Hoedown/Pioneer Trek Music and Dance Instruction – Free Download

Mark and I have just finished recording half a dozen tunes that you can use if you want to have a hoedown, barn dance, pioneer trek dance, etc.. These are traditional tunes meant for dancing. We are also very fortunate to have had Jeanette Geslison, Mark’s wife, teach these dances. Jeanette directs the BYU Folk Dance Ensemble.

Watch the videos to learn how to teach and call the dances. Then download the music, the dance instructions, and have a hoedown!

Watch the Videos

Big Mountain Circle

Heel Toe Polka

Virginia Reel

Oh, Johnny Oh

Cumberland Squares

Oh Susanna

  • Karen


    • Lynnette Rackham

      Jeanette, Thank you for sharing your talents with us. I was asked to teach the youth of our stake square dancing for our trek. It was a short and quick calling, for I only had a week to learn and teach. I am so thankful that your video and instructions were still posted. You help ease me into something that seemed impossible. Thanks again for all of your hard work you put into sharing the videos, instructions. and music. And, a big shout out to the youth that were willing to participate in sharing there talents as well. ONWARD HO!!!!!

  • Rachel Hill

    thanks :) what a blessing, I’m very excited to be using these for a barn dance night! thankyou!

  • Gary

    Could you make the sheet music to the above available?  Especially would like a copy of the Heel Toe Polka (cotton eyed joe)  I learned to call it from your video….thanks

  • Teper

    Thanks – A BIIIIG thank you from a South African barn dancing fan :)

  • Jill

    thank you so much! We LOVE to dance like this and appreciate your efforts and for sharing. Thank you!

  • Diane

    Thank you so much for sharing these music downloads!  I can’t wait to teach them to my classes!  

  • Marinecorrea

    Thank you so much. We’re dancing it in Brazil.

    • Geoff Groberg

      You’re welcome. Brazilian barn dancing. Awesome!

  • Tamara C.

    Hey Mark and Jeanette —my folk dance friends from long ago!!!!  I can’t thank you enough for providing this amazing website!  My husband and I are ma and pa for an upcoming trek and we are also in charge of the hoedown.  This website was awesome to be able to print the dance briefs and download the music–plus video instruction!  Great job everyone and thank you again SO much!!  You guys are amazing!

  • Vanchatou

    thank you very much. I like all dances and appreciate you give music. thak you

  • Clancy Peter

    We all agree!  Nice stuff. Very kind of you, thanks !!

  • Massachusetts Dancers

    Thank You from germany – munich! Exactly we were looking for!

  • Jenny

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing this music and instruction to download! I am in Switzerland and was asked to plan an “American night” for a church youth event. I’ve done this kind of dancing before in the States but was at a loss as to how to teach them. This is absolutely perfect! I love your traditional music CD as well and will look for it on ITunes. Thanks and God Bless!

  • Alan

    On my screen there is a blackish band on the right hand side that makes reading this page difficult. I have my zoom setting higher than normal for ease of reading, so this is why it is a problem. The black band stops at the comments section.

    • Geoff Groberg

      Hmm. Which platform and browser are you using?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jill.harris.14 Jill Harris

    Just found this, have downloaded music and scripts, thank you, very much appreciated.

  • Guest

    I’m planning an hoedown this spring, and I am so excited to have these dances for it. Thank you so much!

  • Emma

    I’m planning a hoedown this spring, and I am so excited to have these dances for it. Thank you so much!!

  • Claire

    Thank you so much xxx

  • Lexi

    Thank you so much!! I love all the dances, but I cannot open it after I download the music as .mp3 file. :(

  • JC Yveline TheTwo

    after watching your video we made Virginia Reel, here is our video demonstration at a thank you cordially for music
    From France


    • http://GeoffGroberg.com/ Geoff Groberg


  • Debbie

    Thank you, thank you! We were asked to teach the Virginia Reel, which we did not know, at our upcoming Youth Conference trek. Then, three days before the trek, we find out we are in charge of the entire 1 1/2 hour dance time, music and all! Ack! With your great instructions and fun dances and FREE music, we feel like it will be fun instead of stressful. Thanks again!!

  • Penny Sloan

    I loved them all, We done the Oh Susanna last night at our Clogging practice the kids loved it. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  • London

    superb. Thank you for putting this up

  • Rebecca

    We’re having a barn dance and this is so helpful. Thanks for your generosity in sharing the music and instruction.
    From Canberra Australia

  • Lammy

    Thanks. Helped me for a school project!

  • Emilie Vigié

    Thank you very much for these ressources ! Will dance it in France !

    • Hahodi D

      cool ur from france

  • Arwen

    Thank you for this!! It’s going to be so much fun and I’m grateful that this is so easily available for our youth!

  • Kathy

    So happy to have come across this site! I just did a dance for some youth last night, but didn’t have the calls for Oh Johnny Oh on my music…my voice was giving out…so went looking for the music with calls and found this!! What a treasure! Now we will have to do it all again with some new dances to try! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Amy Nightflyer

    Thank you for making this free! I am really excited to dance to this music!

  • Erika Douglas

    Could you add the history for each of these dances/songs? We are going on trek and trying to teach the history of things as much as possible while we have fun so it’s not all just fun and games. Thanks I tried in particular to look up the history of Oh Johnny and couldn’t find anything.

  • Tom

    What you have called “Heel and Toe Polka” is also known as the Patty Cake Polka. See http://www.lloydshaw.org/Catalogue/CueSheets/Community/PattyCakePolka.htm. It’s also done to the Jenny Lind Polka from 1844, a piece of music equally contemporary with the original handcart trek era.

  • Tom

    @Erica Douglas, the history is easy enough to find. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Johnny,_Oh_Johnny,_Oh!

  • Shiloh

    This is the best thing ever! Thank you so much for doing this, I love it!;]

  • Nikki

    I’m so excited to find this site ! Exactly what we needed for our ward Ho Down here in Brisbane Australia! Thankyou for sharing.

  • Garland Smith

    This is great! I’ve been a square dance caller since the mid-70′s and I’m always glad to find new dances and new material. I mostly call Modern Western Style Square Dancing but I love the traditional dance routines for use at fun nights and for square dance parties. I have a question about your use of “top couples”. I’ve always heard it as head couples and side couples. Is the term “top couples” something that you coined? Or is this a term that’s common and prevalent in traditional dance or possibly in your area?

    Also, since you offer the music as Free Music Download, can you tell me if there are any restrictions in use of this music?

    Thank you so much for sharing. If you have any other dances or music, I’d love to hear about it.

    Garland Smith

  • Meg

    This awesome! I do folk dancing with my elementary students and am happy to find some new music. We do the heel toe polka a little differently as the “Patty-cake Polka,” but I want to try it your way when I lead an adult dance next month.

  • Faith

    Does anyone know of any other songs that would go well with the Virginia Reel? We are doing this in a play, and want another song.

  • guest

    I volunteered to teach American folk dances at our Thanksgiving community celebration. This is perfect for learning the dances and then playing the music which goes with them. Thank you so much! Let’s make folk dances a tradition for Thanksgiving and Fourth of July Independence Day.

  • Happy hippo from England

    You guys are my hero’s! We have done a couple of parties for friends and attempted barn dancing….. Your music and videos and going make our lives so much easier, and give us lots of fun. Thank you so much! X

  • HRK

    A million “thank yous” for this site. Our stake activity is saved! ;)

  • Craig

    Jeanette, You rocked as a partner 20 umm years ago, and now you saved my bacon as I have to teach YM/YW for a trek. Thanks again!

  • Nat

    This is amazing! So helpful, and especially having the music available, as I could not find the same nice-sounding versions anywhere to buy myself.
    Thanks very much!

  • Rachel Terry

    Thanks so much, Jeanette and Mark! The youth of the Lincoln Nebraska Stake love this!

  • Socoya

    I LOVE this !!!! im going to my first hoedown in Texas and I know how to do the heel toe polka. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. amazing and wonderful.

  • me1248

    Thank you. This is a great resource!

  • Peter Kingston

    We have just had a
    really successful Barn Dance party for my wife’s 80th, in spite of the fact that I had very little experience of barn dances, zero experience of calling, and actually have very little understanding of rhythm. However, I thought: I have learned an unwritten language, so I can learn how to call some Barn Dances. After much desperation, I came across your website, which really “saved my bacon” as we say in England; and after watching your videos, and downloading the music, I was confident enough to go ahead with it all. (5 dances) I can’t say everything went entirely accurately (!) but I never got totally lost, the chaos was relatively minimal and everyone had a marvellous
    time. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your skill with beginners like me!

  • Marcellus Carl Harper

    Thanks you so much for providing this! When I was small, my father was a square dance caller, and I remember him practicing at home. I never thought I’d be asked to help with a trek. You are enabling us to succeed. I’m sure our youth will love these dances – Thank you!

  • Aigul

    Thank you so much! I’d love to learn it with my students!

  • RayCee

    Thank you for making this available.

  • sergio chavez

    when i was young about 15 yrs here in Guadalajara mexico was a couple from Texas and in the institute of the consulate of USA all saturdays have a county music and polkas dance i was very happy dancing and metting a lot of friends but what i love more was the music i find ur page and great remembers com to me tank you so much

  • lisa

    thank you so much! we are going to use the Virginia reel dance in our group!

  • Martha

    THANKYOU! This is so helpful! Wow! We used your dances for a Pioneer Trek and now for a youth temple trip to Nauvoo! I just love that you share how to teach these dances, how to call them, and even the music! Ya’ll are awesome!

  • Barrie McCombs

    Thank you! This is a great resource, with excellent teaching. I am a fiddler and square dance caller in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. About three years ago, I had the pleasure of calling a barn dance for a local Pioneer Trek.

  • Sam Alva

    Thanks Mark and Geoff! I just used your music to teach some happy people down here in South Florida! You guys are the best!