Lots Of Stuff About Modules

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2019-12-04

This summary article aggregates a great deal of material on the use of modules in square dance choreography. Modules provide a powerful mechanism for creating and presenting square dance choreography and they are a tool that all callers need to be familiar with. This article provides a brief overview of what modules are, an introduction to the terminology involved, and pointers to many other sources of information.


What Are Modules?

A module is a pre-written series of calls that performs some known transformation of the square. Perhaps the most familiar example is a singing call figure, which transforms a Static Square (SS) where everyone is at their original home position with their partner to Static Square where each man is at home with his original corner. Modules also can be used to achieve more granular changes in the square, for example: chaining the ladies, moving from one formation to another, changing sequence, etc.

A module will start from a specific square situation (Formation, Arrangement, Sequence, Relationship – FASR) and end in another specific square situation (FASR). The starting and ending FASRs may be the same or different, but the essential point is they are known ahead of time. In practice, most modules are designed around a few particular FASRs, which are described below. Some of the names given to these familiar FASRs have changed over time. In the titles below, the most current terminology is given first with its common abbreviation, but older terms for the same FASR are listed after it so that you can interpret documents written before the current terminology came into use.

Static Square (SS) / Zero Square (ZS)
All dancers standing in their home positions. Commonly SS means standing in their original home positions (as they squared up), but ZS can also be used for square that has been rotated, for example by a bucket stir module.
Corner Box (CB) / Zero Box (ZB) / Box 1-4
This FASR is the 8-chain formation obtained by having Heads (or Sides) Square Thru 4 from a Static Square (SS). You will often see the function of such a module indicated with something like “SS -> CB”.
Right-Hand Lady Box (RLB) / Across The Street Box
This is the 8-chain formation obtained by having Heads/Sides Square Thru 2 from SS.
Partner Line (PL) / Zero Line (ZL) / 1P2P
This FASR is facing lines of 4, normal arrangement, all with original partner, in sequence. It’s what you get from a SS when you have Heads/Sides Lead Right, Circle to a Line.

Types Of Modules

Modules are categorized according the nature of the transformation they apply to the square.

Conversion Modules
Conversion Modules transform the square from one FASR to another. They come in several flavors:

Getins/Setups
Getins move the square from its current FASR to the FASR required to start a particular module. Most common are Getins that do SS->CB or SS->PL transformations.
Getouts
A Getout moves the square from its current FASR to a resolved square. Commonly they start from CB or PL FASRs.
CB->PL
Converts a Corner Box to a Partner Line
PL->CB
Converts a Partner Line to a Corner Box
Rotation
Rotates the formation, typically 90 degrees. For example, from facing lines, Pass Thru, Bend the Line (note: this particular example also reverses the sequence).
Invert
Inverts the centers and ends. For example, from a CB created from SS by Heads Square Thru 4: Star Thru, Pass Thru, Bend The Line, Star Thru creates another CB but the Heads are now on the outside and the Sides in the center. This particular example also rotates the square, so this module is often termed an “Invert and Rotate”.
Zeros
A Zero is a module that returns the square to the same FASR it started with. As with Conversion modules, Zeros come in several types:

Geographic Zeros
Returns each dancer to the exact footprints they started in.
True Zeros
Returns the square to the same FASR, although dancers may not be in the same exact footprints. For example, from Ocean Waves, All 8 Circulate Twice results in the same FASR, but all dancers are on the other side of the formation from where they started.
Fractional Zeros
A module that becomes a zero after multiple repetitions. A module that becomes a zero after being executed twice is termed a “Half Zero”. A “One Third Zero” must be executed three times, a “Quarter Zero” 4 times, etc.
Technical Zeros
Are zeros only when certain conditions are met.
Equivalents
An Equivalent module is a series of calls that duplicates the action of a call or another module. For example, from any facing couples: Pass Thru and Partner Trade, is equivalent to Right and Left Thru.
Flow
One hopes that any module would exhibit good flow, but sight callers in particular often talk about Flow Modules. The term refers to a series of calls known to create a pleasurable dancing pattern and that may be inserted without having a complete understanding of the starting FASR. Typically, knowing the starting Formation and Arrangement is sufficient – often only the Formation. Similarly, the resulting FASR is not known completely either, usually only to the degree the starting FASR was understood.

Hanging Modules On a Framework

A Framework is merely another sort of module that is used to provide some structure to the use of other modules. It is a module which provides a number of opportunities for inserting other types of modules to create a wide variety of sequences. The most famous Framework is called “Chicken Plucker” and it is taught in most caller schools. Chicken Plucker is a Half Zero that starts in an Eight-Chain formation. Starting in the Eight-Chain formation, one version the module is: Right and Left Thru, Dive Thru, Centers Pass Thru. Repeating this a second time returns the dancers to their original starting position (hence it is a Half Zero). After the first repetition the center dancers are said to be “across the street” because they are now looking at the opposite outsides from where they started. The utility of this Framework lies in the opportunities it offers for inserting zeros, equivalents, and conversions in a controlled fashion. For example, from the original starting position a zero could be called before beginning the Framework module. Then after the first repetition of the Framework the same zero could be used in the “across the street” formation – or a different one, if desired. Equivalents can be applied for further variety. For example, Square Thru 3 and Trade By could be used to replace Right and Left Thru, Dive Thru, Centers Pass Thru.

The power of using a Framework is that it allows the caller map the modules they plan to use into an easily remembered structure. For example a caller could visualize a sequence like this:

  • SS->CB Getin module to a CB
  • CB->PL Convert CB to PL
  • PL->PL Apply a Zero that returns a PL
  • PL->CB Convert PL to CB
  • CP1 Chicken Plucker part 1 to create a Right-Hand Lady Box
  • RLB->RLB Zero that preserves the Right-Hand Lady Box
  • CP2 Second repetition of Chicken Plucker returns to a CB
  • CB->SS Getout from CB

The following table points to a variety of additional material on modules. Click on the item(s) in the Link column to view or download the material.

Item Type Author Link Description
Presentation Handout Paul Henze PDF

This handout contains many common modules and illustrates how they can be combined to create full sequences.

Presentation Handout Cal Campbell PDF

This sheet contains several useful Equivalent modules from Cal Campbell.

Presentation Handout Paul Henze PDF

This handout provides a general description of modules and their use as well as several tables showing different types of modules.

Presentation Handout Cal Campbell PDF

This handout is a 4-page primer on what modules are and how they work.

Presentation Handout Tim Marriner PDF

This document is a 4-page overview of the principles of modular calling and an explanation of terminology.

Presentation Handout Doug Davis PDF

This handout has a short form overview of modular calling and usage.

Presentation Handout Tim Marriner PDF

Tim Marriner’s handout on how to work with Chicken Plucker.

Presentation Handout Doug Davis PDF

Many samples of various types of modules.

Presentation Handout Virgil Forbes PDF

Many samples of unusual Getout modules.

Presentation Handout Jon Jones PDF

Many samples of unusual Getout modules.

Website Vic and Debbie Ceder Website

Vic and Debbie Ceder maintain a choreo database on their ceder.net site. It contains hundreds of examples of modules of various sorts.

Document Barry Johnson PDF

Many people avoid technical zeros because they seem unpredictable. Barry Johnson explains what they are, how they work, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Forum Cal Campbell Website

This discussion forum on modules is moderated by Cal Campbell. It contains hundreds of articles relating to modules.

Book Cal Campbell Info

This comprehensive publication on modules is available for sale from Cal Campbell.



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.


Becoming A Square Dance Caller 2nd Edition (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-07-22

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.

2nd Edition
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
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
Advanced Resolve: Anything You Can Imagine ……………………………………………………………………………… 43
Box Resolves – Couples Facing Couples …………………………………………………………………………………………… 46
A-Box Resolves ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47
D-Box Resolves ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48
The Grand Resolve Summarized ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 49
Get-Outs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 52
Resolves From Partner Lines ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 52
Resolves From Ocean Waves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54
Resolving Using Folds …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56
Partner Lines to an Allemande Left ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 58
You’re Home From Partner Lines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 59
Putting on Your Big Girl Pants (Cool Endings) ……………………………………………………………………………………. 60
2
Spin Chain Thru ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
Chase Right ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
Follow Your Neighbor …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64
Resolves From Corner Box …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 65
You’re Home From Corner Box ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 68
Moving to a Quadrant ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
Little Pieces of the Puzzle …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 71
What Makes For Good Calling? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 72
Microphones ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73
Confidence ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73
When You Screw Up ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
Music For Patter ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75
Modifying The BPM ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 76
Stringing Songs Together ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 76
Singing Calls ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 77
Getting The Verse Sequence To Work ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
Putting A Singing Call Together …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 79
Singing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 82
Getting Started In Calling ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 83
Equipment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 84
Intro Parties ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 87
The Talk ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 90
Lessons ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 92
Why I Use Club50/SSD ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 93
The Forgotten Calls ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 95
Filling Out Squares …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 96
Rectangles ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 96
Standard Applications ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 101
Easy Calls Resolve ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 102
Creating Modules …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 112
Building Your Library …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 112
Getting Up To Call ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 117
Conventions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 118
Lists ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 120
Equivalents ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 120
Corner Box Get-Ins ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 121
3
Alternatives to Allemande Left from a Corner Box …………………………………………………………………………. 122
Partner Line Get-Ins …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 123
Partner Line Get-Outs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 124
A-Box Get-Outs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126
D-Box Get-Outs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126
Box To Line Conversions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 127
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 128
Callerlab …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 130
FASR ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 131
Formations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 132
Eight Chain Thru …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 133
Facing Lines (Lines Facing In) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 134
Lines Facing Out …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 135
Trade By ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 136
Double Pass Thru …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 137
Completed Double Pass Thru ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 137
Parallel Two-Faced Lines ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 138
Parallel Ocean Waves ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 139
Columns (Right or Left) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 140
Z Formations (Left & Right) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 140
Fractional Tags …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 141
Point To Point Diamonds ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 142
Facing Point To Point Diamonds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 142
Tidal Wave …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143
Tidal Two-Faced Line ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143
Arrangement ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 144
Half Sashayed Solutions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 144
Waves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 145
How Circulates Change Arrangement ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 147
Diamonds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 147
Sequence …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 148
Alternative Resolve Methods …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 149
Mental Image ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 149
CRaMS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 149
Call List ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 150



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


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.


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.