Thursday, January 4, 2018

I have decided to use a mailing list rather than this blog to discuss square dancing issues. If you send an email to the following email address I will add you to the list.

Here is a sample posting

Here is a sequence diagram that shows a formation where men arrive home ahead of the women after a Right and Left Grand. The men are usually requested to slow down or the women speed up. It also shows a formation where the men and women arrive home at the same time which is by far the more common situation   sequence diagram.

I have summarized all the blog entries for 2017 at I will update the information there whenever I experience new calls.

I will occasionally transcribe square dancing CDs. The transcriptions can be found here

I will create sequence diagrams for most singing calls that I dance. See singing calls.

And here is a picture album of notable dances


  1. There was some confusion last night about a sequence called by Tom Manning in the EA class. We were in a double-box formation; that is, two sets of facing couples, with the center couples back-to-back with each other, end couples facing in. (Maybe it's called a pass-thru formation.) Anyway, the sequence as I remember it was: pass through, right-pull-by, go two hands. After that I believe men were supposed to swing into an allemand thar arrangement. Anyway, he called this three times in a row, and our square screwed it up all three times!! In my mind, the confusion came from the "go two hands" instruction. I had been on the end, passing in, and was reaching out with my left for a lady coming at me, but she had already turned in some other direction. The question in my mind is, does the pass-thru count as the first hand? I think Tom could have simplifed the call by stepping us thru: pass thru, stop, right pull by, stop, etc. Of course, I could have this totally wrong. Does anyone else recall the sequence? Did anyone get it right?

  2. Here are some calls I consider "dirty pool" from recent dances.
    o Load the boat from a tidal wave. (Must be quick to realize if you are a center)
    o Left spin the top from facing couples. (Why can't this be broken this into two: step to left hand wave, then spin the top. Seems this call is purposely intended to mess you up!!)
    o From facing lines, everyone do the center part of load the boat. The confusing part is which way to turn to face "out". Tom explained this meant turning your back on the center line. But in this case there are actually two center lines, corresponding to two facing couples. Got that? This call was consistently screwed up in our square, even though Tom stepped us thru several times.
    o Spin chain and exchange the gears, but stop when you have parallel lines, and do a coordinate. The problem isn't so much with the call, but that in our square, people weren't pausing at the parallel lines. Certain individuals were rushing into the coordinate, which didn't allow the rest of us (that is me) to get our bearings. With coordinate you have to look ahead (or behind) to see who you're taking hands with. When folks are running to the final position, it throws off the others who aren't so quick. That little pause in the column circulate formation is crucial to making coordinate work.
    o From a tidal wave: explode and relay the deucy!!! Need I say more?
    o Follow your neighbor three times in a row. (Johnny Preston taught this, but I missed the instruction, and even trying to work through it in my head, I'm confused!)
    o Fractional calls: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 of whatever ... it's fine when they are stepped thru, but trying to figure them out on the fly, as your dancing, can be disastrous. I still haven't totally grasped scoot back 1 1/2. Or, for that matter, swing thru 1 1/4.