Revised June 1, 1996

Copyright 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1995, 1996, Bill Davis, John Sybalsky and CALLERLAB. Permission to reprint, republish, and create derivative works without royalty is hereby granted, provided that this notice appears and that all information contained herein is retained in any derivation or publication.

Read this First

This set of definitions is an attempt to capture the real meaning for each call on the Advanced list. It is intended to serve as the referee for disputes about exactly what a call means, and as a basis for teaching the calls properly. Whenever the technical definition of a call is too long or complicated to do a first teach from, we have provided a teaching definition or teaching hints. This way, the definitions can meet both sets of needs. Naturally, dancers should be introduced to the full definition of each call as soon as your judgement dictates.

Before you use these definitions, you should be familiar with the CALLERLAB Basic/Mainstream definitions, the CALLERLAB Plus definitions, the CALLERLAB arrangement numbers, and the CALLERLAB standard formations and names. Where possible, we have used calls and formations defined in those documents. This has let us make the definitions shorter and clearer.

Regional Styling Differences

CALLERLAB recommends that calls such as Swing Thru and Spin the Top be danced using the hands-up position and the palm star handhold. Many areas of the square dance world continue to use forearm turns for all turning actions. In order to eliminate the controversy over the use of forearm turns, the CALLERLAB membership approved a 1992 resolution recognizing that regional differences in styling exists.

General Rules

All of the General rules which apply to the Mainstream and Plus definitions also apply at Advanced.

Facing Dancers: Facing dancers, unless otherwise specified, may be any combination of men and women.

Couples: Couples, unless otherwise specified, may be any combination of men and women.

Facing Couples Rule: Some calls that normally start from an ocean wave can also be done from facing couples. In that case, the dancers first step into a momentary right-hand ocean wave and complete the call - unless the caller specifically directs a left-hand call (e.g., Left Swing Thru), in which case the dancers step into a momentary left-hand ocean wave and complete the call. This rule may also apply when calls that require parallel waves are called with the dancers in an eight chain thru formation.

The Facing Couples rule applies only to the Advanced calls Fractional Tops and Spin the Windmill.

Ocean Wave Rule: Some calls that normally start from facing couples can be done from a wave. In that case, the dancers have already stepped forward toward each other and are ready to complete the remaining action of the call. This rule also applies when calls that start from a single Eight Chain Thru formation (e.g., Pass and Roll) are called from a right-hand Box Circulate formation.

The Ocean Wave Rule applies only to these Advanced calls; the required handedness of the wave is shown for each call: Cross Trail Thru [W], Half Breed Thru [W], Pass and Roll [W], Pass and Roll Your Neighbor [W], Pass In [W], Pass Out [W], Pass the Sea [W], Split Square Thru [W], Split Square Chain Thru [W], Square Chain Thru [W], Left Square Chain Thru [LW].

Right-Shoulder Rule: Whenever two dancers are moving toward each other and would otherwise collide, they pass right shoulders instead. If two dancers facing opposite directions must occupy the same spot on the floor at the same time, they step to form a right-hand mini-wave instead. You may not have two dancers who are facing the same direction, or at right angles, try to occupy the same spot.

Split versus Box: There are two versions of many calls: Split Circulate and Box Circulate; Split Transfer and Box Transfer; Split Counter Rotate and Box Counter Rotate. The Split version of a call is used when an 8-dancer formation is to be split into groups of 4 to do the call. Box is used when:

there is only a single box circulate formation which can do the call (e.g., the center 4 of parallel two-faced lines doing a Box Transfer), --or--

when the center 4 dancers are to do the call (e.g., from parallel waves, Centers Box Transfer while the ends Zig Zag).

It is not good practice to simply call "Box Circulate" from columns or parallel waves. Instead, use it to distinguish between Centers Box Circulate (they stay in the center) and Centers Split Circulate (they stay in their own half of the square). Either way, you must tell the centers to do the call.

How We Name Dancers

For purposes of the definitions, we often had to identify specific dancers--say, the ends of a wave. There are a lot of ways to name people, and we tried to use the ones that are common at Advanced. For reference, we've listed them here:

#1, #2, #3, #4: The dancers in a column are sometimes identified by number. The very lead dancer is called #1; the one behind him is #2, and so on. For example, here's how the dancers below would be named:

Points and Centers: In diamonds and hourglasses, there are points and centers. The points in the diagrams below are marked "P" and the centers are marked "C":

Box, Wave, and Diamond Dancers: In parallel diamonds, hourglasses, and galaxies, you can identify dancers by what part of the formation they're in. In parallel diamonds there is a wave inside a box of dancers; in an hourglass there is a diamond inside a box; in a galaxy there is a box inside a diamond.

In the diagrams below, Wave Dancers are marked "W", Diamond Dancers are marked "D", and Box Dancers are marked "B":

Centers and Ends: All line-type and column-type formations have ends and centers. The dancers who are nearest the center of the formation are centers, and the others are ends--regardless of their facing direction. In the diagram below, the centers are marked "C" and the ends are marked "E".

Adjacent: Two dancers are said to be adjacent if they are close to each other, with no intervening space or other dancers. This is true regardless of the dancers' facing directions. In the diamond and hourglass diagrams below, the dancers marked A are all adjacent to each other; the others aren't adjacent to anyone. In the box diagram, dancers "B" and "C" are both adjacent to dancer "A", but not to each other.

Leads (or Leaders) and Trailers: In any 1x2 formation (e.g., facing dancers, a tandem, dancers back-to-back), those facing out of the 1x2 formation are called leaders, and those facing into the 1x2 formation are called trailers. A dancer who has one shoulder directly toward the center of the 1x2 formation is neither. In the pictures below, the dancers marked "L" are leaders, and the dancers marked "T" are trailers. Those not marked are neither.

Centers and Outsides: Those dancers who are close to the center of the formation are centers; the others are outsides. In lines and columns, end and outside are the same; in the other formations below, the centers are marked with "C" and the outsides with "O".

Very Centers: The two dancers closest to the flagpole center of the set are called the very centers or the very center two. This term is only used when exactly two people are closest to the center. They are marked with V's in the pictures below:

Starting Formations

Each call's definition includes a list of possible starting formations for that call. Since there's no way to list every formation a call can start from, we don't mean to restrict you to those formations. However, this isn't a license to shoehorn a definition into an oddball formation. Following the guidelines below will lead you to other legitimate starting formations; anything else should be avoided.

The formations listed are usually the smallest from which the call can be done. Larger formations may be made of these smaller units. For example, Switch to a Diamond is defined to start from a single ocean wave, so it can also be done from parallel waves [ending in parallel diamonds], or from a tidal wave [ending in point-to-point diamonds].

Where they apply, you can use the General rules (Facing Couples, Ocean Wave) to find other starting formations. For instance, Pass and Roll can start from a right-hand box circulate formation even though that formation doesn't appear in the definition's list: The Ocean Wave rule applies.

If the word "only" appears in the list, then only the formations listed may be used. You may not apply the Facing Couples or Ocean Wave rules. One call like this is Recycle--the facing-couples definition is not applicable from an ocean wave.

If the way you plan to use a call requires that two conflicting rules apply, your usage is improper. For example, using the call Cast a Shadow from lines back to back causes a conflict for the ends -- they are both leads, and each must meet the other with his inside hand. At the same time, the right-shoulder rule applies. Because of this conflict, that use of Cast a Shadow is improper.

If the formation you call the call from, can be broken into two different starting formations for the call, you have to specify which you mean. For example, the call Dixie Style to a Wave can start either from facing couples or from facing tandems. If it is called when the dancers are in a double pass thru formation, they don't know which formation to start the call from--it could be done either way. In cases like this, you must tell the dancers which one you want: either "Centers Dixie Style to a Wave", or "On the double track, Dixie Style to a Wave".

Glossary of Descriptive Terms Used in the Definitions

For convenience, we've used some terms which haven't been formally defined before. Again, we've tried to use terms which are common at Advanced. This is a list:

Face In: Means "Turn in place, turning toward the center of the set."

Face Out: Means "Turn in place, turning away from the center of the set."

Line: Unless otherwise specified, the term line means any kind of 4-dancer line -- one-faced, two-faced, three-and-one, inverted, etc.

Touch: This is the same as saying step to an ocean wave: The dancers step forward to join right hands, making a right-hand mini-wave.

Left Touch: This is the same as Touch, except the dancers step forward to join left hands--making a left-hand mini-wave.

Left Pass Thru: This is the same as the Mainstream call Pass Thru, except the dancers pass left shoulders.

Touch , : Fractions other than are allowed with Touch. For example, the call "Touch " is the same as "Touch and Trade." In the same way, "Touch " is "Touch and Cast Off :"

Cast Off , : Fractions other than are allowed with Cast Off. The rule is the same as for Cast Off , but the dancers move or instead of going the full .

When the Formation Isn't There

Sometimes the definitions call for a dancer to do "his part of" some call--even when the formation he's working in exists only in the mind's eye. For example, in the call Switch to a Diamond, the ends of the wave Diamond Circulate even though there's no diamond. Similarly, in Flip the Hourglass, the points Run as though they were in parallel lines. The cases we used are shown below; in each diagram, the corresponding positions in the corresponding formations are labeled alike. Unlabeled dancers have no corresponding places.

The ends of parallel lines or waves may act like the points of an hourglass. Similarly, the points of an hourglass may act as though they were the ends of parallel lines:

The points of a diamond may act like the ends of a line, or vice versa. The centers of a diamond may act like the centers of a line, or vice versa:

The very center two in any formation may act like the centers of an hourglass, and vice versa. Any outsides who are on a center line may act as the other centers of an hourglass, and vice versa:

A wave between vertical mini-waves may be treated as a thar:

How Mainstream Calls Are Extended at Advanced

Several calls are used in limited ways at Basic, Mainstream and Plus; at Advanced, they are used from more places, or are defined more Generally.

Extend: At Advanced, this call is allowed from double pass thru, tag, box circulate, or tag: All move forward to the next tag position, as shown below:


If you are in a left-handed formation, the result is also left-handed:

Tag the Line: The Mainstream definition is unclear on whether this call is permitted from an ocean wave. At Advanced, it is.

Hinge: At Advanced, Hinge is permitted starting from a couple, ending in a right-hand mini-wave. This is often called, Partner Hinge.

Doing your part: At Advanced, the caller can have dancers do their part of a call--even when the complete starting formation isn't there. The caller doesn't have to say "do your part" -- it can be implied.

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