Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (101 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Traditional Western (pre-1940)"
Moving Image

Texan Whirl - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling the Texan Whirl figure attributed to caller Bob Sumrall, an influential caller starting in the 1930s in Abilene and other West Texas communities. The distinctive part has the… View item
Moving Image

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement;… View item
Document

Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden

This is a detailed description of three Texas squares, presented by Rickey Holden as an exhibition dance at the fourth annual New England Folk Festival, November 15–16, 1947. Holden based much of his… View item
Sound

Four Bachelor Boys - Richard Kraus

Let's Square Dance!, Album 5 View item
Moving Image

Pam McKeever and the Flying Squares, 1981

Demonstration of the sort of exhibition dancing created by Lloyd Shaw in the 1930s and popularized by his Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The dancers are: Jim Bollman, Karen Atkins, Ernie Spence,… View item
Document

Swing yore partner round 'n round (The Desert Magazine, 1944)

Author Oren Arnold describes square dancing in Arizona in the early 1940s: "...A rock fireplace big enough to stand in was at one end of the room, and its blaze made dancing shadows… View item
Document

"Partners To Your Places

This 1949 chapter by Olcutt Sanders is a significantly expanded version of his short piece fromFoot 'n' Fiddle in 1947. Here it's complete with scholarly footnotes, making it more useful to… View item
Document

Ladies to the Center

This short article by Texas dance historian Olcutt Sanders looks at the role played by women in that state's dance history. Sanders notes the early absence of women: "A scarcity of woman… View item
Document

Round Dances

Olcutt Sanders was a Texas dance historian. He writes, "The round dances that are included quite generally on square dance programs these days originated in Europe in the late Eighteenth and… View item
Document

"The Good Ole Days" - Olcutt Sanders, 1949

Dance historian Olcutt Sanders asks, "As you unwound yourself from the mazes of the latest square dance concoction introduced at your club meeting, did your ever wonder how people ever got along… View item
Document

Early Dance Houses

This piece about Texas dance halls is a companion to the author's article on Texas dance history. View item
Document

Early Texas Dances

This article was written by Olcutt Sanders, a dance caller and historian who was among the founders of Foot 'n' Fiddle magazine, an early square dance magazine in Texas. View item