Bill Litchman - Rocky Mountain Square Dancing
(To open the PDF document, click on the underlined link to the right.)
This overview of square dance history focuses on two major groups of square dance. One group (northern, Eastern, Maritime, etc.) relies on quadrille-style figures, with couples interacting across the set; this style is prompted like a contra. The second form is found in the southern Appalachia mountains, the southwest, and the Rocky Mountain region, with the caller chanting patter throughout the dance.
Litchman argues that there are different sources for these two distinct styles, and he looks at the migration patterns of early settlers to explain why different dance styles ended up where they are.
For more on Rocky Mountain dancing, see Litchman's videotaped interview. Readers interested in the controversy and eventual agreement between Eastern and Western callers that settled the confusion between docey-doe and do-si-do can learn more here.
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