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

Browse Items (86 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Transitional/Western 1940s"
Still Image

Square dance photos, Austin, TX, 1948

Two photographs taken at a square dance in Austin, TX View item
Document

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
Sound

Chain Lightning - Butch Nelson (clip)

Another example of Butch Nelson's calling, with fast-paced patter keeping dancers moving briskly. Again, the patter clearly shows the caller's western roots. "And the coyotes howl… View item
Sound

Half Sashay - Butch Nelson (clip)

"Pull up your pants and tighten the tracesAll join hands, we're off to the races."With opening patter like this, we know we're in traditional western square dance territory. Thirty seconds later, when… View item
Sound

Sally Goodin variations

Sally Goodin is a square dance based on picturesque names for the other dancers in your set. (See Carl Herzog diagram). The active dance turns other dancers in a particular sequence, occasionally… View item
Document

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
Document

Syllabus of Square Dances, Rickey Holden 1949

This is a syllabus created by Rickey Holden for a callers' workshop held in San Antonio in 1949. The course was 2-1/2 hours each night for five days. It's a useful primary source document showing the… View item
Website

Texas squares

Caller Rickey Holden is well represented on this site by clicking this link. A playlist of many Holden videos posted by SDHP on YouTube can be accessed here. It includes these dances from his… View item
Moving Image

Suzy Q - Grand Cuttyshaw - Rickey Holden

Holden's name for this dance was the Grand Cuttyshaw, which he published as "traditional New Mexico" in his 1992 booklet, "Square Dances of West Texas." A note there reads, "This traditional figure,… View item
Moving Image

Texas Whirlwind - Rickey Holden

Holden teaches the figures, starting with a review of Catch All Eight, a traditional figure from West Texas that became part of modern square dance: right hand turn halfway around, then left hand turn… View item
Document

New-Fangled Dance Craze Hits Hollywood Bars Hard

Sherman Sanders was an actor who played a square dance caller in Hollywood movies starting in the early 1940s. His credits include Bowery Buckaroos, The Devil And Daniel Webster, Lure Of The… View item
Sound

Spinning Wheel - description and audio

This figure appears here in two formats. The written description comes from Betty Casey in Foot 'n' Fiddle managzine; Casey published several collections of square dance figures and decades later… View item