Square Dance History with David Millstone

Experience the rich history and regional variety of square dancing in this in-depth, three part video series.

With photographs, audio, and video, we’ll travel:

  • from 17th century France to Civil War ballrooms
  • from New England Grange halls to Texas cowboy balls
  • and from Newfoundland to New Mexico

to explore and discuss how this dance form became a staple of American popular culture.

Kentucky Mount Square Dancing

This book by Patrick Napier (available online as a PDF) provides a wonderful introduction to Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing. The book includes a bit of history and general calling tips prior to describing many Big Set and Running Set figures. It also includes fillers and closing calls.

From CDSS

West Virginia Square Dances

This online version of Bob Dalsemer’s book describes dance figures as done in five rural West Virginia communities in the 1970s and reports on their regular dance events, including programming, type of audience, price and method of admission, and the traditions of figure calling and musical performance.

The Performing Arts in Colonial American Newspapers, 1690-1783

This publication fills a major gap in access to eighteenth-century American sources for research in the performing arts and related humanities fields. It includes all references to music, poetry (lyrics), dance, and theater in American newspapers, from the earliest extant copy (1690) through the end of the Revolutionary War (1783).

Compiled by Mary Jane Corry, Kate Van Winkle Keller, and Robert M. Keller