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

Browse Items (351 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "1950s"
Still Image

Lake of the Ozarks (photo)

Photograph of the square dance team, caller, and musicians. Click here to see a video clip of this exciting dance group in action, performing on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. View item
Document

Hires Throws a Square Dance

16-page booklet distributed by Hires Root Beer in 1950 as part of the square dance craze of that time. The booklet calls Sanderson "the most famous man in square dancing" and cites numerous… View item
Sound

Dive for the Oyster (clip) - Chris Sanderson

Audio clip of Chris Sanderson calling with the Pocopson Valley Boys, popular caller and band from southeastern Pennsylvania. Opening figure: Bow to your partner, Bow to your corner, hands all… View item
Sound

East Meets West (clip) - Lawrence Loy

Lawrence Loy was from western Massachusetts but this recording, with its apt title, shows the influence of the western style of dance, with changing choreography. After generic opening figures, two… View item
Website

Schroeder's Playboys

Schroeder's Playboys - An Appreciationby Tony Parkes, August 2012If I could be transported back to the 1950s and had my choice of any one square dance band to hear and/or dance to live, it might well… View item
Website

Viola "Mom" Ruth - Peek a Boo Waltz Quadrille

"Now you waltz down the center and there you divide Lady to the right, gent the other side Honor your partner and then make a trade Swing on the corner to a waltz promenade" Digitized from a live… View item
Document

Les Gotcher - Square Dancin'

Published in 1950, the book contains directions to 100 dances, as well as photographs illustrating basic moves for beginners. Among those are Do-Ci-Do, Docey, Do-Sa-Do, and Do-Paso. (see the Contents… View item
Sound

Pony Boy (clip) - Floyd Woodhull

Another recording of Pony Boy (full length) View item
Sound

Between Those Ladies (clip) - Ray Smith

This 1953 clip features Texas caller Raymond Smith introducing the seeds of modern Western square dance style at Camp Becket in Massachusetts. He's calling "Between Those Ladies" by… View item
Sound

Cut Away 6, 4, 2 (clip) - Fred Townsend

Canadian caller, born 1900, who was the caller for Don Messer's bands on its many cross-country trips. A three-LP boxed set of his dance calls (Let's Square Dance) was released (Doncaster DS-3-102).… View item
Document

Piute Pete - Village Barn

Piute Pete called squares regularly at the Village Barn in New York City. This newspaper columnist took a less-than-enthusiastic view of the proceedings. The SDHP collection has numerous items… View item