Copyright 1994 by CALLERLAB, The International Association of Square Dance Callers. Permission to reprint, republish, and create derivative works without royalty is hereby granted, provided this notice appears.

(1) STARTING FORMATIONS

Starting formations are listed for each of the defined calls. The smallest basic formation has been listed. Multiples of this formation may be possible. For example, the minimum number of dancers required to dosado is two. It is possible, however, to have four dancers in a line facing four dancers in an opposite line ready for a dosado. In this case, there are four multiples of the basic formation.

(2) FACING DANCERS

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

(3) COUPLES

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

(4) PASSING RULE

Whenever two dancers are walking toward each other and are about to collide, they pass right shoulders and continue.

(5) SAME POSITION RULE

Whenever two dancers are walking toward each other and are required to occupy the same position, they join right hands in a mini wave sharing that position.

(6) FACING COUPLES RULE

Some calls, which normally start from ocean waves, can also be done when dancers are in facing couples (e.g. swing thru, spin the top, fan the top, etc.). In this case, the dancers first step into a momentary right ocean wave and complete the call unless the caller specifically directs a left-hand call (e.g. left swing thru, etc.) in which case the dancers step into a momentary left ocean wave and complete the call. Exceptions to this rule are listed in the body of the definitions.

This rule also applies when calls which require two parallel ocean waves (e.g. spin chain thru) are called with the dancers in an eight chain thru formation.

(7) OCEAN WAVE RULE

Some calls which normally start from facing couples can be done when dancers are in ocean waves (e.g. right and left thru, box the gnat, square thru, slide thru, pass to the center, etc.). In this case, the dancers have already stepped forward toward the facing dancer and are ready to complete the remaining action of the directed call. For the sake of dancer comprehension and teaching purposes, it may be necessary to initially have the dancers back up into facing couples, then step back into the wave and complete the call.

This rule also applies when calls which normally start from two facing dancers (e.g., turn thru) are called from a mini wave.

DEFINITION OF STYLING TERMS

Arms in Natural Dance Position: Arms should be held slightly bent in comfortable position in anticipation of the next movement.

Dance Step: Should be a smooth, effortless gliding step in which the ball of the foot touches and slides across the surface of the floor before the heel is gently dropped to floor. The length of stride should be fairly short with the movement coming mostly from knees down. Dance step must be coordinated with the beat of the music. In General terms, short gliding steps which utilize both ball and heel of the foot make a comfortable dance step.

DANCING HAND POSITIONS

Couple Handhold: Inside hands joined. Men should always hold palms up, ladies palms down. In the event of a same sex couple, the left-hand dancer turns palm up, right-hand dancer turns palm down. Arms should be bent with hands held slightly higher than the elbow. Forearms are adjacent and can be held close together in locked-in position for wheel around type movement.

Forearm: The arms are held past the wrist but not past the elbow joint. Each dancer places the hand on the inside of the arm of the person with whom he is to work. The fingers and thumb are held in close. The center of the turn will be at the joined arms, so, while turning, each dancer is moving equally around the other.

Handshake Hold: Use a comfortable handshake with hands reached and touched at about average waist height. Thumb should overlap the back of the opposite dancer's hand. It is important in right and left grand to release hands when passing. Do NOT stretch or lean over to reach the next hand.

Loose Handhold: Hands revolve around each other maintaining contact and a certain degree of security or stabilization. Slight pressure is all that is required.

Hands Up: Hands are joined in crossed palm position; i.e. opposing dancers place palms together with finger pointing up, then tilt hand out slightly which will result in a crossed palm position. Thumbs are gently closed on the back of the opposing dancer's hand. As the turning action starts, wrists are straightened.

Box Star/Packsaddle: Four men with palms down take the wrist of the man ahead and link up to form a box.

Palm Star: Place all hands together with fingers pointing up and thumbs closed gently over the back of the adjacent dancer's hand to provide a degree of stabilization. Arms should be bent slightly so that the height of the handgrip will be at an average eye level.

Posture: Dancers should stand erect and tall, shoulders back. Often tall people have a tendency to stoop, but should not.

Pull By: The action brings two people toward each other. Hands should be dropped before bodies cross a common plane.

Skirt Work: Ladies hold skirt in free hand about waist high using very slight rhythmical flourish to move skirt in front and back, right hand moving with left foot, left hand moving with right foot.

Promenade Ending Twirl: Man raises his right hand holding the lady's right hand loosely as she twirls clockwise underneath, ending in a squared up couples position.

STYLING FOR BASIC SQUARE DANCE CALLS

BOW (HONORS)

To Your Partner:

Men: Turn slightly to face your partner making eye contact. Place left hand behind back or at left hip, palm out. Place right foot in front of left foot. The right foot should be pointed toward the lady with the toe touching the floor. man's right hand holds lady's left hand. Both legs are straight, with weight on the back foot.

Ladies: Turn slightly to face your partner making eye contact. Left foot should be pointed forward with toe touching floor, right foot in back. Right hand holds skirt toward center of square, right arm bent at elbow. Place left hand in partner's right hand. Both legs are straight with weight on back foot. [An acceptable traditional variation of styling is that the men bow slightly from the waist as the ladies acknowledge with a curtsy.]

To Your Corner:

Men: Right hand holding partner's left hand, turn slightly to face corner, making eye contact. Place left hand behind back or at left hip, palm out. Place left foot in front of right foot. The left foot should be pointed toward corner with toe touching floor. Both legs are straight with weight on the back foot.

Ladies: Left hand in partner's right hand, turn slightly to face corner making eye contact. Place right foot in front of left foot with the right foot pointed toward corner and the toe touching floor. Both legs are straight with weight on back foot. An acceptable traditional variation of styling is that the men bow slightly from the waist as the ladies acknowledge with a curtsy.

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