Traditional Square Dance and
Old Time Square Dance Links

Because traditional square dances or old-time square dances are danced as part of the program at many contra dances, I have made a list of groups and dance series which appear, on description, to be as informal in attitude as the crowd you'll see and meet at a contra dance. That means, for the most part, I have not included groups that appear to have an emphasis on Modern Western Square Dancing. These inclusions and exclusions are not meant to place a value on any type of dancing, just that I have to limit, at some point, what types of dancing I will include on these lists. This is an adjunct page to my links about contra dancing.

To differentiate these types of square dances from others, here's a quote from Jaso's FAQ on old-time square dancing

Q: What's the difference between old-time square dancing and modern western square dancing?

A: "Modern western square dancing" evolved after WWII and has a strong focus on performance and exhibition. Western squares often involve costumes, pre-recorded music, club membership, and difficult dance figures that people actually practice. Old-time squares are more informal and party-like and always have live string band music.

Or, in my words, if there are mentions of levels, clubs, badges, colors and/or costumes, links to that type of dancing are not included here. Not that either type of dancing is better, just that I'm trying to limit the list of links to a certain type of square dancing.

Tony Parkes has contributed an article in Wikipedia that provides information and resources for those who want to find out more about traditional square dancing.

Nils Fredland has developed a new Square Dance Resources site as part of Country Dance and Song Society site. New entry (May 17, 2011)

A number of well-known callers and dance historians are working on the Square Dance History Project. If you have any interest, I recommend visiting the web site and, especially if you have documents, information, etc., checking in with the organizers. New entry (July 31, 2012)

I do understand that a significant number of contra dancers do not like square dances, with attitudes ranging from, "This is a good time to sit one out" to "Kill me now". Obviously, this list is not for them. But, I do enjoy having a little variety during the course of an event. Ten or so contras (plus a couple of waltzes), while not necessarily boring, can be less interesting. In any event, I'll see you out on the dance floor.

As always, if you have additions or corrections for this list, please e-mail me.

New links are simply new to me, not necessarily new to the World Wide Web. Change in URL means that a link has changed its WWW address or URL.

Bands and Musicians


This page is part of the web site. For more information about contra dancing, visit these other site pages:

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*The Colorado link will bring you to Dancing on the Web. The Maine link will bring you to the Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts. The New Mexico link will bring you to the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society. The Utah link will bring you to Utah Contradance Information. These fine organizations and individuals already have complete listings for these states and there is no reason for me to duplicate their efforts.

**As far as I know, there are no regular dances or events in Mississippi, South Dakota or Wyoming, but I have created pages if something changes in the future.
Produced by Charlie Seelig
This page last updated on January 20, 2018