Browse Items (1187 total)

Fred Feild is a long-time caller and square dance enthusiast; now living in Tucson, he was instrumental in creating the Chicago Barn Dance Company in the mid-1970s. In recent years, he has started looking through historical sources for contemporary…

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This short story, published in 1893, focuses on events at a square dance at a Colorado ranch. Although the plot itself is melodramatic, the author includes helpful bits of information about the dancing, including various snippets of calls ( The Girl…

From childhood, 70-year old fiddler Frank Chavez was exposed to New Mexico Spanish folk music, growing up west of Estancia in New Mexico. Frank was a guitar player and then in 1990, after meeting Ken Keppeler and Jeannie McLerie, picked up the fiddle…

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’ &…

The History of Square Dancing, published by S. Foster Damon in 1957, is one of the few books that presents a broad picture of the subject. The book was a reprint of his 1952 article published in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian…

Round dancing refers to choreographed couple dances, prompted by a cuer and found as part of most regular programs of modern square dancing, interspersed with the patter and singing squares. This short history of round dancing was created by Jim…

These are excerpts from two early issues (Vol. 1, #1 and #4, both 1956) of the Feature Square Dancer, a newspaper published by Bill Shilling, brother of Colorado caller Marvin Shilling. To see similar publications, browse the Square Dance magazines…

Trying to categorize the different varieties of square dance can be a challenging task. Noted caller and dance historian Rickey Holden published his thoughts in this 1955 article in his American Squares magazine.Other items in the Square Dance…

Live recording of Bruce Johnson calling to a jig.

Jim Mayo comments: "Bruce kept on using 6/8 time music long after most others had abandoned it. It also shows his nearly unique ability to fill every beat with at least one word and to keep them…

Grid square composed by Rick Mohr; dance directions on his website. Called here by Lisa Greenleaf; the tune is Julia Delaney, played by Daron Douglas (fiddle), Anna Patton (clarinet), and Karen Axelrod (piano). Recorded June 1, 2013.

Dance written by Rod Linnell; the video includes a variation created by the caller, Lisa Greenleaf. (Rod Linnell composed five double quadrilles, which are published in "Square Dances from a Yankee Caller's Clipboard.") In Linnell's original…

The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very…