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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…

Phil Jamison 4 - Cecil Sharp and the "running set"

Phil discusses the origins of the term "running set," going back to when the English folklorist and collector Cecil Sharp first encountered southern Appalachian dancing.For a demonstration of the actual dance, see this video called by Stew Shacklette.

Big Set 3 - Phil Jamison

Recorded May 5, 2012, at the evening dance at Dare To Be Square, Riner, Virginia. Phil Jamison, of Asheville, NC, is the caller for this first dance of the program.

Musicians are Chance McCoy -- fiddle; Sebastian Zijp -guitar; Mac Traynham -- banjo; Frances West - first bass player; Andrew Norcross - second bass player.

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 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…

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…

Big Circle Dance from Carcassonne, KY - Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. In this video, Phil introduces the big set formation danced in Carcassonne, Kentucky; an accompanying video shows actual dance footage.This was recorded at Dare To Be Square on November 19, 2011, at the…

Shoo-Fly Swing - dance - Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. He described this figure as an ending figure that can come at the end of a big circle dance. A separate video describes the moves in more detail. This was recorded at Dare To Be Square on November 19,…

Carcassonne big set - Phil Jamison

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. Carcassonne, Kentucky, still hosts a regular traditional dance series, and these figures are typical of dances there. In this big circle formation, Phil calls two figures-- four leaf clover and lady…

Mt. Airy Big Set - Phil Jamison - Southern Appalachian squares

Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. Throughout the weekend, we did several dances in this basic big circle formation. In this version, from the Mt. Airy, NC, region, instead of everyone doing a series of figures at the same time as…

Shoo-Fly Swing (instruction) - Phil Jamison

See the notes elsewhere comparing this dance with La Boulangère, the only dance mentioned by name by Jane Austen. Phil Jamison led a workshop session on square dances from the southern Appalachians, focusing on dances from different communities in that region. This was recorded at Dare To Be Square on November 19, 2011, at the John C.…

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."…

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…

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…

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.…

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.

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.

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,…

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…