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Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…

Square Dancing Is Fun, But--Teach An Easy One First! (1940 article)

Article from 1940 promoting the virtues of square dancing and pointing out the necessity of teaching simple dances first. The author suggests:

"The art of imitation must be used in teaching the square. Take the dance apart, bit by bit, and have the group walk through the parts until they know them each by name, and they will gain the thrill that…

Square Dancing on Pike's Peak - 1963

Square dancing at 14,000' — footage put online by the Pikes Peak Library. The actual dance footage starts at 1:17 in the footage, and lasts for about a minute. The added sound track is disconcerting.

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Square Dancing Standard and Experimental Guidelines

A flood of new calls in the early 1970s led a group called Square Dance Systems to publish a catalogue of calls, an attempt to bring order to an increasingly-complex universe of new figures. Square Dance Systems was Lester Keddy, Arthur Ballard, and John Hendron. This effort came before the establishment of CALLERLAB. In this item, we include the…

Square Dancing with Joe Lewis - Australia, 1952

A unique heritage clip of the Australian visit of American 'Hall of Fame' Square Dance Caller, Joe Lewis, on arrival at Essendon airport, Melbourne, in 1952, with commentary by Australian square dance caller Jim Vickers-Willis.Lewis made an earlier trip to Australia, in 1950, as noted in this advertisement in a Sydney newspaper for "square dance…

Square dancing, Berea, KY - c. 1950 style

The footage was taken and posted by John Ramsay, who writes: "The Jackson family in Berea, Kentucky got a group together to demonstrate the type of square dancing which was danced by local citizens around 1950. I shot the footage at the Jackson home in Berea sometime between 1974-1976. The three daughters begin by step dancing/ hoedown/ clogging.…

Squareback Reel - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls this composition by Roger Whynot at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

The tune is "Red Apple Rag." Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo.

Roger Whynot wrote this figure in the early 1970s…

Squareback Reel walkthrough - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes leads the walkthrough for this dance by Roger Whynot at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Recorded 19 November 2011 by John-Michael Seng-Wheeler and David Millstone

Squaredance music - Don Ward website

Don Ward is a longtime square dance caller and record collector. His Podbean website features examples from his collection; in many cases, he has digitized original 78 rpm records and has cleaned up the audio files, removing scratches and pops, to give listeners a very clean sound of some classic recordings. His site also draws from a wide variety…

SS Pappy & cars outside.jpg

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SS Pappy & rock.jpg

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St-Adalbert 1

This square dance was filmed for a Quebec, Canadian television series called Soirée Canadienne that aired between 1960 and 1983. The show was hosted by Louis Bilodeau.

St. Adalbert 2

This square dance was filmed for a Quebec, Canadian television series called Soirée Canadienne that aired between 1960 and 1983. The show was hosted by Louis Bilodeau.

St. Hubert 1

This square dance was filmed for a Quebec, Canadian television series called Soirée Canadienne that aired between 1960 and 1983. The show was hosted by Louis Bilodeau.

Stan Winchester - C4 Singing Squares

Stan Winchester was a MWSD dancer who created a large body of singing squares for the C4 community. These dancers sometimes share a series of recorded audiotapes with prerecorded calls, and Winchester was appreciated for ability to fit the complex choreography of challenge dancing into well-phrased singing calls.Caller Clark Baker maintains a…

Standard Club Quadrille (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, a New England dancing master, was hired by Henry Ford and relocated from Massachusetts to Michigan. He recorded numerous albums with the Henry Ford Orchestra, as well as authoring Good Morning, Ford's country dance book.

Star the Ring (clip) - Ralph Page

Recorded by the Ralph Page Trio, to the tune of Girl I Left Behind Me (Disc 364)

Star Thru & Square Thru - Jim Mayo - MWSD 2a

After an introductory dance using figures that dancers already knew, in this sequence of three clips (2a-2c) Jim Mayo introduces Star Thru and Square Thru. In this clip he teaches the basic figures; in 2b he calls patter and in 2c he uses those figures in a singing call.

For many of the 70 dancers at the weekend, this event was their first…

Steamboat Springs - magazine articles

Two magazine articles gave publicity to the new square dance festival in Steamboat Springs. Newsweek covered the first festival in its issue of August 28, 1950, and Collier's followed the next year (August 18, 1951) with a two-page color spread.View home movie footage of the festival and see participant ribbons.

Steamboat Springs - ribbons

Ribbons distributed to participants at the Steamboat Springs square dance festival in the early 1950sView home movie footage of the festival and read national magazine coverage of the event.