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

Browse Items (184 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "1940s"
Moving Image

Bill Litchman 1 - Traditional Western Squares

Caller Bill Litchman discusses characteristic features of traditional western square dances, incorporating his memory of Colorado dances that he encountered starting in the 1950s.For a more detailed… View item
Moving Image

Bill Litchman 2a - Lloyd Shaw, part 1

An interview with caller Bill Litchman about educator Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw and the important role he played in square dance. Many see Shaw as a defining figure in the transition from… View item
Moving Image

Bill Litchman 2b - Lloyd Shaw, part 2

Bill Litchman continues his discussion about educator Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw and the important role he played in square dance. Here, he focuses on the impact that Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain… View item
Still Image

Lloyd Shaw and kids

Lloyd Shaw, surrounded by some of the young members of the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers View item
Still Image

Cowboy Dances

This is the dust cover to Lloyd Shaw's book, Cowboy Dances, first published in 1939.Used copies are common and inexpensive. A clean reprint of the book is also available from the Lloyd Shaw… View item
Sound

Redwing - Dip and Dive - Ed Durlacher

Ed Durlacher, caller. The tune is Redwing. Durlacher's vocal style is distinctive. Recorded in 1941, with music by Al MacLeod's Country Dance Band. View item
Sound

Lloyd Shaw calling (clip)

This short audio clip illustrates Shaw's calling style and voice. Other items on this site refer to full-length recordings posted elsewhere. View item
Moving Image

Ed Durlacher - Central Park Newsreel

Newsreel footage of square dancing in Central Park, New York City, in the 1940s. Ed Durlacher called to crowds in the thousands. Famed news photographer Weegee was one who documented this series; a… View item
Website

Sets in Order archive

The complete collection of Sets in Order (which changed its name to Square Dancing in 1968) is available online through the University of Denver. The issues were scanned by New Jersey dance caller… View item
Moving Image

Eleanor Roosevelt square dancing

Newsreel footage of Eleanor Roosevelt dancing in Arthurdale, West Virginia, 1940 View item
Website

Square Dance in Japan

(Note: also available is information on the start of square dancing in Germany.)The linked article, by Lane Earns, describes the key role played by Winfield Niblo in bringing American square dance to… View item
Still Image

Winfield P. Niblo

Photographs of Winfield P. Niblo, widely credited with bringing American square dance to Japan after World War II. In one photo he can be seen calling with cupped hands; there simply was no PA system… View item