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Susanna (instruction) - Ed Durlacher

This is the very first dance on the first disk of Ed Durlacher's Honor Your Partner series, an extensive collection of dance and rhythmic music albums that were widely-used in schools. Here, Durlacher introduces a circle dance to teach the concept of partners, do-si-do, swing and promenade. Other albums in the series build to more complex dances.…

Duck for Oysters (clip) - Burns & Wheeler

"Duck for the Oyster, Dig for the Clams" is surely one of the most common traditional square dance figures. There are many examples of this dance on the SDHP website. Here it's "Duck for Oysters, Dig for Clams." This clip comes from a series of recordings aimed at elementary school age children. The set was arranged and recorded by Joseph V.…

Jack Jackson Singing

Jack Jackson was a widely traveled caller from Ohio in the 1960's. He was one of the few who entertained musically in addition to calling. His after party performances included parodies with square dance themes. The song Morrow is directly related to his home state of Ohio; it was made popular by a 1960 release by the Kingston Trio.

Joe Lewis singing

Joe Lewis modified an accordion and used it to accompany himself on singing calls. He also used it to accompany his singing of songs as an entertainer after (or during) the dance. These two were recorded during a dance in the mid-1950's. Here he performs Frankie and Johnny, and a parody of square dance patter with the tag, "I wish that caller would…

An Old-Time Dance, Missouri, 1929

An account from a 1929 newspaper of what the author deemed "what was probably a duplication of the real, old-time hill country dance." Interestingly, the words "square dance" appear nowhere in the short article.

McLeod's Reel - 1926

Recorded by Tom Owens and the WLS Barn Dance Trio; this band was featured on the National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. For a detailed appreciation of this program, see fiddler Paul Tyler's post on his DrDosido blog.

Buffalo Girls - 1927

The recording is [Tommy} Dandurand and his Barn Dance Fiddlers, recorded in 1927, with caller Ed Goodreau. Dandurand was a fixture on the National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. For a detailed appreciation of this program, see fiddler Paul Tyler's post on his DrDosido blog.The dance follows a familiar pattern: First lady (and others on…

Lazy H - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls a condensed version of Ed Gilmore's "Lazy H" figure.

New England Fiddles

Caller William Chaisson calls the changes and Joe Cormier's fiddle leads the band in two quadrilles recorded at the French American Victory Club in Waltham, MA.

The link takes you to a streamed version of Bishop's entire film; you can start viewing at 23:40 to hear a little of the interview with Cornier and the lead into the dance sequence.

Just Because - Bob Dalsemer

Caller Bob Dalsemer and "Just Because," recorded 1990 in Oerbygaard, Denmark. This clip includes some of the walkthrough, with the dance itself starting at 00:58. The recording to which he is calling features musicians Steve Hickman, fiddle; Peter Barnes, piano, and Bill Tomczak, clarinet.

Australia Square Dance History

An overview of how American square dance became popular in Australia

Gloria Rios

View full record for details.

Square Dance in Schools

This short article explains the successful square dance program at a small public school in Fairlee, Vermont. (A side note, not mentioned in the article: Ed Durlacher was brought up from New York to teach and call dances with the demonstration groups. The related item looks at Durlacher's work with young dancers in a very different setting.)

Cowboys' Christmas Ball controversy - Anson, Texas

Square dancing is not just about a dance; as a social activity, the subject inevitably reaches into broader questions about society at large. So it is with the Cowboy's Christmas Ball, the preceding item. The Ball continues to this day. An entire book looks at the town of Anson, Texas, where the Ball originated, and how it came to be that laws were…

Cowboys' Christmas Ball - Anson, Texas

Poem written in 1890 describing the Cowboys' Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas. For more information about the author, see this website on cowboy poetry. The Ball continues, following the original rules requiring women to wear skirts and men to check their hats and spurs. Chittenden's poem was set to music and included in John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and…

Texas Cowboys - dance poems and lore

A collection of pieces related to square dance in southwest cowboy culture, published in 1925

Bill Shymkus

This is a short clip of a tip called by Bill Shymkus at the 3rd National Square Dance Convention in Dallas , Texas. The choreography is the goal post pattern that was very common at that time.

Harper Smith

This is a short clip called by Harper Smith at the National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas in April of 1954. The choreography is hand turn hash with several Allemande Breaks.

My Little Girl - Ed Gilmore

This is a short clip from a tip called by Ed Gilmore at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. Ed is singing the dance My Little Girl.

Jerry Helt

This is a short clip from a tip called by Jerry Helt at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas.The choreography is the "classic" figure Texas Whirlwind.