Plug-In Picasso: Square Dance Calling More Creatively

Learning to Square Dance Call on an Effective Creative Plateau

Before you begin a square dance calling practice session, write down how you intend to establish a basic program for the dance  that you are going to call in the near future. Choose your intentions with some good thought ahead of time. Make this element (or more than one) and let it guide you and it will establish your theme or your square dance program itinerary. Will your program be dominated by up-tempo music? Challenging choreography? Perhaps a little of both?

Also ahead of time, decide how you are going to handle injecting variety in your night’s program, using the same set of practice tools that you normally follow.

Will you contrast modern with traditional music? Workshop a few new angles on an old over-used “traffic pattern?” Will you instill fun that breaks the ice for everyone present so that they have a wonderful time?

These thought provoking elements are at the heart of creativity for a square dance caller (yes, these should be the kind of things you are considering in preparation), so during the process of creating, make sure that you are on a simple track of accomplishing your intentions. It’s simple. Just try to be aware of how your inspired ideas interact with one another. To NOT get a little creative will NOT advance your abilities or the dancers’ as well.

Related:  Panoramic Aspects of Square Dance Calling

When I first learned to call, two words had a huge effect on me when I was a young teen. Creative choreography. Once I learned about the power of creating ideas that moved people around then everything started to meld together in terms of understanding the mechanics of calling and seeing the many choreographic possibilities. And, although the square dance activity has changed some, getting creative with choreography has not really changed much at all.

Here is a great creative Get-Out idea that you can work on spring boarding and get you creating a choreographic idea or two:

Box 1-4 (Zero Box)

Step to an Ocean Wave-Girls Trade
Single Hinge
Scoot Back
Split Circulate
Walk & Dodge
Boys Fold
Touch a Quarter
Boys Cast Left 3/4
Girls Turn Around
Boys “Reverse” Extend
Left Allemande

Hope you will give that idea a try. The Left Allemande at the end helps to pull the dancers out of a kind of tricky spot quickly and then you can build on the novelty ideas of “Reverse ” Extend with other sequence ideas. Or just use it as a cool and different Get-Out!

Related:  Seven Square Dance Calling Get-Outs

Here is another simple Singing Call Figure for you to give a whirl:

Heads (Sides) Square Thru 4 Hands
Right & Left Thru
Touch a Quarter
Split Circulate
Boys Run
Reverse Flutterwheel
Square Thru 3 Hands
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

Getting creative entails one thing that you need to step back and take a look at in your own calling. Do you come up with ORIGINAL ideas some of the time, at least? If all you ever do is borrow ideas then you are not tapping into your creative side. Use your square dance choreography checkers and see what you can come up with.

One of the best ways to spawn a creative idea is to get inspired by one idea and then take it further, and that can be the fractionalization of a square dance call such as a Right & Left Thru with a Courtesy Turn a Quarter More (a simple idea that does not get used often enough). Choreographic ideas can stem from the inspiration of another caller.

Take their ideas and carry the torch a little further!

You will be glad you did. For your own growth as a caller and for the improvement of the dancers.

 

Best Regards,

Call me at anytime you might have a question, I will be glad to help in any way that I can!

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.

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Square Dance Callers: Mainstream Singing Call Figures

As a modern western square dance caller there is absolutely no excuse for you not to expand your knowledge, master a new skill, or focus on boosting the entertaining value of your dance program. Remember that improving your skills that you have is one of the best ways to make yourself both marketable from a monetary standpoint and your square dancing content strong from a creative standpoint. If you learn one new piece of choreography every day, you will overcome by 99% over your square dance calling competition who will most likely not do the same.

Here are three new singing call figures in the Mainstream level:

CALLING TIP! Always be prepared to change or adapt your dance program. Choreography and music should be something you can alter or change for the needs of the dancers.

Heads (Sides) Lead Right Circle to a Line
Pass Thru
Wheel & Deal
Double Pass Thru
First Couple Go Left Next Couple Go Right
Square Thru 4 Hands
Swing Corner & Promenade

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Lead Right Veer Left
Bend the Line
Touch a Quarter
Circulate Once
Boys Run
Swing Thru
Boys Trade
Swing Corner & Promenade

Head (Side) Ladies Chain
Sides (Heads} Lead Right
Circle To A Line
Pass Thru
Wheel & Deal
Zoom
Double Pass Thru
Leaders Trade
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

Change things up in your evening’s dance and let everyone enjoy!

Best,

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 instruction 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.

Square Dance Callers: Best Singing Call Figures that Snapadoo!

Square dance callers should all snapadoo at their dances! There is no true official formal definition for this word, but the slang meaning is that everyone is in agreement and they all verbally say so! So this needs to be done with excitement and enthusiasm and it is up to you as the square dance caller to initiate this action on the dance floor.

One of the best ways that you can put the snapadoo into the dance floor is to have the square dancers repeat something that joins them in unison with excitement and enthusiasm! The first Mainstream level singing call figure offered here is the most fun to use at a dance for this reason. The most engaging way to accomplish this is to have the dancers say “Allright” or “Hotdog” or some other silly thing all at the same time right after you call a square dance move. For example, call to the dancers Flutterwheel and say “all right!” And they will say it with intense approval! Aaah the magic of snapadoo!

So for a bit of a change, try having everyone say “Snapadoo” together and they will have fun and laugh and they will have a great time. And so will you:

CALLING TIP! Being prepared to call is serious work, but remember to relax and have fun while you are calling at the dance. This is your time to enjoy and let the dancers enjoy the event!

Heads (Sides) Square Thru
Do Sa Do
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Bend The Line
Right and Left Thru
Flutterwheel and everyone say “Snapadoo”
Slide Thru
Swing Corner & Promenade

Heads (Sides) Square Thru
Right & Left Thru
Swing Thru & Girls Turn Around
Bend The Line
Flutterwheel and everyone say “Snapadoo”
Slide Thru
Swing Corner & Promenade

And one without the snapadoo:

Heads Promenade Halfway
Touch a Quarter
Boys Run Right
Right & Left Thru
Veer Left
Ferris Wheel
Centers Pass Thru
Square Thru 3 Hands
Trade By
Swing Corner & Promenade Home

Snapadoo can be very powerful and fun. Give it a try in your evening’s dance and let the  dancers enjoy!

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.