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3 Contredanses françaises

These three dances date to the late 18th century. They are reconstructed from the Manuscrit de Trois-Rivières, the earliest dance manuscript in Canada; click here for more information about the manuscript and the reconstruction.Also see the Trois-Rivières commentary document in this collection, which gives an English translation and…

5 Steps to Better Dancing

The "5 Steps" of the title can be taken literally; this tiny handout, illustrated with stick figures, is all about how to move on the dance floor:

1. Keep both feet on the floor, don't walk. [Instead, use a shuffle step.]
2. Keep weight forward
3. Stand tall, move lightly
4. Take smaller steps
5. Listen to the music, dance to the music

50 Years of Square Dancing in Germany

The first square dance was held in Bremen on July 16, 1949, called by Paul Hartman and attended by five squares, mostly American servicemen and their guests. The event was a success and Hartman began calling dances on a regular basis; he also traveled to other locations to organize square dance clubs. This site also includes information about the…

A Look at Square Dancing in Colorado

"Square dancing evolved a western version probably sometime in the late 1800s when the pioneers moved to settle the states west of the Mississippi. It was a square dance form that was much different from the Eastern Quadrilles and different still from the Kentucky Running Set which was probably the other source. It was more exuberant and much less…

A Night at Sunny Hills

Album cover, inside text, and a related record label. This recording, from 1951, illustrates what was considered appropriate material for experienced square dancers at that time in southern California, one of the hotbeds of interest in square dance.

A Square Dance Pioneer: Jimmy Clossin

This summary of an interview with Jimmy Clossin by Miriam Gray appeared in 1960. More than 50 years later, it is impressive the ways in which he anticipated the challenges facing the square dance movement. This excerpt provides a taste of Clossin's views:

"Mr. Clossin stated that recent activities in square dance have created confusion and have…

ABC's of Square Dancing

This informal guide to square dancing is aimed at beginners, an easy-to-ready pamphlet that a caller could distribute to dancers in a class. It strikes a friendly tone:

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So you wanta' square dance?

There are probably a million different reasons why you got started in on this square dancing thing. Maybe it was just the need of a good…

Abilene Lift - Rickey Holden

An early description by Rickey Holden of the so-called "Abilene lift," a distinctive style of incorporating a two-steps into square dance movement.

Adam Boyce - Forward Six and Back

This video shows several times through the dance, called by Adam Boyce, a traditional Vermont caller who learned from Harold Luce of the Ed Larkin Dancers. Luce himself can be heard on this audio clip.Another New England version of this dance, called by Lester Bradley, can be seen here.

Adam Boyce - Virginia Reel

Traditional American dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston. With seven couples in the set, the dance took a full 14 minutes to complete; this is just an excerpt.

Adirondack Square Dancing

The author describes her experiences traditional square dancing in the Adirondacks from 1918 to 1965, when she began modern squares. This story appeared in the final edition of Ralph Page's Northern Junket magazine.She describes how, as a 19-year-old school teacher (1933), she boarded with a family who had a dance at their house each Saturday…

Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest

Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest

Al Brundage - dance history

Note: The audio file takes a while to load, so be patient.This recording documents a presentation by Al Brundage about the history of square dancing. The tape label has no information about the date of circumstance of the presentation. Al told Jim Mayo that it probably was a demonstration (possibly for a Rotary group or something similar) put…

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Al Brundage - photos

View full record for details.

Al Brundage – Live recording, 1952

Early MWSD choreographyThis recording is an example of what local callers in southern New England were calling in 1952. The location is not identified. Al says he is using a record without speed control on the player (which was not readily available at that time), which suggests that the setting was one of the clubs that he started after returning…

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Al Brundage & the Pioneer Trio, 1951

Recorded live at his Country Barn, this recording features caller Al Brundage and the Pioneer Trio. Also included are comments made by Al Brundage about how this recording came to be.1 - Mountain Rag (Instrumental) 2 - Duck & Dive 3 - Wagoner (Instrumental) 4 - Wagon Wheel Around 5 - Old Joe Clark (Instrumental) 6 - Wabash Cannonball 7 - Texas…

Al Brundage recollections

Al Brundage wrote these recollections of his experiences growing up in Connecticut and the growth of square dancing. His story includes discovering square dance as a boy, followed by the whole Brundage family getting involved in the activity and forming the King Street Pioneers. He mentions some of the important figures in the Northeast in those…

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