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.
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
This is the square dance portion of a syllabus prepared by Ralph Page for a 1959 institute in Chicago. It's smaller than similar syllabi prepared by Page since the opening section of the syllabus… View item
This collection of anecdotes describes early dances and social norms in Texas cowboy country. View item
Bio of Jack Fomby, Sweetwater, Texas View item
Biography of Jimmy Clossin, from 1947. Although SDHP has numerous items related to Clossin, we would love to add an audio file of his calling. To the best of our knowledge, he never recorded… View item
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
Bob Van Antwerp, an important and early West Coast caller, was one of the founders of CALLERLAB. It's easy to forget that such individuals also had roots in traditional squares, as you can hear in… View item
Alex Boustead was one of the founders of the Canadian Olde Tyme Square Dance Callers' Association, a group formed in 1954 to preserve and promote Canadian square dancing. Recorded November 17, 2001,… View item
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