Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

About the Square Dance History Project

Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.

Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there are few current sources that offer a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.

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Too Hot Mamas - Chapel of Love Singing Square

This video is an excerpt of the Singing Square dance Chapel of Love. Singing squares use altered lyrics of popular songs to insert dance choreography instruction into the song. Based on the song,… View item
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Squares at a Contra Dance

Beth Molaro, Asheville, NC, discusses calling squares in the context of a contra dance. In the early 2000s, many contra dancers were not fans of squares, so she offers advice about what kinds of… View item
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Lloyd Shaw and the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers

As superintendent of the public K-12 Cheyenne Mountain School in Colorado Springs from 1916 to 1951, Lloyd Shaw earned national attention. After coaching a successful football team for several years,… View item
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A Look at Southern Squares

Bill Martin writes: "These many pages represent all the information I could find about Southern mountain square dancing. Over the years I continue to find errors and clueless guesswork here and there.… View item
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Don Armstrong interview - 1994, transcription

This is an edited transcription of the Don Armstrong interview. The first three pages focus on Don's experiences as a test pilot; starting on page 4, Don talks about his time as a dancer and… View item
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Don Armstrong interview - 1994

This interview with Don Armstrong was conducted by Luc Vermeiren and Hilde Dewaelheyns, a member of the AADS board in Belgium, when Don was calling at a folk dance camp in the Czech Republic. An… View item
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Don Armstrong - early years in Florida

1. Don & Laverne Armstrong2. Don Armstrong portrait3. Don Armstrong's band4. Don Armstrong - Danceland promo5. Don Armstrong - parade floatThis series of photographs shows caller Don Armstrong in… View item
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Ted Sannella - 1992 interview transcription

This lightly edited transcription of the interview appeared in the AADS News, February 1993, Vol.. 3 #1, p. 2-7 View item
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Ted Sannella - 1992 interview

This interview was conducted by Hilde Dewaelheyns with Ted when he was on staff at the AADS [Anglo-American Dance Shop] Autumn Dance Weekend, held at the youth hostel in Ronse, Belgium. In it, Ted… View item
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Bob Dalsemer - 1996 interview transcription

This is an edited transcription of the related interview. It appeared in the AADS News (Belgium), #22, May 1996, pp. 4-7 View item
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Bob Dalsemer - 1996 interview

The interview was conducted by Hilde Dewaelheyns at the AADS Spring Dance Weekend at Camp "Hoge Rielen," Kasterlee, Belgium. See related item for an edited transcription of the conversation.For a… View item
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Two Leaf Clover - video

THis video illustrates the Two Leaf Clover figure that can be called as part of a big set. View item