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"Folk Dances of the United States: Regional Types and Origins"

Scholarly presentation by noted dance researcher Elizabeth Burchenal and published in the Journal of the International Folk Music Council. Burchenal begins her talk thus:

"The term "folk dance" as used here does not refer to "popular dance" or to "revivals" but rather to "authentic" folk dance as a folk art which has been handed down through the…

"How We Do It In Our Town" - Emmette Wallace

This is a series of articles comparing how basic figures are taught and danced in different parts of the country. The first segment appeared in October, 1949, in American Squares, and the series continued occasionally until October, 1951.

"Social Dancing in America" - Rod LaFarge

This lengthy history of social dance was written by Rod LaFarge and appeared over three years in American Squares magazine. LaFarge begins with a short look at English country dance, moves to dancing in colonial America, both English-influenced and French, such as the cotillion. He considers the national origins of the American settlers, pointing…

"The One Night Stand"

This short article from Sets in Order talks abotu the special challenges of events that are the first square dance experience for those gathered. It looks in particular at Margie and Ozzy Stout and their tips for success. They worked with large groups:"Agreeing to lead an evening's dance in the huge Long Beach Municipal Auditorium for the Annual…

American Dance Circle

The American Dance Circle is the quarterly publication of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. The entire series, starting December 1979, is now available online. Individual issues contain notes on dances and dance events, including ongoing discussions of square dances. As one would expect in a publication from this organization, much attention is given to…

Fifty Miles from Times Square

This is an excerpt from John Cohen's 1972 film, used here by permission of the filmmaker.

caller: Herb Strickland
musicians: Bud Snow, Jay Ungar, Lyn Hardy, Abby Newton, Tom Allen

Fiddler Jay Ungar, seen in the dance footage, writes: "The dances were started by the Concerned Democrats in Putnam County, NY to raise money for the McGovern…

Some Practical Considerations

This short essay was part of Square and Round Dance, Calls and Explanations, a bookled created by MacGregor Records and distributed along with some of the albums of square dance recordings. We've been unable to find an exact date for it, but guess that it is from c. 1950."...We are prompted, on the basis of some unpleasant experiences, to suggest…

Al Brundage - dance history

Note: The audio file takes a while to load, so be patient.This recording documents a presentation by Al Brundage about the history of square dancing. The tape label has no information about the date of circumstance of the presentation. Al told Jim Mayo that it probably was a demonstration (possibly for a Rotary group or something similar) put…

Al Brundage recollections

Al Brundage wrote these recollections of his experiences growing up in Connecticut and the growth of square dancing. His story includes discovering square dance as a boy, followed by the whole Brundage family getting involved in the activity and forming the King Street Pioneers. He mentions some of the important figures in the Northeast in those…

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An Invitation To Dance: A History of Social Dance in America

This online exhibit on the history of social dance in America draws on documents in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society to offer a multi-faceted portrait of the changing nature of American social dance. Items in the exhibit include the cotillion, the quadrille, and other related square dance forms.

Bob Dalsemer 1: Structure of Dance Programs in Traditional Series

Caller Bob Dalsemer describes his experiences in traditional dance communities. Each community may have just a few break figures that appear in all dances, which means that callers can program a lot of dances in an evening without much instruction. He contrasts that with the squares called in contemporary contra dance communities, for example,…

Bob Dalsemer 2: How Callers Use Dance Structure

Caller Bob Dalsemer discusses ways that square dance callers can present basic figures in different variations, provided that they understand the basic structure of a given dance. This gives the caller flexibility in shaping a program to fit a particular audience.

Bob Dalsemer 3: Traditional Dance is a Polished Rock

Bob Dalsemer discusses how a traditional dance, done in a community over time, becomes a sort of gem, all the essence and no frills.

Bob Dalsemer 4: How do you choose what dances to teach?

Caller Bob Dalsemer discusses some of the choices he makes in deciding what kind of squares to include in a dance program. What kind of music is available? Who are the dancers and what are they expecting? What material have I already introduced in the program on which I can build?

Bob Osgood - photo

View full record for details.

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Call & Answer - Amanda Lovelee

Minneapolis based artist, Amanda Lovelee believes finding, preserving and constructing a space for physical connection is an urgent issue. As a society that faces the collapse of communities how do we continue to form face-to-face connections? This is why she began The Call and Answer Project, a project that creates a fun, interactive space for…

Canadian Square and Round Dance Society

Offering Canada Wide Support to Square, Round, Line, Contra, and Clog Dancing

The Canadian Square and Round Dance Society (CSRDS) was formed to establish a national organization to deal with matters involving the activity. (The word "square" is generic and encompasses all the activities under our "umbrella" activity.)

Among other services,…

Cheyenne Mountain Dancers - typical program

This is a typical program presented by the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, Lloyd Shaw's demonstration team of high school students.

Choo Choo Square Dance - Les Gotcher

Les Gotcher is often remember today as the Hashmaster, known for his flamboyant outfits, his energetic calls, and his often challenging choreographic sequences. However, like other performers, he was trying to tap into all aspects of the square dance boom. This example comes from his "Square Dances for Young Folks" record, a conscious attempt to…

Clarence Haller - Ralph Page correspondence

These letters were sent from Lucile and Clarence Haller, Indiana square dance caller, to Ralph Page, the dean of New England dance callers at the time. They are clearly interested in learning more about the contra dances that Page knows well.