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New Call Problems in the Mid 1970s

This is an excerpt from the book Step by Step Through Modern Square Dance History by Jim Mayo. It describes the situation that had been created by a flood of new calls in the mid 1970’s. Related items illustrate a set of early attempts by Square Dance Systems to create an organized catalogue of calls.

Red Bates, 2011 City of New Orleans

The 2011 singing call is the same one that he used in 2006, City of New Orleans, Rhythm record #182. The record, as Wade Driver called it, used a CALLERLAB Mainstream Program routine. As we noted in the 2006 clip, Red used three different routines. Both Red and I (Jim Mayo) were surprised to learn that here, five years later, he used the same three…

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Red Bates, 2011 - Patter

The 2011 patter call is probably from a group in Florida where Red now lives in the winter. Two things are notable. One is that he is using a much smaller vocabulary of calls than he has in the tips from earlier years. The other is that the music is a singing call record. (I Shall Not Be Moved". Quadrille # 910) Many callers who are comfortable…

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Red Bates, 2006 City Of New Orleans

The 2006 singing call, City of New Orleans, was probably to the Rhythm record #182 originally by Wade Driver with a Mainstream Program figure. By using three different figures in the dance rather than just one repeated four times, Red’s calling again shows the change in singing call delivery that by then was very common for many callers.

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Red Bates, 2006 Patter

The 2006 patter call shows Red’s usual programming using 11 of the PLUS Program calls in this one tip. The tempo had increased slightly to 123 bpm. His delivery style is conversational with somewhat less melodic variation than his early calling.

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Harold Luce biography

This short biography profiles Harold Luce (1918-2014), a well-known Yankee fiddler and dance caller closely associated with the Ed Larkin Dancers of north central Vermont. Luce started playing with the group in the 1930s and continued for eight decades, as well as calling and fiddling at his own square dances.He accompanied the dancers and called…

Dick Leger - Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame Historical Archive

Website devoted to caller Dick Leger; the author also references the extensive discography on Vic and Debbie Ceder's website. There are numerous items in the SDHP collection related to Dick Leger.

An Invitation To Dance: A History of Social Dance in America

This online exhibit on the history of social dance in America draws on documents in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society to offer a multi-faceted portrait of the changing nature of American social dance. Items in the exhibit include the cotillion, the quadrille, and other related square dance forms.

Call & Answer - Amanda Lovelee

Minneapolis based artist, Amanda Lovelee believes finding, preserving and constructing a space for physical connection is an urgent issue. As a society that faces the collapse of communities how do we continue to form face-to-face connections? This is why she began The Call and Answer Project, a project that creates a fun, interactive space for…

Rickey Holden Interviews

These are four interviews conducted with Rickey Holden— dance caller, organizer, author, editor and publisher. He was co-author of The Contra Dance Book (1956) andInstant Hash (1962) as well as numerous articles and two books about international folk dance. He danced with Ralph Page in the Boston area in the 1940s, hitchhiked around the US…

Masaru Wada - 2010 Milestone Award

Text of the CALLERLAB Milestone award presented to caller Masaru Wada of Japan, as well as the speech made by Mike Seastrom in presenting the award. Seastrom acknowledged, "While there are other fine leaders who have spread the joy of the square dance activity and helped it grow in Japan," Masaru Wada stands above the rest.

Les Quatre Berceaux - cotillion for 6 couples

“Les Quatre Berceaux” (The Four Cradles) was presented by Dance Discovery at the Missouri History Museum in conjunction with an exhibit on Napoleon. The group reconstructed the dance from the printed French description published in Paris in 1801.Credits:Rebecca Taylor translated the archaic French into modern English.John Ramsay…

Gary Ellison interview

This is an interview conducted by Nathaniel Lucy as part of his research for his master's thesis, "Ozark Jubilee: The Impact of a Revional Identity at a Crossroads," written in 2014. The subject of the interview is Gary Ellison, who explains, "In 1959 and in 1960, the last two years, I was the square dance caller for the Wagon Wheelers, which was…

Santa Monica 1950 - Don Ward comments

The Trad-Dance-Callers listserv in 2008 had a discussion that touched on the Santa Monica dance. Don Ward was a participant in that event and he shared a few memories with the group.

Using squares at a contra dance - Beth Molaro

Caller Beth Molaro, of Asheville, NC, is a well-known caller who loves calling both contras and squares. In this clip, talking with Dennis Merritt, she explains some of her thinking that goes into deciding when to call a square at a contra dance, when in the program to put squares, what sorts of squares she uses, and how different kinds of music…

God Bless America - CALLERLAB chairmen, 2009

In 2009 the CALLERLAB Convention in Kansas City included a dance following the Banquet called by all the past chairmen of CALLERLAB who were in attendance that year. This recording is the final singing call at that dance and included each of the participating callers joined in calling to the Gold Star record #712, God Bless America.

It was…

Texan Whirl - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling the Texan Whirl figure attributed to caller Bob Sumrall, an influential caller starting in the 1930s in Abilene and other West Texas communities. The distinctive part has the women circling left underneath the men's arms making a right hand star, and then each woman rolls back around the gent behind her to reform the circle.…

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement; Holden has written that "at one time, at every dance, the entire floor could be heard to move, everyone, in unison, with an almost mystical, magical…

Goal Post variation - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls a sequence of easy figures at a workshop in Taastrup, Denmark, August 19, 2005. It's similar to a Goal Post" routine except that Rickey has the active dancers swing behind the inactives rather than go around them. The end of the dance incorporates a Birdie in the Cage routine.

Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…