Complete History of Square Dancing, Abridged
About the Program
Tony examines how present-day squares developed from the court and country dances of the 18th and 19th centuries, and how square dancing became a craze and then a subculture in the 20th. With video clips from the Square Dance History Project, an online virtual museum.
About Tony Parkes
Tony Parkes (Billerica, MA) has been calling American folk dances since 1964. He specializes in old and new contra dances, traditional and contemporary New England squares, and squares from the 1950s (arguably the Golden Age of recreational square dancing). He has led workshops in these dance forms at dance camps and folk festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
In addition, Tony has led workshops on the many and varied aspects of teaching and calling squares and contras. He is the author of Contra Dance Calling: A Basic Text and has made many dance recordings as caller and pianist.
Square dance history has long been one of Tony’s passionate interests. His large personal library has enabled him to rediscover long-forgotten dances and to develop an appreciation for the breadth and depth of American dance traditions.