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.

Document

"Partners To Your Places

This 1949 chapter by Olcutt Sanders is a significantly expanded version of his short piece fromFoot 'n' Fiddle in 1947. Here it's complete with scholarly footnotes, making it more useful to… View item
Sound

Bird in the Cage - Roy Rogers

Music by Spade Cooley and his Buckle Busters; the album is Decca 226, "Roy Rogers Calling Cowboy Square Dances." The full title is Birdie in the Cage and Three Rail Pen, fancy talk for a circle of… View item
Moving Image

Patter Call - A1 - Vic Ceder

FIlmed CSCTA ( Czechoslovak Callers and Teachers Association Convention + Rainbow Prague, Czech Republic View item
Document

Quadrilles and Cotillions

This is a collection of e-mails in 1997 from the Fiddle-L discussion group, with participants offering thoughts about tunes and dances. Although the information can be found on a website, we're… View item
Document

Pappy's Kids - SIO, 1948

The Cheyenne Mountain Dancers were featured on the cover and the lead story of the first issue ofSets in Order, published to coincide with the appearance of the group in southern California.The… View item
Document

The Value of Square Dancing - Ralph Maxhimer

In this essay, Ralph Maxhimer explains why he sees square dancing as a vital social/recreational activity. He was a founding member, along with his wife, Eve, of the National Square Dance Convention… View item
Document

Chicago Syllabus - Ralph Page, 1959

This is the square dance portion of a syllabus prepared by Ralph Page for a 1959 institute in Chicago. It's smaller than similar syllabi prepared by Page since the opening section of the syllabus… View item
Document

"Meet Your Honey, Go Hog Wild"

This collection of anecdotes describes early dances and social norms in Texas cowboy country. View item
Document

Jack Fomby - bio

Bio of Jack Fomby, Sweetwater, Texas View item
Document

Jimmy Clossin - bio

Biography of Jimmy Clossin, from 1947. Although SDHP has numerous items related to Clossin, we would love to add an audio file of his calling. To the best of our knowledge, he never recorded… View item
Document

Texas Callers - 1948

This cover fromFoot 'n' Fiddle magazine puts the spotlight on six prominent Texas callers: Jack Fomby, Jimmy Clossin, Ray Smith, Grady Wilson, Red Smith and Bob Sumrall. Texas dancers and callers… View item