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Square Dance Institute - Rickey Holden, 1950

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Square Dance Institute - Rickey Holden, 1950


Syllabus of a workshop led by Holden in Massachusetts in 1950, introducing Texas style square dancing to New England dancers. In addition to notes on figures and styling, this handout included directions for some sample Texas dances. From the introductory remarks:

"One of the most common misconceptions about Western square dancing is that all of it is the same. The dancing of Texas and Colorado is no more identical than that of Ohio and Massachusetts. Texas is probably at one extreme of the scale of difference, because of the short swing and general lack of singing calls – and New England is at the other, because of ·the long swing, the enthusiastic balance and the contra dances. The basis of New England square dancing is the swing: people wear themselves out with that. The basis of Texas square dancing is the (Texas style) DO SI DO, and also the complicated figures. People very rarely swing more than twice around in Texas -- often only once around. Although the two styles appear quite extreme, the basic conceptions of each are actually very very much the same. Each has the same purpose: to provide smooth aesthetic dancing enjoyment. Texas usually two-steps throughout the entire dance, while New England glides with a one-step, but each is eminently smooth. Wide areas in Texas dance 124 beats/minute which is easy New England tempo.

"It is the purpose of this Institute to present some modern Texas square dance figures to the dancers of New England in the hope that they may enjoy the experience and find some portions of it worthy of retention. At no time should there be any conflict with the fine New England traditions or existing pleasant and comfortable styles."


Date Created

May 15-16, 1950


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This Item is related to Item: Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden