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Elizabeth Burchenal 3 - big set demo

This appears to be a demonstration of various southern Appalachian big set figures. There are several shots of musicians scattered throughout.The film starts with the Georgia Rang Tang figure, also known by many other names: right hand turn opposite, left hand turn partner, right hand turn opposite, left hand turn partner, swing opposite, swing…

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.

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…

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…

Smoky Mountain Square Dances

Biographical information obtained from a telephone conversation between Bob Dalsemer and David Hendrix's son Charles, June 10, 1999. Charles had donated to the John C. Campbell Folk School a manuscript in progress that his father had started, an expanded version of Hendix's earlier book (1941) on Smoky Mountain Square Dances.David B. Hendrix…

Square dance at the Tractor Tavern - Seattle

The Tallboys host a bi-monthly square dance at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood that is wildly popular with the under-30 crowd. Also featured is caller Charmaine Slaven. This video was created by Doug Plummer.

Seattle has a long history of square dancing, with revival dances being held back in this same venue (under a…

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…

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 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.

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.

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.

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…

Elizabeth Burchenal 2 - big set in field

Brief shot of Elizabeth Burchenal herself at the start; shots of musicians (guitar, 2 banjos, fiddle) at 2:51

Figures include:
Opposite turn by right hand; partner turn by left hand; swing opposite; swing partner

Lady round the lady and gent around the gent; gent around the lady and the lady round the gent

Women spin, men spin, all…

Elizabeth Burchenal 4 - big set, rooftop

In this dance, the lead couple passes around their neighbors, and while behind them passes each other by the right hand, then returns to the center of the set, swings the opposite, and moves on to the next couple.

At :46, the two couples form a basket (ladies bow, gents know how) for a very short basket swing.

At 1:21, the ladies go into the…

Virginia square dance, 1925, silent movie

This silent movie footage, created by Fox News, shows dancers and fiddlers recorded in an outdoor setting in Quitman [sic], Virginia. We cannot identify this location since it does not show up on current maps.

Square dance - Ary, KY - 1963 (big set)

The caller is Corbett Grigsby, with music provided by fiddler Marion Sumner and guitarists Martin Young and Roscoe Holcomb. Grigsby introduces the figure as "around behind, lady in the lead."This footage was recorded by filmmaker George Pickow at the Home Place Community Center in Ary, Kentucky, a small town in south central Kentucky. (Ary is about…

Glenn Bannerman - big circle dances, audio

Three examples of big sets from western North Carolina, called by Glenn Bannerman with music from the Stoney Creek Boys. These audio files come from two recordings, "Mountain Dance Music Comes Alive" and "Appalachian Clog Dancing and Big Circle Mountain Square Dancing," and are used with Bannerman's permission. You can find more information and…

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.…

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.