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

Browse Items (41 total)


Frazee's Nightmare - Les Gotcher, 1954

Commercial recordings bring us excellent sound quality and precise calling. In contrast, one of the delights of live recordings is hearing the caller deal with real-life challenges on the dance floor.… View item

Eight to the Center - Les Gotcher, 1954

This live recording comes from a Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. You'll note that Gotcher starts the music while squares are still forming up; he calls out that another couples is needed in the… View item

Middle of the Mound - Selmer Hovland, patter

This is a live recording of Selmer Hovland, from Wagon Mound, New Mexico, calling at Kirkwood Lodge, Missouri. Hovland was a staff member at a Square Dance Institute that featured Les Gotcher. (One of… View item
Still Image

Kirkwood Lodge ad - 1954

This advertisement is for Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri), the venue sponsoring the second annual Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. The 1950s saw a dramatic increase in the number of square… View item

Les Gotcher choreography, 1958

The transcription is shown here; you can hear audio clip under Additional Files. If you open that audio in a separate tab, you can listen while you follow along the text.Jim Mayo: "Les Gotcher was… View item

Sight Calling - Les Gotcher

Les Gotcher's detailed description offer a look into how he created various sight-calling techniques. He includes a section early on that describes the process he went through to create this… View item

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

Chaney scrapbook & photo album

Duane and Shirley Chaney (Council Bluffs, Iowa) were enthusiastic square dancers in the early 1950s. They attended Square Dance Institutes with Les Gotcher at Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri) in… View item

Merry-Go-Round Square Dance - Les Gotcher

See comments on Choo Choo Square Dance for more information. View item

Choo Choo Square Dance - Les Gotcher

Les Gotcher is often remember today as the Hashmaster, known for his flamboyant outfits, his energetic calls, and his often challenging choreographic sequences. However, like other performers, he was… View item

Double Tea-Cup Chain - Les Gotcher

This is Les Gotcher calling, recorded live at Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri) at the second annual Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. We hear Gotcher start with two regular squares doing a… View item

False Hearted Girl - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip from a dance called by Les Gotcher in the mid 1959 at the Newton Pavilion in Newton, New Hampshire. The record is probably Kalox #1004 View item