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Description of a Quadrille, 1870, West Virginia

Satirical description of a quadrille, from a West Virginia newspaper; no mention is made of a caller

Sammy Spring's Quadrille - Don Armstrong

This dance, presented by Don Armstrong at the 1955 Minnesota State Square Dance Convention, comes from the calling of Sammy Spring. Don remarks in his introduction that the dance is similar to one of the figures of the Lancers, and he has this to say about the man from whom he learned the dance:

"We are privileged to have down in Florida one of…

Bob Aylward - caller biography

This is an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Robert Aylward, who called square dances in the Boston area, starting in the 1930s. It's a detailed portrait of the evolution of a caller.

Bob Aylward - related items

View full record for details.

Jim Mayo - "Little Black Book"

This is caller Jim Mayo's book of dances, dating from the 1950s and into the 1960s. It's a good example of a serious caller's repertoire during this period.For comparison with another well-known New England caller, see Al Brundage's Little Black Book, stored on the website of the Square Dance Foundation of New England.

"How We Do It In Our Town" - Emmette Wallace

This is a series of articles comparing how basic figures are taught and danced in different parts of the country. The first segment appeared in October, 1949, in American Squares, and the series continued occasionally until October, 1951.

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.

The Rural Square Dance in the Northeastern United States: A Continuity of Tradition

This doctoral thesis in folklore is based on a study of square dances in New York state, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Especially interesting are the descriptions of traditional dances, based on the author's observation, and interviews with dancers, augmented with questionnaires.The author notes the difficulties of collecting information from…

Gary Ellison interview

This is an interview conducted by Nathaniel Lucy as part of his research for his master's thesis, "Ozark Jubilee: The Impact of a Revional Identity at a Crossroads," written in 2014. The subject of the interview is Gary Ellison, who explains, "In 1959 and in 1960, the last two years, I was the square dance caller for the Wagon Wheelers, which was…

Polka Square - Ralph Page (clip)

This clip of Ralph Page calling Polka Square demonstrates his melodic style, part patter call and part singing. The musicians are Page's Boston Boys: George Gulyassy, fiddle; Bob Gulyassy, guitar; Phil Jamoulis, bass, joined here by Walter Erickson, accordion, and Walter Lob on fiddle.

Les Quatre Berceaux - cotillion for 6 couples

“Les Quatre Berceaux” (The Four Cradles) was presented by Dance Discovery at the Missouri History Museum in conjunction with an exhibit on Napoleon. The group reconstructed the dance from the printed French description published in Paris in 1801.Credits:Rebecca Taylor translated the archaic French into modern English.John Ramsay…

Les Quatre Berceaux - related documents

This item gathers together various documents related to the videotaped performance of the dance, Les Quatre Berceaux:• Instructions, as interpreted and explained by John Ramsay with assistance from Mark Rice• Chart constructed by Mark Rice to assist the group as they attempted to re-create the dance• Article sent by Dance Discovery…

Pardners - Jerry Lewis square dance

The 1956 film Pardners, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, originally had a square dance sequence with Jerry Lewis as the caller, testimony to the role that square dancing had in American popular culture at that time. Bob Osgood coached Jerry Lewis in the art of dance calling. This short clip is from the trailer, but the actual dance sequence…

Don't Forget, Callers, Our Style Is Always Showing

This is a copy of a section of the minutes of a meeting of the Southern California Callers Association. Bob Van Antwerp presented the training session on the subject of dancing style and how callers should teach it to new dancers.

Square Dance Clubs, Texas Style

This is a detailed description of the organizational plan of the Sally Goodin square dance club of Houston, Texas, which followed a common Texas model at the time:

"Most of the square dancing is done in square dance clubs organized solely for this purpose, conducted entirely by the members, and with no profit except to the orchestra and in some…

Masaru Wada - 2010 Milestone Award

Text of the CALLERLAB Milestone award presented to caller Masaru Wada of Japan, as well as the speech made by Mike Seastrom in presenting the award. Seastrom acknowledged, "While there are other fine leaders who have spread the joy of the square dance activity and helped it grow in Japan," Masaru Wada stands above the rest.

Wakamono Tachi - Masaru Wada

Excerpt from recording by caller Masaru Wada, with calls in English but with additional lyrics in Japanese

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…

Bruce Johnson interview

This interview with a young Bruce Johnson-- he's 25 at the time-- was conducted by Mildred Buhler as part of her "Calling All Folk Dancers" radio program in 1950-1951. (The illustration is from 20 years later, when he's on the cover of Sets in Order.) Included here is a section near the beginning of the broadcast, which included Johnson calling a…

Jimmy Morris and Tommy Cavanagh interview

Interview with two British callers, conducted by Mildred Buhler and shared with her dancers back in California. The two men were the co-founders, president and vice-president, of the fledgling British Association of American Square Dance Clubs with which Buhler was involved when she moved to London. During the interview, Morris says, "We really try…