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"Wild Bill" Reagan

Duane "Wild Bill" Reagan was a square dance caller perhaps best known for his performance at the Expo 74 festival in Spokane, Washington. Featured here are two clips of his calling at that event, a live recording made by musician Pop Wagner:* Cheat or Swing* Docey Out as She Comes in(Note: Audio clips will take a while to load. They will appear…

Berea Country Dancers - Set Running (1917)

In this re-creation of dances from 1917, the Berea College Country Dancers, under the direction of Ethel Capps, show several figures described by Cecil Sharp in his Country Dance Book V. Sharp first saw dancing at Pine Mountain Settlement School, Kentucky, in 1917. The footage ends with a few words from Marguerite Butler Bidstrup who was present at…

Lancers Quadrille - Pennsylvania

The Lancers is a form of quadrille dating from the 19th century. It appears in many communities throughout the western world. Here is a version (filmed in Super-8 by Bob Dalsemer, September, 1979) that was kept alive in Independence, PA, in the southwestern part of the state.Dalsemer's detailed description of the dance figures, and music…

Red River Valley

View full record for details.

Dip and Dive

Other examples of the dip and dive figure can be found on this website.

Birdie in the Cage

The well-known Birdie in the Cage figure, filmed in western Pennsylvania, on the border between northern and southern Appalachian styles of square dancing.

Butterfly Whirl

Filmed in Super-8 by Bob Dalsemer, May, 1979, at the Vandalia Gathering, an annual festival in Charleston, WV, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. These dancers are from Glenville, WV, which now hosts the annual West Virginia Folk Festival, which begins the 3rd Thursday in June each year. There's dancing each year on a…

Take a Little Peek

Filmed in Super-8 by Bob Dalsemer, May, 1979, at the Vandalia Gathering, an annual festival in Charleston, WV, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. These dancers are from Glenville, WV, which now hosts the annual West Virginia Folk Festival, which begins the 3rd Thursday in June each year. There's dancing each year on a…

Chase the Rabbit

Filmed by Bob Dalsemer in Independence, Pennsylvania

Duck for the Oyster / Grapevine Twist

This square incorporates two well-known figures.Filmed in Super-8 by Bob Dalsemer, May, 1979, at the Vandalia Gathering, an annual festival in Charleston, WV, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. These dancers are from Glenville, WV, which now hosts the annual West Virginia Folk Festival, which begins the 3rd Thursday…

Square Dancing at Maryland Line

Bob Dalsemer describes old time square dancing at the Maryland Line Fire Hall in the town of Maryland Line, MD as he encountered it in 1974.You may also be interested in a similar article describing four dances in East Tennessee, published in 1981.

Maryland Line Square Dance, 1974: Little Brown Jug (Birdie In the Cage)

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This visiting couple square has a quick progression, whereby the next couple starts its round when the previous couple is visiting its last couple. There is no middle break. Note the Southern dosido…

Maryland Line Square Dance, 1974: Jitterbug Square (Pistol Packin' Mama)

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This visiting couple square has a quick progression, whereby the next couple starts its round when the previous couple is visiting its last couple. There is no middle break. In the figure, the two…

The Ninepin (Liberty) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby - Maryland Line Square Dance, 1974:

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

Each square has an extra woman standing in the center (the Ninepin). When the caller calls "all five ladies to the center" all five women circle left in the center of the square until the caller says…

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…

The Independence (PA) Lancers

For moving images of the dance, click here.This is Bob Dalsemer's account of discovering an old dance form maintained in a rural Pennsylvania community:"On two occasions in 1979, I had the good fortune to visit the bi-weekly Saturday night square dance at the Grange Hall in Independence, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. I found…

Asilomar 1973 - Frank Lane

Three films from Bob Osgood's collection showing dancers at the 1973 gathering at Asilomar, California.The first film shows dancers practicing allemande thar, followed by a round dance sequence (Left Footers One-Step, written by Bruce Johnson in 1959) and then Dick Leger's hit, the singing square "Marianne." Close-up shots of Frank Lane calling…

Bob Ruff - Square Dancing Fundamentals, Level 1

Also available elsewhere online: Caller Bob Ruff (Whittier, CA) created this video to accompany his record, "The Fundamentals of Square Dancing, Level 1" that in turn accompanies a square dance teaching series he created with Jack Murtha. Ruff teaches 35 basic square dance movements, working with a group of elementary school students who had been…

Bob Ruff - Square Dancing Fundamentals, part 2

Also available elsewhere online.This is the second of two films created by caller Bob Ruff (Whittier, CA) to accompany his record, "The Fundamentals of Square Dancing, Level 1" that in turn is part of a square dance teaching series he created with Jack Murtha. In the film, Ruff teaches 35 basic square dance movements, working with a group of…

Nellie Bly (clip) - Charlie Bardwell

Charlie Bardwell, caller, with Bardy's Orchestra, recorded in Putney, Vermont in the late 1970s by Steve Green. This website contains several other examples of this popular singing square.