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Browse Items: 53

"Doc" Alumbaugh

This is a short clip from a tip called by "Doc" Alumbaugh at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is the "classic" figures Dip and Dive and Right Lady High, Left Lady Low.

Bill Shymkus

This is a short clip of a tip called by Bill Shymkus at the 3rd National Square Dance Convention in Dallas , Texas. The choreography is the goal post pattern that was very common at that time.

Bob Osgood

This is a short clip from a tip called by Bob Osgood at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is a 3 Ladies Chain routine.

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 enthusiasts in the Austin area and later one of the editors of Foot 'n' Fiddle magazine. Born in Fort Worth in 1917, he graduated graduated from the…

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 the organizers, and describing clothing, figures performed, and tunes used in the competition. An accompanying column (p. 3 of the PDF) reveals that paid…

Swing Your Partner  (Texas, Doc Journell)

This is the first issue of a square dance magazine edited by C.D. "Doc" Journell. The photo of Doc Journell calling a square dance was submitted by Carrie Journell, wife of Journell's great-grandson. She writes, "He was such a diverse man - a dentist, caller, painter and now we can add editor and publisher to family stories."

Cowboy Square Dances of West Texas

This booklet provides an introduction to West Texas square dances. After a detailed glossary, complete with diagrams, the author provides a sample of dances as they might be called. The patter is marked in italics to separate it from the crucial dance figures, and the author notes that he has attempted to include a wide variety of patter. Each…

Texas Squares at Pinewoods

In the late 1940s, the Country Dance and Song Society was best known for its work focused on English country dances and ritual dances. Starting in 1949 (see cover of the CDSS newsletter) and then at early Pinewoods camp sessions in 1951 and 1952, Texas squares were included in their programs, which featured caller Ray Smith. Here are some items…

Square dance photos, Austin, TX, 1948

Two photographs taken at a square dance in Austin, TX

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My Little Girl - Ed Gilmore

This is a short clip from a tip called by Ed Gilmore at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. Ed is singing the dance My Little Girl.

Square Dance Clubs, Texas Style

This is a detailed description of the organizational plan of the Sally Goodin square dance club of Houston, Texas, which followed a common Texas model at the time:

"Most of the square dancing is done in square dance clubs organized solely for this purpose, conducted entirely by the members, and with no profit except to the orchestra and in some…

Harper Smith

This is a short clip called by Harper Smith at the National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas in April of 1954. The choreography is hand turn hash with several Allemande Breaks.

Herb Greggerson - Herb's Blue Bonnet Calls

Greggerson's book, originally published in 1937, contains more than 50 dances, supplemented with photographs and diagrams.

After a brief foreward with acknowledgments, the book begins with these words:

How To Square Dance
There is one important thing in square dancing. That is, listening to the Caller. Most, if not all, of the mistakes made…

Foot 'n' Fiddle  (Texas)

This journal was started in 1946 by Marlys Swenson (later Marlys Waller) and Anne Pittman, joined by Olcutt Sanders as another editor. It is among the earliest square dance magazines—Rod LaFarge's Rosin the Bow, with a more eclectic range of dances, started in 1945—but coming several years beforeSets in Order orNorthern Junket. Texas…

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; the articles refer to the Southwest Exposition and Fat Stock Show, an annual event that is still ongoing in Fort Worth, now called the Fort Worth Stock…

Cowboy Dance (1923 article)

The Cowboy Dance

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Square Dance Contests - Texas debate, 1948

In the 1920s and 1930s, continuing a little into the 1940s, Texas had numerous square dance competitions. These two essays from Foot 'n' Fiddle magazine debate the merits of such events.In the first piece, Jane Harris argues, in part, "I would not strike out the demonstration group or the occasional exhibit of the highly trained dancers. It most…

Jerry Helt

This is a short clip from a tip called by Jerry Helt at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas.The choreography is the "classic" figure Texas Whirlwind.

West Texans Do It Differently

In this 1949 article, caller Jimmy Clossin describes some of the distinguishing characteristics of west Texas square dance:

"Many people think when Western Square Dancing is mentioned that we have only one type in the West. That is not true. While there is a similarity between all western square dancing that would lead one not familiar with the…