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)"
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A Look at Square Dancing in Colorado

"Square dancing evolved a western version probably sometime in the late 1800s when the pioneers moved to settle the states west of the Mississippi. It was a square dance form that was much… View item
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Abilene Lift - Rickey Holden

An early description by Rickey Holden of the so-called "Abilene lift," a distinctive style of incorporating a two-steps into square dance movement. View item
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Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest

Electronic copy of 1950 book by Lee Owens, with music arranged by Viola Ruth. Excellent resource made available through the Internet Archive. The book can be read online, downloaded as a PDF file, or… View item
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American Country Dancing on Colorado's West Slope

The article is based on oral history collected in 1979, though no footnotes or direct quotations are included. Instead, it is a generalized summary of the author's findings. "Depending on… View item
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American Square Dances of the West and Southwest

Electronic copy of 1949 book by Lee Owens, with music arranged by Viola Ruth. Excellent resource made available through the Internet Archive. The book can be read online, downloaded as a PDF file, or… View item
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At the Keith Ranch (1893)

SeeAdditional Filesfor the full story.This short story, published in 1893, focuses on events at a square dance at a Colorado ranch. Although the plot itself is melodramatic, the author includes… View item
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Audience Cheers Cheyenne Dancers (newspaper)

This newspaper account describes the enthusiastic reception given the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers when they performed at Swarthmore College (PA). This was the second stop on the dancers' inaugural trip… View item
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Bachelor Mill square dance

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. This is Bill's version of the dance, which is also known… View item
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Bill Litchman - Rocky Mountain Square Dancing

This overview of square dance history focuses on two major groups of square dance. One group (northern, Eastern, Maritime, etc.) relies on quadrille-style figures, with couples interacting across the… View item
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Bill Litchman 1 - Traditional Western Squares

Caller Bill Litchman discusses characteristic features of traditional western square dances, incorporating his memory of Colorado dances that he encountered starting in the 1950s.For a more detailed… View item
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Black Hawk Waltz

Black Hawk Waltz is a classic round (or couple) dance. The tune was composed by Mary Walsh in 1877. Here is a link to an illustration of the sheet music cover; you may also view instructions on the… View item
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Blue Bonnet Set - 1939

This 1939 newspaper pictoral spread looks at Herb Greggerson's Blue Bonnet Set, the team that won the Texas square dancing championship in March that year. Before that, the prize was often taken… View item