America loves tradition. And traditions like square dancing, like most things American, came from somewhere else. Although it's an amalgamation of various folk dances brought to the United States by immigrants, the square dance has come to represent something uniquely American.
In the 1920s, auto tycoon Henry Ford became obsessed with preserving and re-popularizing the square dance. While vacationing at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Mass., he met Benjamin Lovett, the inn's dance instructor. When Lovett declined Ford's job offers due to his contract with the inn, Ford purchased the entire resort. When Ford got Lovett back to Detroit, he began a program in Michigan schools to institute square dancing and other country dances into the curriculum. In addition, Ford and Lovett published a small reference guide for square dancing titled Good Morning.
You don't have to be an eccentric multi-millionaire to experience the joy of square dancing, but you do have to be at the Linen Building the first Friday of the month for the Hokum Hoedown. The Hokum Hi-Flyers will provide an array of high-energy folk, dance and string-band tunes. But don't worry if you've never square danced before--a host of lively callers direct the action, so you'll never miss a step.[ Video is no longer available. ]