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"Folk Dances of the United States: Regional Types and Origins"

Scholarly presentation by noted dance researcher Elizabeth Burchenal and published in the Journal of the International Folk Music Council. Burchenal begins her talk thus:

"The term "folk dance" as used here does not refer to "popular dance" or to "revivals" but rather to "authentic" folk dance as a folk art which has been handed down through the…

Fifty Miles from Times Square

This is an excerpt from John Cohen's 1972 film, used here by permission of the filmmaker.

caller: Herb Strickland
musicians: Bud Snow, Jay Ungar, Lyn Hardy, Abby Newton, Tom Allen

Fiddler Jay Ungar, seen in the dance footage, writes: "The dances were started by the Concerned Democrats in Putnam County, NY to raise money for the McGovern…

Adam Boyce - Virginia Reel

Traditional American dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston. With seven couples in the set, the dance took a full 14 minutes to complete; this is just an excerpt.

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…

Al Brundage - photos

View full record for details.

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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Alex Boustead – biographical info

Alex Boustead was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Olde Tyme Square Dance Callers Association. He was introduced to squares in the winter of 1931-32, and in a short time he started calling. He wrote:

"In 1954, Jimmy Fisher decided to form a callers' association and invited me as a founding member along with six others. There was…

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.

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…

Charlie Baldwin - photo

Photograph taken at a 1952 dance

Corky Calkins - two programs

These are two programs of Massachusetts caller Corky Calkins, one from 1965 and the other from 1967. They were noted by Connecticut caller Ralph Sweet who for decades carried a small notebook with him to dances and recorded the programs and any unusual figures used by the caller. The 1967 program took place in Sweet's own Power Mill Barn in…

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.

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.

Ed Durlacher - Central Park newsreel

Newsreel footage of square dancing in Central Park, New York City, in the 1940s. Ed Durlacher called to crowds in the thousands.Jim Mayo: "I danced with Durlacher at Jones Beach in 1951 when I was working in Oyster Bay during the summer. It was absolutely mind boggling to watch him start with an empty floor and fill it with 1000 people off the…

Ed Durlacher - Central Park, photos

Photographs documenting Ed Durlacher's series of dances in Central Park, New York City. These date from August, 1946.

Florilla Perkins Ames, Vermont

Florilla Perkins Ames was 102 years old when she recorded this interview. She lives in northern Vermont, and remembers her father calling dances. Before that, her mother's grandfather used to play fiddle for dances: "In fact, in this house where I am right now they used to dance squares upstairs, in the 1800s."

Folk & Square in Manitoba and Ontario

Broad look at dance traditions in both provinces. As the article's title suggests, square dancing is discussed as are folk dances from different countries. The Ontario portion of the article talks at length of the contributions of John Madsen and Erma Weir.

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…