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Items from "Southern Appalachian": 135

West Virginia Square Dances by Robert G. Dalsemer

Dalsemer describes dance figures as done in five rural West Virginia communities in the mid- to late 1970s and reports on their regular dance events, including programming, type of audience, price and method of admission, and the traditions of figure calling and musical performance. He discusses the history of each dance event and their on-going…

Marching Through Georgia - Worley Gardner

(Note: This site also contains a video clip of the dance as called by New England caller Dudley Laufman.)from the chapter on Morgantown, WV, in West Virginia Square Dances, by Bob DalsemerSinging square, recorded by Bob Dalsemer in Morgantown, West Virginia."Everybody circle eight, now circle eight around Everybody circle eight, now all the way…

Kentucky Set Running - 1993

Notes by John Ramsay: "The Kids From The Country, a country dance team from Silver Creek School in Berea, Kentucky demonstrate "running a set" or Set Running. Their music teacher, Mr. Barton, is the caller. Note that each couple takes a turn being the leader. In Daniel Boone's time, each couple would repeat the same figure; when each had their…

Appalachian Big Set - Berea- 1993

The Berea Festival Dancers, with caller Teresa Lowder, perform an Appalachian Big Set demonstration at the 1993 Mountain Folk Festival, Berea, Kentucky. The group is introduced by their director, John Ramsay; the dance itself begins about 1:15.

Figures include:
Little Side Door (lady round two and the gent cut through)
Mountain Do-Si-Do
Shoot…

John Bill Allen - Big set, Berea, 1975

Note: The first minute of the video has garbled sound, but then it clears up.

Notes from John Ramsay: Documentary of local square dancing in Berea, Kentucky circa 1975. The caller, John Bill Allen, had been a member of the College's original Folk Club. He graduated in 1936. The dancers included quite a few Berea College students, some faculty,…

Shoo-Fly Swing and La Boulangère

Compilation of sources that reveal the similarity between La Boulangère, a European dance around 1800 and the only dance mentioned by name by Jane Austen, and the Shoo-Fly Swing, its American descendant found as the closing figure of a big set dance.

John Ramsay - Set Running, a Southern Folk Dance

This article, written in 1987 and updated in 2013 by longtime dancer, caller, and organizer John Ramsay, presents his views on what has been termed "set running," a style of dance that was named by folklorist Cecil Sharp when he came upon it in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1917. The form is sometimes called the "Kentucky Running Set," though there…

Bob Dalsemer - introduction to Morgantown, WV

audio only, recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, 2009Bob Dalsemer gives an introduction to the common break figure found in Morgantown, West Virginia: "Dance around your corners all and dance around your partners all." He explaines that it's like doing an allemande left with your corner and an allemande right with your partner, but with no…

Bob Dalsemer - West Virginia dances

This is audio only; it's part of Bob Dalsemer's introduction to his workshop introducing different dance styles from West Virginia. Despite its small size, there are different square dance styles in that state. Elkins-- home of the Augusta Dance Festival-- is about the borderline, with dances to the west generally four-couple squares and to the…

Take a Little Peek - Bob Dalsemer

Swing your partner and she'll swing you. Step right back and watch her grin Step right up and swing her again Step right back and watch her smile Step right up and swing 'er a while! View from behind the musicians: Sandy Bradley, guitar; Greg Canote, fiddle; Jere Canote, banjo Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete…

Bob Dalsemer - demonstration of smooth transitions

Bob Dalsemer demonstrates how New Creek dancers move smoothly from swinging the opposite to a partner swing, and then out to join in one big circle. Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete view of dances from the weekend, see the audio and video files posted here.

Big Set - Bob Dalsemer

Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete view of dances from the weekend, see the audio and video files posted here.