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'Sophisticated' City Folks Are Getting Rural Rhythm

Newspaper story (1946) datelined New York that describes the post-WWII enthusiasm about square dancing: ---lt's hep these days to be a square—a square dancer, that is. Folks from 7 to 70 are discovering the fun of do-se-do and swing your partner in a nationwide big town square dance revival. They're sashaying in places where such capers once…

Arnie Kronenberger - hash, live recording, 1953

Jerry Reed - I believe this recording is an example of what traveling callers were calling in 1953. This choreography is a single patter tip from a dance called by Arnie Kronenberger, from California. The dance was called with a live band in Chicago. At the end of the dance Arnie thanks the band and identifies them as the WLS Ranch Hands. (Note -…

Folk & Square in Manitoba and Ontario

Broad look at dance traditions in both provinces. As the article's title suggests, square dancing is discussed as are folk dances from different countries. The Ontario portion of the article talks at length of the contributions of John Madsen and Erma Weir.

George Washington's Favourite

This dance comes from the Asa Wilcox 1793 manuscript held by the Newberry Library of Chicago; St. Louis dance leader John Ramsay found it in Leland Tichnor’s George Washington’s Birthday Balls, 1990, and taught it to the Dance Discovery performing group who dance it in this video.Caller Colin Hume discusses the dance here, and comments:…

Cheyenne Mountain Dancers - death in La Jolla

Tragedy hit the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers on one of their trips. On Thursday, November 4, 1948. dancer Tommy Collins died when he was swept into the Pacific Ocean near La Jolla, California. After telephone consultation with the boy's parents, it was decided to perform that night, and the show was dedicated to him.

The first item here is the…

It's Fun To Square Dance

This booklet is profusely illustrated with photographs and diagrams, making the dance figures easy to understand. Lunsford was the founder in 1928 of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, and continued as organizer and performer there until 1965. He played a key role in popularizing southern mountain dancing. From Lunsford's…

Standard Club Quadrille (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, a New England dancing master, was hired by Henry Ford and relocated from Massachusetts to Michigan. He recorded numerous albums with the Henry Ford Orchestra, as well as authoring Good Morning, Ford's country dance book.

Paul Gifford notes: " 'Standard Club Quadrille' came from Jasper Bisbee, a fiddler from Paris, Michigan…

Hinky Dinky Parlee-Voo (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the New England dancing master who worked closely with Henry Ford, here calls with music provided by the Henry Ford Orchestra.

Life on the Ocean Wave (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the noted dancing master who was hired by Henry Ford to promote social dancing, leads Life on the Ocean Wave, also known as the Head Two Ladies Cross Over. The musicians are the Henry Ford's Old-Time Dance Orchestra. Lovett wrote Henry Ford's "Good Morning" square dance books, and this dance appeared in the 1941 edition of that…

Set Running - Berea Country Dancers

In a voiceover at the start of the clip, the group's director, John Ramsay, speaks about the history of the dance and share some of his philosophy about dance bringing people together.Other "set running" resources on this site include Stew Shacklette talking about the dance's history and providing more detailed instruction and demonstration.

Berea Country Dancers - Set Running (1917)

In this re-creation of dances from 1917, the Berea College Country Dancers, under the direction of Ethel Capps, show several figures described by Cecil Sharp in his Country Dance Book V. Sharp first saw dancing at Pine Mountain Settlement School, Kentucky, in 1917. The footage ends with a few words from Marguerite Butler Bidstrup who was present at…

Mildred Buhler - biography

Article by Bert Spinney that provides brief biographical information about caller Mildred Buhler and her involvement in starting the British Association of American Square Dance Clubs.

Shoot the Owl - Beth Molaro

Augusta Dance Heritage, Elkins, West Virginia, 1997; the band is the Volo Bogtrotters.

Grapevine Twist - Beth Molaro

Recorded at Augusta Dance Week in 1997, with caller Beth Molaro and the Volo Bogtrotters. This item includes two audio files. (Be patient... the second clip is longer and may take longer to load.) 1) Beth's walkthrough of the figures. She acknowledges West Virginia caller Mack Samples and says she's going to try to call it in his style. Beth…

Using squares at a contra dance - Beth Molaro

Caller Beth Molaro, of Asheville, NC, is a well-known caller who loves calling both contras and squares. In this clip, talking with Dennis Merritt, she explains some of her thinking that goes into deciding when to call a square at a contra dance, when in the program to put squares, what sorts of squares she uses, and how different kinds of music…

Hot To Put On & Make Successful The Country Dance Party

This 16-page booklet is credited to Beth Tolman, though it's safe to assume that Ralph Page (her co-author of The Country Dance Book, published in 1937) had a hand in part of the text. It's a simple guide that encourages folks to hold small dance parties: --- You'll have lots of fun giving a country dance party, whether it is held in your kitchen…

Betsy Gotta - patter

Betsey Gotta callng a MWSD Mainstream Patter call to the tune of Hernando's Hideaway.

Waltz Quadrilles

This detailed booklet describes waltz quadrilles, a style of dance enjoyed by dancers in this Oklahoma City group. The author are careful to draw a distinction with traditional dances, and predict that this form (combining square and round dancing) will become popular:

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How many of us recall the old-time waltz quadrilles, the one that…

Fiddlin' and Square Dancing Are Back

Newspaper article (1971) written by caller Betty Casey, describing the start of the Green Grass Cloggers.Percussive clogging in choreographed routines had been made popular at the Mountain Dance and Music Festival started by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928. The Green Grass Cloggers, a group of young dancers coming from the counterculture of the…