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Callers' Resources

The Earl Biffle Library

Earl Biffle has generously donated over 100 books and a large collection of music recordings to the St Louis dance community. These include dance instructions and music for English, Scottish, Morris, Renaissance, contra, round and square dancing. There are also a dozen music books and books on dance history.  Please contact Martha Edwards (meedwards at westendweb dot com) if you are interested in seeing them.  Here is a pdf of a partial list of the books.

The Carol Luer Library

Carol Luer has generously donated 21 English Country Dance books to the St Louis dance community. These include "The Country Dance Books" by Cecil Sharp (Parts 1-6), "The Fallibroome Collection" Volumes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, and  The Pat Shaw Collection Books 1-5, and eight other interesting books. Please contact Martha Edwards (meedwards at westendweb dot com) if you are interested in seeing them.

The Beneficial Tradition Library

The following books were donated by an anonymous patron for use by the St. Louis dance community. Anyone interested in borrowing one of these books should contact Deborah Hyland.

  • Ed Butenhof, Dance Parties for Beginners (Rochester NY: Lloyd Shaw Foundation, 1990)
  • Mary Dart McNab, Contra Dance Choreography: a reflection of social change (New York: Garland, 1995).
  • Penn Fixx, Contra Dances of the Great Northwest (Spokane WA: Self-published, 1991)
  • Gene Hubert, Dizzy Dances II (self-published?)
  • Gene Hubert, Dizzy Dances III (self-published?)
  • Larry Jennings, Zesty Contras (Cambridge MA: New England Folk Festival Association, 1983)
  • Ted Sannella, Balance and Swing: a collection of fifty-five squares, contras, and triplets in the New England tradition with music for each dance (New York: Country Dance and Song Society, 1982)

Web Links

Calling Discussion Groups Online - Here are two really good ones:

  • Trad-dance-caller - grandaddy of caller groups - great information on lots of dance forms and lots of topics but a bit intimidating
  • Shared Weight - newer, friendlier, more beginner-oriented group which focuses mainly on contra

Dances Online

The Hatchling/Calling Party Library

Here are some books that are available for perusing at the Calling Parties at Martha's house. Some of them are about calling, and some of them are collections of dances.

Essays and Books about Contra Dance

  • The Contra Connection & Basically for Callers by Larry Jennings, Dan Pearl and Ted Sanella
  • Dance Symmetry by Cary Ravitz
  • Notes on Composing Contras by Al Olson
  • Contra Dance Programming by Tom Hinds
  • Contra Dance Calling - A Basic Text by Tony Parkes
  • Balance and Swing by Ted Sannella
  • Contra Dance Choreography: a reflection of social change by Mary Dart McNab

Collections of Contra Dances

  • Cracking Chestnuts by David Smukler and David Millstone
  • Zesty Contras by Larry Jennings
  • Give and Take, a Sequel to Zesty Contras, by Larry Jennings
  • Syllabus of the Annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekends from 2002
  • Syllabus of the Annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekends from 2003
  • Syllabus of the Annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekends from 2004
  • The Lizard Research Institute & Other Dances by Carol Ormond
  • Jurassic Redheads and Other Dances by Carol Ormond
  • Midwest Folklore and Other Dances edited by Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst
  • California Twirls - A Collection of Contradances and Three Community Histories
  • Dance All Night 2 by Tom Hinds
  • Dance All Night 3 by Tom Hinds
  • Dances from a Confused Caller's PDA by Tom Hinds
  • Dances for a Crowded Hall - Self-Contained English Dances by Michael Cicone, Mary Devlin, Barbara Finney, Brad Foster, Scott Higgs, and Alan Winston.
  • The Cardinal Collection - Traditional-Style dances and tunes by Joseph Pimentel and Friends
  • 21st Century Contras by Devin Nordson (formerly Devin Nordberg)

Books on other American dances

  • Sweets of May by Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman
  • Cowboy Dances by Lloyd Shaw
  • The Round Dance Book by Lloyd Shaw
  • Good Morning by Henry Ford (yes, that Henry Ford!)
  • 75 Years of Smelling the Flowers - a wonderful collection of some of John Ramsay's favorite dances, with their tunes, put together on the occasion of his 75th birthday
  • "No Kissing Allowed in School" - A Virginia Dancing School in 1784 by Kate Van Winkle Keller and George A. Fogg
  • Dances from George Washington's Birthday Balls by Leland Ticknor
  • Heritage Dances of Early America by Ralph Page
  • A Choice Selection of American Country Dances of the Revolutionary Era by Kate Van Winkel Keller and Ralph Sweet
  • Basic and Mainstream Movements of Square Dancing - the first two levels of Modern Western Square Dancing
  • Dance A While - Handbook for Folk, Square, Contra, and Social Dance, Eighth Edition edited by Jane A. Harris, Anne M. Pittman, Marlys S. Waller and Cathy L. Dark

Books on English Country Dance

  • Notes on Teaching Country Dance by Bruce Hamilton
  • The Playford Ball - 103 Early English Country Dances edited by Kate Van Winkle Keller and Genevieve Shimer
  • Favorites of the Boston Centre - Dances for Volume 1 (of the English Country Dance Collection CDs by Bare Necessities) - edited by Helene Cornelius and Francis Attanasio
  • Dances from Barnes Two compiled by Allison Thompson - mostly modern English Country Dances

Other Useful Books

  • Your Voice at its Best by David Blair McCloskey

Happy Dancing!