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An Evening with Lloyd Shaw

Richard Marold was director of the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center at the time of this presentation. He developed this one man show in which he appears as Dr. Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw, speaking directly to the audience about his life and times. The 50 minute presentation includes information about Shaw's early life and formative experiences, traces his…

Dorothy Stott Shaw

This is a compilation of several articles written by Cal Campbell and originally published in The American Dance Circle, the quarterly journal of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. Although Lloyd Shaw is the name widely recognized, here the author describes the vital impact that Mrs. Shaw had on dancers in her own right. Interested readers will enjoy a…

Computer training for dancers - C4

In 1975 Bruce Roe, a circuit designer who worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories and a long time Chicago-area challenge square dancer dancer, developed a dancer training tool to assist in learning new levels of square dancing. His device would present the music and calling and 7 of the eight dancers on a computer screen and the user would control…

Lonesome Me - Don Beck

Recorded December 1985 at Bay Path Barn, West Boylston, MA. The caller had been one of the founders of Tech Squares at MIT and was that club's first caller, in 1967. Another clip on YouTube, recorded at the same night, has Beck doing a patter call.

Don Beck - patter

Recorded December 1985 at Bay Path Barn, West Boylston, MA. The caller had been one of the founders of Tech Squares at MIT and was that club's first caller, in 1967. Another clip on YouTube, recorded at the same night, has Beck doing a singing call, Lonesome Me.


Smoky Mountain Square Dance Collection

In his later years, Tennessee caller David Hendrix was working on an expanded version of his Smoky Mountain Square Dances, complete with diagrams and professional photographs. After his death, his family donated his papers to the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. Bob Dalsemer was director of music and dance programs at the…

Tri-State History Panel, 1988

This presentation by three of the early “Modern” square dance callers in New England is a personal look at the transition from traditional New England square dancing into what is known today as Modern Western Square Dancing (MWSD). The presentation was filmed at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, representing square dance…

Great Chicago Crossfire, gay fly-in, 1989

Television coverage (The 10% Show, a gay-focused channel) of The Great Chicago Crossfire, 1989, a square dance fly-in hosted by the Chi-Town Squares, a gay square dance club. Among the callers shown working with dancers and being interviewed are Lin Jarvis and Saundra Bryant.

The Calling Computer

In the late 1980s, Don Beck programmed his Macintosh computer to be able to call modern square dances, automatically selecting calls according to a programmed set of rules. Beck had been associated with the Tech Squares program at MIT. The article is also available on Don's website.

Clark Baker 1991 C4

Clark Baker made a calling trip to Japan in 1991 to share his interest in Challenge squares. Two videos on the SDHP site come from that experience.In this video, starting with the couple whose back is to the camera at the start and then moving right around the square, the dancers are: - woman in green dress - Betsy Berry- Betsy's partner - Kitchen…

Clark Baker 1991 - Easy C4

This clip and its companion document a calling trip Clark Baker made to Japan in 1991.

Yee Haw! A Curious Stroll Down Square Dancing’s Memory Lane

A quirky and informative movie of how square dancing has been portrayed in historical, non-theatrical motion pictures aggregated from The Internet Archive. The collection illustrates some of the ways that square dancing has been portrayed in popular culture. Credits at the end of the collection show the source of each clip.


Karl Byarski - Michigan fiddle and dance recordings

Paul Gifford is a researcher and musician with a particular focus on tradition Michigan fiddling. He writes:---I put up a large collection of home recordings of fiddling made by Karl Byarski, of Kinde, Michigan, mostly in the 1950s. Almost all relates to the Thumb of Michigan. It includes a fair amount recorded live at dances, including some…

Ralph Piper - Teaching the Waltz

This is a handout by caller Ralph Piper for use at a class during the American Squares week at Camp Ihduhapi, MN, in 1953. He provides a brief description of different styles of waltz, a short history of the dance form, then outlines in detail the steps in which the dance should be taught..

African-American quadrille, 1914

SIlent movie footage from 1914 showing African-American dancers in square formation. A comment on a YouTube posting of the same clip says, "That band in the background was possibly Sid LeProtti's band from the Barbary Coast. This dance had open sections that look like what we call square dancing. The closed sections of the dance were often danced…

Monterey Polka Quadrille

The Monterey Polka Quadrilles by Charles Durang (1848) (Finale [Figure 5] - Colonel May)Reconstructed by Richard Powers (1983)Music by Fleeting Moments Waltz & Quickstep Orchestra (courtesy of Richard Powers)Performed by members of Polite Society, the performing troupe of the Vintage Dance Society. The dance celebrates a U.S. victory in the…

The Care and Feeding of Exhibition Sets

This article fromAmerican Squares outlines items to be taken into consideration when developing an exhibition square dance team:===Putting the “dance” in square dancing is the basic objective of good exhibition dancing. A set must enjoy their dancing while they are on the floor and show that they are enjoying it. This feeling will…

Duck for the Oyster - origins

This discussion of Duck for the Oyster was an e-mail from the author, Tony Parkes, to the coordinator of the Square Dance History Project. A search on this site for "oyster" will bring back numerous references, including these.

Lee Kopman calls

This "Wordle" is an illustration of how frequently calls written by Lee Kopman appear in modern square dance calling. The size correlates with the frequency of the call's use, Readers interested in knowing more about Lee Kopman will enjoy listening to the interview conducted with him by Bob Brundage and posted on the website of the Square Dance…

Lee Kopman on Phil Donahue

Lee Kopman has created more calls used in contemporary square dance than any other individual, some 350 or more. In 1980, he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and presented this program of square dancing, joined by dancers from New York, Chicago, Ohio and Wisconsin. Assisted at the mic by caller Dave Taylor, Kopman provides lucid responses to the…