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Denver Wagon Wheel / Triple Duck - Rickey Holden (instr.)

Caller Rickey Holden teaches the "triple duck" figure, also known as the Denver Wagon Wheel. (In his "Square Dances of West Texas" booklet, Holden credits the figure to Joe Lang, of Denver.) A subsequent video shows that figure being danced. Recorded in Denmark in 1999. The accompanying diagram shows the key figure.

My Little Girl - singing square - Gene Ward

Singing square dance called by Gene Ward; recorded at the Original Dulcimer Players Non-Electrical Funfest, Evart, Michigan, July 18-22, 1990. Ward, a caller from Durand, Michigan (near Flint), was the headliner for the Michigan Dance Heritage Fall Dance Camp, September 1988, in Lexington, MI.

Musician and caller Glen Morningstar Jr. shared this…

Pam McKeever - Cheyenne Mountain Dancers demo

Pam McKeever is the caller; the dancers are demonstrating a routine like that used by Lloyd Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain Dancers in the late 1930s and 1940s. You'll note a series of dramatic aerial figures that helped make the Cheyenne dancers such a sensation as they toured the country. The musicians are Brendan Doyle, banjo; Chris Romaine, fiddle;…

Docey-Doe hoedown #2 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman calling a mix of traditional figures. He explained, "I used three or four visiting couple figures and then the Colorado-style Docey-Doe each couple following up as the dance progressed." Recorded in the early 1990s in Belgium.

Docey-Doe hoedown #1 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, first teaching the Colorado docey-doe figure, then using it in a called dance, interspersing it with a series of traditional figures: lady round the lady, duck for the oyster, roll the barrel, etc.

Teacup Chain - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, teaching the Teacup Chain figure and using it in a series of dances. The figure is credited to Mrs. Pat Morrison Lewkowicz, Austin, Texas.

Circle to the Middle - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella calls his "Circle to the Middle" square dance, recorded 1990 at American Dance Week, a program of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA. The last part of the dance has been cut off in this recording; the complete directions are given below.Ted Sannella was one of New England's best known and…

Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…

Colorado dancing - Cal Campbell

Dance caller Cal Campbell started dancing at age 6 in 1943; he has written a series of reminiscences of his experiences growing up in a small Colorado town and the vital role that dancing played in the social life of that community."Dancing in Uruvan and Rifle" begins with his parents meeting at a dance in 1934; "The Girl in the Gingham Dress" is a…

Square Dance attendance & new calls

This slide contains two graphs, part of a presentation by Guy Steele on "The Mathematics of Square Dance Singing Calls," complete with dancers from MIT's Tech Squares group demonstrating figures. You can watch Part I of Steele's talk here.The first graph shows the rise and fall of attendance at the National Square Dance Convention, which peaked in…

Square Dancers from Ava, Missouri, 1989

These two clips show dancers from the Missouri Ozarks with the characteristic jig stepping of that region.The first clip features Edna Davis as caller.In the second clip, Steve Hall isaccompanied by Kenny Applebee of Rush Hill and Nolan Sutton of Salem. They are playing Liberty and Ragtime Annie for square dancers from Ava and Rolla.

Virginia square dance, 1925, silent movie

This silent movie footage, created by Fox News, shows dancers and fiddlers recorded in an outdoor setting in Quitman [sic], Virginia. We cannot identify this location since it does not show up on current maps.

Grapevine Twist - Beth Molaro

Recorded at Augusta Dance Week in 1997, with caller Beth Molaro and the Volo Bogtrotters. This item includes two audio files. (Be patient... the second clip is longer and may take longer to load.) 1) Beth's walkthrough of the figures. She acknowledges West Virginia caller Mack Samples and says she's going to try to call it in his style. Beth…

Shoot the Owl - Beth Molaro

Augusta Dance Heritage, Elkins, West Virginia, 1997; the band is the Volo Bogtrotters.

Frontier Dances - Bob Cook

A native of Colorado, Bob Cook's dancing experiences go back to the time when he was a seventh grader at the Cheyenne Mountain School. He was a member of the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers from 1939 to 1941. In this series of articles published Square Dancing magazine from May 1971 thrugh September 1972, Cook looks at a series of chapters that created…

History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

Hilton Kelly, Catskill fiddler and caller

Hilton Kelly, of Fleischmanns, New York, is a Catskills fiddler and square dance caller. He started playing in 1932, at age 5, and started calling in 1937. By the time he was 15, he had a regular band and was playing regularly at house parties, schools, and public events throughout the region. In 1953, Kelly says he was doing 6 or 7 dances a week,…

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 3 - Ozark

This clip features a straightforward Right Hand High and Left Hand Low, but done at a dizzying tempo-- 172 beats per minute!

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 2 - Ozark

Early on, this clip features Ladies Star while gents promenade, then allemande left and Gents Star while ladies promenade. Later, the dancers move into lines of three dancers at the sides with long gents at the heads, but instead of doing a simple Right Hand High and Left Hand Low, the sides do a Triple Duck (1:06) figure to send ladies to the head…

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 1 - Ozark

This clip features Sides Divide while head couples circle in the center of the ring and do a doceydo. The tempo is fast-- 164 beats per minute-- but #3 in this series is even faster!

The Ozark Jubilee and its successor (starting in 1958) Jubilee U.S.A. broadcast from Springfield, Missouri, and always featured a square dance segment as well as…