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Square Dance

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<p>(Courtesy DU's Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library)</p>
Calvin “Cal” Golden calling a square dance.
Square Dancing

After a championship season, a Colorado football coach noticed a change in his players' attitude. And so he turned the team to a more inclusive extracurricular activity: square dancing.

With roots that go back centuries, square dancing evolved as pioneers moved West. But by the 1930s, interest in this kinetic, highly choreographed collective effort had fizzled. Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw helped to change that. With his wife, Dorothy, they got the whole school district dancing.  In 1939, he published "Cowboy Dances," the "bible" of square dance. The Cheyenne Mountain dancers – a high school troupe with flashy, intricate routines – spread the gospel, and clubs, camps, and conventions popped up across the country.

The dance continues – especially every September, when music and dancers fill the state capitol to celebrate the day in 1992 that square dancing was declared the official state folk dance of Colorado.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.