Technical Zeros

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com)

2019-04-20

Technical Zeros

Ever wonder what a “technical zero” is exactly? Or what use they actually are? Are you afraid of using them because the results seem unpredictable? In this paper Barry Johnson takes you through what they are, how they work, and how you can use them to benefit your choreography.


Square Dance Modules Discussion Forum

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

Square Dance Modules Discussion Forum

This discussion forum moderated by Cal Campbell has a wealth of material about square dance modular choreography. The purpose of the group is education in the use of square dance modules and the sharing of modules.


MS Teaching Plan from Daryl Clendenin

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Daryl Clendenin (yloroc@comcast.net)

2019-03-24

Teaching Plan

Daryl Clendenin is a veteran caller who has taught scores of beginner classes. Follow the link to the left to see his detailed 20-lesson plan to teach his MS group for 2018-19. The 92-page document contains his teaching plan and sample choreography for each lesson.


Using Sicilian Circles for Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) Daryl Clendenin (daryl@clendenin.net)

2019-03-23

Dancing In Sicilian Circles (Cal Campbell)

Using Sicilian Circles for Teaching (Daryl Clendenin)

Cal Campbell and Daryl Clendenin discuss how to use the Sicilian Circle formation for teaching – and even as a “square dance” formation – in Modern Western Square Dancing. The Sicilian Circle is a series of facing couples arranged around the rim of a circle. Dancers can work in their own group of 4 or easily move on to another as part of the dance action. Most calls on the BMS list can be done with only four people, which makes Sicilian Circles an excellent teaching tool.


Becoming A Caller

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-03-22

Purchase Online

When Bruce Holmes was learning to call, he had no luck finding a textbook to help him through the process. Now that he is a caller, he has written the book he wished he had when he was first learning. You can read the table of contents by clicking on the button below. For purchase information click on the Purchase Online link to the left.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why I Wrote This Book ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
The Plan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
The Circle Before The Square …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Into The Square ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Remembering The People In Your Square ……………………………………………………………………………………………..12
Modules ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..12
Equivalents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….13
Flow ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………14
Sight Calling Light ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….15
More Modules ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16

The Loop……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
Moving Around The Square ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22
Your First Sequence…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
Technical & Fractional Zeros …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
Doppelgangers…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
Partner Lines……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
The Difference Between Corner Box and Partner Lines ………………………………………………………………………29

Converting From Boxes To Lines And Back Again ……………………………………………………………………….. 31
Module calling versus Sight Calling, Part II …………………………………………………………………………………. 33
How To Resolve ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34
Advanced Resolve: Anything You Can Imagine ……………………………………………………………………………. 43
The Grand Resolve Summarized ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 46
In Praise Of Sight Calling, Part LXLVII ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48
Get-Outs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 49
Resolves From Partner Lines ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………49
Resolves From Ocean Waves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….51
Resolving Using Folds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..53
Partner Lines to an Allemande Left …………………………………………………………………………………………………………55
You’re Home From Partner Lines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….56
Putting on Your Big Girl Pants (Cool Endings) ………………………………………………………………………………………57

1

Resolves From Corner Box ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
You’re Home From Corner Box ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64

Little Pieces of the Puzzle ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 66
What Makes For Good Calling? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 67
Microphones ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 68
Confidence ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 68
When You Screw Up ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 69
Modifying The BPM …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71
Stringing Songs Together …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 71

Singing Calls …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72
Getting The Verse Sequence To Work ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73
Putting A Singing Call Together ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 74

Getting Started In Calling ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 77
Intro Parties …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
Lessons ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 81
Why I Use Club50 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 82
The Forgotten Calls …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 84
Filling Out Squares ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 85
Rectangles…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 85

Standard Applications …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 87
Easy Calls Resolve ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 88
Creating Modules …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 98
Building Your Library……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 98
Getting Up To Call …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 103
Conventions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 104
Lists ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 106
Equivalents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..106
ZB Get-Ins …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..107
Alternatives for Allemande Left from a Corner Box …………………………………………………………………………..108
Partner Line Get-Ins…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………109
Partner Line Get-Outs………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………109

Resources……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 111
Callerlab…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 113

2

FASR ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 114
Formations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 115
Eight Chain Thru ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 116
Facing Lines (Lines Facing In)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 117
Lines Facing Out ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 118
Trade By ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 119
Double Pass Thru ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 120
Completed Double Pass Thru ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 120
Parallel Two-Faced Lines ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 121
Parallel Ocean Waves ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 122
Columns (Right or Left) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 123
Z Formations (Left & Right) …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 123
Fractional Tags ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 124
Point To Point Diamonds ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 125
Facing Point To Point Diamonds…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 125
Tidal Wave ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 126
Tidal Two-Faced Line……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126

Arrangement …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 116
Sequence ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 131
Alternative Resolve Methods ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 132
Mental Image……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 132
CRaMS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 132

Call List …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 133

3



Community/Party Dance Teaching Videos

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

Teaching Videos

Cal Campbell has put up over 200 teaching videos for Community Dance and party night dances. Sometimes the written description of a dance isn’t enough to figure out how it works if you’ve never seen it done. This resource let’s you see how the dances work and how to teach them.


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


Relationship Sight Calling Simplified

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com)

2019-02-11

Relationship Sight Calling White Paper

This 14-page white paper by Kip Garvey explores how understanding the patterns of relationships that occur in normally arranged couples can enhance a caller’s control while sight calling and resolving.


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.

Sustainable Square Dance Teaching Guide

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB Sustainable Square Dance Committee (info@callerlab.org)

2018-07-01

SSD Teaching Guide

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with the task of developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system that has come to be known as Sustainable Square Dance. Earlier versions of this system have been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

This system is designed to create a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 12 weeks, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to this system, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

The publication of the SSD Teaching Guide represents the first deliverable to assist callers in using this system. It provides a lesson plan and sample choreography to help callers entertain dancers with a limited number of calls for a long period of time.


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.


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.


CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee (dwelch@eastlink.ca)

CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

The Choreographic Applications Committee has created this resource site to assist those who are teaching square dancers. Its intent is to collect in one place all the information about each call that teachers might need to teach students successfully.

The site is organized into sections according to the CALLERLAB programs. It is still a work in progress. Basic Part 1 and Basic Part 2 are ready for use. Mainstream and eventually Plus are planned.

For each call there are seven sections of information:

  1. the call definition
  2. standard applications
  3. call analysis information
  4. modules
  5. teaching tips
  6. extended applications
  7. other


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.


Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Website

The Lloyd Shaw Foundation preserves and shares a diverse range of dance and music traditions with an inter-generational audience. We develop leadership in traditional dance and music forms, and sponsor events and scholarships to ensure their continuity. Through our archives housed at the University of Denver, and at our Dance Center in Albuquerque, NM, we retain important historical records that document the past and enable us to preserve the future of traditional American folk dance.


CALLERLAB Program Documents

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2019-04-10

This summary points to the primary program-related documents that have been officially published by CALLERLAB. This includes program lists, call definitions, timing charts, lesson checklists, teaching tips, and other materials. Click on the appropriate button below to see a list of materials for the program indicated. Click on the name of the document to access it.

Program Document Tables (click to view)

Document Name Revision Date
Advanced List 2018-09-15
Advanced Definitions 2019-03-09
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet 2014-09-15

Document Name Revision Date
C1 List 2018-09-22
C1 Definitions 2018-12-10
C2 List 2019-02-19
C2 Definitions 2018-09-03
C3A List 2017-07-22
C3A Definitions 2018-06-24
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10

Every three years the CALLERLAB program committees (Basic/Mainstream, Plus, Advanced, and Challenge) undertake a review of the current program lists and definitions. This review may result in additions or deletions of calls/concepts or a revision of definitions. The update of program documents may lag behind the initial public announcement of changes because after the results of the review are known, the committee may have additional work to do to redraft list or definition documents. This entry documents the raw results of the 2018 Triennial Review. Not all affected documents have been updated yet. Entries marked with an asterisk below indicate the changes are reflected in the officially published list.

2018 Triennial Review Results

Basic Results
The Thar Family and related calls are dropped, and as a result, are moved to the Mainstream Program list. This includes:

  • 32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • The Basic Teaching Order is modified as follows: Double Pass Thru, and First Couple Left/Right, Next Couple Left/Right are moved to follow Star Thru in the Basic Program teaching order.*

Mainstream Results
  • Moved to MS from Basic
    32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • Added to MS
    • Fractional Tags (1/2 Tag, 3/4 Tag, 1/4 Tag)*

Plus Results
No Changes

Advanced Results
No Changes

C1 Results
  • Add Track 0-4
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Cross Neighbor
C2 Results
  • Add Grand Drop In/Out/Right/Left*
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
  • Add Any Tagging Call Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
C3A Results
  • Add Single Calls: Shakedown, Turn and Deal
  • Add Interlocked Extend
  • Add Hinge The Top to the family of Lock the Hinge/Hinge the Lock (variations include Lock The Hinge the Top, Beau/Belle Hop the Top


Nuts And Bolts (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com) 5 March, 2017 Book

This 190 page book by one of the legendary figures in MWSD presents an analysis of choreographic structure for modern western square dance callers and dancers. With over 50 years experience as a professional square dance caller, Kip presents the principles of calling current day square dance for readers interested in understanding underlying concepts and technique with emphasis on the technical aspects of choreography. This deep dive into choreographic theory is loaded with graphic illustrations and many Getout, Conversion and Transition call modules. It is a text that should be in every caller’s library.

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


Beginner Dance Party Leaders Seminar – Presentations from 2014

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary

Presentation

Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) January 2016

For many years, as a lead-in to the main convention, CALLERLAB has hosted a 1-1/2 day seminar focusing on how to call square dance parties for non-dancers. CALLERLAB has posted to YouTube videos of a number of the presentations from the 2014 BDPLS. These presentations constitute a wealth of information about how to make such events a success. They cover everything from dance material to promotion to preparations to contracts, and much more.

Presenter Topic and Link
Dottie Welch Variations on the Virginia Reel
Susan Morris Effective Use of Circles
Paul Moore Working With Kids
Bob Riggs Planning
Chris Pinkham Dance Programs
Cal Campbell Genderless Dancing


Introduction To Mental Image Choreography

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description

The following two entries show two versions of a presentation by Don Beck on his system for Mental Image choreographic management. The first is a complete presentation to a group of callers. The second is a shorter introduction aimed at caller coaches that provides a slightly different perspective.

Presentation 2013 Don Beck Video File

Handout PDF

In this 2-hour video, Don Beck provides an introduction to his mental image choreography system to an audience of callers. It provides a quick overview of how the system works and illustrates some of its power. If you’re interested in learning to use this system, you can find information about Don’s book “Out Of Sight” here.

Presentation CALLERLAB Convention 2013 Don Beck Video File

Handout PDF

Don Beck provides an introduction to his mental image choreography system to the Caller Coach committee at the 2013 CALLERLAB Convention. It provides a quick overview of how the system works and illustrates some of its power. If you’re interested in learning to use this system, you can find information about Don’s book “Out Of Sight” here.


Controlling Choreography With Relationships

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com) 2014 Controlling Choreography With Relationships (PDF File)

This 78 page document is a detailed description of how callers can use dancer relationships as a tool for resolving squares. See the document abstract below for additional details.

From a choreographic point of view,callers describe the position of the dancers in a square by using four descriptive attributes: Formation, Arrangement, Sequence and Relationships.

  • Formation describes the spots on the floor in which dancers are standing,
  • Arrangement describes the way dancing genders are standing relative to one another,
  • Sequence describes whether or not dancers are in the original squared set order, and
  • Relationship describes which men and which women are near one another.

Together, these four attributes can be used to precisely define the choreographic state of a square, and a specific combination of these four values is called a “FASR” (pronounced “fah-zer”).

For decades, many callers have focused on Formation, Arrangement and Sequence while tracking dancers as they move through a sequence. Although formation and arrangement are fairly easy to see, sequence is not — especially “on the fly” since many calls will change the sequence of some or all dancers. There are specific techniques that can be used to resolve a square using just formation, arrangement and sequence, but these techniques may require several steps to reach the final desired result. The complexity of those techniques leads many callers to “hunt for corners”, trying one call after another until the dancers fall into a recognizable FASR.

With this focus on Formation, Arrangement and Sequence the fourth leg of the nomenclature system, Relationship, has generally been ignored.

But it turns out that the relationships of the dancers can actually be easier for many callers to understand and see while a square is in motion, and the principles of using relationships while calling can be learned in just a few minutes. Once relationships are recognizable, the state of the square is easily identified in almost any FASR at all. A few simple “cookbook” rules allow a caller to consciously change the relationships at will, giving the caller a great deal of control over the state of the square.

There are three main ways that callers can use relationships:

  • Finding their way out when they’re lost: being able to recognize the state of the square, then regaining control by consciously changing stations;
  • As a framework within which modules and desired choreographic sequences can be used. Put the dancers into a known station, dance them around as desired while preserving the station (or consciously changing it to a different one), and finally resolve without question because you know exactly where the dancers are.
  • As a launching pad for using memorized get-outs from many different starting positions.

We’ll discuss each of these areas in the pages that follow.

Relationships and CRaMS
For the last several years, some callers have been advocating a larger calling system named CRaMS, the “Controlled Relationship and Manipulation System.” Readers that are familiar with CRaMS will recognize much of the material in this book. CRaMS uses relationship choreographic control as just one of several tools and techniques to achieve the broader goal of helping callers to improve upon their craft. We’ll talk more about the larger system of CRaMS in Chapters 7 and 17.

Relationships and Mental Image
Astute readers may also notice several similarities to Don Beck’s Mental Image system, particularly in the way that calls are classified based on the way they affect the setup of the square. Both systems (Relationships and Mental Image) rely on the symmetries of the square as calls are executed — and therefore are likely to resemble one another, even while coming at the problem from very different directions and using completely different vocabularies.



All About Modules (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) 2014 Book

This book covers all the bases starting with the new caller just learning how to call and on through the old hands looking for ways to expand their collection of modules and to learn new tricks on how to use square dance modules to improve their calling skills. It’s all there.

The new caller will find a comprehensive set of lessons to introduce them to the art of using modules to call square dances. You will be guided step by step through a learning process that will enable you to quickly select and memorize modules and then call them at a dance and be successful. It is a time proven successful way to learn how to call and to entertain square dancers. However, It’s not a magic. You will have to practice and you will have to study choreography.


Dancing For Busy People

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) 2003 Book

Website

Blog

Dancing For Busy People was originally a book published in 2003. More recently, Cal has created a website that includes the book but also points to many additional resources and sources of information. The book is an excellent resource for someone planning a party night or beginner dance. “Dancing for Busy People” is a collection of over 400 dances using easy to teach dance movements. Most dances use only walking movements based on commonly used square dance terminology. Only 25 basics are used. The same basics are used for contra dances, trios, quadrilles, Sicilian circles, mescolanzas and many of the round dance mixers. Some special description of footwork is necessary for the no-partner dances.

D4BP is available in PDF form as well as hardcopy.


Out Of Sight (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Don Beck 2014 Book

Out of Sight is a book that teaches square dance callers how to manage choreography using a mental image system. Other common choreographic methods are reading, modules, and sight calling. Mental image calling allows a caller to create choreography on the fly, while calling, and then easily resolve the square. Unlike reading or modules, the choreography need not be pre-written, and allows the caller much more flexibility to improvise. Unlike sight calling, the caller does not have to memorize who started with whom, each tip, and s/he is not dependent on whether the dancers made any mistakes. This method does not require that a caller learn how to follow eight or even only four dancers, but basically only one dancer as s/he moves around the square.

The Second Printing is now available. It includes an additional 15 pages in the form of a Forward to the Second Printing, an Afterword, and an additional Appendix. There is additional advanced information about the system available on the authors website for callers who have fully learned the system as taught in the book.


Tim Marriner’s Caller Education Page

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Tim Marriner Website

Tim Marriner was a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach who created and published a large quantity of caller educational material over the years. Tim generously made this wealth of informative articles available for free download in PDF format. Sadly, Tim died suddenly in 2016, depriving square dancing of one of its most knowledgeable and articulate advocates.


CALLERLAB Community Dance Resources

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Dottie Welch Website

This Dance Resource is a compilation of Beginner Party Dances, Community Dances, Contra Dances, and Traditional Square Dances. Dances are grouped by type and listed in HTML code for easy viewing. Each dance is also available to be downloaded as a Rich Text File. There is also a sortable and linked index to the Community Dance Journals. Supporting documents are being added and now include Formation Diagrams, Music Suggestions, and the Community Dance Program Plan.


ceder.net

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Vic & Debbie Ceder (debbie@ceder.net) Website

Ceder.net is a comprehensive collection of resources related to square dancing. It includes a number of sections:

  • A database of callers and cuers
  • A database of square dance clubs
  • An extensive database of choreography examples
  • A database containing upcoming events
  • (for the above 4 databases individuals can input and update their own entries to keep them current)

  • A large repository of documents and articles related to square dancing
  • A huge database of square dance music (for historical reference, not for purchase)
  • Links and lists of other square dance resources


Sight And Module Resolution Systems Document

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document CHOREOGRAPHIC APPLICATIONS COMMITTEE (CAC),
CALLER TRAINING COMMITTEE, and
CALLER COACH COMMITTEE
(edited by Dottie Welch)
2018-02-01 Full Document PDF

This document is a compendium describing dozens of known systems for resolving squares, including both sight and module based approaches. The objective was to document as many systems as possible that are currently in use by experienced callers. Experienced callers can use it to discover different approaches that may help them add variety. Newer callers can use it to select a method that would work best for them as they are learning to resolve smoothly.

The goal of this project is to help callers improve their ability to present smooth and danceable choreography by increasing their knowledge of efficient and interesting resolution systems. The name “Sight and Module Resolution Systems” has been chosen to indicate that the focus is on resolution systems in which the caller first uses sight, or a combination of modules and sight, to move the dancers into a recognizable FASR and then uses one or more modules to resolve the square. Perhaps the FASR will be one where the square will be resolved by simply calling “Allemande Left”, “Right and Left Grand”, “Promenade”, or “Back Out At Home”. The intention is to document as many different systems as possible that proficient sight callers are using. We are interested in what sight callers are thinking and what their intermediate goals are as they resolve the square. The hope is that such documentation will help other callers become aware of the possibilities. Every attempt has been made to write explanations of the systems that can be understood by the average Basic or Mainstream caller. The choreographic examples are sorted by CALLERLAB program, and always begin with Basic calls. They also include examples using Mainstream, Plus, Advanced and Challenge calls. There is no intent to recommend one system over another. The aim is to increase understanding about what other callers are thinking. Brains work in different ways, so over the years callers have developed different systems for comprehending the patterns of square dancing. Hopefully, at least one of the systems documented here will be a natural fit to each caller’s individual reasoning style. Also there is a need for different systems, or adjustments within a system, to accommodate differences in the vocabulary of the dancers. Some attention is given to sight calling for the whole spectrum; from new dancers with a very limited vocabulary to Challenge dancers with an extensive vocabulary.

This is primarily a reference tool. All readers will need to be familiar with the terminology and skills discussed in the second and fourth chapters. Each of the systems discussed in the remaining chapters can be studied individually. Chapter 14 contains a huge supply of useful Get-Outs. The hope is that appropriate parts of the document will be read by new sight callers, somewhat experienced sight callers, proficient sight callers, and teachers of sight callers. The expectation is that readers will come with differing needs and will be looking for various degrees of complexity. Some will be looking for clear explanations of the “old ways” which they hear being used by many experienced callers. Others will come looking for new ideas. The knowledge that there are “new ways” or “other ways” of thinking about sight calling is the underlying motivation for compiling all of this information into one document.

Thanks go to all those who have contributed directly or indirectly to the information contained here. The development of sight calling has been a long and complex process extending back at least to the 1960s. These systems reflect innumerable hours of pawn pushing, a great many discussions between callers, and more than 50 years of wonderful dancing.


Extended But Not Extreme – Plus

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation CALLERLAB Convention 2015 Barry Clasper, John Marshall Extended But Not Extreme – Plus (Clasper Handout)

There are many calls for which we have well known “standard” applications, and we have even documented many of them in the Standard Applications documents. “Standard”, however, does not mean “easier” — it really means “more common”. There are many infrequently used applications that are not hard, they’re just infrequent. Because they’re infrequent, dancers bobble when they hear them, so we avoid them, so they stay infrequent: vicious circle. Some examples: Peel The Top from LH Cols; Cut/Flip The Diamond, Girls as Centers; Ping Pong Circulate with same-sexes in center wave. If you are interested in enriching your dancers’ experience with usages that are not hard, just infrequently used, this session is for you.