Square Dance Calling: Chasing Down PLUS Level Singing Call Figures

As square dance callers, I feel that it is our obligation to create different square dance sequences that keep everything  interesting. This is a dynamic that many callers take for granted. Moving the dancers through different combinations so that they do not know what to expect a good amount of the time is the best way to ensure that you are calling a great dance . Now this is different choreography, not necessarily hard in terms of positioning or difficulty of calls. So strive to call more interesting singing call figures and more fun will follow for dancing and the people dancing will thank you! Always incorporate different choreography in your hoedown portion of the tip to ensure dancing success on the execution of that same different choreography in the singing call.

Here is a nice pair of Plus singing call figures that you can use that both implement a Chase Right followed up with a Cast by the Right Three Quarters or the Single Hinge. These sequences deviate from the norm, however, they are not extremely hard. Just different! I like using Cast Three Quarters and Single Hinges in Ocean Waves, it moves people around quickly and re-aligns the line/wave formations in squares quickly. I have included in parenthesis some directional commands to aid the dancing of these two sets of calls.

Enjoy!

CALLING TIP! Your basic goal as a caller is to cue your dancers through the various figures and floor patterns smoothly and rhythmically, particularly if the choreography is challenging and unique!

Heads (Sides) Square Thru 4 Sides Rollaway
Swing Thru
Boys Run Right
Pass Thru
Chase Right (when you meet this Girl)
Cast Right Three Quarters
Split Circulate
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

Heads (Sides) Square Thru 4 Sides Rollaway
Swing Thru
Boys Run Right
Pass Thru
Chase Right (when you meet this Girl)
Single Hinge
Scootback
Walk & Dodge
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

Again, as always, you need to use the foregoing singing call figures in your patter calling portion of the dancing tip to guarantee great success for the dancers. Part of learning to call is integrating your choreography into your entire square dance tip that you call. As you become more experienced, you will develop the facility to program choreography, or at least those ideas centered around your calls, in order to meet the needs of your dance group.

Modern Western square dancing at the very basic level can integrate seamlessly with your corporate function, party, wedding, or community event. Shaun Werkele calls all levels of square dancing from the basic 10-20 calls through the Challenge (C-1) level of dance. Shaun can travel locally to your area outside of the Colorado region to call for your group.

Contact Shaun Werkele today to make square dancing a major part of your event planning process and see how easy and fun a square dance party can be!

303-250-4735

 

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller education training and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.

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The Essential List of Modern Western Square Dance Songs! (So Far)

Below is an essential list of modern square dance hoedowns and modern western style singing call recordings that are the most popular in today’s square dance music. The selections are currently called at local square dances and at festivals and even the National Square Dance Convention dances, and these are currently performed by callers worldwide.  Some of these music selections have square dance choreography that were much more simpler during the earlier years of the modern square dance craze, and as years progressed, with the establishment of standardized lists and the formation of various national organizations created an equal environment nationally that set the bar for modern square dance.

With the creation of the Advanced and Challenge levels of dance, choreography became more involved and all callers added their personal choreography touches to many of the singing call breaks and this is one of the characteristics that differ from the the traditional style of square dance. The choreography that was written and performed by the square dance caller on the flip side set became married to that particular song.

Today, however, more calls are used by callers within the song and some may change the choreography throughout the entire piece. This is a departure from the early days of modern western square dance.

New releases will continue to add to the great essential list of most popular square dance music. What is listed here is a compilation of classic and highly accessible and usable music for a caller to reference as “great square dance music” and for performing in a square dance club setting.

One thing is for certain, over the years, square dancing has become more sophisticated and modern !

 

Essential Modern Western Hoedown Square Dance for Patter Calls:

Excelerator Special Chaparral 103
D. X. Land High Hat 650
Alpine Hoedown TNT 184
Jailhouse Jump ESP 429
Hot ‘n Sassy Rhythm 303
Take One Chaparral 101
Rock Island Ride Red Boot 233
Sugarfoot Rag Grenn 12201
BLT Hoedown ESP 428
Picker Patter Ranch House 103
Golden Eagle Grand March Chaparral 110
Boogie Hoedown Royal 426
Stay A Little Longer Kalox 1178
Cindy Blue Star 2009

 

Essential Modern Western Square Dance Singing Calls:

Beautiful Noise Cross Country 509
Small World (Grand Weave the World) Wild West 42
Amarillo By Morning Rhythm 147
Tulsa Time Chaparral 305
Some Broken Hearts Never Mend Rhythm 115
Square Dance Is On Lou Mac 142
Gentle On My Mind Wagon Wheel 113
Jackson Kalox 1079
Hello Mary Lou Chaparral 3513
My Beautiful Day Royal 246
Pink Cadillac Red Boot 3017
Oh Lonesome Me Rhythm 183
Sittin’ On Top Of The World Chinook 72
Mack The Knife Grenn 12135
It’s A Sin To Tell a Lie Blue Star 1992
Summer Sounds MacGregor 2051

 

 

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller training, education, and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.

The Essential List of Traditional Square Dance Songs

The following is an essential list of traditional hoedown and singing call selections that represent the most popular old time square dance music. These were frequently performed dances, and some of the figures used by callers were the same on a national basis, however, some were called and executed by the dancers differently regionally, as well. Also, it is important to note that the simpler figures used such as “Split the Ring” and “Duck for the Oyster” were danced pretty much the same everywhere in the traditional manner. The more advanced dances varied from area to area and local callers added their personal touches to many of the figures that were used in the traditional style of square dance. The choreography was set and married to the particular songs.

The two types of square dance calls used today are patter calls and singing calls. Over the years the singing calls, which were adapted from the patter calling commands, or choreography that is delivered, have evolved a lot throughout the past 50 years, and because of our changing culture, will always continue to change. Perhaps the reason why singing call music has maintained it’s popularity in modern western square dance over the years is because of this constant change that keeps pace with our modern music enjoyed by everyone today.

Although traditional square dance music was danced to live musicians in a square dance band, some of these recordings were used extensively as modern western square dance became more and more popular.

Essential Traditional Hoedown Square Dance for Patter Calls:

Little Brown Jug Worldtone 10023
Devil’s Dream Wagon Wheel 124
Rubber Dolly Blue Star 1767
Old Joe Clark Folkraft 1071
Mississippi Sawyer Folkraft 1334
Chinese Breakdown Sets in Order 2123
Stay a Little Longer Chaparral 109
River Boat Run Kalox 1275
Turkey in the Straw Worldtone 10023
Jim Jam Sets in Order 2147
Dance All Night Kalox 1277
Whiffletree Top 25068
Buffalo Gals Folkraft 1145
Boil Them Cabbage Down Folkraft 3301

 

Essential Traditional Square Dance Singing Calls:

Red River Valley Folkraft 1269
Darling Nellie Grey Square Dance Music SJB-6A
Comin’ Round the Mountain Windsor 4115
Pop Goes the Weasel Folkraft 1329
Pistol Packin’ Mama Old Timer 1103
Oh Susannah Folkraft 1186
Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight Windsor 4115
Merry Go Round of Love Wagon Wheel 131
May the Circle Be Unbroken Grenn 12137
King of the Road Wagon Wheel 922
Easy on My Mind Wagon Wheel 133
Manana Mac Gregor 1017

 

 

 

 

Mission Statement: The purpose of this post is to create a greater visibility of the square dance activity for future dance population growth on a national and local level. The information provided here serves as a source for square dance caller training, education, and perspectives on dance. Future articles will be developed to improve the programs of square dancing and how those learning to square dance call can help contribute to the preservation of both modern western square dancing and traditional square dancing and to aid in the growth of the square dance activity.