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

Browse Items (132 total)

  • Collection: Traditional western
Moving Image

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement;… View item
Document

"Meet Your Honey, Go Hog Wild"

This collection of anecdotes describes early dances and social norms in Texas cowboy country. View item
Document

"Partners To Your Places

This 1949 chapter by Olcutt Sanders is a significantly expanded version of his short piece fromFoot 'n' Fiddle in 1947. Here it's complete with scholarly footnotes, making it more useful to… View item
Document

"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
Document

"The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance" – Olcutt Sanders

This article, scholarly yet accessible, provides an excellent look at square dancing in west Texas in the late 1800s. He starts with a look at the conditions that set this region apart from… View item
Sound

"Wild Bill" Reagan

Duane "Wild Bill" Reagan was a square dance caller perhaps best known for his performance at the Expo 74 festival in Spokane, Washington. Featured here are two clips of his calling at that event, a… View item
Document

Cowboy Dance Tunes – excerpt

This was first published as a separate booklet in 1940 to accompany Lloyd Shaw's Cowboy Dances, which appeared in 1939. Shaw provides an introduction.Jim Saxe notes, "The same tune collection,… View item
Document

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
Document

Foot 'n Fiddle – Marlys Waller recollections

Marlys Waller was one of the people involved in the Texas square dance activities of the late 1940s. With several colleagues, in 1946 she helped found Foot 'n Fiddle, one of the earliest of the square… View item
Document

Promenade - Seven Cowboy Dances

This little booklet plays on the popularity of square dancing as introduced by Lloyd and his Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The booklet was released by Women's Home Companion, a popular monthly magazine… View item
Document

Square Dances of the Southwest

This 1951 booklet, by caller Butch Nelson, is a useful collection of calls from that region. You can hear Nelson calling Oklahoma Cyclone here.The Related Items provide audio or video clips, called by… View item
Document

West Texas Square Dances - Index

This is the cover and index of the booklet published by Jimmy Clossin and Carl Hertzog, showing dances that were common to that region around 1950. The book offers a dictionary, "Around-the-Ring… View item