Caller Training Materials

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2019-12-15

Newer callers or people wondering what might be involved in learning to call are interested in what kind of educational material might be available. This article summarizes available caller training materials. The KnowledgeBase has many articles that are aimed at providing technical information to callers. The distinction between them and the materials listed here is that this article deals with items particularly aimed at people in the early stages of learning to call.

In the table below you can click on the title to view the material described (in most cases)

Title Description
So You Want To Be a Caller?

Struggling Up The Cliff
The first paper is by Paul Cote, who is a verteran caller, explains what is really involved in learning to call from the vantage point of 27 years experience. The second paper by Tom Gray is a report from a newer caller on what he is encountering as he is learning to call.
List of Schools If the papers above haven’t deterred you, here’s a current list of caller schools taught by CALLERLAB members.
Starter Kit for Newer Callers This 3-ring binder of materials was created by the CALLERLAB Caller Training Committee to start new callers on their way. Some caller schools provide it as part of their handout materials, or you can order it from the CALLERLAB Home Office for $25.
Scholarship Information The CALLERLAB Foundation provides funds for scholarships to caller schools. You can get information on how to apply on the linked page.
Mentoring Handbook This handbook was written by the CALLERLAB Caller Training Committee to help callers who are mentoring a protoge. However, the information it contains is extremely helpful to newer callers who don’t have access to a mentor in their area.
How To Call This handbook was written by Jim Mayo in 1966 but remains relevant today. The basic principles have not changed!
Modules Modules represent a great entry point into understanding choreography and how dance sequences are constructed. This article points to a long list of materials on the subject.
Sight and Module Resolution Systems This reference document, created by the CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee contains a wealth of information on resolving squares. It can seem overwhelming to beginners, but the introductory chapters contain valuable insights into fundamentals and an introduction to relevant terminology.
Tim Marriner Resource Pages The late Tim Marriner left a library of educational material available online. It contains many papers and handouts on topics relevant to a beginner caller.
Taminations Taminations is an online tool that allows you to view the official definitions of calls along with an animated display of the call action.
ceder.net The ceder.net website contains a huge repository of square dance information in a searchable form.
musicforcallers.com The CALLERLAB Square Dance Music Producers Committee has provided this website to aggregate their collective music offerings. It includes most of the currently active music producers. It provides a generalized search facility across labels and provides a listing of the most recent releases.
Online Teaching Resource The CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource provides a huge amount of information on the calls comprising the entry level programs: definitions, teaching tips, sample modules, standard applications, and much more.
CALLERLAB Program Documents Each CALLERLAB program has a number of documents associated with it: call lists, definitions, teaching checklists, standard applications, etc. This article collects them all together.
Books The KnowledgeBase points to a number of published books available for purchase, many of which are aimed at newer callers. The link shows a list of those articles.
Computer Aids The KnowledgeBase points to a number of computer programs designed to assist callers in tasks such as writing choreography, managing and playing music, and using computer numbers.

Yak Stack Speaker Hook Up Chart

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Scott Bennett (info@yak-stack.com)

2019-08-27

PDF of Hookup Chart

This chart is provided by Scott Bennett who markets Yak Stack speakers. It shows the proper way to hook up speakers to an amplifier to ensure loading is proper. For Hilton equipment the load should be 4 ohms or greater.


Yak Stack Speakers

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Scott Bennett (info@yak-stack.com)

Website

Yak Stack is a venerable name in square dance speaker equipment. It was recently acquired by Scott Bennett who has put out a modernized version with an even better sound.


Using SqView to Play and Manage Music

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Riggs (bob@SquareDanceEtc.com)

2019-04-15

Presentation Handout

SqView is a very popular computer program specifically designed to play and manage square dance music. Bob Rigg’s presentation at CALLERLAB 2019 contains invaluable guidance on how to use the program and organize your music for most effective use.


SqView On Windows

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com)

2019-04-21

SqView on Windows Document

This 35-page document is a handout by Barry Johnson at an SqView session at CALLERLAB in Richmond, VA in 2019. It takes you through the basics of installing and using the SqView music management program under Windows. The topics include:

  • Download and Installation
  • Backup
  • Options
  • Music Organization
  • Playing Music
  • Displaying Lyrics, Cuesheets, and Choreography
  • Typical Errors
  • Advanced Topics


Calling For Modern Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Jim Mayo (jmayo329@aol.com)

“1966”

Caller Text

This 79-page caller text was written in 1966 by Jim Mayo, a square dance calling icon and a founding father of CALLERLAB. Despite its original publication date, this is not a historical document. Most of the information and guidance provided is still applicable today. Even the section on Equipment, which you might imagine would be quite archaic after more than 50 years, offers valuable information to help you select appropriate equipment. This document is an invaluable reference for both new and experienced callers. The table of contents is shown below:

Chapter Page
Introduction 1
1. The Music and The Call 2
2. Choreography 11
3. Timing 34
4. Programming 41
5. Teaching 49
6. Equipment 57
7. Square Dance Club Administration 65


Behind The Mike Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Barry Wonson (bjwonson@gmail.com)

Behind The Mike Newsletter Archive

Behind The Mike is a newsletter for callers and cuers published out of Australia by Barry Wonson. It typically contains lots of material on choreography, music, teaching and other topics of value to callers and cuers.

The Table of Contents entries for past BTM editions have been gathered together in a separate article to facilitate searching for specific topics. Click here to view that article.

Digital Music Information (from Barry Johnson)

Article Type Summary Author Last Update Description
Summary / Document Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2018-06-27

In 2008 Barry Johnson wrote a suite of documents that take you through the ins and outs of digital music: how to connect equipment, where to get it, how to edit it, and how to manage it. The articles are listed below (click on title to view PDF):

Digital Music and Data Files
A general description of what digital music is, the terminology used, various formats, and how it works
Connecting Your Turntable
A description of how to connect your turntable to your laptop in order to digitize your existing music that resides on vinyl.
Making Music With Audacity
How to use the free Audacity music editing program to edit your digital music; including initial recording and noise removal, looping, cropping, tempo/pitch changes, etc.
Managing Dances With SqView
This document explains how to use the free SqView program to manage and play your digital music. SqView is geared especially to callers and cuers and contains many of the music management tools they particularly require.


Goldwave Music Editing Software

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Goldwave Inc.

Website

Goldwave is a music recording and editing program. It permits recording from a variety of sources and producing a variety of sound file formats. It has features for pitch and tempo shifting, noise elimination (such as clicks and pops), cropping or extending recordings, adjusting bass/treble balances, and much more.


Audacity Audio Editor and Recorder Program

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Audacity Team

Website

Audacity is a free multi-track audio editing program that runs on several platforms including Windows, Linux, and MAC OS. It permits recording from a variety of sources and producing a variety of sound file formats. It has features for pitch and tempo shifting, noise elimination (such as clicks and pops), cropping or extending recordings, adjusting bass/treble balances, and much more.

CALLERLAB recently ran an education session on Audacity and you can find the handout here. The Audacity website contains full documentation under the HELP selection on the masthead.


Square Dance Rotation Program (SQROT)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Vic Ceder (vic@ceder.net)

Website

The Square Rotation Program (SQROT) is used at a dance to assign dancers to squares. The objective is to ensure a thorough mixing of dancers such that each dancer dances with as many different people as possible. The program handles single dancers and can also manage special situations such as: students who should dance as much as possible and preferably mixed in with experienced dancers; dancers who need regular sitouts; dancers acting as angels; and couples who do not wish to be split up. Other features include support for dancers scanning in using barcodes, and access to square assignments using cellphones.


Ceder Square Dance System (CSDS)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Vic Ceder (vic@ceder.net)

Website
Flyer

CSDS (Ceder Square Dance System) is a comprehensive program that incorporates under one roof all the facilities needed by square dance callers. The program allows the user to:

  • Write square dance choreography
  • Store and retrieve square dance sequences or modules
  • Store and retrieve getouts (resolves) and getins
  • Manipulate lists of square dance calls
  • Generate bitmap pictures of formations
  • Display sequences for calling from a laptop
  • Organize and play music files
  • Display cue sheets and lyrics for singing calls


SD – A Square Dance Caller’s Helper

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Bill Ackerman (wba@alum.mit.edu)

Website

Before computers, callers worked out choreography by moving “checkers”. A set of checkers had 8 pieces that represented the dancers, usually representing the gender and relationships of the dancers with shape and color coding. The caller then physically pushed the checkers through the motions of the calls to keep track of how the sequence worked. This process was time consuming and error prone. SD is a computer program that performs the same function which greatly speeds up the process of writing and dramatically reduces errors. The program is available free of charge from the website. It has both Windows and Linux versions.


SqView Music Management Program

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Thomas Bernhed (thomas@sqview.se)

Website

SqView is a music management program for callers, cuers and line dance leaders. It is specifically designed for the music management and performance needs of those groups. The program also displays lyrics, programlists, definitions and choreography. It is available from the website free of charge in both Windows and Android versions.


Callarama

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Reinhold Roedig (support@callarama.com)

Website

Callarama is a “checker mover” program to help callers work out choreography by showing animated figures moving in response to calls entered by the caller. Callarama has defined the standard for animated Square Dance Choreography since its introduction in 2004. The New Callarama 2 has been totally redesigned on the basis of Microsoft .Net Framework, supported by all Windows operating systems since XP.

Callarama can also run on a Mac if a Windows emulator, as for instance Parallels Desktop, is installed.

Callarama covers the Basic, Mainstream, Plus and Advance dance programs. The already extensive repertoire of 35,000+ animations is constantly expanded through free upgrades for all users.

Calls can be entered by selecting from a Call List, by clicking on Call Labels, by typing Shortcuts and by Voice. Speech Recognition is included and currently pre-configured for English and German (a user on a German language computer, calling in English with a German accent).

Calls are recorded in a Routine list that can be played forward and backward, similar to a movie player. Beats are indicated at each step. Routines can be edited, printed and saved for future use.

The Speed Dial is calibrated very accurately in BPM. It possible to synchronize calling or the replay of a routine with music played on another device.


SqView Installation and Use

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Richard Manning (rickmanning_sdcaller@yahoo.com)

2016-03-30

SqView Installation and Use

This document provides a step by step description of the installation and use of the SqView music management program. SqView may be downloaded for free at http://www.sqview.se


Digital Music Presentation (CALLERLAB 2018)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Richard Manning (rickmanning_sdcaller@yahoo.com)

2016-03-30

Digital Music 101

Digital Music 102

These handouts (Digital Music 101 and 102) were created for a presentation at the 2018 CALLERLAB Convention in Albuquerque.

  • Digital Music 101 deals with the Windows considerations for downloading your music, placing it in your PC’s file structure, and managing the physical files.
  • Digital Music 102 deals with editing your music files using Audacity, a free music editing program. Another article on Audacity may be found here.


Hilton Equipment Repair Service

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Dick Bull (hiltonrepair@comcast.net)

Hilton Equipment Repair

Dick Bull was the lead technician at Hilton Audio for over 25 years. He now operates an equipment repair service for Hilton products.


Caller’s Service and Supply

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Gary Coon (callersser@hotmail.com)

Website

The name says it all.
Specializing in the repair of all models of Hilton Audio equipment.
Also specializing in the sales and repair of Williams Sound hearing assistance systems


Landmark Hearing Assist System

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Landmark Audio Technologies (info@landmarkfm.com)

Landmark Hearing Assist

For dancers who have trouble hearing the calls over the music, Landmark Audio Technologies’ FM transmitters and receivers provide high-quality, cost-effective hearing assistance. During a dance, a Landmark FM Transmitter is connected directly into the existing sound system. The caller speaks as usual into a microphone. Each dancer hears with ear buds or a headset on their Landmark Audio FM350 Receiver. Each adjusts their own volume level.


Low Cost Hearing Assist System

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Gardner Patton

2006-01-01

Low Cost Hearing Assist

This article describes how to put together a low cost hearing assist system for dancers that have hearing issues.


Hilton Audio

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Paul Cote (paul@hiltonaudio.com) Website

Hilton Audio has long been considered the gold standard for specialized sound equipment for square dance calling. Established in 1956 by Jim Hilton it has changed ownership a couple of times over the years and is now owned by Paul Cote of Houston, Texas. On the Hilton Audio site you can purchase amplifiers, speakers, microphones, and cables.


Call Me Crazy (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com) 10 October, 2017 Book

This 178 page book presents a Step By Step Process For Calling And Teaching Modern Western Square Dances. if you’ve ever thought you might like to be a square dance caller, this is the place to start. As a prerequisite, you should have considerable experience with modern western square dancing and be a fluent dancer through the Plus dancing program. This book is packed with valuable information and detailed lesson plans for conducting One Night Stands and new dancer learning programs. The author Kip Garvey is a world class square dance caller with over 55 years experience teaching square dancing and teaching aspiring square dance callers.

Click on the “Book” link to the left to see more information and purchase online.


Sets In Order Archive

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Osgood

1948-1985

SIO Archive Page

Click on the link to view a page pointing to digitized copies of complete editions of the Sets In Order magazine.

This page is a tribute to Bob and Becky Osgood. The Sets In Order magazines are one of their legacys that comprise in these pages the history of modern square dancing. Bob began publishing SIO in 1948 and the last issue was issued in December 1985, 444 issues.

This material is Copyright (C) by Bob Osgood, and his heirs and may not be reproduced in any form including digital transmission for commercial purposes. Short articles may be reprinted using credit: “Reprinted from [magazine] and magazine year and month. magazine should be replaced by the appropriate magazine name such as SQUARE DANCING Magazine, official magazine of The Sets in Order American Square Dance Society” or just “Sets In Order” for earlier issues. Please credit by-lined authors.


Using Hearing Assist System To Slave One Amp To Another

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Wayne Weston (wtweston@satx.rr.com )

2017-04-08

Handout PDF

This handout from the CDLS session at the 2017 CALLERLAB convention explains how to slave one sound system to another using a hearing assist system. This avoids having to string long cables when sounding large rooms.


List of Sound Equipment For Square Dancing (CDLS 2017)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Riggs (Bob@SDE-Co.com)

2017-04-08

Equipment List PDF

This 2-page document lists some of the commonly used sound equipment used for square dancing and where it may be obtained. It is a handout from a presentation at the Community Dance Leaders Seminar (CDLS) at the 2017 CALLERLAB convention.


Managing Dances With SqView

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com) 2010-04-01 Managing Dances with SqView PDF

This 27 page PDF document describes in detail how to install and use the SqView music management program on a laptop computer.

Document Abstract

Callers and cuers using laptop computers for their music will need to use some piece of software to play their music. There are a wide variety of choices for this software, and generally any will be sufficient for simply playing music. However, most dance leaders prefer to use software specifically designed for square and round dance leaders. One particular software program, SqView (pronounced “Square View”) has been growing in popularity, and is used by an estimated 75% of callers using computers. This paper discusses SqView – how to get it, how to use it, and how to fix some common problems you may encounter with the program.


dosado.com

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Paul Cote (paul@hiltonaudio.com) Website

Dosado.com has a long and varied history. It has served as the URL for a series of square dance music services: Supreme Audio, then Palomino, and most recently it was purchased by Hilton Audio (Paul Cote). It contains a huge collection of the offerings of many of the square dance music producers and permits online purchase and download. The site also has a number of very useful sections, for example music for special occasions or themes such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or St. Patrick’s. You can find music by title, label, or artist. They also sell equipment such as speakers, microphones, and hearing enhancement systems.