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)"
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
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Texas Square Dance - Family Tree

The author attempts to trace the various antecedents leading up to Texas square dancing in the 1940s. After the obligatory look at British sources, he notes: "The recent history of the square… 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
Still Image

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
Document

Texas Square Dance Contests

These are a series of newspaper clippings made by J. Olcutt Sanders, documenting Texas square dance competitions. (Unfortunately, most of them are undated.) We assume that these are from Fort Worth;… View item
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Bob Sumrall - Olcutt Sanders correspondence, 1939

These letters between Bob Sumrall and J. Olcutt Sanders provide a glimpse into Texas square dances in the late 1930s. Sanders was a serious student of square dance history, part of a group of… View item
Document

1940 Texas Square Dance Contest

Newspaper accounts of a square dance competition won by Bob Sumrall's Abilene set. The story goes into detail about each of the six competing teams,naming each of the dancers, the judges, and… View item
Document

"The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance" – Olcutt Sanders

This article, scholarly yet accessible, provides an excellent look at square dancing in west Texas in the late 1800s. He starts with a look at the conditions that set this region apart from… View item
Sound

Four Bachelor Boys - Richard Kraus

Let's Square Dance!, Album 5 View item
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Cowboys' Christmas Ball - Anson, Texas

Poem written in 1890 describing the Cowboys' Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas. For more information about the author, see this website on cowboy poetry. The Ball continues, following the original rules… View item
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Texas Cowboys - dance poems and lore

A collection of pieces related to square dance in southwest cowboy culture, published in 1925 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