Welcome to my own personal collection of square dance books, papers, websites and audio and video recordings. Most of it, anyhow. Originally I wanted to have my books handy wherever I am in the world so I uploaded them to my private website. If you are reading this then you are part of a very small group because I realized this is also a good way to lend out my books. Because of copyright and plain old fairness, this is only for your own use. I would appreciate it if you would not pass along the link to anyone else. There are books here that can still be bought and I urge you to do so to support those authors and the cause. Also, much of this stuff can still be found used online or in bookstores.

Each scanned book, the websites, and the recordings come with an index or table of contents linking all items to their pages. Some TOCs I assembled myself. Many of these books are scanned from photocopies that were difficult to make at the time. I've enhanced the scans as well as I can to bring back faded type and such. With some of the workshop recordings I've edited and applied tone and volume adjustment to pull up inaudible lecturing and questions from the attendees.

Most of the material below addresses traditional square dancing, including the time just before and after 1950 when the modernization of oldtime indigenous squares skyrocketed and the western square dance club movement began to coalesce. The early years of that change were exciting for sure, but the end result was the sad loss of just about everything attractive about square dancing. As the modern square dance movement developed into the 1960s recordings took the place of live dance bands, and the dancing became very complex and required extensive lessons.

[Be aware that there is an internal "rebellion" in the square dance club movement, led by some of the very people who created the modern western square dance style. Callers like Jim Mayo, CALLERLAB's first chairman, champion a form of modern western square dancing that uses a limited number of dance figures (moving back in the direction of our own traditional square dancing, though their list of figures is still pretty dang long.) Mayo and his fellow travelers rate high-quality dancing over complexity, which is really quite the opposite of today's modern western square dance scene. While still prefering recordings, dancers of the Mayo ilk are introducing sanity back into the modern movement. Mayo has written a fascinating history and critique of the square dance movement, Step By Step Through Modern Square Dance History, a movement in which he was an important and essential part.]

Most of my collection focuses on the traditional dance that I love and reflect less of the modern western square dance movement (skirts 'n' shirts.) We start off with a larger collection of material on the Southern big set or running set dances than you are likely to find anywhere else, the product of my first square dance enthusiasm. Check back because I'm adding books and I'm still tracking down some tantalizing books and articles. The second section addresses traditional square dancing in general.
 

 
I've combined the tables of content and indices of these books, websites and recordings into a sort of library master catalog. In the doc file all the dances and figures are linked to their respective books, but the PDF will download much faster. Be sure to download the freshest versions: 7-17-10
 

SHORT LIST FOR GETTING STARTED WITH SOUTHERN SQUARES:

The Appalachian Square Dance, Frank Smith, 1955
Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing, Patrick Napier, 1983
The Old-Time Kentucky Running Set, by Stu Jamieson [pdf]
West Virginia Square Dances, Bob Dalsemer [external website], 1982
 
 

SOUTHERN, BIG SET, RUNNING SET SQUARE DANCING:

American Folk Dances Kits 49 & 47: Square Dances of the Great Smoky Mountains, Lynn Rohrbough, Cooperative Recreation Service, Delaware, Ohio, 1939

The American Big Set, Douglas Kennedy, 1937 [pdf]

The American Square Dance (running set section), Margot Mayo, 1948 [buy it here]

Appalachian Big Circle [pdf]

Appalachian Set Running, Les Barclay, 2001

The Appalachian Square Dance, Frank Smith, 1955 [buy it here]

Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Minstrel of the Appalachians", Pete Gilpin & George Stephens, 1966 [buy it here]

Clogging and the Southern Appalachian Square Dance, Frank X. Bonner, 1983

The Country Dance Book Part V: Containing the Running Set, Cecil J. Sharp, 1918 [buy it here]

Cutting a Dido, Gail Matthews, 1983

Dancing to the Music: Domestic Square Dances and Community in Southcentral Kentucky (1880 -1940), Burt Feintuch, 1981 [pdf]

Definition of Community in Old Time Dancing in Rural Southwest Virginia, Susan Spalding, 1994 [pdf]

Finding List of Southeastern Square Dance Figures, J. Olcutt Sanders, 1942

Glenn Bannerman Lp inserts and workshop sheets

Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing, Patrick Napier, 1983

Kentucky Square Dances, Ida Levin, 1928

Lady 'Round the Lady & Shoot the Buffalo, Napier, 1969

Old Time Dancing in the Appalachian Mountains, Vicky Risner Wulff, 1989 [pdf]

The Old-Time Kentucky Running Set, by Stu Jamieson [pdf]

Practicing Tradition: History and Community in an Appalachian Dance Style, Anne Elise Thomas, 2001 [pdf]

Running Sets, Hugh Stewart [external website]

Smoky Mountain Square Dances, David.B. Hendrix, 1941 [buy it here]

Some Additional Figures for Set-Running, Maud Karpeles, 1930 [pdf]

Square Dances of America, Douglas & Helen Kennedy

West Virginia Square Dances, Bob Dalsemer [external website], 1982

World of Fun (running set section), R.Harold Hipps and Wallace E. Chappell, 1970 [buy it here]
 
 

SHORT LIST FOR GETTING STARTED WITH 4-COUPLE SQUARES:

Dance A While, (square dance section), Jane Harris, Anne Pittman, Marlys S. Waller, 1969
Kathy Anderson’s Square Dance Callers Course at Pinewoods 2010
Let's Create "Olde Tyme" Square Dancing, Ralph Sweet, 1966
Potluck and Dance Tonite!, Sandy Bradley (Booklet accompanying the Lp)
Potluck and Dance Tonite! The square dance tracks from the Lp [mp3]
Square Dance!, Ralph J. McNair, 1951
The Square Dancers' Guide (square dance & Kentucky running set sections), Gene Gowing, 1957
 
 

4-COUPLE & GENERAL SQUARE DANCE BOOKS:

Al Brundage's Little Black Book [pdf]

Alphabet Allemandes [pdf]

American Square Dances of the West and Southwest , Lee Owens [external website], 1950

Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest, Lee Owens, 1950

The Afro-American Transformation of European Set Dances and Dance Suites, John F. Szwed and Morton Marks, 1988 [pdf]

Arkansas (Arkie) Woodchopper square dance calls, with music and instructions, 1940 [buy it here]

The Basic Movements of Square Dancing (Sets in Order booklet)

Contemporary Accounts of Dance From the American West in the Nineteenth Century, Jenifer Pashkowski Craig 1982

Cowboy Dances, Lloyd Shaw [external website]

Dance A While, (square dance section), Jane Harris, Anne Pittman, Marlys S. Waller, 1969 [buy it here]

Dances of Our Pioneers, Grace L. Ryan, 1926, 1939

Definitions, Directions and Calls - The Handbook for Dances of Our Pioneers, Grace L. Ryan, 1926 [external website]

Dancing in Prosperity: The Dances of Jerry Goodwin
, Larry Edelman, 1987

Dare To Be Square 2009 videos of dances [external website] [video]

Dare To Be Square 2008 audio of dances & workshops with notes , [pdf] [mp3]

Dare To Be Square 2008 old dance records, square dance calling on 78rpm records [mp3]

Eight Yards of Calico, Paul Hunt & Charlotte Underwood, 1952

Favorite Square Dance Kit 53, Rohrbough, 1948

Folk Dances of the United States: Regional Types and Origins, Elizabeth Burchenal, 1951 [pdf]

Hi, Square Dancers! a More Advanced Course in American Squares and Round Dances, (square dance section) Kenneth Fowell, 1951

The Independence Lancers, Bob Dalsemer & Claudio Buchwald

In Idaho Its Docey Doe

Kathy Anderson’s Square Dance Callers Course at Pinewoods 2010 [CDSS pdf ]

Kitchen Junket (a story), Ralph Page

Learn to Dance and Call Square Dances the Foster Way, card package, 1942

Le P'tit Train (French-Canadian quadrille figure), Camille Brochu, 1985

Let's Create "Olde Tyme" Square Dancing, Ralph Sweet, 1966

McKay's Callers Cards, The late Jack McKay's 3X5 dance cards [doc]

Northern Junket, Ralph Page, 1949-84

Partners All - Places All ! (square dance section), Miriam Kirkell and Irma Schaffnit, 1949

Play Old-Time Country Fiddle (square dance section), Jerry Silverman, 1975

Potluck and Dance Tonite!, Sandy Bradley (Booklet accompanying the Lp)

Potluck and Dance Tonite! The square dance tracks from the Lp [mp3]

Progressive (exploding) Squares, Jerry Helt, 1991

Quadrilles Kit T, Rohrbough, 1941

Raymond Smith's Square Dance Handbook, 1948

Raymond Smith's Collection of Square Dances and Mixers, 1950

Sets in Order: 5 Years of Square Dancing, 1954

Sets on the Floor: Social Dance as an Emblem of Community in Rural Indiana, Paul Tyler, 1992
     Part 1     Part 2      Part 3      Part 4      Part 5

Some Square Dance Calls from Bill McAdoo at the Independence, PA, Dance, Larry Edelman

Square and Folk Dancing (square dance section), Hank Greene,1984 [buy it here]

Square Dance!, Ralph J. McNair, 1951

Square Dance Figures from Northern New York State, Maude Karpeles, 1931 [pdf]

The Square Dancers' Guide (square dance & Kentucky running set sections), Gene Gowing, 1957

Square Dances of Today and How to Teach and Call Them, Richard G. Kraus, 1950

Square Dancing Texas Style: a Guide to the Perplexed, Rickey Holden, 1949

Square Dancing: The Newer and Advanced Dances, Bob Osgood & Jack Hoheisal, 1950

Swing Your Partner: Old Time Dances of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Lois Fahs, 1939

Swing Your Partner, article by Ralph Page, 1939

Swing Your Partners, Durward Maddocks, 1950

The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance, Olcutt Sanders, 1951 [pdf]

Traditional Dance in Missouri, Peter and Margret Lippincott, 1984 [pdf]

Western Square Dances, Ralph J. McNair, 1941 [external website]

West Texas Cowboy Square Dances, Jimmy Clossin and Carl Hertzog, 1948