Lloyd Shaw and the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers
This is the story of an extraordinary educator who also became a dance leader. As superintendent of the public K-12 Cheyenne Mountain School in Colorado Springs from 1916 to 1951, Lloyd Shaw conducted an experiment in public education that won national attention. After coaching a successful football team for several years, he discontinued the sport and went in search of a safer and more inclusive activity. When he stumbled upon the American square dance, he knew he had found something precious that could occupy his students and enrich the lives of adults as well. He researched this intrinsically American folk art and developed an exhibition team of high school students whose performances during the 1940s revived an interest in square dancing across the nation. But square and folk dancing was only one facet of the Cheyenne School experience. Lloyd Shaw also wanted his students to experience the extended world around them. There were camping trips and expeditions around the state, ski outings before there were any ski resorts, a nature preserve as part of the school campus, a student-owned school cabin up above Seven Falls, and performances of every sort. Much of the story of his life presented here was written by Lloyd Shaw himself and by his wife Dorothy Stott Shaw, who was a respected poet in the Colorado Springs area. It has been edited and completed by their granddaughter, Enid Obee Cocke.