Singing Calls: Making Minor Changes…

Modern western square dance callers will all make mistakes at their dances!….and dancers will make them too! Both calling and dancing can be challenging and amazingly hard at times due to the unexpected choreography of the caller. Throw in a collection of square dancers that have a varied range of abilities and everything can become jumbled… difficult for the dancers to complete all of the choreography and even harder for the caller to keep everyone moving, but the great thing about square dancing is recovering from those occasional mistakes is often part of the fun. In fact, making mistakes is proof that everyone is trying and learning!

When calling, a discrete judgment needs to be made about various square dance movements and how much the dance floor can handle as far as difficulty is concerned. Mistakes are OK, but if the dancers falter too much, the “dancing lesson” becomes almost miserable, and you have become the “funinator” and respect for you as a caller will become diminished. Since we are all very human in nature, we, as dancers, might simply blame the caller in our mistakes. And momentum and energy can be lost due to squares breaking down on the dance floor.

This is a very thin line to walk for a caller, providing great overall interest in the choreography that is presented while at the same time keeping everyone smiling and happy and dancing.

Singing calls, however, do not always permit the dancers much time to recover from involved choreography. Generally, basic and more simplistic choreography in singing call figures are the better ones to use in your square dance calling program. As a caller, you can encourage proficient dancing by offering different twists in your patter part of the hoedown and then follow that up with a themed quad of sequences in the singing call figures. What I am saying is you can improve your program with a stronger formula for calling and dancing success by working on new ideas first, in the hoedown part of the tip, and then following that up with those same choreographic ideas, or perhaps similar ones that are on the simpler side of things in the singing call figures.

Here are four figures that provide minor changes on the overused and cliched “Heads Promenade Halfway…Square Thru Four Hands” that will offer both strengthening dancer ability and some good variety in choreography at the same time:

 

CALLING TIP! Focus on using many different square dance calls throughout the entire night. This will make the interest high so that the dancers cannot anticipate what is next!

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Walk in Square Thru 4 Hands
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Ferris Wheel
Square Thru 3 Hands
Swing Corner & Promenade

 

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Walk in Square Thru 4 Hands
Swing Thru & Girls Turn Around
Wheel & Deal
DoSaDo
Pass Thru
Trade By
Swing Corner & Promenade

 

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Walk in Square Thru 4 Hands
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Ferris Wheel
Centers Touch a Quarter
Box Circulate
Box Circulate
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

 

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Walk in Square Thru 3 Hands
Separate & Walk Around 2
Eight & Back
Bend the Line
Touch a Quarter
Boys Run Right
Swing Corner & Promenade

 

The last sequence poses the most difficulty and it has a Bend the Line with Facing Lines that are Half Sashayed. This could be a little more difficult as this is not called very often in this choreographic position.

Give these a try in your evening’s dance and let the dancers learn a little and enjoy a lot!

Best Wishes,

Shaun Werkele

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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2 thoughts on “Singing Calls: Making Minor Changes…

  1. Pingback: Square Dance Callers: Analytical Creative Choreography | Square Dance Caller Shaun Werkele August Records

  2. Pingback: Modern Western Square Dance: Building Choreography On Singing Call Figures | Square Dance Caller Shaun Werkele August Records

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