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MWSD - The First Ten Years

This article by Jim Mayo looks at the first ten years of what is usually called Modern Western Square Dancing. Jim traces the development of the activity in detail, citing specific callers and their influences, and illustrating his comments with links to audio files of live recordings made during the 1940s and 1950s.Jim is the author of Step by…

Grand Square - Edson Cole

This dance starts with the Grand Square figure, along with other calls common to the 5th figure of the Lancers.Edson Cole was a fiddler and dancing master from Freedom, NH. He was documentedby Eloise Hubbard Linscott in her 1939 book, Folk Songs of Old New England. This 78 rpm recording was made available to Dudley Laufman, who released it with…

Girl I Left Behind Me (clip) - Dudley Laufman

Live recording, Bernardston, Massachusetts, with Dudley Laufman calling. This was the third dance of the evening. At the end of Soldier's Joy, a contra, Dudley had groups of two couples circle left and right, then find another foursome to circle left, eight hands around. He now had his groups for the square dance. Caller's note from Bob Livingston:…

Crooked Stovepipe - Dudley Laufman -

Live recording, Bernardston, Massachusetts, with Dudley Laufman calling. He introduces this by noting, "First dance I ever called, when I was a kid." Music by the Fall Town String Band: Ed Phelps and Jim Spaulding, fiddles, joined by Jacqueline Gilman, fiddle; Bob Kenney, guitar; Jack Arensmeyer, mandolin; Ruth Brassor, bass guitar. Released on a…

Traditional Western Squares called by Bill Litchman: Sampler

This is a sampler of the dances taught by Bill Litchman at his workshop session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares. Each dance is represented more fully in other videos at this site; most of these dances also have a video showing the walkthrough:

00:00 Arkansas Traveler (http://youtu.be/BwJg0i2ja_g)
00:32 Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine called by Bill Litchman

Don Armstrong took the basic figures of Gents and Corners, a New England style square by Ralph Page, and set them to a popular tune, thereby creating a well-known singing square dance. Here, Albuquerque caller Bill Litchman leads the dance at the Friday night session of Dare To Be Square, a gathering of square dance enthusiasts at the John C.…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 4

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 3

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 2

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 1

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Mont Joli 1

This video is from Soirée Canadienne, a Canadian television series broadcast every Saturday evening from 1960 to 1983 , or 23 years on TV-7 (CHLT - Sherbrooke ) and network Télé-Métropole . The show was hosted by Louis Bilodeau (1924-2006).

Princess Elizabeth square dancing - 1951

This photograph of then Princess Elizabeth square dancing took place during a visit to Canada in 1951. The press coverage helped spur the rapid growth of square dancing in that country.

In his monthly column, "As I See It" (American Square Dance, October, 1995, p. 75), Bob Osgood passed along information about that event.

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We received a…