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

Browse Items (117 total)

  • Collection: Traditional western
Moving Image

Cowboy Medley Square - Silver Spurs

Caller Red Henderson, who founded the Silver Spurs youth dance troupe, here calls a "cowboy square dance," mixing together figures based on traditional western square dances. The film dates… View item
Moving Image

The Dancing "Silver Spurs" - 1951

This is an excerpt from a half-hour film, made in 1951 by Standard Oil, about the Silver Spurs, a performing dance group from Spokane, WA. The group was founded in 1947 by E. S. "Red"… View item
Moving Image

Chinese Fan - Lisa Greenleaf

This clip only shows the actual Chinese Fan part of the dance. Omitted are the opening figures, breaks, and the ending. The dance is usually done with dancers linking elbows; here, the caller simply… View item
Still Image

Square dance photos, Austin, TX, 1948

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

Ladies to the Center

This short article by Texas dance historian Olcutt Sanders looks at the role played by women in that state's dance history. Sanders notes the early absence of women: "A scarcity of woman… 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
Document

"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