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Square Dance Revival in Lincoln [Nebraska], 1940–1950

This detailed booklet describes the revival of square dancing in Lincoln, Nebraska, and offers resources to encourage further growth. After introductory sections describing the historical background of squares in the area, the authors describe qualities needed to be a square dance caller. They include numerous examples of patter and singing calls,…

Square Dance Time - Tommy Cavanagh

Two clips from Tommy Cavanagh's "Square Dance Time" album., excerpts from "Hoedown Boogie" and "Boil that Cabbage." Callers in Great Britain from time to time receive the Tommy Cavanagh award for service to square dancing in that country. Cavanagh was one of the callers befriended by Mildred Buhler when she moved from Northern California to London…

Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Square Dance Video collections

There are thousands of videos on sites such as YouTube that show modern square dancing. Several individuals have done their own collecting, presenting many videos on one location. Andy Abeles is based in southern California. His own videos frequently start with an interview with the club president and the callr for the event, as well as showing…

Square Dance Videos - MWSD

Caller Matt McGovern has started a YouTube channel devoted to modern square dancing, including his own videos and those contributed by others. This collection offers a variety of examples, most of which are good representations of current MWSD dancing.

Square Dance Videos (West Coast) - Joe Dehn

A collection of several hundred videos videotaped by Joe Dehn, mostly from West Coast MWSD conventions, illustrating a variety of styles, callers, and programs. Among the many dances, you might enjoy: festival singing call, typical California mix of dress and ages "high-energy" patter, festival session with less-formal dress APD/DBD patter in…

Square Dance with Soul

See the accompanying booklet for the text that was included with this record, released by Folkways in 1969.

Square Dance with Soul, booklet

Liner notes and dance descriptions, the booklet that came with the LP recording

Square Dance—A Social Recreation Aid (1937 article)

Article explaining the basics of square dance, the importance of the caller, the structure of a set, appropriate music, two methods for how to swing, and sample dances. Dance directions are given for Swing Andy Gump, "Single File, Indian Style," Cast Off Six, The Girl I Left Behind Me, Lady Round the Lady, Double Grapevine Twist, Two Lone Gent Do…

Square Dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma – 1939/40

A series of color slides taken by Russell Lee at an Oklahoma dance in 1939 or 1940. More information about the first one can be found here. A larger sample of the photographs is available here at the Denver Post website and the complete set of color images is on Flickr. Detailed information about the photos and their background is here on the…

Square Dance, Raton, NM

Outdoor square dance. Calls include "lady round the lady and the gent follow, lady round the gent and the gent don't go." The tune is Waggoner, sometimes called Tennessee Waggoner.

In the last few seconds of the clip, the soundtrack appears to be out of sync with the picture, as the set nearest the camera is doing "right and left through" and…

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.

Square Dances for White Collars (1941 article)

Article in Time magazine (1941) describing popularity of square dancing, evidenced by record sales (Victor, Columbia, Decca) and the work of teacher and caller Lawrence Loy.

Square Dances in Western Style

A handbook of basic dance figures, written by a Virginia dance caller in the early 1950s.

Square Dances With Calls - Lee Bedford, Jr.

In 1949, Texas caller Lee Bedford released on Imperial Records a four-album set of recordings with music provided by The Big D Ranch Hands. The liner notes, written by Paul Erfer, start by noting, "The interpretation of the figures described follows the style of square dancing as dances in some parts of Texas."Each record had a patter call on the A…

Square Dancing - Bob Osgood film, 1951

Film made by Bob Osgood / Sets in Order in 1951 to popularize square dancing. The accompanying flier was used to spur interest in rentals and sales.A discussion among square dance enthusiasts on the history of the film can be found here. As that discussion reveals, a copy of the film is available on DVD at a much higher resolution.

Square Dancing at Maryland Line

Bob Dalsemer describes old time square dancing at the Maryland Line Fire Hall in the town of Maryland Line, MD as he encountered it in 1974.You may also be interested in a similar article describing four dances in East Tennessee, published in 1981.

Square Dancing Atop Lookout Mountain

Article by Karen terHorst describes dancing in New Salem, Georgia, an historically-isolated community above Chattanooga, TN. The article is based on her visit to the dance in the 1970s. The dance stopped taking place sometime around 1990.

"New Salem's style is similar to the Appalachian square dancing described by Frank Smith (1955) and Pat…

Square Dancing in the 1800s

Fred Feild is a long-time caller and square dance enthusiast; now living in Tucson, he was instrumental in creating the Chicago Barn Dance Company in the mid-1970s. In recent years, he has started looking through historical sources for contemporary accounts of square dancing, and he posts his findings on a Word Press blog. Generous in sharing his…

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