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July 22, 2019


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Michigan square dance caller Don Hendrickson and his wife danced this dance in 1991 to an AB version of Jenny Lind Polka at the square dance held for the presentation of Les Raber’s Michigan Heritage Award. The B part of Jenny Lind fits the hand-clapping and finger-wagging quite nicely. I can’t imagine how this dance got to rural Michigan but I’m not surprised since Sally Waters, Rye Waltz, the Irish Trot and the Varsovienne were also common at old-time Michigan square dances. Thanks for sharing this one.

Jim, thanks for sharing! I love that some of these nineteenth-century dances survived into the twentieth century in living tradition. Dances in nineteenth century America traveled more widely than one would expect, moving with the expansion of American settlement in the west. Newspapers spread the word, dance manuals were plentiful, and traveling callers passed things along.

I've also covered the Rye Waltz (here) and Sally Waters (here) on Kickery. At some point I'll get to writing about the Varsovienne!

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