Delaware County Tractor Square Dancers
It all started in August of 1993. When Ed Moore, who loved to square dance, heard that there were people who actually square dance using tractors, he decided he wanted to try it himself.
A group of eight people from Delaware County, Ohio was recruited. They got together at Ed's farm one Sunday and started by walking through some dances that they thought might work. Then they hopped up on the tractors to try it, and it did work!
In the beginning, there was no music or caller- they used hand signals. Shortly, the group found a caller and the first performance took place at the Delaware County Fair in September of 1993.
Since then, the Delaware County Tractor Square Dancers have been hauling their eight tractors on two semis, performing at a variety of fairs, antique tractor shows, farm festivals, and other shows and festivals all over the state of Ohio and the surrounding states. The performances typically last around 30 to 40 minutes and the group sometimes does as many as three performances a day.
The Delaware County Tractor Square Dancers are made up of eight people, men and women, dancing as couples, and a caller. They use vintage 1950's John Deere and Farmall tractors that are "dressed" in pants for the men, and skirts for the women. They promenade, allemande, and swing their three ton tractors in fourth gear with their wheels within inches of each other. They put on quite a show, whirling and spinning with such energy and enthusiasm that spectators comment that they're dizzy and wore out just from watching!
In 2005 the dancers were asked to perform their square dance on eight John Deere zero-turn mowers at one festival, and in 2006 they performed at a tractor show driving only International tractors. At another tractor show in 2007 and 2008, they traveled five hours and danced on borrowed tractors.
The most popular question the group is asked is how often they practice. The answer to that one is, they did get together about six times before dancing their first show, but they haven't practiced much since. When they want to try out a new dance, or need to refresh their memories on one they haven't done in a while, they "walk" through the steps before a performance, then simply climb up on their tractors and the show goes on!