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Singing Squares - Chip Hendrickson's call book

This is a transcription by Walter Lenk of the singing squares in Connecticut caller Chip Hendrickson's call book, c. 1955, made available with the permission of the Hendrickson family. It contains words to dozens of popular singing calls. Walter Lenk's larger website on singing squares is here.

Sioux City Sue - Adam Boyce

Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce. This dance is held on the 4th Saturday of each month; Adam drives 55 miles each way to be there. He is continuing a series that was called by fiddler Harold “Chuck” Luce, Adam’s mentor in the Ed Larkin Dancers of…

Sioux City Sue (clip) - David Park Williams

From the CD set "Mostly Quadrilles," containing two CDs of called dances, 24 in all, and two CDs of just instrumental tracks, arranged by David Park Williams. Musicians are Bill J. Sparrow, fiddle; Elizabeth Olden, piano; Mark Williams, bass.

Six Pass Thru - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes, caller. Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC, November 19, 2011. Musicians for this session were Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; and Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Woodchopper's Reel" (aka Pea Soup Reel).

Although this dance uses traditional basics and is called in phrased New England…

Six Pass Thru (clip) - Ted Sannella

This clip is part of a series of eight square dances called by Ted Sannella at the Chesapeake Spring Dance Weekend, sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. (Ted called another four or five squares during the weekend, plus contras and triplets.) Each clip includes Ted's walkthrough, plus the introduction and first time through the…

Six Styles of Square Dance - Rickey Holden

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 History Project examine the classification of squares: Phil Jamison: southern Appalachian squares…

Smoke on the Water - Tod Whittemore

Tod Whittemore is the caller; music is provided by Bob McQuillen, piano; Randy Miller, fiddle, and Peter Siegel, mandolin. This was part of a dance workshop on singing squares, recorded on January 15, 2011, at the 24th annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH.Named in honor of the great New England caller of contra and square dances,…

Smoke on the Water (clip) - Pancho Baird

Pancho Baird's big hit. This project contains videos of the dance. This link will provide a list of other Pancho Baird recordings on this website.

Smoke On The Water, introduced by Ed Gilmore

During a morning workshop at the 1954 Minnesota State Convention Ed Gilmore introduces a "new" singing call written by his friend Pancho Baird.Tony Parkes comments:===It may have been new, but Ed had clearly studied it and made it his own; he changed some word metering, as he often did, to give the actual commands earlier and keep the dancers…

Snapshot P & D outside.jpg

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Snapshot Pappy Calling #1.jpg

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Snapshot Pappy calling #2.jpg

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Social Dancing in Early Minnesota

Scholarly yet accessible article, with illustrations, published in Minnesota History magazine, providing a detailed look at social dance in Minnesota in mid-nineteenth century. Also available online. Some excerpts: "Early in the century, quadrilles had used more complicated steps and patterns such as pigeon-winging—a showy maneuver involving,…

Soco Gap Dancers

Photograph of the Soco Gap Dancers, North Carolina

Soco Gap Dancers at the White House

This is the program for the evening entertainment provided for the visiting King and Queen of England at the White House, Thursday, June 8, 1939. Among the performers (see page 5) were the Soco Gap Square-Dance Team, directed by Sam Queen and presented by Bascom Lamar Lunsford.

Eleanor Roosevelt was interested in traditional dance, witness her…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Jim Mayo, MWSD 3b

Along with its companion video (MWSD 3a - Swing Thru), this set of videos documents one tip in Jim Mayo's workshop on Modern Western Square Dance, recorded November 19, 2011. Having just introduced Swing Thru, Run, and Trade, Jim here incorporates them into his singing calls. This was part of the Dare To Be Square Weekend held at the John C.…

Southern Appalachian Squares 0 - Sampler - Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. This samples provides excerpts of the dances presented in that workshop. You will be able to find teaching and a longer dance clip of each dance in related videos elsewhere on this site.

00:00 Big Set…

Southern Appalachian squares Thread the Needle

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region.

This was recorded at Dare To Be Square on November 19, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Musicians for this session were Claudio Buchwald and Steve Hickman, fiddles; Jim…

Southside Squares and Swersie Norris

This was a feature story on television feature-- with the video now no longer available-- about the Southside Squares, Chicago's last remaining black MWSD group and the pioneering work of caller Swersie Dumetz Norris. The Southside Squares were among the dancers invited to participate on a special edition of the Phil Donohue Show, where Swersie…

Split the Ring & Cut Off Six - Larry Edelman - Dances of Jerry Goodwin:

Larry Edelman led a workshop session on dances he learned from the calling of Jerry Goodwin, originally from West Virginia but living and calling in western Pennsylvania when Larry studied with him in the 1970s. Some of the dances were ones Jerry had learned from his father.

This was recorded at Dare To Be Square on November 19, 2011, at the…