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"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

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"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden


Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement; Holden has written that "at one time, at every dance, the entire floor could be heard to move, everyone, in unison, with an almost mystical, magical sound: 'shsh-shsh-shsh.' " Recorded at a workshop on traditional western square dances in Taastrup, Denmark, August 19, 2005.

Marlys Swenson Waller, one of the founders of Foot 'n Fiddle, also danced with Sumrall. She writes, "Bob was a tall, lean, straight arrow cowboy type-figure. All of his dancers used the same step—it was either a two step or three step with a lift of the body (rising)at the end of the step—all in unison.  And although we all would imitate it, to see if we could dance that way—as a step it didn’t go any further than Abilene."


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August 19, 2005


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