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Stu Jamieson - The Old-Time Kentucky Running Set

Although the title speaks of Kentucky Running Set, this article deals with many different variations of the big circle or big set formation of Southern Appalachian mountain dancing. The author is Stu Jamieson, who was the caller in the film "To Hear Your Banjo Play" with Margot Mayo's American Square Dance Group. In it, he provides a detailed…

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…

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.

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…

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.

Georgia Rang Tang close-up - Bob Dalsemer

This very short high-definition video clip conveys the smooth feeling of the Georgia Rang Tang figure.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.

Georgia Rang Tang, big set - Bob Dalsemer

This clip shows the dancers finishing up the figures with another couple, and then being called back into the big circle for the grand right and left for everyone. The musicians are Sandy Bradley, guitar; Greg Canote, fiddle; Jere Canote, banjo.Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete view of dances from the weekend, see…

Georgia Rang Tang description - Bob Dalsemer

The figure of alternating hand turns is known in the west as a Docey-Do and in some Southern communities as Do-Si-Do (Kentucky) or Georgia Rang Tang (North Carolina). Bob explains that in New Creek, West Virginia, they simply call it "Left hand lady with the right hand around, right hand lady with the left hand around." Bob talks through the figure…

Dare To Be Square - Seattle, 2009

Dare To Be Square – Seattle, Washington, 2009Dare To Be Square is a weekend event celebrating square dancing in its many forms. North Carolina callers Nancy Mamlin and Phil Jamison created the event in 2003 and hosted the first few gatherings at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. Subsequent years saw similar events held in Portland, OR,…

Kathy Anderson - Youth Square Dance Scene

Caller Kathy Anderson discusses the burst of enthusiasm among young people for simple square dances set to hot old-time tunes. Starting in Portland, Oregon, with the efforts of caller Bill Martin, the movement has spread to other cities on the west coast and is making inroads in the East as well.

Set Running - Berea Country Dancers

In a voiceover at the start of the clip, the group's director, John Ramsay, speaks about the history of the dance and share some of his philosophy about dance bringing people together.Other "set running" resources on this site include Stew Shacklette talking about the dance's history and providing more detailed instruction and demonstration.

Square dancing, Berea, KY - c. 1950 style

The footage was taken and posted by John Ramsay, who writes: "The Jackson family in Berea, Kentucky got a group together to demonstrate the type of square dancing which was danced by local citizens around 1950. I shot the footage at the Jackson home in Berea sometime between 1974-1976. The three daughters begin by step dancing/ hoedown/ clogging.…

Barn Dance - Wisconsin

This is video from an Old-time Barn Dance held in the O'Brien Farms beautifully refurbished barn in Brooklyn, WI. Music provided by the Ambrosia Dance Band (Chuck Hornemann, Paul Kienitz, Peter Gorman, Dave Batson with dance caller Mike Mossman).

The dances shown are mostly big sets, although some northern figures (ladies chain, balance and…

Big Set 2 - Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Figures included in this version include right hands across, Georgia Rang Tang, birdie in the cage, and make a basket (ladies bow, gents know how), Another example from the weekend of this big set formation can be found…

Big Set 1- Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. This southern Appalachian dance kicked off the Friday night session of the weekend. Phil relies here on just two of the many figures that can be incorporated into that style, "right hand across" and "roll the barrel."…