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

Browse Items (79 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Traditional Western (pre-1940)"
Moving Image

"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement;… View item
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"The Good Ole Days" - Olcutt Sanders, 1949

Dance historian Olcutt Sanders asks, "As you unwound yourself from the mazes of the latest square dance concoction introduced at your club meeting, did your ever wonder how people ever got along… View item
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"The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance" – Olcutt Sanders

This article, scholarly yet accessible, provides an excellent look at square dancing in west Texas in the late 1800s. He starts with a look at the conditions that set this region apart from… View item
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Cowboy Dance Tunes – excerpt

This was first published as a separate booklet in 1940 to accompany Lloyd Shaw's Cowboy Dances, which appeared in 1939. Shaw provides an introduction.Jim Saxe notes, "The same tune collection,… View item
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Cowboy Square Dances of West Texas

This booklet provides an introduction to West Texas square dances. After a detailed glossary, complete with diagrams, the author provides a sample of dances as they might be called. The patter is… View item
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Promenade - Seven Cowboy Dances

This little booklet plays on the popularity of square dancing as introduced by Lloyd and his Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The booklet was released by Women's Home Companion, a popular monthly magazine… View item
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1940 Texas Square Dance Contest

Newspaper accounts of a square dance competition won by Bob Sumrall's Abilene set. The story goes into detail about each of the six competing teams,naming each of the dancers, the judges, and… View item
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A Look at Square Dancing in Colorado

"Square dancing evolved a western version probably sometime in the late 1800s when the pioneers moved to settle the states west of the Mississippi. It was a square dance form that was much… View item
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Abilene Lift - Rickey Holden

An early description by Rickey Holden of the so-called "Abilene lift," a distinctive style of incorporating a two-steps into square dance movement. View item
Website

Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest

Electronic copy of 1950 book by Lee Owens, with music arranged by Viola Ruth. Excellent resource made available through the Internet Archive. The book can be read online, downloaded as a PDF file, or… View item
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American Country Dancing on Colorado's West Slope

The article is based on oral history collected in 1979, though no footnotes or direct quotations are included. Instead, it is a generalized summary of the author's findings. "Depending on… View item
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American Square Dances of the West and Southwest

Electronic copy of 1949 book by Lee Owens, with music arranged by Viola Ruth. Excellent resource made available through the Internet Archive. The book can be read online, downloaded as a PDF file, or… View item