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Starline - walkthrough

This short clip shows caller Tony Parkes leading the walk-thru for the most challenging part of Ed Gilmore's "Starline" dance, the section where the leading couples are involved in three successive stars. There are actually two sets of challenges here: for the caller to deliver the prompts with timing that maintains the steady flow of the dancers,…

Starline

This dance, an Ed Gilmore composition published in Sets in Order Year Book No. 3, was part of a workshop of "Jigsaw & Origami Squares" led by Tony Parkes at the annual Star Hampshire Weekend of Traditional Music and Dance. Compared to other Gilmore dances such as Ends Turn In, this one is called much less frequently, perhaps because the timing…

Half Way Round - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes, caller, recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 12, 2007. The dance was called frequently by Ralph Page, and it's possible that Page got the figures from Connecticut caller Al Brundage.

The musicians are a reunion group of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, and include Dudley Laufman (violin/ accordion),…

Lisa Greenleaf 2 - discovering squares

Second in a series of six

Lisa described how she moved into squares, discovering exciting squares at Pinewoods Camp from the calling of Larry Edelman and Kathy Anderson. Later, also at Pinewoods, she got a taste of modern Western squares from Bob Dalsemer and went on to take MWSD lessons at Bay Path Barn in Boylston, MA. From there, she…

Festival Quadrille (clip) - Ted Sannella

This clip is part of a series of eight square dances called by Ted Sannella at the Chesapeake Spring Dance Weekend, sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. (Ted called another four or five squares during the weekend, plus contras and triplets.) Each clip includes Ted's walkthrough, plus the introduction and first time through the…

Quadrille - 3 changes

Tony Parkes calls the figures at the Christmas Cotillion, Scout House, Concord, MA, December 21, 1985. Music provided by Yankee Ingenuity.

Do-si-do and Face the Sides - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. The dance was composed by Ted Sannella and can be found in his first book, Balance and Swing, available from CDSS:…

Shindig in the Barn - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Ralph Sweet, caller; Ralph created the singing square, basing it on the "Left Hand Star Breakdown" by Tony Parkes. Words and music available in Ralph's book.…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. Don Armstrong is credited with setting the dance figures (by Ralph Page) to this tune. "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is the title of a…

Marianne - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."In his introduction, caller Tony Parkes mentioned that this dance, created by the great New England caller Dick Leger, was "the surprise hit" of the 1957 National…

Patter Calling - origins

Patter calling is a style of square dance calling in which the caller speaks the words or chants them on a musical pitch, hopefully in harmony with the tune. The classic form of patter is rhyming couplets. Typically the caller supplements the dance directions with extra words to make the call lines fit the four-beat musical phrases; these words can…

Lazy H - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes is calling Ed Gilmore's classic dance, the Lazy H. As the dance progresses, Tony adds variations so that instead of couples doing a right and left through around a standing line of four, he directs the ladies to chain over and back through an arch in the middle of the line of four. Tony also uses a break from around 1950, the Triple…

Two Little Right Hand Stars - Tony Parkes

This dance appeared in Ralph Page's Northern Junket in Volume 1, #2, p. 17. This clip includes Tony's walkthrough of the dance.The dance is attributed to Ralph Page. Tony is using Rod Linnell's version of the call, which Rod adapted to fit the tune "Blue Mountain Rag" as a semi-singing call. As New England musicians do not generally know that tune,…

Forward Five - Tony Parkes

The dance is based on one used by Ralph Page. Tony's shortened version goes as follows:

A1 All go forward and back
Go forward again, gent #1 bring two ladies home

A2 At the heads, go right and left five
Do a right and left back and look alive

B1 On the corner, do an allemande left
Come back home and swing your…

Dick Leger figure - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls a quadrille-style figure that he learned from the calling of Dick Leger. Leger did it as a singing call to the tune of "Wolverton Mountain," a country song made famous by Claude King in 1962.

The musicians are Yankee Ingenuity (Peter Barnes, piano; Mary Lea, fiddle; Cal Howard, bass; Jack O'Connor, mandolin), joined by Alasdair…

Gents and Corners - Tony Parkes

Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. The caller is Tony Parkes; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. The tune is Dusty Bob's Jig. Tony found this figure, called "Heads and Sides" and attributed to Ralph, in a copy of American Square Dance…

Box the Gnat - a short history

Box the Gnat - a short historyby Tony ParkesNobody seems to know when "box the gnat" took on the standardized meaning it has today inrecreational square and contra dancing. In Instant Hash (1962), Rickey Holden (who is passionate about square dance history) doesn't include it on a list of terms whose originator and date of introduction are known.…

Just Because - Walter Lenk

Caller Walter Lenk, backed up by Tony Parkes, leads dancers through the singing square Just Because. Recorded at the Saturday night Grand Dance, January 1988, at the first Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. This version of the dance was popularized in New England by caller Duke Miller. The musicians are RP Hale, hammered dulcimer;…

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes is the caller in this excerpt of a Ted Sannella composition, "Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides." The dance, at the Kingston, New Hampshire town hall on the evening of November 18, 2005, was a tribute to Ted Sannella, marking the tenth anniversary of Sannella's death. The musicians are Old New England: Bob McQuillen, piano; Jane Orzechowski,…

The Route - Tony Parkes

The caller is Tony Parkes; musicians are Yankee Ingenuity (Jack O'Connor, mandolin; Mary Lea, fiddle; Cal Howard, bass; Peter Barnes, piano), joined by Steve Hickman, fiddle and harmonica. Filmed by Bob Dalsemer in 1992 at the Scout House, Concord, MA. The dance is sometimes spelled "Route," perhaps because that word is in some parts of the country…