Square Dance History Project
Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.
Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there is no current source that offers a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.
On July 13, 1950, Santa Monica, California, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with a gigantic square dance. More than 15,000 dancers were kept moving by more than three dozen callers while upwards of 30,000 eager spectators watched. This exhibit includes newsreel footage of the event, articles in square dance journals, interviews with Bob Osgood and Dan Allen, and an audio clip from Cal Golden, one of the callers. It was the largest square dance event that had ever happened at that time.