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

Browse Items (414 total)

  • Temporal Coverage is exactly "2000 -"
Document

The Saturday Square Dance and Fish Fry in Dogtown

Cultural historian and old-time fiddler Linda L. Henry has done extensive research into the history of black string band music and dance in Warren County, Tennessee, halfway between Nashville and… View item
Document

Square Dance Calling: The African-American Connection

In an early and abbreviated form, this paper outlines the thesis that Jamison put forward at length in his later book,Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics, which looks at the pivotal role played by… View item
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How Squares Evolved – Tony Parkes

Dance caller and historian Tony Parkes leads a workshop on how square dancing changed from traditional forms to modern squares as found in MWSD clubs. He starts by looking at "swoopies," circular… View item
Website

Explaining Traditional Squares and Contras to MWSD folks

This website is an effort by Clark Baker—a MWSD caller who also enjoys traditional contras and squares—to explain those more traditional forms to modern square dancers. Clark's essay begins: … View item
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Clark Baker - traditional and modern

In this fifth and final video in this series, Clark Baker looks at two related kinds of dancing and explains the attraction of each: MWSD squares, especially in the Challenge program, on one side, and… View item
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Clark Baker - MWSD & music

Many traditional square dancers look at videos of MWSD and see a lot of stop-and-go rather than continuous motion; this is often termed "puzzle solving set to music." Clark reminds the viewer that in… View item
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Clark Baker - Calls and Concepts

In this third video in the series, Clark explains the difference between square dance "calls" and "concepts" and notes that "concepts are what make Advanced and especially… View item
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Clark Baker - MWSD & Challenge

Clark describes the structure of modern western square dancing as it exists today, outlining the different programs or levels. He then talks about he got involved in MWSD Challenge dancing, explaining… View item
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Clark Baker - Tech Squares

Clark describes the history of Tech Squares, the MWSD group based at MIT in Cambridge, MA. This club takes new dancers through the Mainstream in 8 weeks and on through Plus in 5 additional. A typical… View item
Website

Birdie in the Cage - Radiolab

RadioLab, a podcast and popular show on public radio, turned its attention to the world of square dance. This 45 minute program looks at a wide range of topics and includes interviews with Phil… View item
Document

Cape Breton Caller Interviews

Jørn Borggreen is author ofRight to the Helm, a detailed study of Cape Breton square sets as observed in 14 communities. The book, now in its 4th edition, provides documentation of the figures for… View item
Website

Ed Thrall and the Story of His Most Contentious Hall

Thrall Hall in East Windsor is a lot of things. By most accounts, it's a fascinating example of vernacular or folk architecture, a 70' x 100' facility with a floor resting on tires that could be… View item