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.

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Modern Western Square Dance: Expanding On Singing Call Choreography (Revisited)

Awhile back I put together a post about increasing variety in a night’s square dance by using singing call choreography and hoedown choreographic modules together in the same tip that match in similarity, thereby make dancing much more interesting and your overall dancing program more entertaining. You can see it below.

Related:  Building Variety In Singing Call Choreography

The primary idea is to strengthen dancer’s abilities by introducing a call or a position/formation that is not used enough throughout the typical dance program and then slot that choreographic idea a few times in a hoedown/patter and then follow that up with a singing call figure using a very similar basic choreographic rendition. This is all immediate and within the singing call portion of the tip.

I have written examples for each singing call break below that has a corresponding zero module choreographic idea. These can be used as an appealing and unique “warm-up” used in the hoedown or patter portion of the tip. Using simple zero modules that bring the dancers back in sequence allow for very quick resolution of the dancers and helps in making a successful roundabout for everyone to keep moving. Repeat the module a few times as you need to so that the dancers “get it.”

This way they are then ready for the singing call figure that utilizes the same unique idea presented in the hoedown/patter. Work this approach throughout the later tips of your evening program and you should put some effort into writing some more sequences that modulate back to a zero ending for each of the four figures and their corresponding zero modules below. These are not all perfect zeroes, but they will end in an in sequence, in order resolution of the dancers:

 

CALLING TIP! 
Ask the club president if there are any new dancers and what they would like to have reviewed in terms of calls that they could use some review and voila! you have your workshop tip set in place for all to learn from!

ZERO – 1p2p Lines:
Pass the Ocean
Spin Chain Thru
Girls Circulate
Boys Run
Bend the Line
Right & Left Thru

Heads (Sides) Promenade Halfway
Sides (Heads) Right & Left Thru
Touch a Quarter
Those Boys Run
Spin Chain Thru
Girls Circulate Once
Swing Corner & Promenade

ZERO – Box 1-4:
Swing Thru
Spin the Top
Recycle
Sweep a Quarter
Touch a Quarter
Scoot Back
Boys Run
Slide Thru

Heads (Sides) Lead Right
Swing Thru
Spin the Top
Recycle
Sweep a Quarter
Veer Left
Boys Circulate
Girls Turn Around
Swing Corner & Promenade

ZERO – Box 1-4:
Touch a Quarter
Split Circulate
Boys Run
Reverse Flutterwheel
Sweep a Quarter
Step to a Wave – Recycle

Heads (Sides) Right and Left Thru
Lead Left
Touch a Quarter
Split Circulate
Boys Run
Reverse Flutterwheel
Sweep a Quarter
Pass Thru
Trade By
Left Allemande & Promenade Home

ZERO – Box 1-4:
Right & Left Thru
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Half Tag (the Line)
Walk & Dodge
Partner Trade
Reverse Flutterwheel
Slide Thru

Heads (Sides) Touch a Quarter
Walk & Dodge
Swing Thru
Boys Run
Half Tag (the Line)
Walk & Dodge
Partner Trade
Pass the Ocean
Boys Circulate
Swing Thru
Boys Trade
Girls Turn Back & Promenade

If you do call a workshop tip within your night’s program, working in a couple of reinforcing singing call figures that apply the choreographic material that was taught is a superb approach to rounding off the workshop!

Best Regards,
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 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.

Modern Western Square Dance Calling: Focus in Mind

For a square dance caller, a deadline can be a remarkable tool for productivity. When the upcoming dance date is around the corner and the program must be fully prepared and practiced, the deadline is a stressful but effective motivator. (sometimes there are some upsides to stress). Even the most clever procrastinator can be made to respect the looming presence of a deadline date on the calendar.

As powerful as a deadline can be, it’s not always the right tool for the job. While everyone in the real world has successfully submitted to them in the past, it can be tempting to apply the old “do or die” to everything we want to accomplish. But there are times where an arbitrary deadline can actually foul a process, limit ideas, and prevent us from attaining results.

Deadlines are fantastic for tasks with known outcomes and relatively clear paths to completion. Even if those paths are occasionally diverted by obstacles and unforeseen challenges, the deadline is perfect when we know what we have to achieve.

Being on task and on schedule go hand in hand.

But when it comes to creative processes such as those used by entertainers and artists, focus and discipline can be quite different. Without clearly defined outcomes, a deadline is less meaningful. The value is not in the finishing of a thing by a certain date, but the iterative ongoing process in satiating personal productive curiosity, giving attention and making efforts in improving and honing your craft.

“Increase your business” or “Create a better style of square dance calling” can both fit into this category, especially when the specific qualities of the final outcome are not all so clear for all to see.

Keep in mind that advancing involves more than just having a goal and focusing on the deadline. Here is a highly effective method for ensuring that you’re putting in the time and effort required to develop these process-based projects.  It is the concept of the time log.

Related:  MY TIME LOG: How To Use It!

By using a study and practice regimen like MY TIME LOG (it is free, check it out), you can both track the amount of dedicated time you spend working on your overall improvement goals and you will follow a more effective program. By noting everything in your practice routine you can keep a running total of your completed efforts. Read more about it in the link above.

Track your time spent on choreography and what those goals are.

Set practice sessions with an improvement log.

Create a notebook to access when you are calling WHAT YOUR PROGRAM WILL BE and what you need to focus on.

Related:  How To Practice Efficiently

Creating Modern Square Dance Choreography

If you need to sit down and write some choreography, get serious about it and sit down and write something. Don’t login and check your email. Keep every distraction away from you that you can! Resist the temptation to read internet news articles and check in on distracting topics that are not helping you improve. Get out your square dance checkers and take an idea and see what you can come up with.

Start by taking a look at your overall choreographic program and spend a little time daily writing some ideas that work well together. Here are two ideas that you can try in a square dance workshop.

You could try springboarding off of this fresh and novel idea of using Spin the Top in some unconventional ways starting with this simple zero module. The Square Thru sets up the flow of motion for the dancer’s hands to start the Spin the Top with the right hand. Since Spin the Top is almost always called after a Swing Thru in Parallel Ocean Waves this is a bit of a curve ball for most dancers. Similarly, the Wheel & Deal takes the dancers out to a Facing Line of Four from a Tidal 2-Faced Line and this might take some good directionalization on your behalf:

Heads Square Thru
Box 1-4 (Zero or Corner Box)
Spin the Top
Boys Run
Wheel & Deal
Slide Thru

The next choreographic snippet you might consider is using Half Tag the Line with a different twist in having the Boys leading the march by facing in and starting the move. This example puts everything back to normal quickly and resolves to a Zero Box:

Box 1-4 (Zero or Corner Box)
Star Thru
Pass the Ocean
Girls Trade
Girls Run
Half Tag (the Line)
Boys Run
Right & Left Thru
Slide Thru

Related: Hey, Flo! It’s Square Dance Perfect Zero Module Madness!

Make Practice Time Effective

Using MY TIME LOG is effective in multiple ways. First, it holds you accountable to improvement. By keeping a simple record, you can visualize how much time you’re really spending in pursuit of making noticeable improvement. Second, by programming and planning your practice time, this method can give you the motivation and discipline to keep going when your motivation has lulled. Third, it keeps you focused. Fourth, it will foster enthusiasm by starting a program that can reset your  improvement over time.

The second part of the practice regimen for MY TIME LOG is to log your vocal practice time in three ways:

  1. Rotate your song repertoire – thereby expanding your catalog
  2. Add the “One Thing” – one new idea into your practice daily
  3. Review and practice songs only twice and record and aim for improvement

Think about this: The simple act of  getting realigned and focusing on stopping the unproductive time you have spent not working on improving is enough to get you going again. Another thing that tracking and logging can help you with is actually seeing more objectively how to adjust your expectations. Understanding how much time it’s taken you to get as far as you’ve gotten can be recorded, tracked and noticeable improvement can then be realized. Finally, the log of hours can manifest within you a true sense of discipline and pride in that discipline. You have evidence of your improvement journey and you can always reflect upon and be proud of that.

Related: Square Dance Calling Performance Boosters!

If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions on how square dance callers can be more productive please let me know in the comments. I will cover it in an article or two. I’m always looking for better ways to get more done. The process never really stops.

Have a great week!

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.

 

 

Square Dance Calling: How to Engage

Create a Festive and Positive Environment at the Square Dances that You Call

If you want to be well remembered and really get the square dancers at your event engaged, you need to make your square dance calling presentation fun and enjoyable. Without coming off as old-fashioned, corny and, even worse, not projecting a sense of trying too hard and appearing overly eager to please your group of dancers., being dynamic and engaging could take a little work on your behalf. And if you follow some simple guidelines, then you will do a lot better!

A good performance at a dance or event lacks getting stressed out. This leads to an end result of failing to perform all that well. Luckily, calling a great square dance is something that can be practiced and perfected. Focusing on being interesting is a great start, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun night to your square dance crowd.

Start Off Right

At the beginning of the night, you are new to the entire square dance club. There is little rapport, no trust in your ability as you have not called yet, and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the dancers that have come know you personally, the style of your calling will be a little foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the dance floor right at the beginning. The first tip is all about connecting and feeling the dancers out on their abilities and strengths in terms of choreography. You want to engage, it doesn’t matter what you particularly do, you just need to connect with everyone on a warm and personal level. Laughter, calling a fun little quip on a Flutterwheel, whatever you can do to get all of the dancers out of that initial feeling of indifference with you. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers to start a night’s dance, but generally speaking, the most successful callers utilize one of these tactics:

  • Surprise the entire dance floor
  • Provide a few simple yet unexpected square dance get outs
  • Drop a bombastic statement after squaring up the dancers
  • Say an interesting and fun anecdote
  • Tell a short joke
  • Open up with a short childhood story that has a humorous ending
  • Quote a famous person and elaborate on it from some personal experience
  • Use an interesting or inspirational bit of nostalgia
  • Mention something significant about a recent sports team or recent social event

Just remember if you use an engaging tactic that you need to keep whatever you do short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction. Strive to keep things light and consistent. Famous speakers throughout all of history have known the importance of keeping their words short and simple and in projecting well thought out sentences packed with focused meaning. To be effective, you must not meander or carry on for too long and lose the attention of the dancers. They came to dance! Allow them to do so, and on a grand scale!

Build a Choreographic Program

Ease the dancers into more involved square dance choreography by focusing on building upon modules that you can combine and then make those more involved. Important choreographic ideas need to be presented with a constant and smooth presentation throughout the night’s program. Once you’re done warming up the crowd with the initial first tip, you can ease them into important choreographic ideas that you will be presenting. This begins with tip number two. Keep the same consistent presentation style in your calling all night. You need to have a specific structure that you won’t deviate from too much at any given point. Everything will go easier if you just keep things interesting and engaging and efficiently creating an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone present is key.

Focus On Excitement

From an entertaining viewpoint, if you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there throughout the entire evening. A good game plan consists of several important singing calls that need to be performed well. This means working up a few singing calls that you are able to engage well with and perform well in terms of singing and entertaining.

Avoid Lengthy Announcements

With the club announcements there is a strong tendency to lose the audience fairly quickly, and after 3-4 minutes it certainly can become a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting or standing and listening to lengthy talk, some of the items will become watered down and the core details will leave the dancers in the audience with little information to take away from the whole announcement time. To avoid rambling, direct all dancers to the flyers displayed on the tables nearby for more complete details on upcoming dance events and let everyone get back to dancing. Truth is, if your flyer is good, then they will see it and want to attend your future dance.

Create a strong structure for your program. Start with the ice breaker, introduce basic and simple choreography concepts at the beginning, elaborate on lesser used various choreographic ideas (like some ideas from the Circulate and Tag the Line families of calls) add interesting and fresh combinations of those ideas, use those ideas in singing call choreographic figures, and leave your dancers at the end of the night with a positive and “good feeling” takeaway message. Ideally, everything you call needs to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are reading an exciting novel chapter by chapter.

Related:  Singing Call Choreography

Use Short and Effective Square Dance Modules

Sometimes you will lose the dancers somewhat in more involved choreography, calls that are used less, and more creative and different abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel everyone back in by calling some good, old-fashioned and simple, basic choreography. Incorporate a sing-along singing call that engages everyone and eases any tension that might have crept into the air from too much difficult choreography.

Make short choreographic sequences that are easier to resolve to the corner and most people are more than familiar with. By making choreography look simpler, not only will you help your dancers get a better understanding of the dance calls by enabling them to visualize the figures more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you and them.

Related:  Square Dance Choreography Methods with Dancers

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation of square dance calling, one that is both memorable and fun. It takes a lot of work and practice. And dedication.

Be sure to work on your square dance calling skills daily and feel free to call me at any time. I will be glad to 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 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.

Hey, Flo! It’s Square Dance Perfect Zero Module Madness!

Modules are choreographic sequences that can be linked together to form a larger “system,” that being the program that a modern western square dance caller creates to present more involved and complex variations of square dance calls that can be delivered by command to a set of dancers. The separate parts (figures) combine to construct a larger picture of interesting ideas that the dancers can then enjoy.

All dancers at some point desire to be a little more challenged than they had been in the past, it is only natural for people to want to try different things, however, the answer is not always more calls added to the dancing palette, but perhaps more of a change in combinations of calls that can satiate the hunger for more and different choreography for dancers. This is where modules can be implemented effectively.

Related:  Analytical Creative Choreography

The types of modules are used together to instill a uniform and dependable program of calls that the caller can rely upon to:

  1. Provide consistency in calls
  2. Provide fun interest for the entire assembly of dancers
  3. Eliminate dependency on the dancers for square resolution (sight calling)

For the caller, combining different ideas that start in a certain position, such as Facing Lines of four, and end in a Facing Line of four with everyone in the precise same position on the floor, is labeled a Perfect Zero Module. Some call this a Geographic Module. The idea is that all dancers on the floor end EXACTLY where they started. It is as if they made up a round trip route leaving and returning home on Google Maps or Mapquest. Interest for the dancers is brought about by the caller combining a set of calls that provide nice interesting choreography and eventually return the dancers to where they started.

This first Zero Module combines Walk & Dodge with Tag the Line which immediately follows. This is a nice change from the usual Partner Trade:

1p2p Lines:
Pass the Ocean
Recycle
Veer Left
Couples Circulate
Half Tag (the Line)
Walk & Dodge
Tag the Line – Leads Turn Back
Swing Thru
Boys Trade
Boys Run
Couples Circulate
Bend the Line

This second “Zero” is not really too hard for the dancers, unless they are weak on Dixie Style and Left Handed moves:

Box 1-4 (Zero or Corner Box):
Slide Thru
Right & Left Thru
Dixie Style to a Wave
Boys Trade
Left Swing Thru
Girls Run
Boys Trade
Bend the Line
Slide Thru

This third sequence offers a simple Single Hinge, a U-Turn Back for the Girls in an Ocean Wave, a Tag the Line combined with an atypical Bend the Line. I find that all Mainstream dancers struggle with Bend the Line when it is called from anything other than the normal 2-Faced Line with Boys on the end or normal Lines Facing Out. The majority of square dance callers need to use this type of positioning for the dancer’s sake. It is all about strengthening the dancer’s ability:

1p2p Lines:
Slide Thru
Touch a Quarter
Split Circulate
Single Hinge
Girls Trade
Boys Circulate & Girls U-Turn Back
Couples Circulate
Tag the Line – Face Right
Bend the Line
Star Thru
Trade By
Right & Left Thru
Swing Thru
Girls Circulate & Boys Trade
Boys Run
Couples Trade
Couples Circulate
Bend the Line

The last figure uses a Spin the Top out of a Boys Circulate & Girls Trade. Not called together this way very often, but it will turn some heads, I promise you it will. Consider using this combination for a workshop tip to acclimate dancers to move through unusual ways to Spin the Top. This combination is followed up with a Dixie Style sequence that provides a clockwise direction Girls Circulate & Boys Trade from a 2-Faced Line. Then that leads into an unconventional Bend the Line that works in flow with the Rollaway Half Sashay:

Box 1-4 (Zero or Corner Box)
Swing Thru
Girls Circulate & Boys Trade
Spin the Top
Right & Left Thru
Dixie Style to a Wave
Left Swing Thru
Girls Run
Girls Circulate & Boys Trade
Bend the Line
Rollaway Half sashay
Touch a Quarter
Boys Run

The basic premise of a module is to aid the caller to compose a strong and interesting program that will turn on interest for all dancers on the floor. Consider this, “The dancers can only be as good in ability as what you call to them.” In other words, call something that will intrigue, impress, and improve the dancers’ strengths while dancing to your vocally delivered modern square dance choreography.

Related:  Ridiculously Obvious Game-Changing Singing Call Figures

Give it some thought…

Take some time to compose some choreographic ideas…

And then program the ideas into something

powerful at your dance!

Contact me if you have a question or you would like some help in learning how to create choreography for modules. I would be glad to help!

Best Regards,

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 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

 

5 Methods You Probably Are Not Using With Your Choreographic Checkers

Original Approaches For Square Dance Choreography Checkers

Square Dance Caller Choreography CheckersAll square dance callers, whether traditional or modern, use choreography to entertain and involve all of the dancers on the dance floor. If you think about a great dance show like Dancing With The Stars, why is it so great to watch? What makes it entertaining? Well practiced and interesting dance choreography! This applies just as well to square dance.

When creating new and different square dance choreography, the canonical approach, or to be precise, conforming to already established patterns or rules needs to be “turned off.” To be more fresh and creative with your square dance caller checkers you will have to leave old set rules of authority behind and ignore the typical standard that has been followed in all square dance calling which has always conformed to an accepted rule or procedure.

Consider using some of the following original methods to reach a higher place for yourself in choreography creation:

Reverse The Path

Find the end result you want and retrace your moves until you have reverse written the start of the sequence. For instance, if you want a precise get out, then start at the end result you want the square to end on, like a Right and Left Grand, and work all of the checkers backward with calls that take you back to where you want the sequence to begin.

Make the Module March

Use your checkers to write modules. Consider the power that you can create by analyzing every possible board position that can be placed into a giant choreographic tree and when connected together, each possible move acting as a string to another board position in the square. Those positions lead to a union of original and highly creative call ideas. Conversion modules. Zero module writing. Equivalent modules. Checkers can make this happen in a huge way!

Great Get Outs

Most great square dance get outs start out using square dance checkers. Look to old ideas for inspiration if you must, but use the checkers to create better and more interesting get outs that are original in substance and choreography that helps to instill interest and excitement for the dance floor. Keep in mind that get outs do not have to be hard and complicated, and just because you use the checkers to conceive a new idea does not mean that your choreography needs to be involved and difficult. Strive for fun ideas and visualize the dancers when you put together choreographic ideas

Turn The Card

Create a list of cards with one call on each card. Then shuffle the cards, draw three from the deck and write a choreographic sequence from that. This approach just requires that you create combinations of calls that connect the three calls together in a seamless yet interesting way. Zero modules work best for this method of creating choreography, yet I recommend that you write transitional and equivalent modules as well. This is a powerful method to break old overused choreography combinations and put new creative ideas forward.

Proper Flow

Follow the rules of smooth flow when you write figures with your checkers. Essential elements such as hand usage in the combinations of calls that you will deliver need to be relatively seamless and overall body flow should be smooth and gliding. Always keep this in mind because proper styling is highly important and it will enhance the quality of your dance from a choreographic standpoint and the enjoyable level for the square dancers.

Create Effective Ideas…

There are a few different ways to resolve a sequence with checkers. Just determine which ideas are the strongest and best for what you are trying to accomplish.

It is important also to remember that checkers are simply choreographic constructs, but if you create a sequence that is in the right direction with interesting ideas and great body flow, then everyone at the dance will cast a glimmering glance that you may be powerfully brilliant!

Have a Great Day! Contact me if 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.

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.