darren krause/metro calgary


Lorraine Lounseberry, Glenbow Museum’s senior curator of cultural history.

Gotta soft spot for square-dancing history? Let the Glenbow Museum soothe your yearning for a little taste of western heritage with a square-dancing collection now being stored in their library and archives.

Square-dancing books, music, training manuals and even a wide array of costumes and accessories from the past 55 years are available for viewing — though not on permanent display — to the public, free of charge. Anyone interested is asked to make an appointment to go back in time to the glory days of do-si-dos and the “four leaf clover.”

“(Square dancing) came into Calgary in the late 1940s and early 1950s and just took off like wildfire,” said Jennifer Hamblin, Glenbow Museum Archives, adding that Calgary was the birthplace of square dancing in Canada.

In 1952, the first square-dance jamboree was held at the Stampede Corral — hosting 1,000 dancers and a crowd of 7,000.

By the end of the 1950s there were over 25 square dancing clubs in Calgary. Today, Hamblin estimates 12 clubs are operating in the city.

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