Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

About the Square Dance History Project

Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.

Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there is no current source that offers a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.

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Lighted Lantern photographs

The Lighted Lantern,also known as the Rocky Mountain Square Dance Camp, was operated by Paul and Pauline Kermiet from 1948to 1967.Photo 1Pauline KermietEd Bossing (important chronicler of dances and… View item
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Central City - more photographs

Janie Chandler writes: "My mother, Carol Case, formerly Carol Chandler, originally Carol Angevine, was a Colorado square dancer from way back.The video I watched (from 1955) was a year before my… View item
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Jimmy Clossin - personal scrapbook

Jimmy Clossin, of El Paso, was one of the most influential Texas callers in the 1930s and beyond. Author ofWest Texas Square Dances, he also produced numerous albums though as far as we know, he never… View item
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Central City - photographs

This collection of photos documents the young dancers who performed in the summers in Central City, Colorado. As opera-goers left the theatre, the dancers would swoop down the main street and bring… View item
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Cal Golden calling at the 1958 World's Fair

Caller Cal Golden performing at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium. He was featured 18 times during that event. The other two photos are publicity photos of Cal Golden, taken lated… View item
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Squares and Rounds (Delaware Valley)

Squares and Rounds was originally published by the Montgomery District of the Federation of Deleware Valley Square and Round Dancers. It later expanded to be the official publication of the Mid-East… View item
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Balance & Swing (TX)

This magazine was edited and published in Dallas by Swede Soderberg and Jim White. (Dallas hosted the National Square Dance Convention in 1954; see the exhibit on this site for detailed information… View item
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Roughness and Speed - Lloyd Shaw

Fast tempos were apparently much on the mind of the editor of Balance & Swing magazine. After putting a front-page essay on the subject in one issue, the very next issue carried this piece by… View item
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Fast tempos - Texas, 1954

This article (and the following item in the SDHP site) discusses a common problem facing square dancers in the mid-1950s—tempos that are too fast for good dancing. As the author explains, "If… View item
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Square Dance Camps - 1957

This is a listing of square dance camps in 1957. Interested viewers can compare it with the Sets in Ordereditorial from 1951. View item
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Fall Lake George - outing clubs

This 2007 newspaper article describes an annual gathering of outing clubs at Lake George, New York. For many decades, young people interested in outdoor activities-- hiking, canoeing, rock climbing,… View item