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Preface to the Internet Edition

It's been more than 20 years since I wrote West Virginia Square Dances but in technological time it seems much longer. In 1977-78 there were no affordable personal computers or video cameras, the two tools that would have been indispensible for such a project today. Even the portable cassette recorder upon which I relied then, now seems doomed to extinction.

I'm delighted that the Country Dance and Song Society has found a way to keep this material available for the relatively small number of dancers, callers and scholars who have an interest in these dances. I have had some fun (and a few challenges) in adapting my book to this web format.

One obvious advantage of this new format is that I can now link the reader to some of my field recordings. I apologize for the audio quality. The recordings were done with an inexpensive cassette recorder from whatever PA system the band and caller provided.

I'll bet that there are still some great old time square dances going on in West Virginia - and in many other parts of the country as well. I hope others will find them and enjoy them as much as I have.

Thanks to Brad Foster and Pat MacPherson of C.D.S.S. for making this edition possible.

Bob Dalsemer
Brasstown, NC
November, 2001