5 heads while playing just to prove their complete mastery of the instrument. The callers more usually glib fellows of likeable personality and strong of lung. The best callers were ones who could improvise [new?] figures or movements for the dancers, though in a pinch almost any young dance [follower?] of the neighborhood could be drafted into service and do a very creditable job of calling. There were a number of standard dance popular in the '80s and '90s - the schottische, the minuet, the polka, the Virginia reel and others, but the most popular by far was the quadrille. The quadrille had almost as many variations as there were callers to call them and couples to dance them, and new calls constantly filtered in from other localities. They all followed, however, a fairly regular pattern. The quadrille usually consisted of five figures, movements, or changes, executed by four couples, each couple occupying one side of a square, giving rise to the name by which this dance was commonly called, “the square dance”. Four couples comprised a set. There were as many sets on the floor simultaneously as the size of the floor would accommodate and each set followed the commands of the caller in unison. Here, I believe, is where the expressions, “our set,” “he doesn't belong to our set,” and similar folk terms originated.
Let us watch the dance for a moment. The couples mingle, moving back and forth in response to the directions of the caller. The movements, for the most part, require no gentlemen to come in closer proximity to a lady dancer than to hold her hand momentarily as they bow, turn, and [promenade?]. Should it become necessary in the dance for a man to place his hand at a lady's waist, he would find her so completely [corseted?] with whalebone and [steel?], and so cumbersomely swathed in clothing, that any sensual stimulation resulting from the contact must have been purely psychological.