About the Square Dance History Project
Square dancing has been an integral part of American social life for centuries. Traditional square dance was vital for generations of Americans, especially in rural communities; in the post-World War II era, modern square dance similarly enjoyed participants numbering in the millions.
Despite its popularity, the history of square dance has not been well documented. Scores of books explain specific figures and calls, but there are few current sources that offer a detailed discussion of the development of this form of American social dance. We hope this site helps to fill that need.
This is an edited transcription of the Don Armstrong interview. The first three pages focus on Don's experiences as a test pilot; starting on page 4, Don talks about his time as a dancer and… View item
This interview with Don Armstrong was conducted by Luc Vermeiren and Hilde Dewaelheyns, a member of the AADS board in Belgium, when Don was calling at a folk dance camp in the Czech Republic. An… View item
1. Don & Laverne Armstrong2. Don Armstrong portrait3. Don Armstrong's band4. Don Armstrong - Danceland promo5. Don Armstrong - parade floatThis series of photographs shows caller Don Armstrong in… View item
This lightly edited transcription of the interview appeared in the AADS News, February 1993, Vol.. 3 #1, p. 2-7 View item
This interview was conducted by Hilde Dewaelheyns with Ted when he was on staff at the AADS [Anglo-American Dance Shop] Autumn Dance Weekend, held at the youth hostel in Ronse, Belgium. In it, Ted… View item
This is an edited transcription of the related interview. It appeared in the AADS News (Belgium), #22, May 1996, pp. 4-7 View item
The interview was conducted by Hilde Dewaelheyns at the AADS Spring Dance Weekend at Camp "Hoge Rielen," Kasterlee, Belgium. See related item for an edited transcription of the conversation.For a… View item
The audio recording is from a dance at the Ballard Eagles in Washington state. The full audio (two sides of a 45-minute cassette) can be heard on the Internet Archive.Fred Park described the figure… View item
Fred Feild calls a traditional square dance, held at the home of Marion Waudby in Tucson, Arizona, May, 1999. Other dances filmed during this session are:Grapevine Twist (two couple)Grapevine… View item
This short essay by Ralph Page (1939) is interesting for several reasons. First, he's writing for a publication of the New Hampshire Planning and Development Commission, and Page cites the economic… View item
Article in Ebony magazine profiling African-American square dance caller Jesse Cosby, Waterloo, Iowa. The article references examples of racial discrimination:"Once racial discrimination stymied his… View item
This review of Lloyd Shaw's book comes from Douglas Kennedy, director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society from 1924 (after Cecil Sharp's death) until 1961. Kennedy had teveled to the… View item