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Learn To Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way

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Foster Instructional Cards

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Learn To Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way

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Dance instructional cards from the 1940s


Two sets of instructional cards are available online. Each set contains 35 two-sided cards, with descriptions of basic figures as well as complete dance routines.

Some original sets are available for sale at Vic and Debbie Ceder's extraordinary website. Here's how they describe these materials:

C.D. Foster was one of the last great square dance callers of the Wild Wild West. He was born in Nebraska in 1880 only four years after Custer's Last Stand. C.D. Foster moved to Oklahoma where he wrote Foster's Comic History of Oklahoma. From there, he married and moved to Colorado. It was in Colorado that his love for music and square dance calling began to snowball. He played and called square dances from Cripple Creek to Denver and in the small surrounding mountain towns up and down the Rockies. Charles played on the radio for 17 years.

In 1942 he wrote and copyrighted his first set of square dance cards, "Learn to Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way Part I." He followed the first set of instructional cards up with a second set, "Learn to Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way Part II." Singing Calls by Charlie Thomas was set #3 and his fourth set is called "Play Party Games the Foster Way."

Foster could play the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, rattlebones, spoons, drums and banjo. His traveled with his band called Foster Folkway Features. They traveled around the country and Foster used to brag that he had been to every state in the Union but one. Charles D. Foster lived in Denver with his wife Rose until he was 96. We are C.D.'s grandchildren, and feel his contributions to the Square Dance Community are too great to be forgotten. He spent years trying to capture the essence of those times and record and preserve the way Square Dancing was in the 1940's and 50's. It's because of his hard work and efforts that those dances and calls won't be lost. We can see and experience the dances and calls just like they were done 60 years ago.

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