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Square Dances With Calls - Lee Bedford, Jr.

In 1949, Texas caller Lee Bedford released on Imperial Records a four-album set of recordings with music provided by The Big D Ranch Hands. The liner notes, written by Paul Erfer, start by noting, "The interpretation of the figures described follows the style of square dancing as dances in some parts of Texas."Each record had a patter call on the A…

Cowboys' Christmas Ball - Anson, Texas

Poem written in 1890 describing the Cowboys' Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas. For more information about the author, see this website on cowboy poetry. The Ball continues, following the original rules requiring women to wear skirts and men to check their hats and spurs. Chittenden's poem was set to music and included in John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and…

Bill Shymkus

This is a short clip of a tip called by Bill Shymkus at the 3rd National Square Dance Convention in Dallas , Texas. The choreography is the goal post pattern that was very common at that time.

Harper Smith

This is a short clip called by Harper Smith at the National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas in April of 1954. The choreography is hand turn hash with several Allemande Breaks.

My Little Girl - Ed Gilmore

This is a short clip from a tip called by Ed Gilmore at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. Ed is singing the dance My Little Girl.

Jerry Helt

This is a short clip from a tip called by Jerry Helt at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas.The choreography is the "classic" figure Texas Whirlwind.

"Doc" Alumbaugh

This is a short clip from a tip called by "Doc" Alumbaugh at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is the "classic" figures Dip and Dive and Right Lady High, Left Lady Low.

Bob Osgood

This is a short clip from a tip called by Bob Osgood at the 1954 National Square Dance Convention in Dallas, Texas. The choreography is a 3 Ladies Chain routine.

Square Dance Clubs, Texas Style

This is a detailed description of the organizational plan of the Sally Goodin square dance club of Houston, Texas, which followed a common Texas model at the time:

"Most of the square dancing is done in square dance clubs organized solely for this purpose, conducted entirely by the members, and with no profit except to the orchestra and in some…

Abilene Lift - Rickey Holden

An early description by Rickey Holden of the so-called "Abilene lift," a distinctive style of incorporating a two-steps into square dance movement.

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…

"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…

El Paso dancing, 1939

Square Dancing in downtown, El Paso, Texas, recorded during the Sun Carnival of 1939. We don't know for certain, but it's likely that these dancers were coached by El Paso caller Herb Greggerson. Pay special attention to the 1-2-3 footwork.

Houston Square Dance History

Detailed history of the growth of square dancing in the Houston area in the years after World War II. It includes a summary of highlights from the area's annual square dance festival that started in 1949. The article can also be found here on the web. Excerpts from the beginning of the history: In the early 1940s, there were two small square dance…

Cowboy Dance (1923 article)

The Cowboy Dance

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Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden

This is a detailed description of three Texas squares, presented by Rickey Holden as an exhibition dance at the fourth annual New England Folk Festival, November 15–16, 1947. Holden based much of his material on Herb's Blue Bonnet Calls (Herb Greggerson, 1946).Holden had originally wanted to present three dances intact, as they are described…

Foot 'n' Fiddle  (Texas)

This journal was started in 1946 by Marlys Swenson (later Marlys Waller) and Anne Pittman, joined by Olcutt Sanders as another editor. It is among the earliest square dance magazines—Rod LaFarge's Rosin the Bow, with a more eclectic range of dances, started in 1945—but coming several years beforeSets in Order orNorthern Junket. Texas…