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Saturday Night Square Dance - Jim Boyd, 1949

"Saturday Night Square Dance" was released in 1949 as a Soundie; the footage included here is all that we have been able to locate. (We would appreciate information from anyone having a complete copy of the film.)

Featured here are Jim Boyd and His Men of the West. Jom Boyd was the brother of Bill Boyd, well known for western swing music, and…

Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Westchester's Famous Square Dance Expert

Article describing Elisha Keeler's approach to calling squares

Square Dance (with Corky Calkins)

This 1955 film, produced by Roger Tilton, features Corky Calkins and his band. Calkins was a popular caller in the Springfield, MA, area. Among the dances shown here are Nellie Bly, The Route and the Virginia Reel.

Ralph Sweet comments: "When we first moved into this area [near Springfield, MA] Corky Calkins was going strong. He had regular…

Square Dance Patterns - Joan Bennett

This 1969 film was created by Joan Lockhart Bennett as part of her master's degree project for Ilinois State University, Normal, IL.. As an instructional tool this film covers a lot of ground: formation, honors, balance, swing, shoes, walking step, hand positions, posture, circles, dosado, Figure 8, all around left hand lady, weave the ring, grand…

American Square Dance - Coronet Films, 1947

This 1947 instructional film, produced by Coronet Films, was created in collaboration with the Chicago Parks District. (Note that Lloyd Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain Dancers performed in Chicago in 1939 on their return home from their first trip east. Shaw also made a presentation to American Association for Health, Physicial Education, and Recreation…

Forming squares - Eric Clamons

Eric Clamons was a square dance caller in Minnesota in the 1940s and 1950s. A chance conversation with his son in 2013 revealed that Eric had taped numerous recordings of square dances from the early and mid-1950s, some 50 of which were donated to this project. (The collection also included many boxes of printed matter, festival programs,…

Arkansas Traveler - Eric Clamons

Second in a series of three clips of Minnesota caller Eric Clamons. There are other examples of Arkansas Traveler on this website for comparison.

Comin' Round the Mountain - Eric Clamons

Third of three clips from Minnesota caller Eric Clamons, this one a traditional singing square.

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…

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.

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.

Fenton "Jonesy" Jones - Sets in Order, February 1961

Cover drawing and appreciation of the caller

Ends Turn In - Fenton "Jonesy" Jones

This is a rare live recording of Fenton “Jonesy” Jones from California. In the 1954 tape he says that he prefers to use his guitar for music rather than records even for some of the patter calls. The choreography is the classic Ends Turn In routine created by Ed Gilmore and published in Sets In Order magazine in 1951.

Your Home Town - Fenton "Jonesy" Jones

A rare live recording of Jonesy calling, this time a singing square.

Les Gotcher - two live calls, 1955

From a dance that Les Gotcher called, probably in 1955, we have an example of a very early Hash & Breaks style of calling that was to become his trademark in future years. In those later years Gotcher was known to use singing calls sparingly but that 1955 dance shows him singing "Home in San Antone." The audio clip here starts with some of the…

Ends Turn In - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore's composition, Ends Turn In, is one of the most common items found in this website, called by modern square dance callers as well as by those who favor traditional squares. Here's the author himself calling it once through; in this recording, the dance was #7 in a collection aimed at beginners.The directions come from Sets in Order,…

Birdie in the Cage - Al Brundage

This is a short clip from a dance called by Al Brundage in 1952.

Patter - Bill Castner

This is a short clip of patter calling by Bill Castner, a caller from California.

First Two Gents Cross Over - Harold Luce

Harold Luce started fiddling with the Ed Larkin Dancers in north central Vermont in the 1930s and played with them until his death at age 95 on August 13, 2014. In this recording, he is accompanied on piano by Karl Brown.He accompanied the dancers and called for dances, performing at two World's Fairs in New York City (1940 and 1964) and each year…