Category Archives: Videos

Documentary: Bill Martin Square Dancing

Bill Martin talks about his definition of square dancing. To quote him, “It’s all square dancing!”

Portland’s vibrant music and dance scene is taking a big step back in time. Old time fiddle music and square dancing are surging in popularity with young people throughout the Northwest. Do-Si-Do with Bill Martin, veteran caller and mentor to a new generation of square dancers. Follow Bill as he leads Caroline Oakley through the beginning moves of becoming a caller.

Documentary: Northwest Stories: The Seattle Subversive Square Dance Society

From the video description.

For the past few years, the Seattle Subversive Square Dance Society has been working steadily and enthusiastically behind the scenes to re-introduce the joyful activity of square dancing to Seattle. Social and partner dances (waltz, swing, Cajun, etc.) are hugely popular in the Pacific Northwest—we really are a dancing group of folks! But in the 1980s, square dancing’s popularity was replaced in large part by contra dance, brought in from the Northeastern United States. Now this renegade bunch of old-time musicians and callers has organized old-fashioned house parties where you roll up the rugs and clear out the furniture as well as twice-monthly dances at the Tractor Tavern. You know how to do-si-do, don’t you?

This videos is part of Northwest Stories, a year-long project of Northwest Folklife to capture the spirit of communities in the region that participate in the annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.