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Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing

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Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing

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Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing


Written in 1949 and republished many times, this is a vital reference for anyone interested in southern Appalachian dance. Patrick Napier is a well-known dance leader at the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, Kentucky, and this is his compilation of dance figures from eastern Kentucky. It is a PDF file available for download (easier reference) from the electronic library of Country Dance and Song Society.

Napier presents scores of figures in detailed descriptions and diagrams. He differentiates between figures for the Big Set (a large circle with many couples who then interact in pairs) and the Running Set, a four-couple square. Among the figures described:

Big Set
Arkansas Girl (Swing your Ma)
Cage the Bird
Double Bow Knot
Eight Hands 'Cross (California Show Basket)
Four-Leaf Clover
Lady 'Round the Lady
Mountaineer Loop
Old Side Door
Swing at the Wall
Take a Little Peek

Running Set
Around the World
* Grapevine Twist
Shoot the Owl
Up Town and Back
Wild Goose Chase

Those interested in southern Appalachian dance will enjoy the videos on this website called by Bill Ohse and Phil Jamison.

* A search for "Grapevine Twist" in this project's digital collection will return references, audio clips, and video clips showing that figure, including Elizabeth Burchenal's silent footage from the 1930s. Similarly, examples of many other figures can be found by using the SEARCH or ADVANCED SEARCH function.


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Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Elizabeth Burchenal 2 - big set in field
This Item is related to Item: Elizabeth Burchenal 3 - big set demo
This Item is related to Item: Elizabeth Burchenal 4 - big set, rooftop
This Item is related to Item: Elizabeth Burchenal 5 - square dance
This Item is related to Item: "Dancing to the Music: Domestic Square Dances and Community in Southcentral Kentucky (1880-1940)"
This Item is related to Item: Traditional Folkdance in Kentucky
Item: Stu Jamieson - The Old-Time Kentucky Running Set is related to This Item
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