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We're Gonna Have a Ball - Jim Mayo - MWSD 5

This is the final dance from Jim Mayo's Modern Western Square Dance workshop, recorded November 19, 2011, as part of the Dare To Be Square Weekend held at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. The weekend was supported in part—including the videography expense—by Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS).

For many of the 70 dancers at…

Wedding Quadrille (clip) - Gene Gowing

This short clip includes just one time through the figure. The tune is Haste to the Wedding. Gowing does each couple in turn, then two head couples, two side couples, and finally all couples going at the same time. This is the same pattern used in many singing squares such as Solomon Levi or Nellie Bly.

Gowing was a contemporary of Ralph Page,…

West Coast Blues - Blind Blake

There were hundreds of 78 rpm records with dance calls released in the 1920s and 1930s; this clip from Blind Blake's "West Coast Blues" is one example. Other African Americans callers who appear on 78s are Sam Jones, who recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1924 (Billed as Stovepipe No. 1), Jim Baxter, an African American Cherokee guitar player from…

West Newbury, VT & Adam Boyce

West Newbury, VT: Adam leads a traditional dance in this tiny Vermont village, continuing a series that he inherited from his calling and fiddle mentor Harold Luce. Adam is active in the Ed Larkin Dancers, a group in central Vermont that continues a long dance tradition; for example, his version of Portland Fancy is that maintained by the Larkin…

West Texans Do It Differently

In this 1949 article, caller Jimmy Clossin describes some of the distinguishing characteristics of west Texas square dance:

"Many people think when Western Square Dancing is mentioned that we have only one type in the West. That is not true. While there is a similarity between all western square dancing that would lead one not familiar with the…

Westchester's Famous Square Dance Expert

Article describing Elisha Keeler's approach to calling squares

Western Square Dances at Fox Creek, Colorado (ca. 1880-1930)

Article based on conversations with Bessie Stafford from the San Luis Valley, western Colorado.

"In these early days, the dances were held outside on the hard dirt, the music being supplied by local people, and the dances were called by local neighbors. ... The early dances were all-night affairs and the waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and other…

What's New in SD? (1955)

This 1955 article takes a brief look at some figures that were considered new at the time. Among them: Pass Through, Allemande Thar, Dopaso, Box the Gnat, Rollaway, and Throw in the Clutch.

Wheel and Deal (clip) - Les Gotcher

excerpt from a live recording in the early 1960s

When the Saints Go Marching In - Jim Mayo

Jim Mayo, caller. A dance in modern square dance style set to the well-known tune. Jim says this is the signature dance of his friend Joe Casey, another MWSD caller from New England.

When the Work's All Done - Bob Dalsemer

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

This session was recorded on November 19,…

When The Work's All Done This Fall - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

The figure: the active couple separates around the outside of the square, going all the way around. Meeting again in their home place, they link right elbows and swing once and a half around to face…

When You're Smiling - Ralph Sweet

Recorded August 1, 2010, at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington, Vermont, during a workshop on singing squares led by caller Ralph Sweet.

Musicians are Thal Aylward, fiddle; Will Patton, mandolin; Dono Schabner, guitar

Whirl Wind (clip) - Bill Castner

View full record for details.

Whispering - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 15, 2000. Musicians are Swallowtail: Ron Grosslein, fiddle; David Cantieni, saxophone; George Marshall, bodhran; Timm Triplett, piano; Tim Van Egmond, hammered dulcimer.

Winfield P. Niblo

Photographs of Winfield P. Niblo, widely credited with bringing American square dance to Japan after World War II. In one photo he can be seen calling with cupped hands; there simply was no PA system available to use.

Woman in Love - Red Bates, 1961

The singing call, Woman In Love, is a classic and Red uses the figure as it was recorded by Dick Leger on Grenn record #12128. Tempo is a characteristic of calling that underwent considerable change. This singing call was at 132 beats per minute (bpm), the fastest of any in this set of clips by Red Bates but a very common pace for MWSD at that…

Women Callers - article

Article presumably written by Bob Osgood, describing the challenges and opportunities for women square dance callers

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Workshop at Record Square

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Wrong Way Thar - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls this figure, which he adapted from Milly Riley's self-published book Western Square Dancing based on Dorothy Shaw's syllabi of the Lloyd Shaw Dance Fellowship, 1955-1970. The original dance (p. 154) is entitled "Arky Stuff." It features both a regular Allemande Thar figure and "wrong way" Thar. This clip includes a walkthrough.