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

Browse Items (89 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Transitional/Western 1940s"
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
Moving Image

Square Dance in the American West
Documentary film

Each year, Special Collections at the University of Denver library mounts a special exhibit to showcase some portion of their materials. In 2018, square dance was the focus, drawing on the… View item
Sound

Three Texas squares - Herb Greggerson

These are three examples from Texas caller Herb Greggerson. 1) In Do-Si-Do Fun, hecalls a square that relies heavily on the western do-si-do: partner left hand turn, corner right hand, repeated.… View item
Still Image

Square dance photos, Austin, TX, 1948

Two photographs taken at a square dance in Austin, TX View item
Document

Herb Greggerson bio

This profile of El Paso caller Herb Greggerson was written in 1946. It mentions Greggerson's Blue Bonnet Set heading off on their first US tour in 1939; this was after the team triumphed over Bob… View item
Sound

Chain Lightning - Butch Nelson (clip)

Another example of Butch Nelson's calling, with fast-paced patter keeping dancers moving briskly. Again, the patter clearly shows the caller's western roots. The music is played by the… View item
Sound

Half Sashay - Butch Nelson (clip)

"Pull up your pants and tighten the tracesAll join hands, we're off to the races."With opening patter like this, we know we're in traditional western square dance territory. Thirty seconds later, when… View item
Sound

Sally Goodin variations

Sally Goodin is a square dance based on picturesque names for the other dancers in your set. (See Carl Herzog diagram). The active dance turns other dancers in a particular sequence, occasionally… View item
Document

Rural Leaders' Guide for Square and Group Dances, 1951

From the forward: "This circular is designed to assist rural leaders in teaching square and group dancing and in conducting organized recreational dancing activities." After several pages of… View item
Document

Syllabus of Square Dances, Rickey Holden 1949

This is a syllabus created by Rickey Holden for a callers' workshop held in San Antonio in 1949. The course was 2-1/2 hours each night for five days. It's a useful primary source document showing the… View item
Website

Texas squares

Caller Rickey Holden is well represented on this site by clicking this link. A playlist of many Holden videos posted by SDHP on YouTube can be accessed here. It includes these dances from his… View item
Moving Image

Suzy Q - Grand Cuttyshaw - Rickey Holden

Holden's name for this dance was the Grand Cuttyshaw, which he published as "traditional New Mexico" in his 1992 booklet, "Square Dances of West Texas." A note there reads, "This traditional figure,… View item