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

Browse Items (461 total)

  • Collection: MWSD
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MWSD Named Dances

In the world of modern western square dance today, most callers create the choreography for each dance. Even singing squares, where there is more repetition of figures, can vary each time through, and… 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
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Tech Squares

This half-hour video looks closely at the Tech Squares modern square club at MIT. Under the leadershp of caller Ted Lizotte and with the assistance of a large group of dedicated assistants and dance… View item
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Lloyd Shaw Christmas Letter

Lloyd and Dorothy Shaw sent out a post-Christmas letter to members of their "Square Dance Fellowship," participants in the summer institutes and others whom they met. The poetic language… View item
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George & Betty Greene - dance history

This two-page summary was prepared by Betty Greene, wife of St. Louis dance organizer George Greene. In it she outlines the couple's ten-year dance history, and mentions some of the many… View item
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Clayton Eighters - guidelines

Toward the start of the square dance boom in the St. Louis area, there were three clubs that sponsored Lloyd Shaw's visit: The Lancers, Boots and Belles, and The Promenaders. However, at the same… View item
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George Greene - Lloyd Shaw letters

This is correspondence between St. Louis dance organizer George Greene and Lloyd Shaw, setting up a 1952 visit by Shaw to the area. Note that Shaw indicates (p. 3) that he will come for expenses and… View item
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St. Louis square dancers, early 1950s

These photos are from the early St. Louis square dance scene, organized in part by George Greene and his wife, Betty. George Greene played an active role bringing to the St. Louis area some of the… View item