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Square Dance in Haywood County, NC

Detailed look at western North Carolina, a region rich in square dance traditions including that of Sam Queen and the Soco Gap Square Dancers. Jamison starts his article with a look at the turn of the century house dances and "Shindigs" then surveys the grand hotels and the tourist trade. His survey continues through the post World War II era.

American Country Dancing on Colorado's West Slope

The article is based on oral history collected in 1979, though no footnotes or direct quotations are included. Instead, it is a generalized summary of the author's findings.

"Depending on the orchestra, both "country" (squares, polkas, schottische, etc.) and "city" (ballroom) dancing were popular around the turn of the century. Among the local,…

Western Square Dances at Fox Creek, Colorado (ca. 1880-1930)

Article based on conversations with Bessie Stafford from the San Luis Valley, western Colorado.

"In these early days, the dances were held outside on the hard dirt, the music being supplied by local people, and the dances were called by local neighbors. ... The early dances were all-night affairs and the waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and other…

A Look at Square Dancing in Colorado

"Square dancing evolved a western version probably sometime in the late 1800s when the pioneers moved to settle the states west of the Mississippi. It was a square dance form that was much different from the Eastern Quadrilles and different still from the Kentucky Running Set which was probably the other source. It was more exuberant and much less…

Origin of Appalachian Square Dance

Thurston rejects the notion that Appalachian squares did not originate from American Indian dances nor were they independently created. He concludes that they came from Europe, particular from the British Isles and even more particularly from Ireland. He demonstrates a strong connection between the structure of typical Appalachian squares with that…

Dancing Feet of Ontario

Article looking at square dance traditions in Ontario; includes anecdotes from several locations and a lengthy letter describing dances in Fergus, Ontario.

Folk & Square in Manitoba and Ontario

Broad look at dance traditions in both provinces. As the article's title suggests, square dancing is discussed as are folk dances from different countries. The Ontario portion of the article talks at length of the contributions of John Madsen and Erma Weir.

Adirondack Square Dancing

The author describes her experiences traditional square dancing in the Adirondacks from 1918 to 1965, when she began modern squares. This story appeared in the final edition of Ralph Page's Northern Junket magazine.She describes how, as a 19-year-old school teacher (1933), she boarded with a family who had a dance at their house each Saturday…

God Bless America - CALLERLAB chairmen, 2009

In 2009 the CALLERLAB Convention in Kansas City included a dance following the Banquet called by all the past chairmen of CALLERLAB who were in attendance that year. This recording is the final singing call at that dance and included each of the participating callers joined in calling to the Gold Star record #712, God Bless America.

It was…

Bob Osgood - The World Dances

Excerpt from 1954 film. At 1:08, dancers start the Texas Whirl, with women making a circle underneath the men starring. At 2:24, Osgood calls an extended Rip and Snort to finish up the dance.

Bob Osgood Papers, D044, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado

Asilomar 1973 - Frank Lane

Three films from Bob Osgood's collection showing dancers at the 1973 gathering at Asilomar, California.The first film shows dancers practicing allemande thar, followed by a round dance sequence (Left Footers One-Step, written by Bruce Johnson in 1959) and then Dick Leger's hit, the singing square "Marianne." Close-up shots of Frank Lane calling…

Shredded Hash - Lloyd and Myrtis Litman

Several years after the 1962 publication of Instant Hash by Lloyd Litman and Rickey Holden, Shredded Hash was created by Litman and his wife, Myrtis. An unusual aid for callers seeking choreographic variety, the book's pages were divided in three sections so that each section could be turned independently. The top section gave a series of calls…

Texan Whirl - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling the Texan Whirl figure attributed to caller Bob Sumrall, an influential caller starting in the 1930s in Abilene and other West Texas communities. The distinctive part has the women circling left underneath the men's arms making a right hand star, and then each woman rolls back around the gent behind her to reform the circle.…

Four in Line You Travel - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden teaches the figure for "Four in line you travel," and then calls a square dance using that figure. The figure is described in detail in the notes for Ed Gilmore's Square Dance Callers Instruction Course, 1949. Recorded in 1999 in Denmark.

"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; Holden has written that "at one time, at every dance, the entire floor could be heard to move, everyone, in unison, with an almost mystical, magical…

Goal Post variation - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls a sequence of easy figures at a workshop in Taastrup, Denmark, August 19, 2005. It's similar to a Goal Post" routine except that Rickey has the active dancers swing behind the inactives rather than go around them. The end of the dance incorporates a Birdie in the Cage routine.

Pearl Beer square dance commercial

This mid-1950s advertisement for Pearl Beer features San Antonio television personality Thomas Reynolds. The square dancers are dancing in the West Texas style popularized in the 1930s by caller Bob Sumrall. Known as the "Abilene lift," the dance style has dancers doing a 1-2-3 shuffle step with a slight lift during the brief pause after the third…

10th National Square Dance Convention - Detroit, 1961

Two television stories about the 10th Annual National Square Dance Convention, Cobo Hall, Detroit, recorded June 30, 1961. The reporter in both programs is Shelby Newhouse.The first is a half-hour broadcast, probably aired on local television. The second is shorter, and was aired nationally as part of the Today show, where host Edwin Newman gives…

Denver Wagon Wheel / Triple Duck - Rickey Holden (dance)

Caller Rickey Holden teaches the "triple duck" figure, also known as the Denver Wagon Wheel. (In his "Square Dances of West Texas" book, Holden credits the figure to Joe Lang, of Denver.) Another video on this site video shows that figure being taught. Recorded in Denmark, 1999.