Caught in a routine of square dance calling the same old sequences of calls or combinations of calls in your program for your dances? Being stuck in a rut is hard to overcome. If you think about it, a rut is a deep crevice that has been worn by overuse. It can be very difficult to jump out of a rut and make it back onto a more productive path for yourself as a square dance caller and this can apply to the dancers, as well!
The best way to break out of it and reach a better place where it will be possible to make progress – in providing more variety and interest – is to take a good look at what you call all the time. There are choreographic sequences that many DANCERS know what is going to be called next, and some dancers anticipate to the point that they stop listening to your calls because they have your modern western square dance calling boring routine down stone dead cold.
Now that is a deep rut indeed!
Overused combinations of calls will always lead the square dance activity down the same old path with the same old rut! Anticipation! Uninteresting and worn out sequences and combinations of calls. Dancer boredom!
Bring it to an end now.
This is the proposed challenge that I present to you as the entertaining caller that you strive to be: the five minute choreographic challenge!
Below are 25 square dance calls that have always turned into a broken record when followed up with the most anticipated sequences that have shown to be…RUTS! Although it may be a little difficult to change all calls, you can change some of the classic and highly anticipated combinations of square dance choreography. But you will have to do a couple of things to allow for dancer success on the floor.
One thing for sure is you will have to allow for a little recovery time if some of the dancers have anticipated the normal expected calls or newer dancers who never were taught very many choreographic possibilities for the calls. Another thing is you may have to occasionally use some key words to prompt the square dancers to get through any new combinations of calls than what they are used to doing. A little known secret that I will share with you is when you use directional key words between unusual combinations of calls this will both give the dancers directional help in addition to supplying the dance floor a little more time to execute the dance moves you present.
I highly recommend that you use your square dance choreographic checkers on some of the more involved calls. Additionally, spend a minute or two thinking about body flow and what you would follow up the new combinations with. Shoot for five new ideas for every call on this list in twenty five minutes time. Then spend some more time writing out full choreographic module figures that work with your dance program to complete your focus on each call for your challenge. Make this your choreography study project a part of your practice routine.
This is a great booster whether you want to add creative and original sequences to your sets of square dance modules, or add to your arsenal of ideas that you have as a mental image list, or even ideas to incorporate into your sight calling:
- Veer Left
- Walk Around the Left Hand Lady
- Tag the Line
- Swing Thru
- Square Thru
- Couples Circulate
- Touch a Quarter (from a facing couples box)
- Spin the Top
- Reverse Flutterwheel
- Walk & Dodge
- Wheel & Deal
- Pass Thru (from facing lines)
- Pass Thru (from a facing couples box)
- Lead Right
- Spin Chain Thru
- Scoot Back
- Double Pass Thru
- Ferris Wheel
- Half Tag the Line
- Pass the Ocean
- (Put) Centers In
- Touch a Quarter (from facing lines)
- Right and Left Grand
This will be an effective mental challenge for you and you will get some new choreography that will break your own bad habits of the “same old same old”…and some dancers can break their habits of anticipating and everyone will enjoy the dancing a lot more!
Related: One Hour Singing Call Challenge
Write these on recipe cards or store them on your computer for easy use. Let the challenge begin! And good luck!
Call if you are interested in attending my three hour training session for beginning square dance callers in Westminster, CO on May 21. See the flyer on this link for more information:
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 coaching 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.