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American Square Dance - Coronet Films, 1947

This 1947 instructional film, produced by Coronet Films, was created in collaboration with the Chicago Parks District. (Note that Lloyd Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain Dancers performed in Chicago in 1939 on their return home from their first trip east. Shaw also made a presentation to American Association for Health, Physicial Education, and Recreation…

North Carolina Cloggers

Clogging in square dancing has a long history, going back at least as far as Sam Queen's Soco Gap Dancers. It is a form of dance that deserves its own detailed site, but we are including a few examples in the SDHP collection.

This clip includes footage from four television performances; in the first they are introduced as the "North Carolina…

An Old-Time Dance, Missouri, 1929

An account from a 1929 newspaper of what the author deemed "what was probably a duplication of the real, old-time hill country dance." Interestingly, the words "square dance" appear nowhere in the short article.

Lady Round the Lady - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on April 25, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA. Jerry Goodwin, Caller Mountain Express: Chuck Monticello, fiddle Joe Fry, electric guitar Bob Hill, piano Dodie Goodwin, electric bass

Take a Little Peek - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on February 7, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.Jerry Goodwin, CallerMountain Express: Chuck Monticello, fiddle Joe Fry, electric guitar Bob Hill, piano Dodie Goodwin, electric bassIn addition to the many related items, you may enjoy this instructional video from 1954.

Right and Left Thru and Pokey Four - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on February 7, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.

Jerry Goodwin, Caller

Mountain Express:
Chuck Monticello, fiddle
Joe Fry, electric guitar
Bob Hill, piano
Dodie Goodwin, electric bass

Forward Up Six and Sashay Over - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on April 25, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.

Jerry Goodwin, Caller

Mountain Express:
Chuck Monticello, fiddle
Joe Fry, electric guitar
Bob Hill, piano
Dodie Goodwin, electric bass

Duck and Dive - Jerry Goodwin

Yet another example a classic square dance figure. See the many related items for other versions.Recorded at a square dance on February 7, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.Jerry Goodwin, CallerMountain Express: Chuck Monticello, fiddle Joe Fry, electric guitar Bob Hill, piano Dodie Goodwin, electric bass

Divide the Ring - Jerry Goodwin

In this version of the traditional Cut Off Six / Divide the Ring figure, the active couple turns the others as they stand in a line. Larry Edleman demonstrates this in more detail on the related item.Recorded at a square dance on April 25, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.Jerry Goodwin, CallerMountain Express: Chuck…

Birdie in the Cage - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on February 7, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.Jerry Goodwin, CallerMountain Express: Chuck Monticello, fiddle Joe Fry, electric guitar Bob Hill, piano Dodie Goodwin, electric bassAdditional versions of Birdie in the Cage can be found here:

Origin of Appalachian Square Dance

Thurston rejects the notion that Appalachian squares did not originate from American Indian dances nor were they independently created. He concludes that they came from Europe, particular from the British Isles and even more particularly from Ireland. He demonstrates a strong connection between the structure of typical Appalachian squares with that…

Grapevine Twist - Beth Molaro

Recorded at Augusta Dance Week in 1997, with caller Beth Molaro and the Volo Bogtrotters. This item includes two audio files. (Be patient... the second clip is longer and may take longer to load.) 1) Beth's walkthrough of the figures. She acknowledges West Virginia caller Mack Samples and says she's going to try to call it in his style. Beth…

Shoot the Owl - Beth Molaro

Augusta Dance Heritage, Elkins, West Virginia, 1997; the band is the Volo Bogtrotters.

Monday Night Fever - Minneapolis square dance

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,…

Terpsichore In The Flat Creek Quarters, Pea Ridge

Pencil drawing showing a dance with African-American musicians and dancers with the following manuscript poem below: ‘Listen when I call de figgers! Watch de music es ye go! Chassay forrard! (Now look at ‘em! some too fas’ & some too slow!) Step but when I gibs de order; keep up eben wid de line; Whats got in dem lazy niggers?…

Tiny Clark - three singing squares

Tiny Clark was one of the callers holding forth at the Village Barn in Greenwich VIllage, New York City. In this 1946 film, he and his band, dubbed the Cactus Cowboys, present three singing squares: Lady Around the Lady, Duck for the Oyster and Dig for the Clam, and Hinky Dinky Parlez Vous. The overall look of the film is hillbilly, with the New…

Traditional Square Dance Figures

One section of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation's website provides detailed instructions (and source information) for 20 figures from traditional Western and southern Appalachian squares: Arkansas Traveler Four in a Center Line Bachelor Mill Bouquet Waltz Chase That Rabbit, Chase That Squirrel Dive and Rescue the Lady Divide the Ring Docey Doe and…

Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing

Written in 1949 and republished many times, this is a vital reference for anyone interested in southern Appalachian dance. Patrick Napier is a well-known dance leader at the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, Kentucky, and this is his compilation of dance figures from eastern Kentucky. It is a PDF file available for download (easier…

Nils Fredland - Birdie in the Cage and Seven Hands Round

Birdie in the Cage is a traditional square dance figure and a common one; a search for "birdie" on this SDHP website will bring up more than half a dozen other examples. In this version, each of the "birdies" fly out in turn to join another square before they return to their original square at the end of the dance. The figure at the start is also…