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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 14 Collections and/or Records:

Box 13: Legacy International, 1972-2002

 File — Box: D096.0013
Identifier: D096.05.0013
Overview This box contain materials from Legacy International, a square dancing group disbanded in about 2004. Materials are in chronological order.
Dates: 1972-2002

Box 23: United Square Dancers of America, 2000-2001

 File — Box: D096.0023
Identifier: D096.05.0023
Overview This box contains booklets, news releases, press releases, and recruiting materials from the United Square Dancers of America.
Dates: 2000-2001

Box 43: Artisea Square Dance Club, 1974-1989

 File — Box: D096.0043
Identifier: D096.05.0043
Overview This box contains administrative materials from the Artisea Square Dance Club. Items included in this box are membership forms, club rosters, guest caller forms, non-profit forms, and club minutes.
Dates: 1974-1989

Box 48: Club Documents: J-Z

 File — Box: D096.0048
Identifier: D096.05.0048
Scope and Contents From the Series: This series contains scrapbooks, directories, and club documents.
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 57: Sherwood Folk Dance Club Scrapbook, 1956

 File — Box: D096.0057
Identifier: D096.05.0057
Overview This box contains (1) scrapbook from the Sherwood Folk Dancers.
Dates: 1956

Box 61: Cloth Banners

 File — Box: D096.0061
Identifier: D096.13.0061
Overview This box contains several cloth banners for different dance troupes, including three for the Bavarian Beaumont group (or possibly Beaumont Bavarian, the banners vary), one for the Fountain Squares, one for the Hi Desert Dusters from Victorville CA, and two for the Oxbow Squares. Also included in the box is a large rectangle of cloth, likely a handkerchief, with square dancing designs and a few unidentified stains on it.
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 80: Pins, Badges, and Ribbons

 File — Box: D096.0080
Identifier: D096.13.0080
Overview This box contains a large amount of pins, badges, and ribbons from various events and square dancing groups. These include: "Dudes 'n' Darlins"; "Cypress Twirlers"; "Wheel and Whirl"; "Keystones"; "Honey Bees"; "Butterfield Backtrackers"; "El Toro Swingers"; "Tip Toppers"; "Levis and Laces"; "Desert Sidewinders"; "Crackers and Crumbs"; "Lace 'n' Leather"; "Boll Weevils"; "Merrymakers Anaheim"; and "Roll'n Hobos".
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 81: Pins, Badges, and Ribbons

 File — Box: D096.0081
Identifier: D096.13.0081
Overview This box contains pins and badges, including: several nametags for B.J. Dennis; several nametags for Cleo Dennis; a bedazzled belt buckle that says "Antique Twirlers"; nameags for Helen Peters; and a pin for the Lloyd Shaw Foundation.
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 82: Pins and Badges

 File — Box: D096.0082
Identifier: D096.13.0082
Overview This box contains pins and badges, including: "Happy Rock'rs"; "Halo Twisters"; "Eagles Squares"; "Foot 'n' Fiddlers"; "Little Daisy Squares"; "Fun Squares"; "Grasshopper Dancer"; "Hoot and Holler"; and "Freeloaders".
Dates: 1850-2007

Box 9: The Rainbow Twirlers Scrapbook, 1958-1985

 File — Box: D096.0009
Identifier: D096.05.0009
Overview This box contains a scrapbook for the California-based square dancing club, "The Rainbow Twirlers."
Dates: 1958-1985