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Square Dance in Schools

This short article explains the successful square dance program at a small public school in Fairlee, Vermont. (A side note, not mentioned in the article: Ed Durlacher was brought up from New York to teach and call dances with the demonstration groups. The related item looks at Durlacher's work with young dancers in a very different setting.)

The Rural Square Dance in the Northeastern United States: A Continuity of Tradition

This doctoral thesis in folklore is based on a study of square dances in New York state, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Especially interesting are the descriptions of traditional dances, based on the author's observation, and interviews with dancers, augmented with questionnaires.The author notes the difficulties of collecting information from…

Florilla Perkins Ames, Vermont

Florilla Perkins Ames was 102 years old when she recorded this interview. She lives in northern Vermont, and remembers her father calling dances. Before that, her mother's grandfather used to play fiddle for dances: "In fact, in this house where I am right now they used to dance squares upstairs, in the 1800s."

Green Mountain Land - Vermont square, 1950

This square dance sequence is part of a 1950 film, "Green Mountain Land," produced by Robert Flaherty and directed by David Flaherty. The narrator is caller Ted Glabach, from Dummerston, Vermont; musicians include Paul Robinson, fiddle; John Robinson, banjo; Bob Emerson, piano; unidentified bass player. The tourism promotional film was a joint…

MacNamara's Band - Basil "Smitty" Smith

Basil "Smitty" Smith calling with the Bills' Band at a barn dance in West Wardsboro, Vermont, recorded by Steve GreenMacNamara’s BandIrish song popularized by Bing CrosbyOh the head two couples separate, go halfway round outsideThe side two couples go right and left, to the other sideSwing that lady right where you meet her, you sing her on…

John Newton - Turkey Mountain Window Smashers

Photographs, band logo and other ephemera related to John Newton's band

The first photograph shows the big family version of the Turkey Mountain Window Smashers, about 1989. Members are, L to R, John Newton on bass, Jill Newton on fiddle, Michael Donahue (Sally's husband) on fiddle, Jim Newton on guitar, Sally Newton on banjo-uke (with Sam…

John Newton - Vermont - 5 squares

John Newton was a Vermont teacher and square dance caller. Included here are five examples of his calling.

The first three were recorded by Steve Green in 1984 at John's home (with music by John's band, the Turkey Mountain Window Smashers, including Jill Newton on fiddle and Sally Newton on piano). In his introduction to "My Little Girl," (not…

Dick Perry Orchestra - dance photographs

These photographs show the Dick Perry Orchestra playing for a dance at the Putney (VT) Town Hall. The group turns up in many newspaper stories from the 1950s and 1960s, such as this feature about the 1961 Brattleboro Winter Carnival.

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.

Glenn Pease - dance posters

Two posters advertising dances called by Orford, NH, caller Glenn Pease. (He did spell his name with "nn," despite one of the posters.) The Huntington Pavilion poster dates from 1946; that dance venue no longer operates. The Painted Barn poster is from the 1960s; dances in Wentworth, NH, continue with caller Lester Bradley. A search for him on this…

Listen to the Mockingbird - Adam Boyce

Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston.

Duck for the Oyster - Adam Boyce

Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston.