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Box the Gnat - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Claudio Buchwald, fiddles; Jim Morrison, guitar; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Green Willis."

The weekend was sponsored by the Folk School and by Country Dance and Song…

Goin' Uptown - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Claudio Buchwald, fiddles; Jim Morrison, guitar; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Lady of the Lake" (from John Ashby).

The weekend was sponsored by the Folk School and by Country…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine called by Bill Litchman

Don Armstrong took the basic figures of Gents and Corners, a New England style square by Ralph Page, and set them to a popular tune, thereby creating a well-known singing square dance. Here, Albuquerque caller Bill Litchman leads the dance at the Friday night session of Dare To Be Square, a gathering of square dance enthusiasts at the John C.…

Traditional Western Squares called by Bill Litchman: Sampler

This is a sampler of the dances taught by Bill Litchman at his workshop session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares. Each dance is represented more fully in other videos at this site; most of these dances also have a video showing the walkthrough:

00:00 Arkansas Traveler (http://youtu.be/BwJg0i2ja_g)
00:32 Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3…

Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3 Ladies (walkthrough) - Bill Litchman, Traditional Western Square Dances 2a

This is the walk through only. Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different…

Traditional Western Square Dances 3b - Heads to the Center, Sides Divide

Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different styles of traditional and modern…

Teacup Chain - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, teaching the Teacup Chain figure and using it in a series of dances. The figure is credited to Mrs. Pat Morrison Lewkowicz, Austin, Texas.

Docey-Doe hoedown #1 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, first teaching the Colorado docey-doe figure, then using it in a called dance, interspersing it with a series of traditional figures: lady round the lady, duck for the oyster, roll the barrel, etc.

Docey-Doe hoedown #2 - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman calling a mix of traditional figures. He explained, "I used three or four visiting couple figures and then the Colorado-style Docey-Doe each couple following up as the dance progressed." Recorded in the early 1990s in Belgium.

Western Square Dances at Fox Creek, Colorado (ca. 1880-1930)

Article based on conversations with Bessie Stafford from the San Luis Valley, western Colorado.

"In these early days, the dances were held outside on the hard dirt, the music being supplied by local people, and the dances were called by local neighbors. ... The early dances were all-night affairs and the waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and other…

A Few Square Dance Calls from Bill McAdoo

Editor Larry Edelman writes: "I collected these figures in the mid-1980’s at the Independence Grange Hall Dance in Independence, Washington County in southwestern Pennsylvania. During my visits, Bill McAdoo called the figures. Like most of the other callers who I met in southwestern Pennsylvania Bill called both patter calls and singing calls."

El Paso Star - Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath was one of the leading callers in Australia, a self-taught patter caller based in Melbourne.

Patter Calling - Bill Peters

This is a short clip of Bill Peters calling patter at a dance in Adelaide, Australia in 1986.

Bill Peters & Jim Mayo - Australia, 1986

View full record for details.

Southern Dancer (Memphis)

View full record for details.

Feature Square Dancer - Nebraska, 1956

These are excerpts from two early issues (Vol. 1, #1 and #4, both 1956) of the Feature Square Dancer, a newspaper published by Bill Shilling, brother of Colorado caller Marvin Shilling. To see similar publications, browse the Square Dance magazines collection.Some of the articles, notably those in a single column, will appear distorted when viewed…

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.

Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation

The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very substantial change in the choreography of square dancing." His lengthy article, originally written in…

West Coast Blues - Blind Blake

There were hundreds of 78 rpm records with dance calls released in the 1920s and 1930s; this clip from Blind Blake's "West Coast Blues" is one example. Other African Americans callers who appear on 78s are Sam Jones, who recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1924 (Billed as Stovepipe No. 1), Jim Baxter, an African American Cherokee guitar player from…

Bob Aylward - caller biography

This is an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Robert Aylward, who called square dances in the Boston area, starting in the 1930s. It's a detailed portrait of the evolution of a caller.