CallerLab

Henry Ford


 

History & Heritage


 

Home Page


 



Lloyd & Dorothy Shaw








 

Dr. Shaw taught biology, Shakespeare and Colorado history. Endowed with a rich, baritone voice he read Dicken's Christmas Carol each December; made his play The Littlest Wiseman the school's gift to the community; introduced thousands to the rhythms of western Square Dancing; directed drama productions with gust; lectured on a wide variety of subjects in a style which would make Churchill proud; and explained classical music and opera with the abandon of Luciano Pavarotti.


 

Dr. Shaw served as superintendent of the Broadmoor District's Cheyenne Mountain School on the outskirts of Colorado Springs for 35 years.

There he developed a unique sports program that provided active participation for the major part of the student body.

He developed a championship football team but later barred the sport from the school's curriculum, feeling the competitiveness, acclaim, and ensuing publicity was unhealthy for the school.

He then started a program of outdoor activities in which all the students could participate that included hiking, skiing, outdoor camping, and, for a while, horsemanship (which he discontinued because he felt it would launch students into rodeo).

He also initiated a program of dramatics and folk dancing.

In 1913,
upon their graduation from Colorado College, Lloyd Shaw married
Dorothy Stott.


 

Dr. Lloyd 'Pappy' Shaw:
Educator, scholar, writer, square-dance caller, athlete, naturalist, playwright.

He emerged as an educator with imaginative ideas combined with a bursting love of life.

He considered his role as school principal to be that of a principle teacher.


 










 

His vast knowledge in the field brought Pappy to Hollywood as the special dance director for "Duel in the Sun," starring Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotton, and Lionel Barrymore.


 

Dr. Shaw had been working on the theory that the Greeks were right about dancing being an essential part of the education of the child.

Having started with international folk dancing under the tutelage of Elizabeth Burchenal, he was more than ready for the American dance.

But he recognized that the Henry Ford book, 'Good Morning', supplied only half of this dance.

'The other half' lay almost under his own nose in the little towns and farm communities of his own West.




 





 

'The other half' was not easy to dig out.

Dr. Shaw, ardently pursued his hobby of American square and round dancing, continued searching out, preserving, and revitalizing the dance form.

Callers could only remember their calls when they stood up in front of the dancers with the music behind them.

Dancers worked almost like puppets satisfied with a thin repertory. Tempos were deadly slow and everyone was a little suspicious of a city slicker who came to the dance with a notebook in his hand.

Nevertheless, people did help - leads opened up - and pilgrims on the same quest opened their files and their hearts to each other.

Lloyd found that there was a large amount of material among the cowboys of the West. Bit by bit, he uncovered and documented the "American folk dance" of the West.

One of the most notable contributions he found came from Herb Greggerson of El Paso, Texas, who took a fanatic's delight in dancing and putting down on paper the wonderful Texas dances, so true to their Country sources.

In 1939 Lloyd Shaw published
"Cowboy Dances", a big book that filled in Henry Ford's gaps, containing a thorough discussion of the square dance as it was done from the Missouri River Valley to the Sierras, and from North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico.

His knowledge and research earned him recognition as the "Dean of American Square Dancing."

His research into round dancing brought about his publishing the "Round Dance Book" in 1947.

In 1949, the American Academy of Physical Education made one of its rare citations "to the Lloyd Shaw Folk Dance Program" as a noteworthy contribution to physical education.


 

Lloyd Shaw
was an innovative educator whose dedication to American folk dance saved an important part of our country’s cultural heritage.





























 

For years, Lloyd Shaw conducted summer classes, where he taught teachers how to present the "whole" American folk dance.
 

He conducted week-long summer institutes in Colorado Springs, which became the main training center for leaders and callers all over the nation.


He trained teams of dancers and took them around the country exhibiting and teaching.

Other such institutes sprang up all over the country. The square dance began to pull into focus, as it never had before.

Once more, and all over the country, thousands, and then millions, of people were square dancing.















 






 

 His first out-of-state trip with his wife and their teen-age dance team, the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, happened in 1937, when he visited Scripps College in Claremont, California.  The group then traveled to the National Folk Dance Festival in Washington, D.C., in 1939. Following this trip, they made two trips annually, except during the war years. The dancers appeared in more than 50 major cities of the United States.




 


Dorothy was always there behind the scenes, supervising the making and care of the costumes, acting as guide and counselor to the young folks, and looking after the hundred-and-one little details that relieved Pappy of many worries.







 



Dr. Lloyd 'Pappy' Shaw
1890 - 1958









 








 

"We can crowd the six-lane highways of the dance, doing nothing but the newest and the fastest and the most all-alike, and think it is wonderful,” he wrote to class members on January 5, 1957.

“Or we can seek out the by-ways too - the old, the unusual, the unchanged, the lovely, the dearly-loved and long-forgotten - in the tradition and with the love of generations of travelers before us.

Keep it simple, I pray you!  Keep it rich with eternal fun!  Keep your hearts forever sensitive to the past, alive in the present, and the future will be yours with all its blessings."