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Birdie in the Cage - Jerry Goodwin

Recorded at a square dance on February 7, 1987 at the Prosperity Fire Hall, Washington County, PA.Jerry Goodwin, CallerMountain Express: Chuck Monticello, fiddle Joe Fry, electric guitar Bob Hill, piano Dodie Goodwin, electric bassAdditional versions of Birdie in the Cage can be found here:

Origin of Appalachian Square Dance

Thurston rejects the notion that Appalachian squares did not originate from American Indian dances nor were they independently created. He concludes that they came from Europe, particular from the British Isles and even more particularly from Ireland. He demonstrates a strong connection between the structure of typical Appalachian squares with that…

Grapevine Twist - Beth Molaro

Recorded at Augusta Dance Week in 1997, with caller Beth Molaro and the Volo Bogtrotters. This item includes two audio files. (Be patient... the second clip is longer and may take longer to load.) 1) Beth's walkthrough of the figures. She acknowledges West Virginia caller Mack Samples and says she's going to try to call it in his style. Beth…

Shoot the Owl - Beth Molaro

Augusta Dance Heritage, Elkins, West Virginia, 1997; the band is the Volo Bogtrotters.

Monday Night Fever - Minneapolis square dance

This is an excerpt from "Monday Night Fever," a Minneapolis community television program produced in 1986 by Bruce Davis, who provides the narration. The film is an introduction to the Monday night square dance that began in the Twin Cities in 1979 and has been running--with a few interruptions and changes of venue--ever since. In this segment,…

Terpsichore In The Flat Creek Quarters, Pea Ridge

Pencil drawing showing a dance with African-American musicians and dancers with the following manuscript poem below: ‘Listen when I call de figgers! Watch de music es ye go! Chassay forrard! (Now look at ‘em! some too fas’ & some too slow!) Step but when I gibs de order; keep up eben wid de line; Whats got in dem lazy niggers?…

Tiny Clark - three singing squares

Tiny Clark was one of the callers holding forth at the Village Barn in Greenwich VIllage, New York City. In this 1946 film, he and his band, dubbed the Cactus Cowboys, present three singing squares: Lady Around the Lady, Duck for the Oyster and Dig for the Clam, and Hinky Dinky Parlez Vous. The overall look of the film is hillbilly, with the New…

Traditional Square Dance Figures

One section of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation's website provides detailed instructions (and source information) for 20 figures from traditional Western and southern Appalachian squares:Arkansas TravelerFour in a Center LineBachelor MillBouquet WaltzChase That Rabbit, Chase That SquirrelDive and Rescue the LadyDivide the RingDocey Doe and Visiting Couple…

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…

Nils Fredland - Birdie in the Cage and Seven Hands Round

Birdie in the Cage is a traditional square dance figure and a common one; a search for "birdie" on this SDHP website will bring up more than half a dozen other examples. In this version, each of the "birdies" fly out in turn to join another square before they return to their original square at the end of the dance. The figure at the start is also…

Square Dance - Ary, KY - 1963 (4 cpl square)

see previous item 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.

Dance to the Music and Listen to the Calls: The Square Dances and Calling of Jerry Goodwin

Larry Edelman produced this video in 1987 while studying square dance calling with Jerry Goodwin. The apprenticeship was supported by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Recorded at the Prosperity Fire Hall in western Pennsylvania the video features Jerry Goodwin calling with the Mountain Express (Chuck Monticello,…

Traditional Folkdance in Kentucky

Article by LeeEllen Friedland describing the social setting for community dances as well as the dance figures themselves. She differentiates among three types of dance: single dancing, couple dancing and group dancing. Folklorist Burt Feintuch provides a historical look at Kentucky dances in his article here.(excerpt from pp. 6–7) "The…

Set Runnin' in Eastern Kentucky

Description from 1949 by Patrick Napier of traditional square dances in eastern Kentucky.

Old Side Door: A Kentucky Mountain Dance

Article by Patrick E. Napier, originally published in 1949, describing a Kentucky dance figure and its setting.

I'll Swing Yours, You Swing Mine (clip) - Les Gotcher

In his prime as a modern square dance caller, Les Gotcher was known as the Hash Master. (For an example of Gotcher in full hash mode, listen to this live recording from 1958.) Here, in an earlier recording, he shows his comfort with traditional square dance figures, calling a visiting couple figure. Traditional callers may note that his calls are…

Beaver Valley Breakdown - Lonesome Luke

More information about this band is available here.

Lonesome Luke & His Farm Hands – Wild Hog in the Woods

Recorded Thursday, February 12, 1931 Richmond IN (Champion 16229)Luke Decker - FiddleIra Decker - BanjoC.W. Johnson - GuitarLee Day - Guitar/CallsPhil Jamison: "Wild Hog in the Woods is one of four recordings made by Lonesome Luke & His Farm Hands in 1931 that includes dance calls. It has been widely available to old-time musicians since the…

Peek-a-Boo Square Dance called by Larry Edelman

Larry Edelman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. In addition to the basic figure, which he demonstrates at the start, he calls a Pokey Eight (aka bouquet waltz) for a break, in which two groups of four whirl around each other on the floor to change positions. Toward…

Calico Top square dance walkthrough

Larry Edelman leads the walkthrough for this dance at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Elsewhere on this site you can see the actual dance.