Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (73 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Traditional Western (pre-1940)"
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Ladies to the Center

This short article by Texas dance historian Olcutt Sanders looks at the role played by women in that state's dance history. Sanders notes the early absence of women: "A scarcity of woman… View item
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Herb Greggerson bio

This profile of El Paso caller Herb Greggerson was written in 1946. It mentions Greggerson's Blue Bonnet Set heading off on their first US tour in 1939; this was after the team triumphed over Bob… View item
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Round Dances

Olcutt Sanders was a Texas dance historian. He writes, "The round dances that are included quite generally on square dance programs these days originated in Europe in the late Eighteenth and… View item
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Black Hawk Waltz

Black Hawk Waltz is a classic round (or couple) dance. The tune was composed by Mary Walsh in 1877. Here is a link to an illustration of the sheet music cover; you may also view instructions on the… View item
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Rural Leaders' Guide for Square and Group Dances, 1951

From the forward: "This circular is designed to assist rural leaders in teaching square and group dancing and in conducting organized recreational dancing activities." After several pages of… View item
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"The Good Ole Days" - Olcutt Sanders, 1949

Dance historian Olcutt Sanders asks, "As you unwound yourself from the mazes of the latest square dance concoction introduced at your club meeting, did your ever wonder how people ever got along… View item
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Cowboy Square Dances of West Texas

This booklet provides an introduction to West Texas square dances. After a detailed glossary, complete with diagrams, the author provides a sample of dances as they might be called. The patter is… View item
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Early Dance Houses

This piece about Texas dance halls is a companion to the author's article on Texas dance history. View item
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Early Texas Dances

This article was written by Olcutt Sanders, a dance caller and historian who was among the founders of Foot 'n' Fiddle magazine, an early square dance magazine in Texas. View item
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Texas Square Dance - Family Tree

The author attempts to trace the various antecedents leading up to Texas square dancing in the 1940s. After the obligatory look at British sources, he notes: "The recent history of the square… View item
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Pam McKeever and the Flying Squares, 1981

Demonstration of the sort of exhibition dancing created by Lloyd Shaw in the 1930s and popularized by his Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The dancers are: Jim Bollman, Karen Atkins, Ernie Spence,… View item
Still Image

Blue Bonnet Set - 1939

This 1939 newspaper pictoral spread looks at Herb Greggerson's Blue Bonnet Set, the team that won the Texas square dancing championship in March that year. Before that, the prize was often taken… View item