountered at dances he visited. Here is his record of a dance called by Irving Andert at the Echo Grange, Mansfield Center, CT, in 1948. The program of dances is the left-hand page, with some of Andert's patter on the right side.

Amish Barn Dance

Article from Pennsylvania Folklife (winter 1962-63) describing how a traditional community with no electricity hosts events with large crowds: "The most disturbing technical problem that faces the host is that when 200 to 300 of the Amish get together at a dance it is difficult to hear the music." Illustrated with photographs.

Let's Square Dance! - Richard Kraus

This series of five albums was recorded in 1956 featuring the calling of Richard Kraus, a caller and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. This item serves as a general introduction to the series, including the table of contents showing how dances were arranged by age / grade level. Subsequent items will present clips from different…

Let's Square Dance! - instruction booklet

This a sample instruction booklet from Album 3 in the "Let's Square Dance!" series, aimed at ages 12-14, Grades 7-8.

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.

Old-Time Music Makers of New York State

"Old-Time Music Makers of New York State is the first book published on this rich legacy of traditional Anglo-American music and dance. It traces the development of old-time music beginning with its movement into New York State from New England in the early nineteenth century and to its combination with commercial country music in the twentieth…

Tony Parkes 1 -
New England Squares

In this videotaped interview, caller Tony Parkes discusses the typical characteristics of northeastern traditional squares in general, and New England squares in particular.

Tony Parkes 3 - Changes in New England squares

Caller Tony Parkes discusses some changes that took place in New England squares, particularly in the years after World War II as the modern square dance movement developed.

Square and Contra Dance Posters

A collection of 43 flyers and posters collected by Steve Green that advertise contra and square dance events in northwestern Massachusetts, southwest New Hampshire, and southeast Vermont dating from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Sammy Spring - fiddler & square dance caller

Sammy Spring (1883–1958) was a fiddler and square dance caller from Otis, Massachusetts, in the western part of the state. This website includes photos of him and a lengthy interview conducted in 1939 by Edward Welch, a worker with the Federal Writers Project.

---excerpt from the 1939 interview:
“So you want to know how I come to take up…

Ted Glabach - Vermont dance caller

This is the transcription of a lengthy interview with Dummerston, VT, dance caller Ted Glabach and his wife Marie, conducted in 1978 by Steve Green. Glabach was a farmer, born around 1913, who had invited fiddler Louis Jillson to call a dance in Putney, Vermont. (Jillson himself is mentioned by Eloisie Linscott in her classic work (1939), Folk…

Frank Fortune and the Bradford (NH) Barn Dance

Back in the 1930s and 1940s in many of the villages of New England were held dances referred to as "Barn Dances" or "Round and Square Dances" or "Eastern Barn Dance Style Square Dances". As people did not travel the distances for recreation that we do today many towns had a local group of musicians who supplied the music for these dances, as well…

Glenn F. Pease - Old-Time Barn Dance Caller

Glenn F. Pease: Old-Time Barn Dance Caller

From just after WW II to the early 1970s, one of the places to be on a summer Saturday night in a small corner of west-central New Hampshire was at a square dance where changes were called by Glenn Pease of Orford, NH. Glenn was a farmer, selectman and Grange member who was born and lived all his life…