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Lloyd Shaw Foundation



The Lloyd Shaw Foundation was formed in 1964 in memory of square dance pioneer Lloyd Shaw to continue his mission of teaching American folk dance to people of all generations. Dorothy Shaw became a highly significant figure in the square dance world herself, lecturing widely, helping to start the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, and serving as Executive Secretary until 1979. Lloyd and Dorothy’s daughter Doli married Donald Jenkins Obee, who served as President of the Foundation from 1965 until 1979; their daughter, Enid Cocke, has served as President since August of 1979. The Lloyd Shaw Foundation was voted into existence in August of 1964, following the yearly Lloyd Shaw Summer Fellowship held at the home of Dorothy Stott Shaw in Colorado Springs, CO. It was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs, and the original membership consisted of 46 dance leaders from across the United States and Canada; by 1966 there were over 140 members. The Foundation is still incorporated in the state of Colorado, but its headquarters address moved to Manhattan, Kansas in 1979. The stated purpose of the organization is to, “Recall, restore, and teach the folk rhythms of the American people.” Implicit in the mission is the additional goal of doing so in a manner consistent with the educational and dance philosophies of Lloyd Shaw. The first President of the Foundation was Don Armstrong, who served from 1964-1965; he stepped down under the conviction that a member of Lloyd Shaw’s family should serve as president. Donald Jenkins Obee, Shaw’s son-in-law, served as president from 1965 until 1979, and was followed in this position by his daughter Enid Cocke, 1979 to present. Dorothy Stott Shaw, Lloyd Shaw’s wife, served as Executive Secretary from 1964 until 1979. Although the Foundation originally drew its membership from the Lloyd Shaw Summer Fellowship attendees, and conducted its annual meeting after the close of each Fellowship until 1978, the two were never officially affiliated. The Lloyd Shaw Foundation has had significant relationships with a number of other organizations, including the United Square Dancers of America, Legacy, and CALLERLAB, The Country Dance and Song Society, the New England Square Dance Foundation, and international music distributors. In 1986 the Library of Congress named the Archives Division as a clearing house for square dance materials, and in 1987 the Archives helped form the National Dance Archives Coordinating Committee. The Lloyd Shaw Foundation’s primary functions and activities are educational; although it focuses on square and contra dancing, many other dance traditions are represented in its programs. Under the Foundation’s auspices, college credit-granting workshops were conducted at Colorado State University from 1965 until the mid-1970s, and at other universities and colleges as well; workshops and teacher training courses continue to be held around the country and internationally, and the Foundation and its members have consistently conducted presentations and dances at the request of numerous organizations. The Foundation has actively produced and revised targeted dance education kits to assist teachers in dance education since 1966, including resources designed specifically for grades from kindergarten through high school as well as special education students. Other activities have included sponsoring and running dance camps, particularly the Rocky Mountain Dance Roundup in Colorado, Cumberland Gap in Kentucky, and Terpsichore’s Holiday in West Virginia; providing scholarships for members and groups to attend various dance camps around the country and to travel internationally; and providing research and historical services through the Lloyd Shaw Dance Library and the Archives Division. The Foundation has also acted as a publisher for musical recordings and dance books, and publishes its own journal. Since 1967, members of the Board of Directors have served for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms, with descendants and relatives of Lloyd Shaw being exempt from the term limits. From 1976 until 2004, the Archives Division existed as an independent entity within the Lloyd Shaw Foundation administrative structure, overseen by its director and the Executive Directors. The Foundation maintained an office for its mailing operations in Lakewood, CO from 1972 until they were moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1988, where they shared facilities with the Archives Division. The Archives Division was disbanded after its materials were donated to the University of Denver in 2003. In 1972 the Lloyd Shaw Foundation Dance Archives was started by Mary D Walsh. At the time, it consisted of a single 8mm film of E.S. “Red“ Henderson calling for his Spokane, Washington-based performance group, the Silver Spurs. In August of 1976 the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted to create an official Archives Division; Dr. Litchman was appointed Director, under the direction of the Executive Committee. By December the Archives was offering photocopies, research services, and a tape recording service; the organizational newsletter, the “Long Shadow,” actively solicited donations of both money and materials. In 1978 the Board of Directors voted to provide an operating budget and funds for acquisitions. Prior to and even after the formation of the Archives researchers had access to the Lloyd Shaw Dance Library, which consisted of Lloyd Shaw’s personal collection, at the home of Dorothy Shaw in Colorado Springs, CO. Some of these resources were later incorporated into the Archives, but many remained in the possession of the family. The Archives was housed at Dr. Litchman’s home in Albuquerque, NM until 1982. In 1982 it was shifted into a renovated chicken coop, and moved again in 1988 to a local dance studio purchased by the Foundation. Dr. Litchman began negotiations to permanently move the Lloyd Shaw Foundation Dance Archives to the University of Denver in 2002, and the transition was completed in 2003.

Found in 136 Collections and/or Records:

Box 92: Memorabilia

 File — Box: D096.0092
Identifier: D096.13.0092
Abstract Box 92 contains two (2) painted wooden blocks showing dancing couples; a glass-fronted plaque presented to Doc and Kris Litchman who founded the Wagon Wheels square dancing group; a framed pressed leather decoration that says "Joy" and "Love" with dancing figures in the middle made by Frank Zahrtman; five (5) plastic license-plate-esque decorations from various Chicago-area square dancing groups; a plaque with a silver spur in it, given to Lloyd Shaw for his contributions to square dancing;...
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 93: Plaques

 File — Box: D096.0093
Identifier: D096.03.0093

This box contains two (2) plaques. The first one is a listing of recipients of the Lloyd Shaw Scholarship. The second is a thank you plaque to Dr. Shaw from The Rocky Mountain Empire Square Dance Festival 1955.

Dates: 1950-1998

Box 94: Pins and Ribbons

 File — Box: D096.0094
Identifier: D096.13.0094

This box contains pins and ribbons, including: "Dancing Bears", "Wheels Chains Walnut", "Disneyland's Country Spectacular", "Whittier Tanglefeet", "Snow Bunny", "Corn Huskers", and "Grin-N-Square It Spaghetti Stomp".

Dates: 1850-2007

Box 95: Memorabilia

 File — Box: D096.0095
Identifier: D096.13.0095
Abstract This box contains four (4) cassette tapes, mostly of square dance music; one (1) large piece of fabric covered in square dancing pins; a copy of the Joint Resolution signed by Ronald Reagan designating Square Dancing as the National Folk Dance for 1982-1983; a small blue glass ashtray from the 13th National Square Dance Convention; a small wooden Member plaque for the Western Square Dance Association; several small flags; one (1) black and gold fabric flag that says "Happy Squares"; and one...
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 96: Rose Bowl Parade Floats Artist Renderings

 File — Box: D096.0096
Identifier: D096.07.0096
Abstract This box contains five (5) large artist renderings of Rose Bowl Parade float proposals. The first is pink and has the title "Square thru the Roses". The second is green with a banner that says "Victory Dance" and a title of "After the Game". The third is blue with an outdoor scene painted on it, with the title "A Family Outing". The fourth is blue with a large cowboy on it and the title "Bonanza". The fifth is blue with a large white fan and the title "An International Language". All have...
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 97: Club Directories: A-O

 File — Box: D096.0097
Identifier: D096.05.0097
Abstract This box contains directories from square dance clubs across the country, arranged alphabetically. Associations/clubs include: Allegany Valley Square Dance Federation, Associated Square Dancers of Arizona, Birmingham Square Dance Association, Callers and Cuers to Unite Service, Canadian Dancers News, Central District Square Dance Association (Oklahoma), Central Puget Sound Council, Chicago Area Caller's Association, Cleveland Area Callers Association, Country Dance and Song Society, Eastern...
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 98: Don Armstrong Callerlab Award

 File — Box: D096.0098
Identifier: D096.03.0098

This box contains one (1) Callerlab Milestone Award presented to Don Armstrong.

Dates: 1950-1998

Box 99: Posters

 File — Box: D096.0099
Identifier: D096.13.0099

This box contains two (2) posters from the 45th Annual Holiday Parade in Uptown Whittier, 1998. It also contains two (2) posters from the 30th National Square Dance Convention.

Dates: 1850-2007

Box 104: Lloyd Shaw National Square Dance Convention Trophy Base, 1954

 File — Box: D096.0104
Identifier: D096.03.0104

This box contains the base of a very large trophy. The top half of the trophy is located in another box (these two pieces can be easily screwed back together for any display purposes). The base of the trophy has an inscription: "National Square Dance Convention April 8-10, 1954 Dallas, Texas".

Dates: 1954

Box 105: Lloyd Shaw National Square Dance Convention Trophy Top, 1954

 File — Box: D096.0105
Identifier: D096.03.0105

This box contains the top half of the trophy from Box 104. This trophy top is also engraved "To Lloyd 'Pappy' Shaw, 'The Dean of Square Dancing', in appreciation of the greatest contribution of all, his teachings in literature which is destined to perpetuate Square Dancing in America". The trophy top is very top-heavy, so caution is advised when handling it.

Dates: 1954