Back to the future: Dancing in 1946

by John Brant

If you were transported by a time machine back to 1946, do you think you would be able to dance without breaking squares down? The answer is probably no. Square dancing is a dance form that is constantly changing. The roots of the dance go back to early America and even back to Europe. Because of the evolution of square dancing, there is very little resemblance with Modern Western Square Dancing and what was done even 50 years ago.

There are many moves and terminologies that have withstood the test of time, but these are some that have not:
Turn the lady ahead and away you fly.
Buzz step swing.
break and swing
down the center and divide the ring.
down the center and cut away four
birdie in the cage and seven hands round.
whirl them across and go like thunder.
swing your partner like swinging on a gate.
leave that lady where she be and the gent go on and circle three.

There were several combination moves in 1946 that had these names:
triple allemande
a triple duck and go like thunder
spinning wheel
cheyenne whirl
weather vane
dive for the oyster

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