Shuffle your feet. Put your weight on the ball of
your foot, lift your heel off the floor and take
short, smooth gliding steps. Lifting your entire
foot tires you more rapidly and breaks the dance
a dancer, not a walker! Listen to the music, pick
out the beat and take a shuffle step with each
beat of music. Walking a call instead of dancing
a call does not look good, throws your timing
off, affects the timing of the entire square, and
results in an uncomfortable dance feeling.
Stand erect and tall with your shoulders back and
knees slightly bent. BE A PROUD DANCER. Do not
lean forward when dancing - this does not look
good and will tire a person quickly. Keep a loose
relaxed feeling and enjoy the music and calls.
SQUARES - Keep your squares
tight, do not spread out. When dancers form large
squares they will be slow in executing the calls.
The reason is, they are forcing themselves to
cover much more ground. When the squares are
small, you have ample time to do the calls
THE CALLER - No matter what
the Caller calls, DO IT!!! Often dancers will
stop if the Caller tells them to do something and
they do not know why he told them to do it. This
results in a needless breakdown of the square.
Dont worry about the why - do
as the Caller says. It is the Callers
responsibility to guide you through a call.
RUSH A CALL - Dont rush
through the calls! Sometimes dancers seem worried
they will not make it through a call and they
rush, push and jerk. This disturbs others, can
hurt a person and many times causes the square to
break down. Just relax, move to the beat of the
music and enjoy the call.
THE DEFINITION - In learning a
call, try to understand the definition of the
call rather than just memorizing a position. If
you understand the definition, you will be able
to do the call from any position. Be sure you
have your own personal dictionary of square dance
terms and use it.
THE CALLER - After a call is
taught and if you are not sure of the correct
definition, ask the Caller to explain it again
without using the terms "boys" and
RESISTANCE - Any time you use
your arm to execute a call (e.g.. Allemande Left,
Star Thru, Swing Thru, Touch ¼, Turn Thru,
etc.), offer resistance with the arm you are
using, stiffening it slightly. This smoothes out
the move and enables you to exercise control of
the call. DO NOT have limp spaghetti arms. This
causes you to lose your positioning and result in
the square executing the command incorrectly
and/or breaking down.
man is always responsible for guiding the ladies
to start a call correctly. Men should always be
gentle with the ladies when holding their hands,
turning them or guiding them in the proper
direction. Be firm, BUT NOT ROUGH! Too much show
of strength on the part of the man can be painful
to the ladies. MEN, always make an effort to be
gentle (the ladies do not care how strong you
HANDS - At the completion
of any call, you should immediately join hands
with the dancer or dancers standing next to you.
This helps you to see the formation you are in
(e.g., Lines, Waves, etc.) and aids you in doing
the next call. Hands should always be joined
within one-half second after the completion of
any call. Failure to join hands often results in
sloppy lines or waves, confusion on where you
are, which in turn, causes the square to break
YOUR POSITION - Always be aware
of the position you are in before you start a
call and right after you complete the execution
of a call (e.g., are you an end, center, couple,
boy, girl, etc.). This aids you in performing the
next call correctly.
Ladies, hold your skirt in your free hand about
waist high and use a very slightly rhythmical
flourish to move the skirt in front and back.
Your right hand moves with your left foot, and
your left hand moves with your right foot.
ON THE FLOOR - Please DO NOT
talk while the Caller is explaining something to
the dancers. You may not need help but others may
and you dont help the Caller or the square
by distracting people. If a Caller is walking the
dancers through a call, DO NOT get ahead of the
Callers prompting even if you know what is
going on. It is not smart! It is inconsiderate of
your fellow dancers who want to learn what is
being taught. If you deprive your fellow dancers
of a good understanding of the call and they
break down later, you will be standing right
along with them.
TO OTHER CALLERS - Dance to as many
different Callers as you can. This is one of the
best ways to sharpen your dancing skills. Your
Caller may advise you against going to a
particular dance because the level of material
will be too high for you. This is all right and
you should follow the advice. However, if your
Caller advises against visiting ANY clubs or ANY
dances, then do not follow this advice.