Square Dancing

Old fashioned square dancing was still common in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. No fancy footwork was necessary. We just skipped around in time with the music and followed certain commands by a caller. The caller was someone that called out routines like “double up four”, “shoot the star”, “dosie doe”, and “promenade” in rhythm with the music, a little like today’s rappers. One could easily learn the routines just by watching


Tucker Day my teenage friend and I used to attend a square dance in Fairburn on weekends in the late 1940’s. We would pay a small entrance fee at the door and have our hand stamped. That allowed us to go outside at breaks and reenter without having to pay again. There was always a huge crowd. The atmosphere usually seemed on the surface to be very proper, no drinking or disorderly behavior. Problems however sometimes developed because of the break time. While most went outside to get a breath of fresh air, others went to their cars for a sip of spirits and sometimes became disorderly. This didn’t happen often but there was always the possibility.

While many were there with dates. many singles also attended. Tucker and I never went with dates. We just enjoyed dancing with the girls without dates. These girls were most often there with a parent or an older person.

My Uncle Fabon was a preacher in Tyrone. His wife, Aunt Clyde had a sister named Roxie. Miss Roxie often came to the square dance with her teenage daughter. I had not seen Aunt Clyde in many years and then only at the Brown’s family reunion. I thought Miss Roxie was Aunt Clyde for they looked very much alike. I didn’t speak to her because I didn’t think a preacher’s wife would be at a square dance. I remember going home and asking my mother if Uncle Fabon and Aunt Clyde were having marital problems. My mother frequently talked with Aunt Clyde on the phone and they got a big laugh out of my misunderstanding.

In the early 50’s, I attended North Georgia College, where a group of cadets and I formed a square dance band. We sometimes played for dances at the local Dahlonega High School gymnasium. We were sponsored by a ladies’ club that paid us a modest fee for playing. There was not much entertainment in the area and people of all ages attended. These were mostly mountain folks dressed in their everyday attire that made the dance look like something you would see in an old western movie. There was never any trouble because it was well supervised by the Dahlonega City Police.

Joan went with me to one square dance while we were dating, but after we married I put up my dancing shoes.

In the late 60’s there was a brief resurgence of square dancing in the area. Middle aged couples dressed in matching outfits, wore tap shoes and performed as a group. Gwen and Tom Powell, my aunt and her husband enjoyed this activity very much.