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Swing yore partner round 'n round (The Desert Magazine, 1944)

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Swing yore partner round 'n round (The Desert Magazine, 1944)


Author Oren Arnold describes square dancing in Arizona in the early 1940s:

"...A rock fireplace big enough to stand in was at one end of the room, and its blaze made dancing shadows everywhere. Indian blankets hung on the walls beside an austere picture of grandma in a golden frame. A rifle rested in deer antlers, and doors had been burned with real branding irons. The guests already arrived before us were a colorful part of the picture. Cowboy clothes was the general costume of the men, but every lady was lovely in floorlength dress from the style of 1885. Nobody was self-conscious; sheer beaming happiness shone from all.

"A four-piece band, cowboy species, was singing a heavily rhythmic "Oomtiddy boom and a oomtiddy boom'' while four gay couples did intricate maneuvers in the center of the room and 25 or 30 more looked happily on. Everybody was smiling. For this was an old-time square dance, being enjoyed by the sophisticates of 1944. One of those dancing couples was born in 1871 but the honoree this evening was a little cowgirl aged 17. We were all gathered to celebrate her wedding night, and when Uncle Dan dragged me wearily away celebration was still going on.

"Square dancing - specifically the squares and rounds, the pattern dances of the pioneer days- not only have been preserved in the cowboy country but are enjoying a grand revival, one that already has spread to othet parts of the nation.

"This is far more significant than one might think. It means that a depth of goodness has been maintained through all our years of political adolescence. It means that the social level of rural people is exceptionally high, is one of this nation's most important assets along with her scenic marvels and her opportunities for industrial and commercial growth. ..."



The Desert Magazine

Date Created

August, 1944


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This Item is related to Item: Steamboat Springs - magazine articles
Item: Swing that Pretty Gal! - 1941 article is related to This Item