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.
The author discusses regional variations of the common square dance formation of three facing three, with lone dancers at the heads. View item
This large collection (1,358 items) of 78 rpm records is comprised mostly of square dance calling and music, and couples dancing music. It is an extensive assortment of recordings, all of which have… View item
These detailed website pages are created by Moira Goff, a self-described "baroque dance specialist." They document her research into various dances of the period with a special look at thecotillon,… View item
This performance shows one of fourcotillons described by Jaques Dezais in his 1725Premier livre de contre-dances. View item
A later broadcast of Osgood's television show, this time featuring his first guest caller (2:25), Ray Shaw, the brother of Lloyd Shaw. Ray Shaw was one of the few square dance callers in the Los… View item
This piece fromSquare Dancing(later title of what had been Sets in Order)describes the appearance on the Phil Donahue Show of caller Lee Kopman and a group of square dancers. View item
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
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
FIlmed CSCTA ( Czechoslovak Callers and Teachers Association Convention + Rainbow
Prague, Czech Republic
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
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
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
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