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Square Dancing Atop Lookout Mountain

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Square Dancing Atop Lookout Mountain


Article by Karen terHorst describes dancing in New Salem, Georgia, an historically-isolated community above Chattanooga, TN. The article is based on her visit to the dance in the 1970s. The dance stopped taking place sometime around 1990.

"New Salem's style is similar to the Appalachian square dancing described by Frank Smith (1955) and Pat Napier (1975). One notable difference in the New Salem dances is that couples are free to move anywhere on the floor; that is, they are not numbered "ones" and "twos." Consequently, there is no pattern to the movement of couples around the floor during a dance and there are few figures called in which it would make a difference which couple was "odd" and which "even." In addition, since the dances are a community social event, Emerson does not like to spend time during the evening teaching figures or formations. Instead, he introduces newcomers to the necessary figures before the program begins so that the dance will run smoothly and informally and be fun for all."



Country Dance and Song, #9 (1978), pp. 21–27, published by Country Dance and Song Society; used with permission of the author and CDSS.

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