Memorizing Calls & Figures For Square Dances

Methods That Will Improve a Modern Western Square Dance Caller’s Memorization Of Calls

The essence of successfully square dance calling a more involved bunch of choreography to a group of dancers often is in a memorized set of calls. By having a memorized routine you can then deliver with mental confidence and accuracy and you can even focus on your timing, directions and better enable the floor to succeed in getting through your choreography. So now the big hurtle to clear is focusing on memorizing the sequences that you want to deliver.

Visualize The Choreography Through Mental Imaging

When you want to remember a sequence, you can picture yourself dancing the calls in the square and focus on your path that you make as you move through the square as a dancer. This is a memory journey that you map out as a dancing route through the completion of the particular sequence you are memorizing. By plotting yourself a visual mental journey through the eyes of a dancer you can learn the memorization of calling sequences much more easily. This takes practice, but if you can visualize then you can draw upon that map to keep the sequence of calls in proper order. By using mental image memorization you can simply access the calls that you need when you need them.

Use Square Dance Modules

Modular calling is a method that is useful because it allows for both variety in choreography and the control of resolving the square into a recognizable “in sequence” dancing formation. By memorizing modules prior to the dance all of the dance figures and call combinations presented are given with the options that afford the caller the judgment/decision about whether to give another module or continue on with a get out to bring everything back together again.

Related:  How Square Dance Modules Work

Write Your Own Choreography

Several things happen when you write your own choreography. You must understand what the calls do, where they take the dancers in the square, and how to combine the calls in an interesting and smooth manner. This is kind of a tall order to have to fill. The upside is you can then remember what you have created much more easily than if you try to memorize and use other square dance caller’s material by rote. I find that anything that I have written myself I can much more easily recall later on at the dance because the ideas came from my own creativity. Make it easy on yourself in remembering a set of calls by creating the whole thing yourself.

Related:  Creativity With Square Dance Checkers

In The End…

Memorizing figures will enable you to add another tool to your toolbox of abilities as a square dance caller. Make it a part of your calling routine in practice and live at square dancing events. Visualization of square dance calls, writing choreography and using modules can be combined to aid you in strengthening your calling for all dances that you entertain at. If you make an effort to memorize even a little of your overall program, then you will have an arsenal that can pay off for years to come.

Have a great time calling out there! Contact me if you have a question or you need a square dance caller coach!

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 coaching 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.

Advertisements

Modular Square Dance Calling: Seven “Wasted Trip” Zero Modules

Using zero modules in square dance is a great way to plug in an interesting idea within your calling sequence and not have to worry about the success of the dancers in executing precisely what you have prompted them to do. Not that anyone would want the dancers in the squares to not succeed, but the worry of getting an inconsistent floor through some sequences and then attempting to resolve the sequence is minimized by using modules. And this is the cornerstone of modular calling, as well.

And this is why. By applying some good choreography ideas and then returning the dancers to the same location offers the options of either continuing to build upon the original idea some more or simply resolving the square at that point. All square dance callers need to make that judgment by watching the dancers on the floor and determining whether to use another zero module or a quick get-out so that everyone can regroup their squares to keep the entire floor moving together.

Below are seven zero square dance modules that are “wasted trips,” meaning they return you back to the exact precise same order within the square and to the exact location on the floor. But truthfully, they are not wasted in the movement because the best zero modules offer great square dance choreography.

As always, work on understanding the choreography. Spend time moving square dance checkers if you need to. Get a strong visualization of the mechanics of the calls. These are all Mainstream square dance sequences that start in either a Normal Facing Line (1p2p Lines) or a Normal Facing Couples Box (Box 1-4) and end in the same starting formation respectively:

Box 1-4:
Touch a Quarter
Split Circulate
Single Hinge
Girls Trade
Girls Run
Tag the Line Face Right
Bend the Line
Reverse Flutterwheel
Sweep a Quarter

1p2p Lines:
Pass the Ocean
Boys Circulate
Girls Trade
Recycle
Veer Left
Boys Circulate
Girls Trade
Bend the Line

Box 1-4:
Touch a Quarter
Scootback
Centers Trade
Centers Run
Couples Trade
Centers Trade
Tag the Line Face In
Pass Thru
Bend the Line
Pass Thru
Bend the Line
Slide Thru

1p2p Lines:
Touch a Quarter
All Eight Circulate
Single Hinge
Girls Trade
Recycle
Pass the Ocean
Girls Circulate
Girls Run
Tag the Line Face Right
Bend the Line

Box 1-4:
Square Thru 2 Hands
Partner Trade
Dixie Style to an Ocean Wave
Girls Circulate
Boys Trade
Boys Run
Couples Trade
Girls Circulate
Bend the Line
Pass Thru
U Turn Back
Pass the Ocean
Girls Trade
Recycle

1p2p Lines:
Pass the Ocean
Swing Thru
Girls Circulate
Spin the Top
Right and Left Thru
Star Thru
Veer Left
Girls Cast Three Quarters
Center Girls Trade
Boys Face In
Girls Extend
Girls U Turn Back

1p2p Lines:
Star Thru
Veer Left
Couples Circulate
Tag the Line Face Right
Boys Hinge
Center Boys Trade
Boys Cast Three Quarters
Couples Circulate
Girls Circulate
Tag the Line Face Right
Couples Circulate
Bend the Line

Feel free to call me at anytime if you have a question or you need some help!

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.