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Quadrille #1 - Gene Gowing

Gene Gowing, here accompanied on piano by Willa Semple, prompts a quadrille to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw." Gowing was an associate of Ralph Page for many years, a co-producer of their Monadnock Folkways dance school, although in later years the two men had a falling-out.

Catch All Eight - Louise Winston

This is an interesting example of a modern square dance call turning up in the repertoire of a called deeply involved in the New England traditional square dance scene. Louise Winston was one of the few women callers in New England in the years immediately after World War II. A friend of Ralph Page and Rod Linnell, she started calling in 1945.…

Bouquet Waltz - Jim Kimball

Afternoon workshop of traditional New York state square dances
Sponsored by the Southern Tier Country Dance Society
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Cuba Grange
Cuba, NY

Jim Kimball says that the figure was known locally as "Two by Three in a Bouquet Waltz." The same figure in other locales done by two circles of four, is sometimes called a Pokey…

Duck and Dive - Bill McAdoo

A section of square dance caller Bill McAdoo calling Duck and Dive on May 11, 1985 at the Independence Grange Hall, Independence Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Similar examples may be tagged "Duck and Dive" or "Dip and Dive."

Square Dances - 1981 - Pam McKeever & Tod Whittemore

This footage was recorded by Kirston Koths, Oak Leaf Studios, on December 31, 1981, going into January 1, 1982. The event was a New Year's Eve dance with callers Tod Whittemore and Pam McKeever, held at Belmont Hill School near Boston.The programs mixes contra dances with these squares:Wagon Wheel (00:00)Take a Little Peek (4:38)Head Two Ladies…

Ladies Whirligig - two New England versions

Here is the same basic dance called by two New England callers who overlapped. The first is an excerpt from a recording by Ralph Page; the second is a live recording of Louise Winston from 1970.The basic idea of the dance—directing the ladies to turn the various other men—turn up in numerous other settings, such as the Merry-Go-Round,…

The Route - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling a classic square dance figure, alternately called The Rout or The Route. Rather than a full walkthrough, he gives only a general introduction, setting up the dancers for some lively confusion partway through. In addition to the usual right and left through and ladies chain, he finishes with a series of dip and dive figures.…

Three Ladies Chain - Rickey Holden

Instead of the women chaining over and back within their own square, in this variation of Three Ladies Chain, caller Rickey Holden has the women leaving their square and chaining all the way over the hall and back again. The basic dance figure can be found in disparate traditional settings, ranging from a singing square set to Red River Valley or…

Silver and Gold - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella wrote this dance in 1952, specifically to accompany the tune of the same name. In Balance and Swing, Ted writes, "This simple dance is a favorite of mine, one that I use with any group that is able to do a right and left through. Sometimes I use it as a teaching aid after explaing that figure to beginners. This works out well because…

Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella rarely called singing squares, but in this example of Hot Town in the Old Town Tonight, he mixes patter with a little big of singing to create a hybrid of singing and patter.The SDHP site contains many other examples of Ted Sannella's calling.

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella calls his dance, Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides, in a live recording from c. 1958. In Balance and Swing, Ted explains, "I wrote this dance in February, 1953 for a dance exhibition at the 1953 New England Folk Festival. It shows off very nicely the circles, lines and stars so typical of square dancing." More than 60 years after its…

Contra Corners Canon

The dance was composed by Pittsburgh caller and choreographer Ron Buchanan. In this video, it's being called by Lisa Greenleaf.

Square Dance (with Corky Calkins)

This 1955 film, produced by Roger Tilton, features Corky Calkins and his band. Calkins was a popular caller in the Springfield, MA, area. Among the dances shown here are Nellie Bly, The Route and the Virginia Reel.

Ralph Sweet comments: "When we first moved into this area [near Springfield, MA] Corky Calkins was going strong. He had regular…

Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Swing Like Thunder - Richard Kraus

Kraus writes, "This lively square dance is especially popular with teen-agers." In his book, Square Dances of Today, he writes, "This one goes under a variety of names. Some call it the 'California Fruit Basket' and others call it 'Ladies Bow, Gents Bow Under.' "Let's Square Dance!, Album 4

Lady Go Halfway Round - Richard Kraus

Kraus says, "This is not a difficult square, but for a few moments the active boy has to keep his ears open, and do some fast stepping!"

Let's Square Dance!, Album 3

The Basket - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This is the final dance on album 3; the dance introduces a basket figure for two, three, and four couples.

Around the Outside - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This dance is from Album 1, the first dance in the series with partner changes.