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

Browse Items (378 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "1950s"
Document

Texas Folk Dance Camp - history

This scrapbook documents the early years of the Texas Folk Dance Camp, starting in 1949. Inspired by Jane Farwell's camp at Oglebay Institute in West Virginia, the camp brought together Texas… View item
Document

Texas Dance Memories

This booklet was compiled by Betty Casey; it presents an overview of Texas square dance history. The booklet features short profiles of 14 "first pacesetters," figures who are important in the history… View item
Document

1953 Texas Inaugural Ball square dance program

The custom of having a square dance as part of the Inaugural Ball for the Texas Governor started in 1947; this is the program for the 1953 Inaugural, scheduled for 6:30 PM until midnight. The second… View item

Trinidad Twister - Marvin Shilling

This recording by Colorado caller Marvin Shilling—the Trinidad of the title refers to the Colorado location rather than the Caribbean island—was recorded in 1953; it appeared on the Western Jubilee… View item
Document

"Swing Your Partner!"

This account of square dancing in Michigan dates from 1951, and informs the reader early on, "Today, Michigan is a square dancer's paradise." Because of that time, it offers a glimpse of an era when… View item
Website

Arizona Square Dance - 1954

This item contains images of Phoenix college students square dancing outside of the Arizona Star at Western Saddle Club on October 28, 1954 in Phoenix, Arizona. The link takes you to the nine photos… View item
Still Image

Young African Americans Square Dancing - 1952

This photo shows a square dance at the Hallie Q. Brown Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1952. View item
Sound

Abe Kanegson - live recordings, 1953 and 1955

These are four audio files from live recordings made in Dover, New Hampshire, in the 1950s. They feature caller Abe Kanegson. Notes (by Jim Mayo) on the choreography of the audio files: #1: In the… View item
Document

Fun, Vitality, Life: Square Dancing in Central City, Colorado

This article provides a historical overview of the dance performances in Central City, Colorado. The program began with Lloyd Shaw and one group of dancers in 1936, and expanded over the years. This… View item
Moving Image

Kindle Wakes - English square dance scene

This is an excerpt from a 1952 British drama film, attesting to the popularity of square dancing in England at that time. Here, a large group of dancers follow the calls while the orchestra plays… View item
Document

Square Dance—Houston Style

This article, from Houston History magazine, offers a popular overview of square dance history in that region from the 1940s into the 21st century. The author was , with her husband, president of the… View item
Document

Dancing Among the Stars

In Chapter 6 of his autobiography, Dancing Among the Stars, caller Les Gotcher shares his perspective on what he saw as a series of attacks on him, orchestrated by Lloyd Shaw and assisted by members… View item