Modern Western Square Dance: The One Hour Singing Call Challenge!

Modern Western square dance calling evolved from the basic roots of  the original style of traditional square dance . The levels of dancing were established in a need to standardize the calls used and to provide an established amount of choreography for callers to use in an evening of dancing.

So using the lists that were established years ago, take the square dance singing call one hour challenge! Set an alarm or timer for an hour’s time and get a couple of pieces of paper and get ready to write. Get out your lists of standardized square dance calls and use your choreography checkers for this exercise.

Now write as many ORIGINAL square dance singing call figures you can in that set hour.

Now this is the caveat. You have to try hard to come up with original ideas, not ones that you have learned from other sources and callers.

This will take some concentration and some creative ideas to land upon some good figures. Having a passion for the choreography side of dancing that goes back to when I was quite young and new in my education in square dance calling, I developed this singing call challenge idea while I was watching television with my parents and the program was not holding my attention.

So I started writing singing call figures in my head during the show and jotted them down on sticky notes. I came up with eighteen new sequences in just an hour’s time. And these were good solid figures that were original and unique in one way or another.

So see how you do. If you would like to share any of your ideas from your challenge session, send them to me and I will publish them here for everyone to use.

The following is a nice pair of simple and basic Mainstream square dance calls that incorporate Boys Circulate Girls Trade from 2-faced lines. Both sequences move all the dancers around the square quite a lot. The first figure is an unpredictable break I have set to lead to a unique “get out” with the Lead Right for the Swing Corner and the second one is a little simpler and is a lot of fun for dancing:


Calls that create interaction and allow the dancers to respond back to the caller are a needed part of your dance. Make sure that you get the dance floor to sing with you or say something out loud!

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Lead Right Veer Left
Boys Circulate Girls Trade
Ferris Wheel
Centers Sweep a Quarter & Back Away
The Others Lead Right
Swing Corner & Promenade Home


Heads (Sides) Lead Right
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Boys Circulate  Girls Trade
Bend the Line
Pass Thru
Partner Trade
Boys Walk Girls Dodge
Swing Corner & Promenade Home


The Singing Call Challenge is a great booster to add to the list of Methods to Advance Your Square Dance Calling Ability

Good luck to you when you give this a try. It is a good mental workout and nets some great choreography that you can use for always! Put the new singing call breaks on recipe cards and on your computer for future use. And of course, practice and memorize some of these, too!

Shaun Werkele




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.